With all eyes focused on the storm potential later today in Northwest Texas and points north I’ll be brief with this forecast. High temperatures will be quite warm to hot across Texas today with low to upper 80s expected statewide. The Panhandle will be in the 70s as a cold front pushes through. Besides the storm potential post-frontal north winds will be very significant late this afternoon into tonight with north winds up to 55-60 MPH across the Texas Panhandle into Northwest Texas. Yes, I did say north winds up to 60 MPH OUTSIDE of thunderstorms tonight. Winds up to 50 MPH will be possible across the South Plains into the Big Country tonight after the front pushes through. Fire danger will be very high across the Panhandle today and in locations west of the dryline where moisture plummets.
The good news is the severe weather potential today will be concentrated to a few storms late this afternoon and early evening ahead of the dryline. A strong cap and weak upper level forcing should keep thunderstorm coverage limited but any storms that fire up will likely be potent with a large hail threat. As storms move east off the dryline after sunset they’ll begin to weaken. The ‘highest’ chance for a few severe storms will be north of Interstate 20 across western North Texas from I-35 to Wichita Falls.
A more widespread and significant severe weather threat will develop across Oklahoma into Northwest Arkansas later today. A severe weather outbreak will bring several severe storms capable of very large hail, damaging winds, and a few tornadoes. This does include Oklahoma City and Tulsa and that’s the corridor we’ll be chasing in today. The tornado threat is not overly impressive but the hail threat is looking quite significant. I’m hopeful my apartment in Norman, OK still has windows when I return later tonight.