The potential for a few severe storms is increasing this afternoon across parts of Central Texas into the Brazos Valley. A severe weather watch is possible, but one does not seem to be imminent. What we’ll be watching for over the coming hours is increased thunderstorm development as a cool front moves south from South-Central and Central Texas east into Southeast Texas. Conditions north of the front are considerably cooler and below-average for late May. Conditions south of the front are relatively unstable and in an enviornment with enough wind shear to support organized storms. Coverage will remain isolated to scattered, so by far not everyone will receive rain. The strongest storms may produce hail up to the size of golfballs and localized wind gusts to 65 MPH. The atmospheric setup today does favor some large hail-stones out of the strongest storms. They’ll move from northwest to southeast.
A “standard” level 2 risk includes the Rio Grande Valley, Deep South Texas, the Middle Coast, South-Central Texas, western portions of Southeast Texas and the southwestern Brazos Valley. Brownsville, McAllen, Zapata, Laredo, Falfurrias, Corpus Christi, Beeville, Pleasanton, San Antonio, San Marcos, Gonzales, Victoria, Bay City, Wharton, Spring, Bastrop, and Brenham are a few towns included. That zone has a 15% chance of severe weather within 25 miles of their given point of any given point (like your town) this afternoon and evening. A “marginal” level 1 risk includes the remainder of Southeast Texas extending northwest into Central Texas back through the Hill Country. Del Rio, Eagle Pass, Kerrville, Round Rock, Killeen, Waco, Hillsboro, Bryan/College Station, Fairfield, Madisonville, Livingston, Cleveland, Lumberton, and Beaumont are a few towns included. This marginal risk zone has a 5% chance of severe storms within 25 miles of any given point (like your town) this afternoon and evening. Don’t pay too much attention to the exact risk lines of locations. If you’re in or close to a risk area that means you could see a few loud boomers. The strongest storms may produce hail slightly larger than the size of golfballs and localized wind gusts up to 65 MPH. This is not a setup where much of a tornado risk is anticipated, but it is never zero when dealing with severe storms. Isolated to scattered storms that form should move southeast at 20 to 30 MPH.
Not everyone in the risk zones will be impacted by storms, so if you stay dry, don’t come back and say “THEY SAID IT WAS GONNA STORM!”. We could see storms start firing up over the next 90 minutes from South-Central into Southeast Texas as the cool front progresses south. We already have scattered showers and storms underway in North Texas at the time of this writing, but those are sub-severe. Current projections have the storm chances winding down by about 10 PM across Southeast Texas as the storms move off the coast. Storm chances could continue into the late evening across South Texas and the Rio Grande Valley with some gusty winds and hail possible. Sub-severe storms and showers are possible north of the front in North Texas, Northeast Texas, and East Texas behind the cool front through the evening hours. Most activity should be out of the state by 2 AM. Patchy fog is possible Wednesday morning.