You’ve seen a day like this many times before! This afternoon and evening, northwest Texas is poised for isolated severe thunderstorms capable of producing very large hail and strong gusts.

Locations:

  • Northwest Texas: Focused on the area, especially near the triple point just off the Caprock.

Threats:

  • Large Hail: Potential for hail 2 to 2.5 inches in diameter.
  • Strong Gusts: Wind gusts between 55-65 mph.

Timing:

  • Peak Activity: Late afternoon to evening, especially after 21Z (4 PM CDT).

Discussion

  • Weather Patterns: Following the passage of a mid-level trough over the Great Lakes, a cold front will progress southward across Kansas and Oklahoma, stalling by evening over southeast Oklahoma and northwest Texas.
  • Atmospheric Dynamics:
    • Surface Features: Lee cyclogenesis over eastern New Mexico and adjacent west-central Texas will sustain southerly low-level flows, enhancing moisture advection from the western Gulf into the frontal zone.
    • Instability and Moisture: Strong surface heating along the western edge of this returning moisture will sharpen the dryline by late afternoon, creating favorable conditions for storm initiation.
    • Storm Development: The interaction of the dryline with the frontal boundary will likely form a triple point near the Caprock, serving as the focal point for thunderstorm development.
    • Severe Potential: The environment will support moderate buoyancy (MLCAPE of 1500-2000 J/kg) and steep midlevel lapse rates near 9 C/km, combined with sufficient deep-layer shear conducive to supercell formation.
  • Practical Tips:
  • Target Area: The vicinity of the dryline/frontal triple point will be critical for observing storm initiation and development.

Impact: The forecasted conditions indicate a risk of severe weather phenomena, including very large hail and damaging wind gusts, particularly near the triple point off the Caprock in northwest Texas.

Technical Discussion

Models are being rather stingy on storm formation late this afternoon across NW Texas, but I think that they might be slightly underdoing coverage. Still, even if it’s just this one teensy tiny cell in NW TX, it’ll be capable of producing big hail. The story to note though: most people won’t see severe weather today.
An environmental analysis from NW Texas ahead of the dryline shows quite a lot of convective inhibition (CINH). Warm temperatures above 850mb are leading to a strong cap that will likely limit the space storms can thrive as severe cells. Cloud bases will be high, and 0-6km shear is just almost to the point you could convince me a supercell is possible given the curvature in the low-levels. A robust supercell may be sneaky and pretty today — but getting a robust supercell may be the issue.