Good afternoon! I’ll keep this short and sweet since I need to get on the road for today’s storm chase. The next couple of days will feature the chance of severe thunderstorms across parts of Texas. Unlike earlier in the spring where we were dealing with more supercellular/individual thunderstorms, these will be more of the ‘squall line’ or bow echo type events. What happens today in Texas and Oklahoma will play a significant role in tomorrow’s severe weather threat. Since storms today will leave boundaries for tomorrow, and those boundaries could be focal points for new storm development. That’s to say that we’ll have to refine the forecast for tomorrow once we get past tonight and are able to get a better idea on where all the ingredients set up shop.
The Storm Prediction Center has placed a level 3 risk of severe weather across the eastern Texas Panhandle, the northern Big Country, and much of Northwest Texas this afternoon and evening. A level 2 risk includes the remainder of the Texas Panhandle south/southeastward into the Big Country and east through Texoma. Finally, the level 1 risk covers the Concho Valley south into Southwest Texas.
Remember – the higher your risk level the higher chance you have of severe weather in your area today and tonight. It is not a guarantee that you’ll be impacted, nor should you just ‘ignore’ it if you’re in a lower risk level.
The strongest individual (discrete/semi-discrete) storms this afternoon and evening could produce very large hail up to the size of tennis-balls along with localized wind gusts over 60 MPH. If storms grow upscale into a small squall line or ‘bow out’ we’ll see an enhanced threat of hurricane-force straight-line winds over 75 MPH. Storms should generally be moving to the east/northeast, although specific storm motions may vary some.
This looks to be a day where the Texas Panhandle, Northwest Texas, and Oklahoma have the highest chance of severe storms. More isolated activity is possible farther south into the Concho Valley. I can’t rule out a complex of thunderstorms making their way into North Texas after midnight and into the early morning hours on Sunday, but that’ll depend on how storms behave/grow this afternoon and evening farther north/northwest.
We’ve got a broad level 2 risk of severe weather on Sunday for the eastern Concho Valley, the eastern Big Country, Northwest Texas, North Texas, Teoma, into parts of Central Texas. For all essential purposes – a level 1 risk covers the eastern 75% of Texas tomorrow, or east of a Childress to Fort Stockton line – excluding Deep South Texas. Again, how tomorrow’s storm chances shape up will depend on how tonight behaves farther north and west.
We could see some storms underway Sunday morning across North Texas and in the eastern Big Country. Otherwise, an uptick in thunderstorm coverage is expected across the level 2 risk zone by the afternoon hours. We *could* see a complex of thunderstorms develop with a threat of damaging straight-line winds and large hail. Localized flash flooding would also be a concern.
*IF* we had a well-organized thunderstorm complex materialize tomorrow afternoon/evening we could see a more widespread damaging wind event unfold across portions of the level 2 risk zone. However, there are far too many uncertainties at this point to explicitly forecast that scenario since today/tonight’s storm evolution will greatly dictate tomorrow’s forecast. For sure we’ll likely have localized areas of 60+ MPH winds with the more intense thunderstorms (in addition to large hail).
If that thunderstorm complex does develop tomorrow afternoon in North Texas and the Big Country it could make its way southeast into the Hill Country, Central Texas, the Brazos Valley, and East Texas tomorrow evening and tomorrow night. Damaging straight-line winds would be likely with the most intense storms in that line.
So in summary: Weather models are not in good agreement regarding tomorrow’s evolution. However, ingredients in place do seem to support severe thunderstorms. It’ll be a good day to stay weather aware with your favorite radar app.
Hint: We’ve got a free interactive weather radar right here on our website (click here) and in our free mobile app (which you can find at the top of this page).