Tag Archives: Severe Weather

Severe Thunderstorms, Significant Flooding, and a Major Winter Storm Will Impact Texas This Weekend

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Let me start out by saying the weather across Texas for your Christmas Eve and most of your Christmas will be alright. Fog this morning across Southeast Texas and South Texas will burn off by lunchtime. Temperatures this afternoon will be above average across all of Texas. Some locations will top out in the 80s with new record high readings likely. Parts of the Rio Grande Valley could get dangerously close to 90 degrees this afternoon. San Antonio and Austin will be in the upper 70s, Houston in the low 80s, D/FW in the low 70s, Midland/Odessa in the upper 60s, Wichita Falls in the mid 60s, Texarkana in the low 70s, and Amarillo will be right around 50 degrees.

The forecast for this weekend continues to have some uncertainty with it. Confidence in a widespread/major winter storm is high – although where the rain/snow line sets up is still up in the air. Severe thunderstorms are possible beginning Christmas Night with an increasing severe weather threat on Saturday. Severe storms will also be possible on Sunday. Very heavy rain and a significant flooding threat will exist across North Texas, Northeast Texas, and East Texas this weekend. This will truly be an intense storm system with several different yet big impacts to Texas. Exactly where each ‘impact’ sets up will be determined on the star of the the show – our El Nino Bowling Ball! Its actually an intense upper level low but I like giving things nicknames. Just indulge me since it’s Christmas-time :). The track of the low is important since winter weather is likely to the north/northwest of its track with severe weather possible south/east of it. A 20 mile shift south now while it’s over the Pacific would result in a huge shift by the time it gets to Texas. We’re still 48-72 hours out and forecasting winter weather in Texas is difficult even 24 hours out. There will be forecast changes so check back for updates on Christmas and this weekend.

Severe Weather Potential

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The warm side of the low will contain dewpoint values in the upper 60s to mid 70s. Such high moisture amounts are uncommon so late in the year and will contribute to unseasonably strong instability values as soon as Christmas Night. I believe Christmas Day itself will be quiet with light showers possible along and east of Interstate 35 from I-10 north into Oklahoma. It may not be the nicest day but it certainly will be warm and humid. There will be increasing potential for heavier rains and thunderstorms after midnight Saturday as the upper level low starts to get closer. The atmosphere will be unstable and wind shear values also look to be impressive. A cap will be in place so the threat for severe weather looks to remain marginal. If it appears a little more lift will be available then I’ll become more concerned about severe weather potential late Christmas Night into the early morning hours Saturday. At this time the Storm Prediction Center has highlighted a marginal risk of severe weather across all of North Texas, Northeast Texas, and East Texas. Isolated severe thunderstorms will be possible after midnight Saturday. Should they become surface-based (tap into the all the available instability and low-level wind shear) they could become supercells with a risk of large hail, damaging winds, and perhaps a tornado. This doesn’t look particularly likely right now but it can’t be ruled out.

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A cold front will slowly push south on Saturday and Saturday Night. For the severe weather side of this system the front will be a focus point as a source of lift. The Storm Prediction Center has highlighted an elevated risk of severe weather on Saturday and Saturday Night for the Concho Valley, Hill Country, North Texas, Central Texas, Northeast Texas, East Texas, Central Texas, and the Brazos Valley. There is the potential for this to become a more active severe weather day with plenty of instability and impressive wind shear values. The strongest storms will be capable of large hail, damaging winds, and a couple of tornadoes. We’ll refine the severe weather forecast and any potential higher risk areas as we get closer.

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As the cold front shifts south on Sunday so will the severe weather potential. The Storm Prediction Center has already highlighted South-Central Texas, Central Texas, Southeast Texas, the Brazos Valley, and all of East Texas in a risk of severe weather on Sunday. The risk area will likely change based on the eventual track of the low pressure. If the low tracks further south then the severe weather threat will likewise move south. Any northward shift would bring the severe weather risk further north. Damaging wind gusts appear to be the biggest threat on Sunday right now.

Heavy Rain and Flooding Potential

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The El Nino Bowling Ball Low will have a ridiculous amount of moisture to work with for a December storm. Truthfully this system will have the dynamics of a winter system thanks to the strong jet stream while moisture levels look more like something we’d see in the late spring. Nothing good happens when those two ‘environments’ combine. Widespread rainfall amounts of 3 to 5 inches are likely across North Texas, Northeast Texas, and East Texas. Isolated totals of 7 to 10 inches are possible across the eastern half of North Texas and Northeast Texas. Rain totals of 1 to 3 inches are expected across Southeast Texas and Central Texas – highest in the north and lower to the south. Liquid-equivalent precipitation totals will likely end up in the half inch to two inch range across the Texas Panhandle, West Texas, Permian Basin, Concho Valley, Big Country, and Northwest Texas. By that I mean how much ‘liquid’ is measured after any winter weather accumulations melt.

The risk for flash flooding and significant rises on rivers/lakes will be high across North Texas, Northeast Texas, and East Texas beginning this weekend. River rises will likely push some back into major flood stage along with big rises on some lakes. Those flooding issues could continue for a couple weeks as water takes time to move downstream. Ground vegetation is dormant which all but eliminates the amount of water vegetation can absorb. It’s not like it matters since the ground remains saturated from rain events back in November and earlier this month. Almost any rain that falls will run off and result in a high-end risk for flooding. Hopefully we can get by without too much life-threatening flash flooding but that concern certainly exists.

Winter Weather Aspect

I know this is why most of you are reading this forecast. There will not be any snow on Christmas. The primary time-frame for our upcoming winter storm will be Saturday Night, Sunday, into the first half of Monday.

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Here is the same graphic with city names.

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Confidence in a significant winter storm impacting parts of Texas this weekend is high. Confidence on where the heaviest snow accumulations will fall is lower. Several inches of snow does appear likely to accumulate across all of the Texas Panhandle, South Plains, Rolling Plains, West-Central Texas, the Permian Basin, Far West Texas, and the higher elevations of the Davis and Alpine mountains. Widespread snow accumulations of 4 to 8 inches seem likely with some localized/isolated amounts topping out much higher. Beyond that we’re still too far out to get specific and don’t be shocked if the snow numbers change. The ‘bowling ball low’ will be intensifying as it moves across Texas. A tight pressure gradient will set up across the western half of Texas and that means wind. Wind gusts in spots will likely approach 60 MPH with more common values in the 40 to 50 MPH range. A true blizzard in every definition is becoming more likely – even in locations where snow amounts may be lighter. Blowing snow and snow drifts possibly being measured in feet could occur. Travel will be extremely treacherous and perhaps life-threatening in the worst conditions. Blizzard Conditions are most likely to occur on Sunday and Sunday Night in the blue-shaded region of the map. Don’t plan on traveling in that time-frame. If you have travel plans that take you through those regions on Sunday or Monday – change them.

Winter weather accumulations will be lighter in Northwest Texas, the Big Country, the Concho Valley, and lower elevations near the Mexico border. Strong winds will still result in whiteout conditions later on Sunday and Sunday Night. I have not included any potential ‘mix’ on my graphic since we’re still too far out to accurately determine the location of the rain/sleet/snow line. There is the potential for significant freezing rain (ice) and sleet accumulations in a narrow zone between the rain and snow line. The track of the low will play a critical role on how far east the snow can make it on Sunday Night and Monday. Some solutions are showing rain changing over to snow for North Texas and into parts of Central Texas on Monday. I’ve highlighted that potential on the graphic. This aspect of the forecast is extremely low confidence and I guarantee there will be forecast changes. If things end up warmer or the low tracks further northwest then the rain/snow line will be further west/north. If the low tracks further south/east or cold air moves faster than there is the potential for snow in portions of North and Central Texas – including in the D/FW Metroplex. Warm ground temperatures and the lighter nature of the snow on Monday would keep surface roads just wet but there may be some issues with bridges/overpasses. Its all dependent on the factors I listed above and its far from written in stone.

Will it snow in D/FW on Sunday Night/Monday? Its becoming more possible – but any accumulations would be on the light side and on the grass and elevated surfaces.

Storm System Arrives Saturday with Severe Weather, Flash Flooding, and Light Snow

This morning’s immediate weather hazard comes in the form of dense fog. The Rio Grande Valley, South Texas, the Coastal Plains, and Southeast Texas are all encompassed in dense fog this morning. All the fog is caused by increasing low-level moisture ahead of our storm system this weekend. I expect fog will continue to be a morning hazard for the remainder of the work week. Like yesterday most locations should see fog burn off by late morning. Those of you looking outside and asking ‘What fog?’ will just have to find out later on this week. Temperatures just before sunrise have fallen into the 30s across the Texas Panhandle, West Texas, and Permian Basin with upper 40s to low 50s across North Texas, Southeast Texas, and South Texas. The Rio Grande Valley is sitting right at 60 degrees which is decently warm for a December morning.

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Before we have to deal with any precipitation issues this weekend the weather will remain fairly nice across Texas. High temperatures continue to be well above average and by Friday will approach near-record high territory. Most of the state will top out in the 70s today with 80s becoming more common on Thursday and Friday. Parts of Deep South Texas may even make it up into the lower 90s by Friday. This is December right? No worries – cooler temperatures will arrive by Sunday and Monday.

Overnight temperatures will also become warmer leading up to Saturday as moisture levels increase. Most folks across the eastern two-thirds of Texas will only drop down into the 50s by Friday morning with 60s by Saturday morning. In case you were wondering the low temperature on Saturday for our Interstate 35 cities could be near or only a few degrees below the average HIGH temperature for a December day. All the moisture that will be in place by Saturday will help create our next precipitation event.

Folks across the eastern half of Texas will wake up to a warm and humid morning on Saturday. Frankly its going to feel more like April than December. At this point we’re expecting showers/storms to increase in coverage and intensity late Saturday afternoon near or just west of Interstate 35. A broken line of storms looks to move east through the Interstate 35 corridor late Saturday afternoon into the evening hours from southern Oklahoma south through North and perhaps even parts of Central Texas. A band of heavy showers and thunderstorms will than move slowly east across Northeast Texas and East Texas during the nighttime hours on Saturday into Sunday. Being four days out I’m sure we’ll see some of the timing and location aspects adjusted as we get closer.

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There will be the potential for severe thunderstorms and a flash flooding threat with this upcoming system. Being four days out I’m sure our long-time followers will know that things are far from being set in stone. As of the latest outlook from the Storm Prediction Center they’re placing most of Northeast Texas, East Texas, Southeast Texas, and locations along and east of Interstate 35 from Oklahoma City south through the D/FW Metroplex, Waco, Austin, to San Antonio in a severe weather risk for Saturday evening through Sunday. The severe weather setup will be characterized by strong wind shear but with a marginally unstable airmass. These setups are more common in the winter months and rely more on the kinematics (wind shear) versus thermodynamics (instablity-driven). The severe weather threat doesn’t look high-end or significant but we could end up having some issues. We’ll refine the forecast as we get closer to the weekend. Damaging wind gusts and a couple of tornadoes would be possible with the strongest storms.

Potential rain accumulations from Friday through Monday

Potential rain accumulations from Friday through Monday

The precipitation-aspect of the event is a little more clear. The heaviest rain amounts will be located across Northeast Texas and East Texas where three to five inches of rain may fall. An inch to two inches of rain will be possible along and east of Interstate 35 from the Red River south through Central Texas and points east. Lighter rain totals will be possible across the Big Country, Concho Valley, and Hill Country. If the storm system slows down or accelerates in future forecasts that will result in the rain chances changing as well.

Texas Panhandle Snow Potential this weekend

Texas Panhandle Snow Potential this weekend

Finally we may have some light snow fall across the Texas Panhandle on Saturday where colder air will be in place. At this time snow accumulations look like with perhaps 1 to 2 inches possible. Like I said above we’ll continue to refine the forecast. Much cooler temperatures will follow behind the storm system on Sunday into next week.

Your Sunday Forecast & Enhanced Risk of Severe Weather late Monday

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Good morning and happy Sunday!  Just a quick update for everyone on the outlook for today, plus a first look at the Enhanced Risk of severe weather for late Monday into early Tuesday.  Light rain showers continue in a band stretching from west Texas into western north texas this morning.  We expect this will be the trend today with additional showers and a few isolated thundershowers to develop and traverse this region of the state today and into tonight.  For today, here’s an overview of the rain chances and a peek at the simulated radar of how things may look over the next 15 hours.  Why 15?  That’s as far out as this particular model reaches… 😀

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The severe weather threat for tomorrow is increasing.  The Storm Prediction Center upgraded the outlook to an Enhanced Risk for the period from Monday afternoon into early Tuesday.  Very strong dynamics will be in place by Monday afternoon with a strong system overhead, plenty of moisture, a crashing cold front and sufficient instability and shear to produce a chance for isolated supercell thunderstorms to develop across parts of the eastern panhandle, northwest Texas and west central Texas by Monday evening.  During the late afternoon/early evening timeframe, when the storms are more isolated, there will be a threat for a few tornadoes.  As we get into the 7 to 9pm timeframe, these storms are expected to quickly evolve into a squall line of strong storms along the leading edge of the cold front and blast east across the northern half of the state and towards the I-35 corridor within the midnight to 2am timeframe.  Greatest threats with this line of storms will be the potential for very strong winds and damaging hail.  Crazy as I may be, I’ll be chasing this Monday evening, but David will be manning the weather desk and will provide updates for everyone throughout the night.

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Widespread Rain, Severe Weather, Cold Front and Snow?

Potent Storm System Next Week

It doesn’t take many years of living in Texas to figure out what a mixed bag of weather we’re subjected to throughout the year.  It’s like one of those mystery blind bags you get at parties…it feels like you never know what you’re going to get from week to week.  That’s what we’re going to discuss in this evening’s blog because this weekend and into the early part of next week is shaping up to be very busy with all types of weather expected across the state.  We’ll see widespread rain, a chance for severe weather, a strong cold front and the chance the first snow this season!  To make things easier, I’ll break the blog up into sections and discuss each topic one at a time.

The Rain Chances

Potent Storm System Next Week

Another powerful storm system is expected to drop down across the Rockies and into the southwestern US by early Monday.  Ahead of and in conjunction with this potent system, pacific moisture and increasing lift will be sweeping across the state from the southwest bringing chances of light rain into the state as early as Saturday with more widespread rain expected to develop by Sunday into early Monday.  Rainfall amounts over the weekend are expected to be relatively light, and not everyone will see rain.   The rain will begin early Saturday across the southwestern half of the state and move northeast into parts of central Texas by mid-day.  At least that’s how it looks right now.  As we get into Sunday, the approaching storm system will further aid in generating lift and storms that will further tap into the pacific moisture already in place.  At the same time, a surface high will be moving east away from the state which will kick surface winds around from the south to draw additional moisture up from the gulf.  This will generate much more widespread rain from west to east across the state through Sunday into early Monday.

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The Severe Weather Outlook

While the threat for severe weather looks to be pretty much nonexistent over the weekend, by Monday, we’ll be looking at a chance for strong to severe storms across parts of west central, central and eastern Texas during the afternoon and evenings.  Tuesday, we may see that threat continue into the far eastern/southeastern region of the state dependent upon how fast the system moves and what impact a dryline will have as it sets up across west central Texas just ahead of the next cold front.  As always, a lot will depend on timing of the system and how much instability is expected to be in place as the best forcing for lift arrives with the upper level system.  Right now, the long-range models are showing sufficient instability will be in place by Monday afternoon and again on Tuesday to issue a preliminary outlook.  This is in no way a guarantee that we’ll see severe weather…especially when looking at a forecast that is still quite a number of days out.  We look at these SPC outlooks as more of a heads-up that conditions will likely have the capability to produce strong storms and we’ll need to keep an eye on this in the days to come. Regardless of whether or not the severe weather materialized, heavy rain will be likely and flooding may return as an issue again across central and eastern Texas.

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The Cold Front and…Snow???

Along with the possible threat of severe weather Monday and Tuesday, we’ll have additional widespread rain chances and a strong cold front sweeping in as the upper level system moves over us.  A surface low looks to setup over northern Oklahoma which may act to draw moisture from the rain out ahead up and over and around into the panhandle region by early Tuesday.  With temperatures expected to be at or near freezing by that time, it’s possible you folks will see your first snow of the season!  With temps so warm in the days ahead, the ground will still be much too warm to see much accumulation with any snow that does manage to develop.  Again, still too far out to be certain about snow…and because we know you’ll ask…there will NOT be any threat of snow for the Dallas/Ft. Worth area…but we’ll be monitoring this and everything else over the weekend, so be sure to check back each day!

Cold front sweeps thru early Tues

Panhandle snow Tues - Wed

Statewide Heavy Rain Event Wednesday-Saturday

After months of expectation and anticipation we can finally say the rain is on the way. An active period of weather across all of Texas is making for busy times. Since all of Texas is expecting rain at some point this week I’ve broken down this blog into rain chances, severe weather potential, flood risk, and the overall temperature trends. As always there is some uncertainty in the forecast so you can expect refinements during the event. All of that said lets get down to it!

Day by Day breakdown on Rain Chances

Chance of rain/storms Today

Chance of rain/storms Today

Chance of rain/storms Tonight

Chance of rain/storms Tonight

A few coastal showers are possible in Southeast Texas this afternoon. Otherwise we’ll be looking out west for the beginning of our rain event across Texas. Scattered showers and thunderstorms are expected across Far West Texas, the Permian Basin, the South Plains, and the western two-thirds of the Texas Panhandle. By tonight activity will become widespread across the far western Texas and the New Mexico/Texas border in the South Plains into the Texas Panhandle.

Chance of rain/storms Wednesday

Chance of rain/storms Wednesday

Chance of rain/storms Wednesday Night

Chance of rain/storms Wednesday Night

Scattered showers and storm chances will spread east on Wednesday to include the Concho Valley, Big Country, South-Central Texas, South Texas, and the Rio Grande Valley. Numerous showers and storm chances will continue for the Texas Panhandle and Far West Texas. Widespread activity will continue Wednesday Night across the Texas Panhandle, South Plains, Northwest Texas, Permian Basin, Far West Texas, and Southwest Texas.

Chance of rain/storms Thursday

Chance of rain/storms Thursday

Chance of rain/storms Thursday Night

Chance of rain/storms Thursday Night

Widespread/numerous showers and storms will continue on Thursday across the Texas Panhandle, Northwest Texas, Big Country, Concho Valley, Permian Basin, South PLains, Southwest Texas, and South Texas. Scattered activity is forecast across North Texas, Central Texas, Southeast Texas, and the Rio Grande Valley. Numerous showers/storms will spread east into North Texas, Central Texas, and Southeast Texas in addition to previously mentioned areas Thursday Night.

Chance of rain/storms Friday

Chance of rain/storms Friday

Chance of rain/storms Friday Night

Chance of rain/storms Friday Night

Friday is going to be very wet across North Texas, Northeast Texas, East Texas, Southeast Texas, Central Texas, South-Central Texas, the bIg Country, Concho Valley, South Texas, and the Rio Grande Valley. Those rain chances will continue into Friday Night. By Saturday we should start to see activity diminish in coverage west of Interstate 35 – but it does look wet for some of the football games. We’ll detail the rain chances for the weekend once we get closer.

Forecast Rain Totals

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The latest rain total forecast through Saturday from the Weather Prediction Center continues to show a statewide precipitation event. Widespread rain accumulations of 1 to 4 inches are expected across all of Texas. The only exception may be far Southwest Texas where lighter totals are forecast. Localized rain totals over 5 inches are possible but those exact spots cannot be accurately forecast until we’re within 24 hours (at best). This is going to be our best/most widespread rain event since Tropical Storm Bill back in June and I expect everyone in Texas to get rain by the time this event concludes this weekend.

Flash Flood Potential for Wednesday

Flash Flood Potential for Wednesday

Flash Flood Potential for Thursday

Flash Flood Potential for Thursday

Flash flooding is a possibility across the Texas Panhandle, South Plains, Permian Basin, Rolling Plains, Concho Valley, Big Country, Northwest Texas, and North Texas based on the current outlook from the Weather Prediction Center. Folks out in the Permian Basin and West Texas saw a good rain event about two weeks ago while locations further east haven’t seen diddly squat in weeks to months. The flood threat will continue to be evaluated but with very dry conditions its going to take quite a bit of rain to start up the flooding again. Obviously if we see very heavy rain in a short period of time the dry soils will only help so much.

Severe Weather Threat

Severe Weather Outlook for Today

Severe Weather Outlook for Today

An adequate combination of wind shear and instablity will be present today to support the possibility of a few severe thunderstorms across the South Plains, Permian Basin, and Far West Texas. The Storm Prediction Center has placed a level 2 severe weather risk for Southeast New Mexico, Far West Texas, and western parts of the South Plains. A level 1 marginal risk includes Southwest Texas, the Permian Basin, and the western half of the Texas Panhandle and South Plains. The strongest storms today could become supercellular with large hail and localized damaging wind gusts. One or two tornadoes cannot be ruled out but the tornado threat is on the low-end of the spectrum.

Severe Weather Outlook for Wednesday

Severe Weather Outlook for Wednesday

A marginal severe weather risk is in place for Wednesday across the Texas Panhandle, South Plains, Permian Basin, Far West Texas, and parts of the Big Country. Wind shear will be supportive of some organized thunderstorms but widespread cloud cover and precipitation are currently forecast to keep the atmosphere only marginally unstable. As we get closer and localized corridors of instablity become more clear we may see part of the risk area upgraded to a level 2/possible risk in later outlooks. Hail and localized damaging winds would again be the primary issue along with a low tornado threat.

Temperatures

Temperatures will be seasonal during the precipitation event. We likely won’t see much variation in day/night temperatures due to the widespread clouds and precipitation. High temperatures will top out in the upper 60s to mid 80s this week once we get rain going. Locations that are not receiving rain at times this week will be warmer with 80s.

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