There have been a few irresponsible social media posts today by folks calling for a major tornado risk in Texas tomorrow (Thursday). These ‘hype’ posts pop up once in awhile from young kids trying to hit it big on social media or just the occasional reckless forecast. Let me start off by saying the tornado threat tomorrow is low. The morning model runs along with the first urns that have arrived this afternoon are pointing to a low tornado threat tomorrow. The threat for a tornado is not zero but we’re definitely not talking about something I’d lose sleep over. A few severe storms are still anticipated with occasional gusty winds and perhaps a few hail stones up to the size of quarters.
One big reason the tornado threat tomorrow is low is due to a unidirectional wind profile. Winds will be out of the south to southwest at the surface, southwest at 5000 feet ASL, and southwest at about 18500 feet ASL. There isn’t a lot of veering with the winds. No doubt winds aloft will be quite strong and supportive of organized thunderstorms. However low-level wind shear will be weak and not containing much in the way of ‘spin’ needed to produce sustained low-level mesocyclones. The unidirectional wind profile will also tend to make line segments more likely tomorrow versus a discrete supercellular mode. I hope I’ve been able to explain a bit and calm some of nerves. We’re going to see thunderstorms on Thursday. Some storms will likely be strong with gusty winds. A brief tornado may even occur – but tomorrow’s setup is far far away from anything I’d consider favorable for a significant tornado event. Flash flooding will probably become the biggest issue once again.