Severe Weather Threat This Afternoon/Evening

The threat for strong to severe storms later today has increased today. The Storm Prediction Center has placed a Slight Risk (Level 2) for severe storms for portions of central Texas, northeast Texas and eastern Texas for later this afternoon and through the evening hours.  A dryline is expected to race east this afternoon, arriving along the I-35 corridor by about 4pm.  A good amount of moisture will be in place ahead of the dryline, and this combined with the arrival of a strong upper level disturbance will provide sufficient lift for the development of scattered storms by late this afternoon ahead of the dryline just east of the I-35 corridor across north and central Texas.  It’s expected that these storms will then quickly congeal into a squall line which will quickly move east during the evening and early overnight hours.  Damaging winds and frequent lightning will be the main threats, but a quick tornado spin-up or two cannot be ruled out.  The threat for tornadoes is low…but is not zero either…so folks within the Slight Risk area will need to keep an eye out on the weather this evening and have a way to receive weather warnings should any be issued for your particular area.  Again, the timing for initial scattered storm development will be after 4pm with the squall line developing fairly rapidly after that as the storms race east. The simulated radar loop from the HRRR short-range high resolution forecast model will give you an idea of how the radar may shape up this afternoon and evening.  As always, keep in mind this is just a forecast model…not live radar.

Simulated Radar Loop Through Midnight Tonight

Critical Wildfire Threat Today

Behind the dryline, it will be a flaming tumbleweeds kind of day as strong winds will develop across the western half of the state.  The cold front will move into the panhandle by midday generating sustained winds between 30-40mph with gusts up to 60mph across the western portions of the panhandle, with 25-35mph sustained winds with gusts up to 50mph for the eastern half of the panhandle. Areas further south across the rolling plains, Permian Basin, Trans Pecos and Marfa Plateau will see similar conditions with sustained winds in the 30-40mph range and gusts between 50-65.  Blowing dust will also be a concern which could temporarily reduce visibilities down to 3miles or less at times. Critical Wildfire threats will be in place through the late afternoon with relative humidity values expected to drop down into the low 20s and teens. Extreme caution is urged across the area to avoid anything that could spark a fire.  Avoid all outdoor burning and properly dispose of any cigarette butts.