After a cool spring day yesterday temperatures are beginning to rebound. We continue with relatively quiet weather this week as a ridge has set up overhead. That ridge will break down by the weekend with the chance of thunderstorms returning to the Panhandle and West Texas on Saturday. More storm chances could occur over a larger section of the state next week as a upper level trough digs in to our west.
High temperatures this afternoon will climb into the upper 60s to middle 70s across the northern two-thirds of Texas under partly cloudy skies. Seventeen years ago today a major tornado outbreak impacted Oklahoma and Kansas. The most noteworthy tornado was an F5 that developed near Chickasha, Oklahoma and moved northeast through Bridge Creek, Moore, into Del City and portions of Tinker Air Force Base in the OKC metro. I share that tidbit to show how volatile our weather can be in the southern United States in May. Luckily our weather today will be polar-opposite with wonderful conditions. Deep South Texas will be on the warm side of the spectrum – as usual – with high temperatures in the low to middle 80s.
For this afternoon and evening we will have the opportunity to see a few showers and storms across the eastern Texas Panhandle into Northwest Texas. Mediocre moisture levels will preclude the risk of severe weather. One or two storms may pulse up briefly with pea size hail and 30 to 40 MPH wind gusts. Otherwise the primary hazard will be a few cloud to ground lightning strikes and a brief rain shower. Most folks will remain dry and outside of the regions listed above rain chances are NIL today.
The dryline will become a player again on Saturday as it sets up across western portions of the Texas Panhandle south into the Permian Basin. Isolated thunderstorms may develop by the late afternoon hours to the east of the dryline. A few of those storms could become severe with large hail. Moisture levels look on the marginal size right now so that will likely keep cloud bases high. Rain/storm chances could spread east on Sunday into the Big Country, Northwest Texas, and western North Texas. The time of year suggests some severe weather risk may be possible but we’ll wait until we’re closer to define potential risk areas.