After a very busy weather day in the Texasstrong> Panhandle including the first December tornado in recorded history (in the TXstrong> Panhandle), the stormsstrong> have calmed down and are no longer . This thin linestrong> of showersstrong> and thunderstorms will continue to fly eastward at 50strong> to 60 MPHstrong>. That places this linestrong> near the Interstate 35 corridor by 10 to 11 PM. The air over North Texasstrong> is fairly stable, thus weather is not expected. However, very strongwindsstrong> just above the surface may be able to reach the ground as the showersstrong> move through. That could cause windsstrong> of 35 to 50strong> MPHstrong> in some locations. High resolution weather models do show the linestrong> of stormsstrong> intensifying a bit as they reach higher moisture values just east of I-35. We’ll have to watch the trends over the coming hours to make sure we don’t have any more surprises today.
The clouds broke up just enough early this afternoon to allow some daytime heating. Combine that with the very strongshear aloft and the stage was set for a thin, but very powerful line of thunderstorms. There have been numerous reports of 60-80 MPH windgusts measured and plenty of tree limb and structural damage to show for it. Unfortunately, one fatality has been confirmed in Amarillo from a weather-related accident. The good news is that the line should begin to weaken as it races eastward. It has just about outrun its instability and will soon be feeding on cold, stable air. That will allow the severe thunderstormrisk to lessen, but the risk for strongwindgusts could continue for the next few hours. The line will approach Interstate 35 by 11 PM and should be in a weakened state.
Stay tuned for our continuing coverage on the Facebook page along with our Twitter account.
Updated Outlook for Severe Storms in the Panhandle
The Storm Prediction Center has published its latest Outlook for severe weather and have kept the 5% risk area for Wind and Hail.
Included with this risk area is a 2% Risk for Tornadoes.
While the threat of a tornado is very minimal, the amount of wind shear expected later this afternoon and evening will be capable of producing small spin-ups or areas of concentrated rotation in some of the more severe storms. Again, it’s not likely that this will happen, but it’s a possibility, so we’re putting this out there so folks in this area can be made aware.
Current radar has light showers showing up just west of the Hill Country and into north central Texas. The really big stuff won’t be an issue until later this afternoon and during the evening hours. So, relax for now, but keep a weather eye out after 3pm this afternoon especially if you live in the panhandle region.
3PM Simulated Radar
pm Simulated Radar
pm Simulated Radar
Storm Analysis for Friday across Panhandle into North & Central Texas
Another strong upper level disturbance will be skimming over the Texas Panhandle and parts of North Texas this afternoon into this evening. Ahead of this storm system, moisture values are low but increasing. As of this update at 7:45am, low clouds and fog are already developing in the panhandle region…evidence of a good fetch of moisture across this area. Strong south winds will continue to pull moisture northward from the Gulf of Mexico, but it looks like it may be too little, too late, for some areas. Today’s severe weather potential is quite marginal, but a few strong thunderstorms with small hail and lightning will be possible. The “best” chance to see these stronger storms will be in the Texas Panhandle later this afternoon. Later tonight, a broken line of showers and a few thunderstorms may form further south into North Texas. By the time this occurs, the atmosphere will be more stable and the threat of severe weather should be low. In fact, the thunderstorm threat itself will remain isolated with more showers than storms.
Should we see more moisture than we are currently expected, the associated threat for stronger storms could go up a bit. If dewpoint values in the Texas Panhandle were in the 60s, we would be dealing with a significant severe weather outbreak today. However, dewpoints will struggle to hit 53-55 and the significant storm threat will remain marginal.
To help convey the sense of timing for the event, here is a high resolution weather model. Keep in mind that this is not going to be how the radar looks in real-life later this evening, but simply a way to diagnose possible timing for any showers/storms in your area.
While not really weather related, I wanted to share a few photos I took last night in a rural part of Oklahoma about 40 miles south of Oklahoma City. Much of Texas was dealing with cloud cover, so I ended up just south of Oklahoma City in secret little photography location. Light pollution was pretty low in the area so the stars really stood out! I did observe several passing meteors but wasn’t able to get any good photographs.