A conditional threat for isolated severe storms exists tomorrow afternoon across portions of north central Texas. Conditional in that the strong capping inversion that will be in place across all of north Texas tomorrow must break before storms can initiate. We’ll have plenty of moisture and instability in place, along with energy from a strong upper level low approaching from the west. The big question is will all the ingredients come together at just the right time to break the cap and allow storms to develop. Right now, that potential is looking rather low, but not impossible. Additional data rolling in tonight will likely help make tomorrow’s forecast more clear, but here’s what we know right now. A cold front will push through the panhandle and northern Oklahoma overnight making it into western north Texas before stalling out. This frontal boundary will likely lift back to the north on Friday possibly pushing as far north as the I-44 corridor which runs northeast/southwest through Oklahoma. A dryline will set up across western north Texas and the region south of the stalled front and east of the dryline intersection is where we will see the greatest potential for isolated severe storm development tomorrow evening. We may get no storms, one storm or perhaps two or three…but anything that does manage to break the cap and develop will have the chance of quickly becoming severe with very large hail, damaging winds and a the threat of a tornado. As we get into the late evening and overnight hours, the best potential for continued strong to severe storm development will be along and just north of the Red River.
A second, stronger cold front, will begin to move southeast across the panhandle and western Oklahoma overnight Friday into Saturday. Forcing from the front in combination with additional forcing from the upper level low will increase chances for more widespread storm coverage early Saturday morning through Saturday afternoon and evening. By Saturday afternoon, the threat for severe weather will encompass all of north and northeast Texas, and down into central Texas as well, as the cold front continues to advance southeast during the afternoon with a line of storms developing along and ahead of it. Areas east/southeast of the DFW metroplex will see the best chances for a round of severe weather which includes the possibility of large hail and damaging winds. A tornado or two is also possible, but with the advancing cold front expected to quickly undercut any storms that develop out ahead of it, this may help keep the tornado threat on the low end of the spectrum. We’ll have an update out early tomorrow morning after the latest data rolls in overnight, so be sure to check back!
In addition to the threat for severe weather Friday and Saturday, we also have a chance for SNOW across a good 2/3rds of the Texas panhandle region Saturday afternoon into Sunday night. Highest accumulations are expected to be across the far northwest panhandle with just under and inch expected in and around the Amarillo metro area. Soil and road surface temps will be pretty warm so issues with accumulation on roadways should be minimal; however, impacts to bridges and overpasses may occur during the nighttime and early morning hours.