The Storm Prediction Center has placed a Marginal Risk of severe weather across portions of west central and western north Texas this afternoon and evening ahead of the cold front. Confidence in any severe weather development is a bit unclear and will largely depend on the amount of surface heating and instability reached by later this afternoon, which at this time looks to be minimal based on the amount of cloud cover and widespread rain across the region. However, sufficient moisture and wind shear will be in place for a few strong to severe storms to develop with enough instability. While the tornado threat is very low, there is a chance of a few brief tornadoes to develop. Folks in or traveling through the region need to stay weather-aware this afternoon and have a way to receive warning notifications should any be issued. As always, you can track the storms live via our interactive radar at http://texasstormchasers.com/radar/ .
Simulated Radar through midnight tonight.
Winter Storm Watch for the Panhandle & Flooding Expected in North Texas Thursday Night -Saturday
A major storm system will bring a variety of weather hazards to Texas beginning Thursday and tapering off by Saturday. The impacts could last into next week. A Winter Storm Watch is now in effect for the Texas Panhandle beginning Thursday Night and ending on Saturday. Temperatures are expected to fall below freezing late Thursday or early Friday. Once temperatures fall below freezing we anticipate a changeover from rain to freezing rain. A bit of snow may mix in across the northwest Texas Panhandle. By far the primary precipitation mode should be freezing rain. Based on anticipated moisture levels and current forecasts some locations may pick up between a quarter to half inch of ice accumulation. Remember that it only takes a glaze to turn roads into skating rinks. Once you start talking about ice accumulations above half an inch you have to start talking about localized power outages and tree damage. For a winter weather event we’re still pretty far away and we do anticipate forecast changes as we get closer. Hazardous travel conditions are likely across the Texas Panhandle, Western Oklahoma, and adjacent portions of Kansas on Friday into Saturday.
Farther east where temperatures will remain above freezing we’ll be dealing with liquid rain and a whole lot of it. Rain accumulation forecasts continue to increase with the highest rain totals located over the Big Country, North Texas, and Northeast Texas. Widespread 5 to 7 inch rain totals are expected with isolated amounts up to 10 inches. Soils remain saturated from previous precipitation events and the recent hard freeze has caused most vegetation to become dormant for the winter. Flash flooding and river flooding all look like threats we’re going to deal with beginning late Thursday into Friday. The rains will move out on Saturday but we’ll be dealing with flood problems well into next week. Lower rain totals are expected across the Concho Valley, South-Central Texas, the Brazos Valley, and East Texas with 2 to 4 inches of rain possible. Localized flooding will still be a threat even in those areas. Overall I do expect a busy period of weather beginning on Thursday (maybe later in the day) with the peak on Friday and the first half of Saturday. Temperatures will be above freezing – but its still going to be cold. Wind chill values will be in the 20s with temperatures in the mid to upper 30s. If we by chance get folks caught out in flooding hypothermia could be a real threat.
Plethora of Weather Problems expected Thanksgiving through Saturday
Temperature Forecast through Thanksgiving into the Weekend
Temperatures will be warm through Thursday across most of Texas. A strong cold front begins to push into the Panhandle on Thursday and will quickly move south Thursday Night into Friday. High temperatures on Friday may occur early in the day with much colder temperatures for the afternoon hours. Temperatures behind the cold front will fall into the 30s and 40s with gusty north winds. Wind chill values will be in the 10s/20s on Friday and Saturday. Chilly weather will remain in place through the weekend.
Chance of Precipitation through Thanksgiving into the Weekend
Rain chances will ramp up on Thursday with the potential for heavy rain Thursday Night. There may be a bit of a break/lull on Friday before a second round of heavier precipitation moves in Friday Night into Saturday. There remains plenty of uncertainty and you can expect changes for the forecast as new data helps refine things.
Chance of Precipitation Wednesday
Chance of Precipitation Wednesday Night
Chance of Precipitation Thursday
Chance of Precipitation Thursday Night
Chance of Precipitation Thursday Night
Chance of Precipitation Friday
Chance of Precipitation Friday Night
Chance of Precipitation Saturday
Chance of Precipitation Saturday Night
Severe Weather Outlook
Severe weather is not expected with this system. A few stronger storms may occur across the South Plains and Permian Basin on Thursday with small hail. Otherwise the atmosphere will be too stable to support organized thunderstorms or a severe thunderstorm threat.
A fairly significant flooding threat may develop on Thursday Night, Friday, and Saturday across parts of Texas. The heaviest rains are currently forecast to fall across the Concho Valley, Big Country, Northwest Texas, Central Texas, North Texas, and Northeast Texas. Widespread rain accumulations of 2 to 5 inches can be expected. Isolated rain totals up to 8 inches are possible. Once we get above about 3 inches we’ll have to keep an eye on increased flash flooding potential. Most of the regions I mentioned here have experienced at least one good freeze this fall. Vegetation is becoming dormant and thus the ground won’t be able to absorb as much water. Of all the potential issues with this upcoming system I do believe flooding could be the most significant issue by the time all is said and done. Stay tuned as timing and the heaviest rain axis information will likely change as we get additional data over the next few days. Flash flood watches will likely be issued for some areas for this event.
Winter Weather Potential
As temperatures fall to or below freezing we’re expecting a switchover from rain to freezing rain across parts of the Texas Panhandle. Timing aspects and the accumulation potential remains very uncertain. At this time the most likely time for freezing rain seems to be from late Thursday Night through Saturday. Hazardous travel conditions are likely across the Texas Panhandle on Friday as freezing rain creates ice accumulations. Depending on how much freezing rain/ice accumulates there could be isolated power outages and tree damage. We’ll have to keep a close eye on things as a lot of moisture will be in place and this could become a fairly substantial winter weather event. The arctic airmass is shallow in the low-levels of the atmosphere. Temperatures will be above freezing a few thousand feet above the surface. That’s why we’re not expecting much snow Freezing rain and some sleet should be the primary winter weather mode across most of the Panhandle. The atmosphere may become cold enough to support a sleet/snow mix across the northwestern Texas Panhandle on Friday and Saturday. Winter weather is not expected further east in Texas thanks to warm air advection keeping temperatures safely above freezing. This has the potential to become a winter storm in the Texas Panhandle with significant impacts. If you’re planning to travel in the Panhandle on Friday and Saturday be ready to change those plans. A winter storm watch may be required by tomorrow.
The strong cold front we’ve been talking about for a few days has arrived and is currently barreling through central Texas. Behind the front, winds have been gusting into the 30 to 40mph range, so hopefully everyone has tied down the patio umbrellas and lightweight outdoor furniture! We’ve seen reports this morning across north Texas of some tree limb damage as the front came through early this morning, so it’s likely we’ll continue to see spotty reports of some minor wind gust damage throughout the day. The front is expected to make quick progress today…and with its northeast to southwest orientation, should be clearing the south Texas coastal areas after noon and clearing the central and upper coast by around 3pm. Winds will stay brisk during the afternoon but will begin to calm this evening and into the overnight hours.
Highs today will have been met early on for most with temperatures steadily dropping behind the front. Current temps in the panhandle rolling plains have already dropped into the 20s and 30s and will likely not budge much the rest of the morning and afternoon. Folks in northern and central Texas have already reached your daily high and will see temps really dropping off over the next several hours. For folks along the coast, enjoy the warmth now as the front will be knocking on your doors in a few hours!
For tonight, clearing skies and much drier air behind the front will allow for significant radiational cooling, setting the stage for temps at or below freezing across a large portion of northern and western Texas. Much of this area has not yet seen much in the way of freezing weather this year…a bit late in the season for a freeze, but nevertheless, you’ll want to cover any sensitive plants or bring them indoors overnight.
Rain chances today stay primarily across the middle to upper coastal and inland areas and will be quickly shunted out of the area with the passage of the front. Tomorrow, expect sunny and chilly temps with a gradual warming trend by the middle of next week. Be sure to check back later this evening for an update on rain and storm chances expected by mid-week!
New Tornado Watch for Northeast Texas and East Texas until 9 AM
The Storm Prediction Center and National Weather Service have issued a Tornado Watch for Northeast Texas, East Texas, and the Brazos Valley until 9 AM. A line of severe storms near the D/FW Metroplex will continue to move east this morning with a damaging wind and isolated tornado threat. A dangerous supercell just southeast of College Station is moving northeast. That storm and any other discrete supercells that can form will have an enhanced tornado threat this morning.
TORNADO WATCH NUMBER 543 NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK 445 AM CST TUE NOV 17 2015
THE NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER HAS ISSUED A
* TORNADO WATCH FOR PORTIONS OF SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS SOUTHEAST OKLAHOMA EAST TEXAS
* EFFECTIVE THIS TUESDAY MORNING FROM 445 AM UNTIL 900 AM CST.
* PRIMARY THREATS INCLUDE… A COUPLE TORNADOES POSSIBLE SCATTERED DAMAGING WIND GUSTS TO 70 MPH POSSIBLE
SUMMARY…A LINE OF STRONG/SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS OVER CENTRAL TX WILL SPREAD EASTWARD ACROSS THE WATCH AREA THIS MORNING…WITH ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS FORMING AHEAD OF THE LINE AS WELL. WIND PROFILES ARE FAVORABLE FOR AN ISOLATED TORNADO OR TWO…ALONG WITH DAMAGING WIND GUSTS IN THE STRONGER CELLS.
THE TORNADO WATCH AREA IS APPROXIMATELY ALONG AND 65 STATUTE MILES EAST AND WEST OF A LINE FROM 65 MILES WEST SOUTHWEST OF LUFKIN TEXAS TO 35 MILES NORTHEAST OF PARIS TEXAS. FOR A COMPLETE DEPICTION OF THE WATCH SEE THE ASSOCIATED WATCH OUTLINE UPDATE (WOUS64 KWNS WOU3).
REMEMBER…A TORNADO WATCH MEANS CONDITIONS ARE FAVORABLE FOR TORNADOES AND SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS IN AND CLOSE TO THE WATCH AREA. PERSONS IN THESE AREAS SHOULD BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR THREATENING WEATHER CONDITIONS AND LISTEN FOR LATER STATEMENTS AND POSSIBLE WARNINGS.