HIGH WIND WARNINGS FOR ALL OF WEST TEXAS TODAY.

RED FLAG WARNINGS FOR ALL OF WEST TEXAS TODAY DUE TO CRITICAL RISK OF WILDFIRES!

I27 IS CLOSED AT EXIT 13 NEAR ABERNATHY BOTH LANES NORTHBOUND AND SOUTHBOUND DUE TO MULTIPLE ACCIDENTS.

WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY NORTHERN PANHANDLE – WHITEOUT CONDITIONS

Current view from Lubbock, TX TXDOT Camera. 1:55pm

12.19.12.txdotcam1lub

 

High Wind Event we’ve been telling you about for days now is underway across Western Texas. We’ll be updating this blog LIVE on an ongoing basis today as damage, traffic and high wind reports become available.

7:00 pm CST **END OF LIVE BLOG FOR THIS EVENT**

  • Cold front continues it’s southward push this hour extending from south of Portales, NM southeastward to just north of Lubbock, and then back northeast to Matador and east of Childress. Winds behind the front will continue to be quite gusty, with some gusts still seen approaching 50 mph. Temperatures will drop considerable with frontal passage to at or below freezing. Dust and low visibilities will continue for some time, but winds should gradually decrease by morning.
  • EDIT 7:09 pm TXDOT reports they are reopening I27, still blowing dust, drive with caution.
  • Snow band in the Panhandle continues it’s eastward trek, although appears to be dissipating, and most of the snow now in the Perryton area. This will quickly move out of the area.
  • Front should affect the remainder of West Texas between midnight and 6 am. It will be quite chilly in the morning across all of West Texas, but will seem like a quite nice, but cooler day, with almost calm winds compared with today.
  • As this system moves northeast, dragging a dryline in to North Texas, it could spark off some thunderstorms. More on that situation in an upcoming post.

6:10 pm CST:

  • Cold front extending from near Clovis, NM eastward to near Tulia and Childress. Winds behind the front still quite gusty and cold with temps dropping into the 30s.
  • Narrow band of snow crossing the Panhandle north of I40. Winter Storm Advisory for whiteout conditions as this passes. Less than 1″ accumulations expected.
  • Areas Northwest of Lubbock might see a few snowflakes as well. Nothing significant.
  • Winds south of the front across the South Plains still quite gusty, with wind gusts generally in the upper 40 mph range, with a few topping 50 mph.
  • US 84 in Garza county between Post and Lubbock is now open via following pilot vehicle out of low visibility area.

5:00 pm CST:

  • Station in Dalhart in NW Panhandle reporting Heavy Snow and Freezing Fog with winds gusting to 43mph!
  • Leading edge of a large area of denser dust now extends from  east of Childress southwestward to near Post and approaching Seminole.
  • Area of snow moving east through the northern Panhandle – Winter Weather Advisory issued. Less than 1″ accumulation expected, but whiteout driving conditions.
  • Magnitude of winds behind this line seem to be generally gusting in the 40-50 mph range.
  • 85mph wind gust reported a Pine Springs station near Guadalupe Pass
  • Garza County has shut down northbound lanes of Hwy 84 between Post and Lubbock due to poor visibility. -via @KCBD

Satellite view from space of the dust storm over West Texas.

12.19.12.spaceduststorm

4:10 pm CST:

  • El Paso reported 71mph just after 2pm -via NWS
  • Cold front has now cleared Amarillo. Winds still very gusty behind the front, and much cooler!
  • Wall of even denser dust accompanied by a wind shift to the NW coming through Lubbock area at this time. Expect visibilities will be even lower than they have been behind this.
  • UNCONFIRMED: Report by public of bad accident on Hwy 84 near Post, TX with zero visibilites.
  • West Texas Mesonet reports 40 of the 70 stations they have across West Texas have reported gusts of at least 50 mph today.

Even more dense area of dust moving across the South Plains of Texas just after 4pm.

12.19.12.radar.dust2

3:23 pm CST:

  • Power outages reported in Lubbock
  • Power outages reported in Levelland
  • Widespread, more dense dust will be moving into the Lubbock area with a wind shift from the Northwest, visibility of less than 1/4 mile expected.
  • USE EXTREME CAUTION DRIVING IN WEST TEXAS TODAY

3:00 pm CST:

  • Highest gust so far I’ve seen is at Guadalupe Pass 81 mph
  • Windspread gusts being reported across the South Plains/Lubbock area around 60 mph
  • Cold front in the Panhandle now blasting southeast. Should be to Amarillo 4:30 pm CST
  • Blowing snow in the northwest Panhandle behind the front
  • UPDATE on I27 Accidents: 1 FATAL 17 INJURED
  • Scattered power outages being reported in Lubbock. -via KCBD
  • Electrical Outage map from Lubbock Power and Light: http://electric_outage.lpandl.com/   due to downed power lines.

Photo from Brownfield, Texas (southwest of Lubbock) this afternoon:

12.19.12.duststorm1

2:30 pm CST:

  • Lubbock ISD confirms that school buses will run this afternoon, but only on city roads, avoiding I27, Loop 289, and Marsha Sharp Freeway. -via KCBD
  • Guadalupe Pass has reported a high wind gust of 75 mph
  • Multiple reports of visibility less than 1 mile from blowing dust across all of Northwest Texas, in some cases less than 100 feet!
  • So far it appears we’ve avoided any major fires.
  • Cold front has entered the Northwest Panhandle, some blowing snow possible behind the front, no accumulation expected.

Radar image depicting a large area of concentrated dust moving into the Amarillo area.

12.19.12.dust.nexrad1

2:00 pm CST:

  • I27 is closed at exit 13 , New Deal to Abernathy due to multiple accidents, including 1 fatality so far. TXDOT is strongly discouraging travel along I27 due to low visibility because of dust.
  • Wind gusts over 60 mph have been reported in the Lubbock area.
  • Wind gusts near 60 mph have been reported on I27 near Amarillo.
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David Drummond

David Drummond

Photographer/Storm Chaser at Dryline Media LLC
David has been a Storm Chaser for 30 years and has chased storms for KCBD NewsChannel 11 in Lubbock, TX for 10 years now.
David Drummond
David Drummond