Today is going to be downright unpleasant to be outside. Temperatures right now are still nice and mild in the low 50s with those winds remaining from the southwest, but things will change as a cold front is making its way down the Texas Panhandle. Temperatures this afternoon will only top out in the mid to upper 40s after the front passes, but with that West Texas wind, it will feel like the upper 30s or low 40s. Definitely a bad day to forget your jacket. I personally opted for a light raincoat because it's looking more likely that we may need it, especially after 8 AM. It appears enough moisture will make its way around the deepening low pressure system that's moving to our east, and that will bring us some rain and even some rain/snow around mid morning. It is possible we could see a brief switch to all snow in the northern Permian Basin and SE New Mexico, but we're not expecting any significant accumulations. That said, with the strong winds, visibility could become an issue in heavier rain/snow showers. Conditions don't look to be very wet for very long, however, drying out in the afternoon with the possible exception of the NE Permian Basin.
Fortunately, the chances of precipitation may put a damper on our blowing dust chances in Midland and Odessa. But that’s not going to stop the winds from picking up. Already in the 10-20 MPH range for most of us, once those winds turn around to the north, we’ll see sustained winds of up to 40 MPH across our area with gusts near 55 MPH possible. Even higher winds and higher gusts are possible across the upper Trans-Pecos, SE New Mexico, and in the mountains. Even without blowing dust, driving conditions will be dangerous today, especially driving east to west. With winds out of the north by 9 AM, gusts will be strong enough to make big rigs swerve, and even small vehicles may find the cross winds difficult to drive in. If you’re headed out on a flight today, expect a pretty bumpy takeoff and landing across the state as this is expected to be a fairly widespread wind event, with only the easternmost counties in Texas spared from any wind advisories. Strong winds are expected through 4 PM tonight before gradually dying down.
Fortunately, tomorrow looks nice, albeit chilly, with lows near or below freezing, but we’ll see highs back into the upper 50s to end the work week, and 60s on Saturday with mostly sunny skies!