Let me start off by saying today is not expected to be a major severe weather event or pose the same tornado threat that Kansas saw yesterday. Today’s threats will be the more typical large hail and damaging straight-line winds. Nevertheless we could certainly see the threat for intense thunderstorms by this afternoon into this evening. The Storm Prediction Center has placed the Hill Country, South-Central Texas, and the Brazos Valley in a marginal risk for severe weather. A slightly higher threat level exists across North, Central, and East Texas where storm coverage is expected to be higher. Finally an enhanced risk of severe weather exists across Northeast Texas where thunderstorms will be most widespread later today into tonight with an advancing cold front. With an unstable atmosphere expected along with ample wind shear aloft the stage will be set for organized thunderstorms capable of producing hail up to the size of golfballs and localized damaging wind gusts of 60 to 70 MPH. The tornado threat is not zero, but it is on the low side of the spectrum.
The initial development time for thunderstorms will depend on how strong the cap is this afternoon along with the timing of the cold front. Some weather models indicate we may start seeing storms develop as early as 3 PM in Northeast Texas building southwest along the front. Others hold off initiation until 5 PM. Either way the main timeframe for the storms will be 4 PM to 12 AM. The first few initial storms may become supercellular with a large hail risk but weak low level wind shear will limit the tornado threat. We should see a fairly quick evolution into a broken line or nearly solid line of thunderstorms by early this evening with a continued threat for hail and perhaps an increased threat for stronger wind gusts. Storms will move south/southeast with the cold front before weakening late this evening. Not everyone will see storms today, even those in the severe weather risk zones.