We’ll have a dryline set up shop across Northwest Texas southward through the Big Country, Concho Valley, into extreme Southwest Texas. Temperatures west of the dryline will warm into the upper 80s to lower 90s with west winds and a heightened wildfire danger. East of the dryline we’ll have warm temperatures in the 70s and 80s with humid conditions and south/southeast winds. Any fog this morning will burn off by mid-morning and is a sign of the moisture in place.
Today marks the beginning of several days of possible severe thunderstorms during the afternoon and evening hours. We’re not talking about widespread or significant severe weather but the usual issues we deal with during the spring. The Storm Prediction Center has highlighted a level 1 marginal severe weather risk along and just east of the dryline from Southwest Texas northward into the Big Country and West-Central Texas. One or two storms may be able to fire up during the late afternoon hours just east of the dryline as surface temperatures climb into the mid to upper 80s. Any storm that fires up will slowly move east/southeast with an attendant threat of large hail and locally damaging winds before dying out after sunset. A level 2 possible severe weather risk has been issued for Northwest Texas and adjacent areas in Southwest/Southern Oklahoma where confidence in slightly more widespread thunderstorm development is highest.
By late afternoon a surface dryline will extend into Northwest Texas southward into Southwest Texas as previously described. With surface temperatures climbing into the lower 90s just west of the dryline along with southeast winds east of the dryline we should see enough convergence to break what will be a weakly capped environment. The atmosphere will be strongly unstable with surface temperatures in the mid to upper 80s and dewpoints in the low to mid 60s. Wind shear will be modest today but with the rather impressive instablity values for late March we’ll still have the threat for organized thunderstorms. What we may see this afternoon is a few thunderstorms develop after 4 PM in Southwest and South Oklahoma. These storms would initially be discrete and likely be supercellular with a threat of large hail and locally damaging winds. Some hail in the strongest storm could approach the size of tennis balls.
Storms will move south/southeast and likely cross the Red River late afternoon into the early evening as a small cluster of storms. Once the storms congeal into a cluster the threat for very large hail would diminish somewhat but large hail and damaging winds would remain a possibility. This is where the level 2 possible severe weather risk has been issued. As new data arrives later this morning including upper air information from weather balloons along with high-resolution weather model guidance we may see the risk area expanded eastward a bit towards I-35. With very weak low level wind shear I don’t expect tornadoes to be an issue today. However I’m not going to rule a brief spinup out because the atmosphere will be strongly unstable and we’ll be dealing with a few supercells in southern/southwestern Oklahoma into Northwest Texas.
We should see any severe weather threat diminish around or after 10 PM as the cap strengthens and storms move into a less favorable environment. We’ll be chasing today in southwest/southern Oklahoma this afternoon and will be streaming live video at texasstormchasers.com/live. Isolated severe storms will be possible once again on Tuesday just east of the dryline which will be in a similar position as today.