National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce
 
A Taste of Winter for West Texas
21-22 February 2018
GOES-16 "RGB-Natural Color" imagery captured from 7:27 am to 8:32 am on 21 February 2018.
GOES-16 "RGB-Natural Color" imagery captured from 7:27 am to 8:32 am on 21 February 2018. The taller rain and thunder producing clouds can easily be distinguished, while widespread low clouds blanket much of Texas. A regional view of the infrared satellite the morning of the 21st can be VIEWED HERE.
 
A strong cold moved through the South Plains region on Tuesday (20 February), with gusty northeasterly winds bringing in much colder Canadian air through the day and into the evening. Temperatures tumbled into the teens and lower 20s by early on the 21st (Wednesday). At the same time, an approaching upper level disturbance caused much warmer and relatively moist air to lift northward up and over the cold air near ground level. This caused clouds and showers and isolated thunderstorms to develop across the northern Permian Basin, which rapidly spread northeastward across the eastern South Plains and much of the Rolling Plains through Wednesday morning. Unfortunately, with the cold air trapped near ground level, the precipitation surfaced in the form of sleet and freezing rain.  
 
Lubbock radar animation valid from 7:05 am to 11:04 am on 21 February 2018.
Lubbock radar animation valid from 7:05 am to 11:04 am on 21 February 2018.
 
The wintry precipitation did create slick spots on the roadways, primarily along and east of a Tahoka to Ralls to Northfield line. Lubbock did see pockets of very light sleet and freezing drizzle at times, though amounts were generally too light to cause any travel problems on the 21st. This was not the cause further east, especially where even heavier amounts of frozen precipitation fell from the Big County into North Texas and central and western Oklahoma.  
 
West Texas Mesonet low temperatures observed the morning of 21 February 2018.
West Texas Mesonet low temperatures observed the morning of 21 February 2018. To view the highs the previous day CLICK HERE. A display of the wind chill values at 8 am on the 21st can be VIEWED HERE. The observed high temperatures on the 21st are located HERE
 
The below animation shows how widespread the showers and thunderstorms were, with the heaviest activity found downstate of the South Plains. A few strong to severe thunderstorms even impacted far East Texas into Louisiana, with torrential rainfall resulting in flooding over this same area. The light wintry precipitation did cease for much of the South Plains region late on Wednesday. 
 
Regional radar animation valid from 7:38 am to 8:48 am on 21 February 2018.
Regional radar animation valid from 7:38 am to 8:48 am on 21 February 2018. Additional radar animations can be viewed at: 5:48 am to 6:58 am on 21 February; and  9:18 am to 10:28 am on 21 February.
 

However, moisture surged back into the region Wednesday night and early Thursday, and with temperatures remaining below freezing this resulted in more periods of freezing fog and freezing drizzle late Wednesday night. The precipitation was initially quite light, though the persistent freezing drizzle did coat things with a thin glaze of ice and create areas of slippery roadways during the Thursday morning commute. Enough elevated moisture and instability did return toward daybreak to caused heavier thunderstorms to develop across the Rolling Plains. These storms raced northeastward dropping freezing rain, sleet and even pockets of small hail before quickly shifting east of the area.

 
Lubbock radar animation valid from 12:34 am to 7:45 am on 22 February 2018.
Lubbock radar animation valid from 12:34 am to 7:45 am on 22 February 2018.
 
The image below shows the light coating of ice that covered the Lubbock area early Thursday morning. Unfortunately, this ice did cause slick spots on roadways, with a number of accidents reported in the region. Thankfully temperatures rose about the freezing mark around and shortly after midday, with any ice quickly melting off, and road conditions improving.
 
View from south Lubbock around 9 am on Thursday, 22 February 2018.
View from south Lubbock around 9 am on Thursday, 22 February 2018.
 
Overall, precipitation totals over West Texas were pretty light (to non-existent across the western South Plains and southwest Texas Panhandle). Lubbock officially only recorded a trace of precipitation during the two days, while Childress recorded 0.08 inches, most of which fell as freezing rain.