It seems like every day this week we’ve been talking about big time hailers in Texas and, well *points to the calendar*.

Expect storms to form sometime just after 1:30 p.m. this afternoon with a large hail threat apparent from the first sprinkles from any storm tower. There is also going to be a localized enhanced tornado threat for a very brief window.

Lots of Ingredients Are Present for Severe Weather

Today’s event features a “just-in-time” moisture fetch, which means it probably won’t be of the upmost quality but should field moderate to strong instability.

  • Aloft, winds associated with the compact system will be more than enough to organize storms into supercells.
  • There will be a surface low, practical warm front, dryline, and cold front all in play today. The spin associated with where all these surface features basically meet up will be the area I’m watching closest for tornado potential.
  • Soundings are analogous to giant to mega hail events. Today could be a day with many reports of baseball to softball size hail with an isolated grapefruit size hail report or two.
  • Storms should line out eventually as the surging cold front overtakes storms and the warm sector.
  • The main area for storms to form looks to be just on the very south side of the DFW metroplex or perhaps even a county further south, which will be fortunate to millions of people. Still, I won’t rule out left splits with giant hail screaming north into the Metroplex early on.
A rich plume of moisture will make its way back north today where it will meet a developing surface cyclone and crashing cold front. There will be a slight bit of a cap, but getting it broken will not be a huge problem.
As it stands right now, CAMs want to develop a lot of storms in short order in the 2-3 p.m timeframe. The atmosphere today is one where storms will likely form and almost immediately produce giant hail.
The initial environment just ahead of the surface low is highly supportive of giant hailstones. There is also just enough wind shear and low-level instability for a tornado or two — but storm scale interactions and quick upscale growth into a line will probably limit the tornado threat by quite a bit.
Most CAMs evolve storms rapidly into a linear complex. Given the 0-6km shear vector orientation relative to the crashing cold front and given the degree of forcing, this absolutely makes sense. The supercell window may only be for an hour or two max.
By the time storms are more linear, shear will have picked up a bit with better curvature in the hodographs. There’s always a chance for tornadoes along a well developed line as well, but I think the threat remains giant hail and damaging winds with a line more so.

The Bottom Line

This is going to be a pretty explosive day, but from a balance standpoint it will probably be a little too much so. I suspect a lot of storms are going to form in a very small area, which will mean lots of storm interactions and a quick upscale growth into a line. There will be a low tornado chance today, with possible a very localized enhanced area of tornado threat just ahead of the surface low and along a warm front if storm mode turns cooperative. This does seem less likely this morning than it has though.

I suspect storms fire along everything, everywhere, all at once. Large hail will be the main threat, with some potential for giant hail if a supercell can become dominant. Otherwise, damaging winds will be a threat with a line marching east and south.