Strong Winter Storm hits the South Plains area:
 23-24 December, 2009

A strong winter storm brought widespread snowfall, blowing snow, and very cold temperatures to the South Plains region late on the 23rd through early Christmas Eve.
 

Picture of snowfall in southwest Lubbock

The aftermath - 8 am Christmas Eve morning. 4-5 inches of snow fell across southwest Lubbock. Drifts up to a foot or so made travel difficult
 

Snowfall across the area was fairly evenly distributed. The area from the central South Plains to the far southeast Texas Panhandle received the most snowfall, while blowing snow created drifts of up to 4 feet. Due to all the drifting, measurement of the snowfall was difficult. Observers at Littlefield and Shallowater measured 7 inches. The wind speeds peaked around 60 mph during the event. To view a summary of the local storm reports from the 13th please click HERE. To view the Public Information Statement issued by the National Weather Service office please click HERE

Map showing snowfall totals across the area

Map showing snowfall totals reported across the Lubbock office forecast area. Click on the image for a larger view.

The storm system tracked out of the desert southwest and directly over the southern South Plains and northern Permian Basin-before turning northeast into Okahoma. This track was very favorable to bring snow to much of our forecast area, as in general, precipitation/snowfall is greatest just to the north of the center of a closed circulation of a storm system of that type.  The images below show a satellite and radar view of the storm early on the morning of the 24th.

 
Water vapor channel satellite image of the snowstorm. Click on the image for a larger view.
Water vapor channel image from the GOES-11/12 Satellites taken at 7 am, December 24th. Click on the image to view a larger version. Image courtesy Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
 

Radar animatation around the height of the storm over Lubbock, from 3:08 am to 4:18 am on December 24th.

Radar animatation around the height of the storm over Lubbock, from 3:08 am to 4:18 am on December 24th. 
 
The resulting swath of snow extended eastward from eastern New Mexico, gradually broadening across the TX Panhandle and South Plains and extending as far east as the DFW metroplex. The image below shows the snowfield as it appeared from space around midday on Christmas. 

Satellite image of the snow cover on Christmas Day. Click on the image for a larger view.

NASA MODIS satellite image on December 25, 2009. Click on the image to view a larger version.
 
The pictures below show some of the wintery scenes across the area. If you have a photo you would like us to include, please send it in an email to sr-lub.webmaster@noaa.gov. Click on any of the images to view a larger version.
 
 View of Texas Tech from the Overton Hotel webcam  View of freshly fallen snow at Muleshoe  View of south Loop 289 from the Science Spectrum
 Picture from Hoel Park in southwest Lubbock  Picture from Hoel Park in southwest Lubbock  Picture from Hoel Park in southwest Lubbock

Picture of a snow-covered home southwest Lubbock

Bad driving conditions in Lubbock Christmas Eve

snow-covered field near Lubbock

 Images courtesy S. Cobb, M. Conder, J. Russell and the Lubbock Overton Hotel
 

To view the report of this storm from the West Texas Mesonet Group at Texas Tech University please click HERE.

 

 

Picture of Huneke Park southwest Lubbock

Christmas sunrise at Huneke Park

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