It has been a tough forecast environment overnight which caused our ‘timeframe’ to bust so far. Besides a few showers with gusty winds it has been a quiet night so far across Northeast Texas and East Texas. That can be attributed to a strong cap and the upper level forcing running a little behind schedule. There are already signs that is about to change. Two cells have recently developed across southwest Fannin county and eastern Collin county. At the time of this writing those cells are not potent but its a sign the cap is lifting.
The strong south winds overnight have allowed a moist and unstable airmass to develop across Northeast Texas and East Texas. The instablity axis is sitting right on Interstate 35 in North Texas at 4 AM. The delay in thunderstorm initiation has actually allowed the environment across Northeast Texas and East Texas to become more supportive of organized thunderstorms. While not shown here we continue to have strong wind shear across the region. As thunderstorms begin developing by 6 AM near or just east of I-35 in North Texas I expect we’ll start getting busier. Storms will be booking it northeast at around 45-50 MPH so anything that develops in/near D/FW will exit to the east quickly.
As you might expect the delay in thunderstorm initiation has decreased forecast confidence. Its possible storms may fire closer to 6 AM about 50 miles east of Interstate 35. Another possible scenario is storms fire up just east of D/FW between 4 AM and 6 AM. Regardless of the development time/location storms will have the opportunity to become severe quickly. I don’t think we’re going to see many storms but those that do develop could become intense. Large hail and damaging wind gusts will be possible but isolated tornadoes are a threat. The tornado threat will be highest in Far Northeast Texas as storms approach the state line. If they’re able to become organized more quickly than I will be more concerned with tornado potential. Storms should exit the state completely by lunch time.
I realize the delay in storms has resulted in some complacency and ‘weatherman hate’. Please understand the threat is not over for Northeast Texas and East Texas. I would be more than happy if we got by with no issues – but the ingredients are in place this morning for weather problems if we get storms to fire up. The fact the first storm is now developing in Collin County indicates the cap may be breaking now. Things may get much more active over the next two hours.