We’re expecting an uptick in thunderstorm activity later this afternoon in the western Texas Panhandle. With modest amounts of wind shear overlaid with an unstable atmosphere there will be the possibility of organized convection. As such the Storm Prediction Center has issued a level 2 risk of severe weather for the western two-thirds of the Texas Panhandle. On a 5-level scale 1 is a marginal risk and 5 is a high risk. The strongest storms later today and this evening could produce straightline wind gusts up to 70 MPH, pocket-change size hail, and localized flooding. The tornado threat is very low, but nonzero.
We will use the late morning run of the High Resolution Rapid REfresh (HRRR) weather model for graphics. This model is indicating the possibility of strong convection in northeast New Mexico and the western Texas Panhandle. This activity would likely start out as discrete/semi-discrete thunderstorms. Large hail and localized damaging winds would be the primary threat with these initial storms. By early evening thunderstorms should begin growing upscale into a cluster with a damaging wind threat. Movement of the storms will likely be south/southeast. By midnight a small cluster or line of storms may be moving south/southeast across the southern Texas Panhandle towards the South Plains with damaging wind gusts. Other thunderstorms will also be possible across the Permian Basin and West Texas tonight, but most of that activity would primarily be a rain-maker versus a severe weather threat.