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Tag Archives: Severe Weather

Dispelling the hype with next week’s storm setup

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Since the hype train has taken off on the internets about next week’s storm setup it looks like we need to address some of the rumors.

The Storm Prediction Center has highlighted the potential for an isolated severe weather threat late Saturday afternoon and evening across the Texas Panhandle. If storms can develop a few may be severe with a hail threat. We may see a few showers/storms on Sunday but this upcoming Tuesday and Thursday could both be active with severe weather risks.

At this juncture we’re simply too far out to tell how significant the severe weather threats may become. There are factors such as cap strength and where the strongest upper level lift will be located each day. The potential for significant severe weather is possible on Tuesday across Kansas and Oklahoma where a regional severe weather outbreak is possible with tornadoes. That potential is less certain in North Texas as there are signs the cap may keep thunderstorms from developing. If we do have storms develop off the dryline on Tuesday they would likely be severe and capable of producing all modes of severe weather.

Thursday could also be active in the severe weather department in Northwest and North Texas. Understand that this is spring in Texas. We deal with severe weather risks. Risks that look significant 5-7 days out can change and poop out as time gets closer. The synoptic upper air pattern next week is one that has produced significant outbreaks in the Plains – but that doesn’t mean the threat will extend south into Texas.

Other weather organizations will likely be hyping next week’s storm potential to get attention which is irresponsible 5+ days out. I encourage you to ignore the hype and just keep tuned to a trusted weather source for information.

Could next week feature significant severe weather in Texas? Yes. Is it a guarantee? Absolutely not. We’ll keep you updated on the latest forecasts as we get into the weekend. Follow your local National Weather Service office for the latest weather forecast as well.

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Severe Weather & Widespread Heavy Rain Monday-Wednesday

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No hazardous weather is expected today. Strong southerly winds and above-average temperatures will make it feel like April. Fire danger will be very high to critical across the Texas Panhandle, Northwest Texas, Big Country, Permian Basin, and Far Southwest Texas. Surface fuels remain dry and the gusty south winds will help any fires spread quickly. Our weather will quickly change beginning tonight and tomorrow.

Rain chances will begin on Monday and we’ll see them continue all week. An upper level storm system will take an anomalously far southerly track. It’ll actually dive well into northern Mexico. Climatological records indicate this happens once every five to ten years in the month of March. Copious amounts of moisture will advect northward from the Gulf of Mexico. That process is already underway as noted by the strong southerly winds today. It won’t be raining in one location all week. Several distinct rounds of precipitation are expected over the coming days. Tuesday and Wednesday look like the wettest two days out of this event with fairly widespread precipitation possible.

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Any drought conditions that have developed across the eastern half of Texas are likely to be erased over the next couple of days. Widespread rainfall totals between 1 and 3 inches are expected across the Rio Grande Valley, South Texas, Hill Country, South-Central Texas, Central Texas, and the Brazos Valley. Rainfall accumulations of 2 to 5 inches will be possible across North Texas, Northeast Texas, East Texas, and Southeast Texas. Local amounts across East Texas and Southeast Texas could exceed 6 to 9 inches. Widespread flash flooding is not expected since most rain should fall over a prolonged period. Soil conditions and most rivers are also able to handle a couple inches of rain. If we were to see localized issues with flooding they would develop Tuesday Night and on Wednesday across the eastern third of Texas. River flooding and rises on lakes are certainly a distinct possibility by Wednesday-Friday. These rainfall forecasts are generalized with the expectation of varying amounts over a local area.

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A few severe thunderstorms are possible during the late afternoon and nighttime hours on Monday. A cap is expected to keep a lid on thunderstorm development for much of the day Monday. A couple thunderstorms may fire up in North Texas and Central Texas around dinner-time on Monday. Should those storms develop they would be elevated above the cap. The elevated nature of the storms would keep the tornado threat very low along with the risk for stronger wind gusts. Large hail would be the primary threat.

Thunderstorms may develop in northern Mexico tomorrow afternoon. Should that development occur it’s possible those storms could move into Southwest Texas around Del Rio early Monday evening. The storms would probably be supercells with a large hail risk.

Finally the most likely scenario is thunderstorm development in Northwest Texas south into the Permian Basin late Monday into the predawn hours Tuesday. Those storms would be elevated with the strongest capable of producing hail up to the size of golfballs. They would likely move northeast into Oklahoma by the mid-morning hours Tuesday.

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The stage may be coming together for a more concerning severe weather threat for Tuesday. The atmosphere will become very unstable – especially considering it’s only early March. The atmosphere doesn’t read nor does it abide by a calendar. Winds in the middle and upper levels of the atmosphere will be screaming out of the southwest. Winds may increase in the lower-levels during the afternoon hours as a low-level jet becomes established. You’ll certainly feel humid southeast winds on Tuesday. Unlike Monday there is concern a tornado risk will develop on Tuesday across western North Texas. Widespread thunderstorm development is likely by the evening hours from Oklahoma south to Mexico. Large hail and damaging winds will be possible – but the widespread nature of the rain/storms may help reduce the severe weather risk. Being three days out means forecast changes are expected. Please check back for forecast updates. As forecast confidence increases on Monday I wouldn’t be surprised to see a portion of the outlook area upgraded.

A few strong storms will be possible in Southeast Texas on Wednesday. We’ll deal with that issue once we get through Monday. The heavy rain threat will become an issue Tuesday Night and on Wednesday.

Very Windy and Much Cooler This Afternoon as Rain Continues for Some

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The radar across Texas is lit up this morning as a very intense upper level storm system pivots into East Texas. The surface low pressure is moving up the middle Texas coast this morning. A dry slot is bringing an end to precipitation in Central Texas. The same can’t be said for Southeast Texas where widespread light to moderate rain is falling. The immediate D/FW Metroplex is getting a small break but we expect additional rain to move in later this morning from the west. On the outer fringe of the system the Panhandle has switched over to light snow this morning. Accumulations up there may locally approach an inch but so far that aspect of this system has underperformed.

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The severe weather threat is now limited to Southeast Texas this morning. With widespread precipitation underway the atmosphere has not been able to destabilize. The severe weather threat is low for the moment. What we will have to watch for this morning are any discrete storms moving onshore in Far Southeast Texas – east of a Kirbyville to Winnie line. It looks like the threat for severe weather may ramp up just east of the Southeast Texas/Southwest Louisiana line later this morning into the afternoon hours. It would be great if we got by without any issues but I’m not ready to make that call yet. As the surface low moves up towards Houston by noon we’ll see low level wind shear really ramp up around Beaumont into Louisiana. There will be a small window for tornadic supercells if we can get any surface-based instablity to move onshore from the Gulf. If that doesn’t happen the severe threat will remain low. We’ll have to carefully watch trends to see what happens.

By noon the heaviest rain and thunderstorms should be exiting Southeast Texas and moving into Louisiana. The severe weather risk may be ramping up by this point so we’ll have to watch in case storms get their act together in Far Southeast Texas. Regardless they’ll be out of the state shortly after lunchtime and they’ll take the severe weather risk with them. A widespread cold rain will continue to fall across North Texas and Northeast Texas as precipitation wraps around the backside of the departing low pressure. Rain looks to continue for much of the day across North Texas, Texoma, into Northeast Texas. It won’t be particularly heavy this afternoon but it will make for dreary weather. All precipitation should exit Texas tonight as the low pressure moves further away.

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Gusty north to northwest winds are expected behind the rain this afternoon. Wind gusts could exceed 40 MPH in spots as the pressure gradient builds with an intensifying low pressure to our east. Winds will start to diminish this evening as the low moves further away.

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The Rio Grande Valley and Deep South Texas missed out on rain overnight. Temperatures will soar to near record levels by this afternoon with highs peaking in the 90s. Gusty southwest winds and relative humidity values in the single digits will promote critical fire weather danger. Any fire that develops could explosively spread and require significant resources to contain. This is one of the more significant fire risks the RGV has faced this winter.

As for temperatures they’ll be much cooler today across the northwestern half of Texas. The western Panhandle will struggle to make it out of the 30s this afternoon. Contrast that with the Rio Grande Valley and Deep South Texas who will top out in the upper 80s to lower 90s this afternoon. Got to love Texas temperature contrasts in the winter! Low temperatures tonight into Wednesday morning will also be noticably cooler across the state. The Panhandle, South Plains, into Far West Texas will fall off into the 20s to lower 30s. 30s to low 40s are expected across Northwest Texas, the Big Country, Concho Valley, Hill Country, Central Texas, North Texas, into Northeast Texas. South-Central Texas, the Brazos Valley, Southeast Texas, and the Coastal Plains will bottom out in the upper 40s tonight. The Rio Grande Valley and Deep South Texas will range from the upper 40s to right around 50 degrees as a cold front pushes south.

Rain chances after tonight shut off for the remainder of the week. Temperatures will moderate and return to seasonal averages by Thursday. Saturday is looking warm with 70s statewide. Our next chance of rain may impact portions of North Texas and Northeast Texas by Sunday night.

Widespread Rain and Storms Continues This Morning

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The threat for a few severe thunderstorms is currently confined to the southern Coastal Plains. A couple strong to severe thunderstorms are located from just northeast of Refugio with a second cell near Three Rivers. A third cell is located about 20 miles southeast of Pearsall. These storms are moving east to slightly south of due east at about 40-45 MPH. The stronger portions of those storms may produce hail up to the size of golfballs and winds locally exceeding 60 MPH. I expect that this activity will move out into the Gulf of Mexico by 5:30 AM bringing an end to the severe weather threat in the Coastal Plains and South-Central Texas. Widespread rain with a few thunderstorms continues across Central Texas, North Texas, and now entering the Brazos Valley. This activity is not severe and is not expected to become severe this morning. Widespread rain accumulations of half an inch to two inches is possible. Very minor flooding could occur in locations that received heavy rain earlier on Monday.

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As a surface low moves northeast to around Houston later this morning an unstable airmass may advect inland from the Gulf of Mexico. With that a risk of severe weather may increase across Far Southeast Texas by mid-morning into the early afternoon hours. A few storms may become strong to severe with localized damaging wind gusts and hail. If we have discrete storms start to move in from the Gulf or develop inland across Far Southeast Texas they may have the potential to become tornadic. This threat is uncertain but bears close watching as low-level winds will strongly favor rotation. Don’t be shocked if a tornado watch is issued later this morning for parts of Southeast Texas.

Severe Storms Possible This Evening and Overnight

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The updated severe weather outlooks from the Storm Prediction Center have been released. We note they have expanded the level 2 severe weather risk, the standard risk when it comes to severe weather outlooks, into more of the Big Country and South-Central Texas. Big Lake, Ozona, Junction, Del Rio, Eagle Pass, Pearsall, Kerrville, and all of the San Antonio metro are now included. A level 1 marginal risk runs from the Permian Basin into Central Texas south through the Coastal PLains and South Texas. Initial thunderstorm development is possible from Midland south to Alpine around 6 PM this evening. Those initial storms may be supercellular in nature with a large hail threat. The atmosphere will be unstable in the mid-levels but the surface looks like it will only become marginally unstable. Hopefully that will keep storms elevated and with that the tornado threat very low. I can’t rule out a brief tornado in the level 2 risk zone tonight – but its not something we’re overly worried about. A complex of thunderstorms should form late tonight and move east across the Hill Country into South-Central Texas and the Rio Grande River Valley. Localized wind gusts over 60 MPH along with hail would be possible with stronger cells in that complex. For timing aspects on tonight’s storms please read our blog from this morning.

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The risk for severe weather will spread into Southeast Texas by Tuesday morning. A level 2 risk, the standard risk of severe weather, includes all of Southeast Texas. It runs roughly along and south of a College Station to Lufkin and Center line. The risk will likely spread into the region as ongoing storms from South-Central Texas moves east into the region. Additional discrete storms may develop ahead of that complex. The strongest storms could produce quarter size hail and damaging wind gusts. We’ll be watching for any discrete storms that move on-shore or develop inland across Southeast Texas during the morning hours Tuesday. Low-level wind fields will be strong thanks to an intensifying low pressure moving northeast into Louisiana. Those discrete cells would likely rotate and would need to be watched for isolated tornado potential. Most of the severe weather threat will move east of Texas by early afternoon as the low pressure does the same. Precipitation will continue on the backside of the low through Tuesday afternoon in North Texas, Northeast Texas, and East Texas. We do note the severe weather threat really increases to our east in Louisiana, Mississippi, into the southern half of Alabama and the Florida Panhandle. The Storm Prediction Center has a moderate risk issued with the potential for significant tornadoes. They’ll take the brunt of the severe weather threat while Texas, once again, deals with the beginning of the event.

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