The next few days will be rather uneventful with highs warming a few degrees each afternoon with sunny skies and no rain expected. Lows tonight will be chilly with mid to upper 20s expected across parts of the panhandle and western Texas, with 30s expected across north Texas all the way down to the coast. A weak cold front will arrive tomorrow afternoon, but will have little effect other than a wind shift from the west/northwest. Highs tomorrow will be quite nice with 70s expected along the coast and up into central Texas by the afternoon. Mid 60s will be common across northern Texas as well as west Texas in the higher elevations. Overall though…very pleasant and unusually warm for late January.
The coming weekend continues to look warm and dry with plenty of sunshine. Perfect for any outdoor activities you might have planned. Our benign weather pattern will come to a pretty abrupt halt by Monday as a strong upper level system is forecasted to develop across the western US on Monday and move east and across the state by early Tuesday. A surface low is also forecasted to develop across the 4-corners region and move east into the panhandle by late Sunday into early Monday which will strengthen southerly winds and moisture back up into the state. The increasing surface moisture combined with lift from the approaching upper level low, and the arrival of a strong cold front, looks to set the state for at least some threat of rainfall across the eastern half of the state…and possibly a chance for a few strong to severe storms Monday night into Tuesday morning across parts of east/southeast Texas before the system moves off to the northeast on Tuesday.
It’s still too early to get into specifics, but we will be monitoring this next system as it’s quite strong for this time of the year and is already generating concern for severe weather across parts of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Alabama for next Tuesday. It’s not often that the Storm Prediction Center issues a Day 7 Severe Weather Outlook in January…in fact this is only the 3rd time since the SPC began issuing these Outlooks…so it’s definitely caught our attention. Right now, the threats look to be minimal for Texas, but a shift in the eventual track of this low could mean a greater threat for us so be on the lookout for updates throughout the weekend.
Your Overnight & Thursday Forecast – More Storms for Western TX
Rain and storm chances will continue across western Texas overnight and into Thursday before the weather begins to ease up by the weekend. By Friday, the upper level disturbance which has been causing some atmospheric mischief out west for the past several days will begin to retreat back to the west towards the Baja coast taking the rain chances with it.
The severe weather threat will begin diminishing this evening as we begin to lose daytime heating, although some amount of rain and thunder will continue through the overnight hours. A Severe Thunderstorm Watch remains in effect across much of this region until 9pm tonight, and a Flash Flood Watch remains in effect through tomorrow evening.
Tomorrow, much the same as today, but with the greatest severe weather threat shifting a bit east into the Big Bend Region by tomorrow afternoon where the Storm Prediction Center has placed a Marginal Risk of severe weather. We’ll also see chances of scattered non-severe showers and storms a bit further east into central Texas as a combination of the upper level disturbance, increasing surface moisture and daytime heating kick off some afternoon convection.
Lows tonight will range from the upper 50s out west to the mid 70s along the southern coast. These temps are generally a few degrees above where we should be at this time of the year as we generally see lows in the 50s and 60s state-wide by this time.
Highs tomorrow, cooler out west under the influence of residual cloud cover and rain, but warming into the upper 80s and low 90s for those not seeing rain. Average highs should be in the mid 70s to mid 80s, so once again, we’ll be several degrees above.
On Friday, the upper level low will begin to shift back to the west, thus rain chances will begin to significantly decrease across the western half of the state. A weak cold front will approach the state by late Thursday/early Friday and is expected to stall out somewhere near the I-20 corridor by early Saturday morning. The chance for rain across drought-parched north central Texas late Thursday into Friday will be tied to the cold front as it sags south across the region, but even those chances are pretty slim. The remainder of the forecast for the next 7 to 10 days after this looks mostly dry and warmer than average, so we’ll likely have to wait until we get further into the fall season before we see any significant uptick in rain chances, or much in the way of lasting cooler weather.
Thursday’s Weather Roundup – Severe Storms possible today for North Central/Northeast/Central and Southeast Texas
Good morning and happy Thursday! Focus today will be centered around the arrival of a cold front in conjunction with a strong low pressure system which will spark chances for severe thunderstorms across parts of northern Texas this afternoon and into northeastern and southern parts of north Texas this evening. Models are still showing some differences in the timing of the cold front, so when storms arrive will be heavily influenced by the location of the front this afternoon. So, keep that in mind when viewing any of the graphics presented as you scroll down. The NWS office in Ft. Worth is anticipating the greatest chances for severe weather to arrive in the Dallas/Ft Worth metroplex between 3pm and 8pm. Of course…that’s encompasses about all of rush hour for the cities, so keep that in mind as you plan your homeward bound activities this afternoon. It could definitely be a messy commute for parts of the city and surrounding communities.
Here’s a look at the current severe weather outlook from the Storm Prediction Center which an enhanced risk of severe weather encompassing all of the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex, Sherman, Paris and down towards Waxahachie, Hillsboro, Corsicana and over towards Granbury. Supercell thunderstorms with damaging winds and golf ball size hail are possible if storms remain somewhat scattered and isolated this afternoon as they begin developing west of I-35. The general consensus at this time is that the more scattered and isolated storms that have formed will begin to fill in and develop squall line characteristics by the time they reach the I-35 corridor. Once they do that, the straight-line wind threat increases. Straight-line winds can be just as damaging as tornadoes, so keep that in mind if you have outdoor activities or athletic games or practice sessions planned this afternoon and evening. The squall line of strong storms is expected to continue moving south/southeast into central and southeast Texas during the late evening hours. Have a way to receive weather warnings this afternoon and into the nighttime hours either from a smartphone weather App or your NOAA Weather Radio.
Here’s an updated look at the possible track and timing of the storms this afternoon and into the evening hours. As mentioned above, some of the models are still showing a couple of hours differences in the arrival of the front, so the times provided below are just a generalization and best guess for now. We’ll keep an eye on things this afternoon as the radar beings to light up. I’m planning to be out chasing this afternoon, and David may make the drive down as well and provide some live streaming coverage. Stay safe everyone!
Severe Thunderstorm WATCH issued for northern Panhandle
A severe thunderstorm WATCH has been issued for parts of the northern panhandle until 10pm this evening. Strong storms have already developed across the OK panhandle and are expected to clip the northeastern panhandle; however, additional isolated thunderstorm development across this area is possible this afternoon and evening…hence the watch. The most likely time-frame for a squall line of strong to severe storms still seems likely late tonight and early tomorrow morning across parts of the northern panhandle, western OK and eventually impacting the Red River area and north Texas by daybreak tomorrow morning. See below the graphic for the nerd version of this Watch discussion from the Storm Prediction Center.
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH NUMBER 347
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
350 PM CDT SUN JUN 22 2014
THE NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER HAS ISSUED A
* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH FOR PORTIONS OF
WESTERN AND CENTRAL KANSAS
NORTHWEST OKLAHOMA AND THE OKLAHOMA PANHANDLE
* EFFECTIVE THIS SUNDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING FROM 350 PM UNTIL
1000 PM CDT.
* PRIMARY THREATS INCLUDE...
WIDESPREAD DAMAGING WIND GUSTS TO 70 MPH LIKELY
SCATTERED LARGE HAIL LIKELY WITH ISOLATED VERY LARGE HAIL EVENTS
TO 2 INCHES IN DIAMETER POSSIBLE
A TORNADO OR TWO POSSIBLE
DISCUSSION...STRONG STORMS ARE DEVELOPING FROM SWRN KS AND THE TX/OK
PANHANDLES NEWD INTO CENTRAL KS WITHIN A VERY UNSTABLE ENVIRONMENT
WITH CAPE OF 2000-3000 J/KG. 25-30 KT WEST/NORTHWEST MID-LEVEL
WINDS ARE CONTRIBUTING TO EFFECTIVE SHEAR OF 30-35 KT WHICH WILL
PROMOTE ORGANIZED MULTICELL AND OCCASIONAL SUPERCELL STRUCTURES.
ACTIVITY IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE INCREASING WITH POTENTIAL FOR LARGE
HAIL AND DAMAGING WIND GUSTS. IN ADDITION...UPSTREAM SEVERE STORMS
OVER ERN CO ARE EXPECTED TO GROW UPSCALE AND MOVE EWD/SEWD AS A
FORWARD PROPAGATING QLCS BY LATE THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING...MOVING
INTO WRN PARTS OF THE WATCH DURING THE EVENING WITH A MORE
WIDESPREAD THREAT FOR DAMAGING WIND GUSTS.
Early Afternoon Update on Severe Weather Potential
We continue to keep an eye to the sky early this afternoon. The atmosphere across Central Texas has become extremely unstable and supportive of explosive thunderstorm development. However the cap is still putting a lid on things for now. I do expect that we’ll likely start seeing a few discrete storms developing by 5 PM in the eastern Hill Country and into parts of Central Texas. Determining exactly where the first storms will fire is difficult until we start seeing signs of agitated cumulus on visible satellite. An outflow boundary from storms earlier today has set up shop south of the D/FW Metroplex and can easily be seen on visible satellite as a line of clouds from Stephenville east to Hillsboro and Corsicana. This outflow boundary could play a role in storm behavior later today as it may locally enhance the severe weather parameters with any storms that approach it.
The strongest storms today will be capable of producing destructive hail up to the size of baseballs along with damaging wind gusts over up to 70 MPH. One or two tornadoes are possible with the most intense supercells. Later this evening at least one cluster of storms may impact portions of Central Texas into the Brazos Valley and Southeast Texas. The cluster of storms would have less of a hail threat but an enhanced damaging wind threat should it develop. Today is a nowcast type of day where we have to wait until storms actually begin to develop to see how things will play out today. For the moment the clouds across the D/FW Metroplex and North Texas are keeping the severe weather threat lower compared to further south where temperatures are approaching 90 degrees in spots. Should the outflow boundary south of D/FW start to move north (retreat) there could be rapid airmass modification and an associated increase in the severe weather threat in areas where it’s cool and cloudy at the moment. We’ll keep an eye on that possibility.
Once the first thunderstorms develop this afternoon they will likely do so explosively. Extreme instability and adequate wind shear will promote rapid development and organization of storms. Storms will slowly move east/southeast with the most intense storms producing destructive hail, damaging wind gusts, and perhaps even a tornado or two. With such extreme instability in place we have to keep an eye out for storm rotation even with the weaker low level wind shear. In some cases the extreme instability values can compensate some for weaker wind shear when it comes to low level rotation. We’ll see how trends play out over the next 90-120 minutes. I expect the Storm Prediction Center will issue a discussion sometime in the next hour or two describing when they plan on issuing the first watches of the day. I’ll plan on posting another update in the 3 to 4 PM timeframe or sooner if necessary. For the severe weather outlook graphics I posted a bit earlier before the server had a hiccup head to my noon update here.