Major winter storm to impact the South Plains tonight and tomorrow

Reported by: Rudy Pearce
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Updated: 2/24/2013 7:27 pm
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A major winter storm will affect the Texas Panhandle and a good portion of the South Plains tonight and tomorrow. As of this writing there is some snow falling across northeastern New Mexico and the Texas Panhandle with rain and even a few storms working down into our northern counties. You can keep an eye on all the action with our live streaming radar below.
For the next couple of hours we will mainly be dealing with rain but we could also see some storms especially across our eastern counties. A cold front will sweep through the South Plains tonight ushering in colder air and very windy conditions. As temperatures quickly cool rain will transition to snow and continue to spread south across the region. We could start to see the first snow in our northern counties around 10pm but most of us won’t start to see snow until after midnight. It currently looks like the heaviest snow will fall between 6am and Noon tomorrow with snow likely continuing into tomorrow night. The heaviest snow totals will be held to the north of us across the Texas Panhandle and will progressively get a little less the farther south you go. Right now it looks like some of our northern most communities could see over 6 inches of snow with a dusting to 2 inches as far south as Hobbs. Below is a graphic depicting our current forecast for snow totals across the area.

The snow totals won’t be the only concern as the wind will be very strong throughout the overnight period and most of tomorrow. We will see a sustained wind of 30-40mph with gusts up to 60mph helping to produce large snow drifts and at times complete white out conditions. Due to this the National Weather Service has posted a Blizzard Warning spanning as far south as Lubbock, communities along Highway 114 and to the north. A Winter Weather Advisory has also been posted for Yoakum, Terry, Lynn, Garza and Kent counties for lighter snow accumulations. Below is a graphic that show those weather alerts.

If within the Blizzard Warning we highly urge you not to drive anywhere tonight or tomorrow unless it is absolutely necessary. Not only will it be very unsafe driving conditions but it will also be unsafe to be outside for any duration with wind chill values staying in the teens.

The low pressure system responsible for this winter storm will continue to track east tomorrow and thus all snow should end from west to east tomorrow eventually exiting our eastern counties late tomorrow night. Temperatures on Tuesday will likely stay cool especially in areas where a lot of snow is still on the ground. Another cold front will move through on late Tuesday into early Wednesday but it currently does not look like it will affect us much, just set us up with slightly cooler temperatures on Wednesday. The remainder of the forecast period looks pretty quiet with temperatures warming a bit each day.

I will have an updated look on the progression of everything for you tonight on the News at Nine. Caitlin and Matt will have all the updates for you tomorrow morning.
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