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Rain and Storm Chances Increase in Western Texas Tomorrow

Highs Friday

Tomorrow is shaping up to be another warm, yet pleasant, day across much of the state.  Temps will be climbing a few degrees over today’s highs as high pressure peaks over the state.  A strong area of low pressure, currently arriving along the central California coast, will move into the desert southwest tomorrow and will kick the high east over the weekend and bring the return of rain and storm chances tomorrow evening and through the weekend.  Lows tonight will be pleasant and seasonal ranging from the mid to upper 40s across the panhandle, to the low 60s down from west Texas down through south Texas. In between, low to mid 50s will be widespread across central, north and east Texas.  Highs tomorrow will range from the upper 80’s to 90’s across west Texas, and more temperate low 80s across the central and eastern half of the state.

Lows Tonight Highs Friday

As our next weather maker begins to approach tomorrow, we’ll see the return of rain and storm chances across far west Texas, mainly across the mountains and higher elevation regions west of the Pecos.  Some of the storms could become strong with a lightning and damaging downburst wind threat.  Widespread severe weather is not expected.

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TTU WRF Friday Evening

Saturday, a weak dryline is expected to set up across the central panhandle and down into the Permian Basin region.  Isolated strong to severe storms are expected to develop by late Saturday afternoon along and east of the dryline, but that will be conditional on having sufficient moisture in place for storm development.  The Storm Prediction Center currently has this region of the state under a Marginal Risk for Saturday afternoon and evening.  With this next system just now moving onshore, we may see some updates to this risk area by tomorrow, so be sure to check back!

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Strong to Severe Storms Possible Saturday, Sunday, and Monday

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The first chance of isolated to widely scattered storms will be Saturday afternoon across the Texas Panhandle, West Texas, and the Permian Basin. The best severe weather chances are expected to be north of the state up in eastern Colorado and western Kansas. Limited moisture is expected to limit the overall severe weather threat in our state on Friday. A dryline will set up near the Texas/New Mexico border by the late afternoon hours Saturday. Isolated storms are expected to develop and move into the Texas Panhandle and West Texas. There probably won’t be many storms – but those that do form could be severe with a threat of large hail and localized damaging wind gusts. Limited moisture levels and uncertainty regarding low-level wind shear means the tornado threat is anticipated to be very low. I can’t rule out a tornado but we’ll have to refine that threat as we get closer.

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The threat for severe storms will shift east on Sunday to include Northwest Texas, Texoma, North Texas, the Big Country, Concho Valley, and the Hill Country. We’ll likely see storms start to fire up by mid-afternoon ahead of the dryline which will be pushing into Northwest Texas and the Big Country. Depending on mesoscale factors we may also see a few storms fire up well ahead of the dryline. The threat for storms will continue into the evening hours as they move east towards I-35. Very large hail, damaging wind gusts, and isolated tornadoes are possible with the strongest activity. Being 72+ hours out means a lot will probably change between now and Sunday. Please check back for forecast refinements and more specific information once we get closer.

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As expected yesterday the Storm Prediction Center has highlighted the eastern half of North Texas, Northeast Texas, the Brazos Valley, and East Texas for Monday. Storms will probably start to increase in coverage by the afternoon hours as a dryline surges east. At this point I’m not even going to waste your time by trying to get specific on timing or threats. At this point it looks like large hail and damaging wind gusts would be the primary threats. We’ll also have to be on the watch for localized flooding issues.

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Here are the National Weather Service forecasts for day-by-day precipitation chances. We won’t have a wash-out this weekend or early next week. Some folks are definitely going to have wet periods.

Depending on what weather model guidance shows as it comes in this morning we may put out a more detailed post this afternoon/evening. Jenny should have her usual evening weather roundup published tonight. No hazardous weather is expected this evening or on Friday.

Strong Storms Return to Texas beginning Saturday into Next Week

The first four days of May have come in like a lamb across the Southern Plains of the United States. I’ve been reliving major tornado outbreaks the past couple of days while enjoying clear skies and temperatures in the 60s and 70s. As a storm chaser its nice to have a little downtime after a busy end to April. As a resident its also nice not having to worry if my apartment would still be where I left it before a chase. As usual for May the quiet weather won’t last and we’ll undoubtedly have a little payback from Mother Nature. The eastern United States has been dealing with severe weather since Sunday with plenty of hail, wind damage, and a couple spin up tornadoes. Today folks in southern Florida are dealing with a threat of severe storms along with widespread rain. Meanwhile our state is clear with temperatures in the 70s to lower 80s just after lunch. We note that a strong storm system is heading towards the California coast. It’ll make landfall later tonight into Thursday. That storm system will bring a return of more active weather to western sections of Texas by Saturday. That storm risk will spread east on Sunday towards Interstate 35 with continued storm chances into next week. I’ll say now that the skill in forecasting specific severe weather threats five days out is very small. We’re not dealing with a synoptically evident event where a high-end severe weather risk is expected a long ways out. Its May and we deal with severe storms. Lets chat about the upcoming weather shift.

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The Storm Prediction Center has highlighted Saturday and Sunday for possible severe thunderstorms. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them add Monday and Tuesday of next week to the risk maps as we get closer. For Saturday we’ll be watching the Texas Panhandle, South Plains, and Permian Basin as a dryline sets up near the TX/NM border. Moisture return will have begun in earnest on Friday with dewpoints in the 40s to lower 50s possible. Those dewpoint levels are fairly marginal but with the higher terrain could be enough for a few high-based supercells with large hail and damaging wind gusts. The tornado threat, if any, will depend on mesoscale factors and pockets of higher moisture. I really don’t see Saturday being a big tornado day but as always we’ll watch it.

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The severe weather risk on Sunday greatly expands in aerial coverage to include the eastern Texas Panhandle, Northwest Texas, Texoma, North Texas, the Big Country, Concho Valley, Hill Country, and Southwest Texas. That’s a large area under a severe weather risk on Sunday but not everyone will see storms or severe weather. With a lot of time between now and Sunday there will undoubtedly be refinements to the forecast. Compared to Saturday we should have dewpoints up into the 60s across the risk area. The dryline will be further east as an upper level storm system makes a closer approach from the west. If we were going to have more significant severe weather issues Sunday would probably be the day to watch. All we can do is watch data and wait to see how things set up. Don’t be surprised if the risk areas change as we get closer.

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Monday is not highlighted in any risk outlooks at this time but could certainly bring a threat of storms to the I-35 corridor and Northeast and East Texas. Some storms may be severe. The previous two days will largely dictate how Monday sets up. This is May and storms are to be expected. Saturday should be good for most folks except up in the Panhandle and West Texas. Sunday will be muggier and with a increase in storms across more sections of Texas. Monday could be an I-35 and points east day as the dryline surges east. Take time while the weather is nice to review your severe weather safety plans.

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Marginal Threat of Severe Storms Today and Overnight

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Cooler and drier air continues to filter in behind Friday’s cold front which is currently stalled out from about Texarkana towards Victoria and then west towards Del Rio.  Areas near and south of the stalled front have the best chances for seeing storm development this afternoon during peak daytime heating with hail and wind being the primary threats.  Most of the short-range models are generating the bulk of storms this afternoon from along the coastal bend up into southeast Texas, with another pocket of storm development out west in the Del Rio vicinity.  A weak-ish upper level disturbance arrives from the west later this evening which will increase the chance for seeing more widespread rain and thunderstorm development overnight from deep south Texas all the way across central and north central Texas during the overnight hours. Storms that develop tonight across deep south Texas ahead of the cold front will have the best chance at becoming surface-based with the threat of large hail and perhaps an isolated tornadoes.  The overall risk for tornadoes across the region covered by the “Marginal Risk” below is low, but is not zero. Further north across central and north central Texas and over into the rolling plains region, any storms that develop tonight are expected to be elevated in nature with just a lightning and gusty wind threat.

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Forecast highs today, and the forecast lows expected overnight, reveal that we have pretty much the entire seasonal spectrum going on across our state once again.  We are so special!  Highs today will struggle to get into the 50s across the panhandle.  Meanwhile down in deep south Texas, conditions will be quite muggy and warm with highs in the low 90s.  Folks in north and central Texas will luck out with very pleasant highs in the mid to upper 70s.  Lows tonight, quite chilly and in the mid 30s to low 40s across the panhandle, with much more mild and pleasant 50s and 60s across north and central Texas.  Deep south and coastal regions will see lows only drop int0 the upper 60s to mid 70s overnight.

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After tonight’s round of rainfall exits the state by Monday afternoon, we’ll be in for a more prolonged dry period with high pressure building over the state for much of the work week.  It looks like we’ll remain dry until we get closer to the weekend and the arrival of our next upper level system which may generate storm chances across the western half of the state by next weekend.  Still too early to be certain on any of the details, but we’ll be watching that threat closely later this week.

Your Overnight Severe Weather Forecast

Shortly before 9 PM we’re down to a couple severe thunderstorm warnings in the state. A large area of rain and thunderstorms continue to move northeast across Northeast Texas and East Texas. Several locations have received 3 to 5 inches of rain today with flash flooding an issue. Be mindful of flooded roadways and that you might not be able to see them easily at night. I myself almost had an issue with a flooded road on a chase today. Some storms may produce quarter size hail and localized damaging wind gusts over 60 MPH. The tornado threat – while not zero – has diminished compared to this afternoon in those two regions.

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A squall line is in the process of developing from near Paris southwest through Terrell to Waco and Fort Hood.   This line of storms is slowly pushing east. Some storms may produce hail up to the size of quarters and localized damaging wind gusts over 60 MPH. An isolated tornado is not out of the question but the overall tornado threat is diminishing. Localized flooding could occur especially in locations that have already received heavy rain today.

Overnight it’s possible a squall line takes shape in South-Central Texas into East Texas. Some of the storms in that squall line could be strong to severe with quarter size hail, damaging wind gusts over 60 MPH, and isolated tornadoes. The severe weather threat will not be as high compared to storms earlier this afternoon. Flash flooding is also a threat in East and Southeast Texas. The squall line itself could approach the Houston metro between 4 AM and 8 AM Saturday as it pushes into Southeast Texas and the Coastal Plains overnight. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to have a way to receive weather warnings tonight. WeatherRadio by WDT is a wonderful app my family and I personally use.

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