Its the time of year where our dryline can become a focal point for isolated thunderstorm development during the afternoon and early evening hours. We also have a strong capping inversion in place, which makes the forecast all that more interesting. If we don’t get enough lift along the dryline we won’t see storms. If we get just enough lift we’ll see a few storms. If we see a whole lot of lift or a weak cap storms fire up early in the day and it becomes a messy setup. The next several days will not feature a weak cap or a whole lot of lift. That leaves us with two possibilities – either a ‘cap bust’ or isolated, yet severe storms.
For today we’ve got a level 2 risk of severe weather across the Texas Panhandle and West Texas. A level 1 risk includes the Permian Basin. Honestly, this isn’t going to be a day where these lines matter so much. The chance of one location in either risk zone being impacted by a storm is below 25 percent. If you do have a storm impact your location it will probably be severe. The strongest storms today may produce very large hail to near the size of tennis-balls, localized damaging wind gusts up to 70 MPH, and an isolated tornado. Today’s tornado threat will be mostly mitigated by high cloud bases, but we’ll have a low-chance toward sunset.
The capping inversion will be strong today, so we should have only a few isolated storms. Not expecting a squall line or big storm cluster to develop. Any storms that develop this afternoon, probably after 4 PM, will slowly progress east through sunset. After sunset the cap will become ‘nuclear’ and probably squash most storms by 9-10PM. This will be a day where most folks in the risk zones don’t have to deal with storms, but a few will probably have a hailer.
The same scenerio could play out again during the late afternoon hours Saturday. The dryline will be a bit further east but the cap will be stronger. Again, if any storms do fire up, they’ll be isolated in nature with most folks staying dry. Those that do end up under a storm could end up with a hailer.