Things are getting a little bit clearer on this complicated forecast. There will still be some surprises. But based on what we see now, the main takeaway should be it's going to get much colder with the greatest concern for icy and snowy roads Friday night into mid-day Saturday.
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THIS AFTERNOON: It's cloudy and cold, temperature in the 30s and lower 40s.
TONIGHT: Cloudy, low near 28. Wind NE 5-12mph. Some light rain or freezing rain is possible in the morning, but not much is expected.
FRIDAY: Cold and rainy, high near 36. Wind NE 5-10mph. It's a close line between rain and freezing rain, but at this point we're expecting it to be rain around Lubbock through the day.
FRIDAY NIGHT: As the temperature drops back below freezing we expect some icing to occur from freezing rain. The good news is the latest data show less of an ice risk. But there will probably be enough to cause some slick spots on roads by Friday night or early Saturday morning.
SATURDAY: At some point early Saturday morning it'll change to sleet briefly, then snow. Snow showers are expected through the first half of Saturday, with some mixed wintry precip farther south and southeast of Lubbock.
By Saturday afternoon the showers will end, high temp near 36. Wind N 5-15mph.
HOW MUCH?: Provided it's mainly liquid rain through the day Friday, we expect anywhere from a light glaze to 1/10" or 2/10" of ice build-up. A few isolated locations may get more. This is enough to cause some problems driving and make sidewalks/driveways slick.
With the changeover to show anticipated early Saturday morning, we anticipate 2" to 4" of snow, with areas farther north closer to 4" to 6". Note that if the changeover to snow happens earlier, the totals will be quite a bit higher. We have a lot of water to work with. This will be a heavy, wet snow.
ROADWAYS: There could be a few slick spots Friday morning, but nothing widespread. As long as it stays rain through the day, roads should be alright. The drive will get worse Friday evening into late Friday night. With snow on top of some ice, Saturday will likely be more of a challenge. Even though the showers will move out Saturday mid-day, we'll probably see some re-freezing of the roads Saturday night.
All in all, this won't be the worst winter storm we've seen past few years, but it will create some travel issues. Check back here for more updates tonight and tomorrow. Our full weather and news staff will be posting updates as needed.