Summer time oh summer time. Gone are the rain showers and here comes the heat. The next few days will likely be the warmest we’ve seen all summer which isn’t saying much considering we’re now just seeing average July temperatures. Rain chances are pretty much zero across all of Texas today. Even the usually dependable seabreeze storms are not expected to occur today. Temperatures will climb into the upper 90s to lower 100s across all of Texas today. South winds will keep things a bit more bearable, but barely. The northeast Texas Panhandle into the Oklahoma Panhandle could see temperatures approach 105 degrees this afternoon. Humidity values will be higher along and east of Interstate 35 today. The projected heat index value in the D/FW Metroplex will range from 103 to 106 degrees this afternoon. The same will be said for Northeast, East, and Southeast Texas into Central Texas. I won’t go giving out heat tips – but do realize this is the type of heat that can cause a few issues if you’re not staying hydrated and cool. Another factor is that temperatures really won’t cool off much tonight. The forecast low temperature for Dallas is 78 with mid to upper 70s across the urban corridors. West Texas will see lower 70s along with the rural areas. Tuesday will feature the same weather.
An outbreak of severe weather is expected later today and into tonight across Illinois, Indiana, and parts of Kentucky. Widespread damaging winds are probable with some gusts exceeding hurricane force (75+ MPH). Tornadoes are also a possibility with large hail. When all is said and done this will probably end up being a derecho event which is a long-lived damaging wind bow echo.
Strong/Severe Storms Firing up on the TX Panhandle/NM Border
Wednesday, 08 July 2015 17:07
Strong to severe thunderstorms are developing from just northeast of Tucumcari northeast to Texline and Boise City. These thunderstorms are making slow progress to the east/southeast at 15-20 MPH. At the moment these storms are discrete/semi-discrete but we do expect growth into a cluster or line later this evening. Modest wind shear aloft along with ample instablity in the atmosphere will support an organized thunderstorm mode. A severe weather watch is possible this evening as thunderstorms move into Texas from New Mexico. Straightline winds up to 70 MPH along with pocket-change size hail will be possible. The tornado threat is nonzero. Storms will move east/southeast this evening and potentially impact the southern Panhandle and South Plains closer to midnight. Not all storms will be severe. Localized flooding will be a threat as well.
Looking Back: February 10, 2009 Severe Weather Outbreak
Tuesday, 10 February 2015 14:59
Damage in Lone Grove Oklahoma | Photo taken by National Weather Service Norman, OK
Six years ago today at about this time I was heading north on Interstate 35 for what would become my first real significant storm chase. I had been chasing since the fall of 2008 on mediocre storms here and there but February 10, 2009 would be my first day dealing with the worst of what mother nature had to offer. It’s a day I remember well six years later and still look back on.
The February 10, 2009 severe weather outbreak was well forecasted by the Storm Prediction Center several days in advance. A negative tilt shortwave centered over New Mexico during the afternoon hours bringing strong lift and upper level dynamics to Central Oklahoma south into North Texas. Meanwhile a powerful low level jet with screaming southeast winds just above the surface helped pump in rich moisture straight from the Gulf of Mexico. Reminiscent of an April severe weather setup Mother Nature didn’t care that it was early February. Just after lunchtime the first tornadoes touched down in the northern Oklahoma City metro near Edmond where one strong tornado caused quite a mess but fortunately no fatalities.
By the late afternoon additional thunderstorms were developing in our target zone near Bowie, Texas. These storms were initially elevated in nature and struggling to strengthen with powerful upper level winds blowing the updrafts over. One discrete thunderstorm eventually developed a sustained updraft near Bellevue, Texas where a rotating wall cloud rapidly developed. This storm was quickly moving northeast and we struggled to keep up with it as it continued to intensify and come closer to producing a tornado. With evening twilight starting to wane the storm produced its first tornado just northeast of Ringgold, Texas near the Red River. We lost the storm as it crossed the river due to the lack of a suitable river crossing and the fast storm speed.
The bellevue storm continued to move northeast after the sun set. With a strengthening nocturnal low level jet a powerful, long-track tornado developed on the Red River and continued as the storm moved northeast into Love County, Oklahoma. At 7:30 PM on February 10, 2009 a large and violent tornado moved northeast into the city of Long Grove, Oklahoma. The sun had set over an hour before and the tornado was obscured by rain and darkness. It finally became visible as it moved into Lone Grove with power flashes backlighting the tornado. Eight individuals tragically were killed by the tornado with over 45 folks injured. The tornado ended up traveling 37 miles over the course of 57 minutes from the Red River northeast through Long Grove to just north of Ardmore where it crossed Interstate 35. The tornado was mostly wrapped in rain and invisible in the night sky but the damage it left was most certainly visible.
This weather radar look at the storm was taken moments after the tornado had moved through Lone Grove. The radar, located in Oklahoma City, was nearly 90 miles away from the storm and looking around 6,000 feet above the ground. Even with that elevated height a strong rotational couplet and ‘donut hole’ known as a Bounded Weak Echo Region (BWER) was clearly visible. This tornado would be the one and only one to claim a life that night. Shortly after the tornado crossed Interstate 35 it dissipated and the storm was overtaken by a squall line. That would be the last tornado in Oklahoma for the event.
While the show was starting to wind down in Oklahoma it was just ramping up in Texas. After storms struggled to develop most of the day the upper level forcing finally arrived and caused a squall line to rapidly fire about 50 miles west of Interstate 35. By 9:30 PM the squall line extended from southern Oklahoma south into North, Central, and South-Central Texas. Damaging straight-line winds and large hail were the widespread threats however several brief tornadoes did occur including one in the D/FW Metroplex. Several injuries were reported from flying debris caused by the strong winds.
While today’s weather will be calm and sunny the severe weather outbreak on February 10, 2009 is a clear reminder to all those who inhabit Oklahoma and Texas that severe weather can and does occur outside the peak spring season. Now is the time to develop and practice a severe weather safety plan with your family. Taking the time while the weather is nice to practice your plan means you’ll be ready once severe weather returns to the state. Dealing with storms is just a part of living in Texas just like earthquakes are a part of life in California. You prepare, you practice, and you enact your plan if the time comes. The point is that you know your plan ahead of time instead of trying to come up with one ten minutes before a tornado hits your location.
Severe Weather Risk Upgraded This Evening
Friday, 06 June 2014 20:12
The Storm Prediction Center has upgraded portions of the Texas Panhandle to a SIGNIFICANT RISK of Severe Weather. An enhanced and standard risk surround the significant risk zone. It goes without saying severe weather is already underway this evening across the Panhandle. We expect the threat to continue this evening with storms over the next hour or two capable of producing large hail, damaging winds, and a few tornadoes. Once storms congeal into a complex the potential for widespread destructive straight-line winds will increase substantially. Some wind gusts will exceed hurricane-force or 75 MPH as storms move east into Oklahoma later tonight.
PUBLIC SEVERE WEATHER OUTLOOK NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK 0804 PM CDT FRI JUN 06 2014
…Severe thunderstorms expected over parts of the central and southern Great Plains tonight…
* HAZARDS… Widespread damaging winds, some hurricane force A couple of tornadoes Scattered large hail, some baseball size
* SUMMARY… Scattered to widespread severe winds, large hail, and a few tornadoes will be most likely across parts of the southern Great Plains tonight. Additional severe storms mainly in the form of damaging winds will persist over the central Great Plains and Southeast states this evening.
Review your severe weather safety procedures for the possibility of dangerous weather today. Stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio, weather.gov, or other media for watches and warnings. A watch means that conditions are favorable for severe thunderstorms over the next several hours. If a severe thunderstorm warning is issued for your area, move to a place of safety, ideally in an interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy building.
HIGH RISK for Dangerous Tornadoes in Southwest Arkansas
Sunday, 27 April 2014 15:33
The Storm Prediction Center has issued a HIGH RISK of Severe Weather including the potential for life-threatening, long-track tornadoes for much of Southwest and Central Arkansas this evening. This risk also includes about five square miles of Northeast Texas near Texarkana. This is the highest severe weather risk level issued and is reserved for the most severe events. In fact they only issue a High Risk one to two times a year on average. That should convey that the forecast confidence is very high in multiple strong, long-track tornadoes across Southwest/Central Arkansas this evening. An enhanced tornado risk does extend into Northeast Texas along and east of a Paris-Tyler-Carthage line where a Tornado Watch has already been issued. Thunderstorms are beginning to develop along the dryline very near I-35E and these storms will move east and intensify this afternoon and evening capable of producing tornadoes, large hail, and damaging winds as they move into East Texas. Again, the highest risk for strong to violent long-track tornadoes will be in Southwest and Central Arkansas where residents need to be very weather aware tonight.
DAY 1 CONVECTIVE OUTLOOK NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK 0300 PM CDT SUN APR 27 2014
VALID 272000Z – 281200Z
…THERE IS A HIGH RISK OF SVR TSTMS ACROSS MUCH OF CNTRL AR…
…THERE IS A MDT RISK OF SVR TSTMS ACROSS MUCH OF AR…NERN TX…FAR ERN OK AND SRN MO…
…THERE IS A SLGT RISK OF SVR TSTMS ACROSS MUCH OF THE MID AND LOWER MO VALLEY SWD INTO THE MIDDLE AND LOWER MS VALLEY AND ARKLATEX…
…SUMMARY… SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS WILL AFFECT ARKANSAS AND ADJACENT AREAS OF SOUTHERN MISSOURI…EASTERN OKLAHOMA…AND EXTREME NORTHEAST TEXAS THIS AFTERNOON INTO TONIGHT. THE GREATEST TORNADO RISK WILL BE CENTERED ON ARKANSAS…WHERE A FEW STRONG AND LONG-TRACK TORNADOES WILL BE POSSIBLE THROUGH TONIGHT. OTHERWISE…A BAND OF SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS WILL MOVE ACROSS MISSOURI AND IOWA THIS AFTERNOON WITH DAMAGING WINDS…LARGE HAIL…AND A FEW TORNADOES. MORE ISOLATED SEVERE STORMS WILL BE POSSIBLE THIS AFTERNOON ACROSS CENTRAL NEBRASKA.
…ADDED HIGH RISK TO AR IN ANTICIPATION OF SUPERCELLS FORMING UPSTREAM OVER NERN TX AND ERN OK…WHICH WILL MATURE AS THEY MOVE INTO AR WHERE BETTER LOW LEVEL SHEAR EXISTS…
MUCH OF AR…FAR NERN TX AND SRN MO STILL APPEARS TO BE THE GREATEST THREAT AREA FOR TORNADOES. INSTABILITY AND SHEAR PROFILES WILL CONTINUE TO BECOME MORE FAVORABLE THROUGHOUT THE AFTERNOON. VISIBLE SATELLITE SHOWS SIGNS OF CU BECOMING GRADUALLY DEEPER WITHIN THE LOW-LEVEL MOISTURE AXIS ACROSS NERN TX…SWRN AR AND NRN LA. SUPERCELLS WILL EVENTUALLY ERUPT ACROSS THESE AREAS…WITH STRONG TORNADOES POSSIBLE AS WELL AS VERY LARGE HAIL.