An enhanced risk of severe thunderstorms is forecast for western Oklahoma, the eastern Texas Panhandle, and northwest/west-central Texas today. The primary threats include large to very large hail, severe thunderstorm gusts, and a few tornadoes.

Locations:

  • Primary Focus: Western Oklahoma, eastern Texas Panhandle, and northwest/west-central Texas.

Threats:

  • Large to Very Large Hail: Hail sizes may exceed 2 inches in diameter.
  • Severe Wind Gusts: Gusts capable of causing significant damage.
  • Tornadoes: A few tornadoes are possible, especially near the dryline and warm front intersections.

Discussion:

Weather Patterns: A mid/upper-level cyclone along the Canadian border is moving eastward slowly. A series of low-amplitude shortwaves will traverse the cyclonic flow field across the Intermountain West and Rockies. These features will enhance southwest flow aloft across the central/southern Plains.

Atmospheric Dynamics:

  • Surface Analysis: A frontal wave low near Guy, Oklahoma, with a cold front extending across the Texas Panhandle into northeastern New Mexico. A warm/stationary front stretches across southern Kansas to southern Missouri. A dryline will sharpen and become more defined from central Kansas to the Texas Permian Basin, shifting eastward throughout the day.
  • Storm Development: Thunderstorms are expected to form this afternoon near the dryline from southwestern/central Kansas to southwest Texas and move generally eastward. Supercell and multicell modes are anticipated during the early stages, with large hail and damaging winds initially.
  • Severe Potential: The environment will be conducive for supercell development, particularly in areas near the intersection of the dryline and warm front. Large to very large hail is expected, with the potential for damaging wind gusts increasing as storms congeal into clusters or complexes from the Edwards Plateau to western Oklahoma. Tornado potential will be contingent on the discrete nature and longevity of supercells, particularly in the most favorable sectors over western Oklahoma and the eastern Texas Panhandle.

Impact: The setup today poses a enhanced risk of severe weather, including hail, damaging winds, and tornadoes, particularly across western Oklahoma, the eastern Texas Panhandle, and northwest/west-central Texas. This region will be crucial for vigilant monitoring due to the potential for severe weather events that may rapidly evolve from the afternoon into the evening.

Technical Discussion

Refcmp uh001h.us c-20.

In the late afternoon, isolated storms will develop along the dryline from Kanss to Texas. These storms will have large hail, damaging winds, and tornadoes possible. The tornado threat will be maximized near boundary intersections with the dryline. One looks to be in Kansas and another in the Eastern Texas Panhandle.

Refcmp uh001h.us c-21.

Within a couple of hours of storm initiation, the mode could be come locally crowded, especially near the intersections of boundaries. While the tornado threat will persist, the combination of the SR hodographs with likely storm evolutions means most if not all tornadoes will be pretty rain-wrapped today.

Refcmp uh001h.us c-22.

With time, a few lines will develop with damaging winds becoming the primary threat into the overnight hours. The severe threat will tend to lessen with time as instability wanes.

Hrrr_2024050113_011_area_34.27 34.69. 100.18  99.75.

A breakdown of the environments shows some capping between 850/700 with an ambient warm layer left over in that region. This could limit 3CAPE and overall instability a bit. Still, the combination of effective SRH of 150 and good hodograph shape means any right turning storms will be nearly stationary and pose the threat of tornadoes across the eastern Panhandle.

Hrrr_2024050113_012_area_38.27 38.7. 98.46  97.78.

Soundings further north show stronger wind shear and slightly better 3CAPE. Effective SRH of nearly 200 with a good hodograph shape means these storms will also likely pose the threat of a tornado or two as they interact with the warm front today.