Severe weather risks have been outlined for both Thursday and Friday on the Southern Plains, but each day has a lot of caveats to them at this range. The high-end potential for each day would be supercells with a threat of tornadoes, but there are signs that we could be heading for a washout and a quickly surging cold front instead. Let’s dive in.
As an upper-low approaches from the west, moisture will be drawn up into the Southern Plains throughout the day on Thursday. A moistening airmass from a dry airmass through the day is not an impossible situation to get storms on a dryline, but it usually requires a bit of extra upper support in the form of an upper wave to make that possible (see: Last week’s severe event).
Overall: Thursday seems like a day of transition on the Southern Plains with the environment rapidly moistening with an approaching upper low. If you do get storms, I think they will be at/after dark and probably rooted above the surface. This might mean some large hail will be possible in the region as upper forcing arrives in earnest. If storms can form before the sun sets, then an actual robust tornado threat may develop over the Panhandles into the early evening.
Friday is a day I could see getting a pretty big risk assigned to it from the Storm Prediction Center because the environment likely will have a lot of things you look for from big severe weather days. However, I think most signs are pointing to this day being an absolute mess of a day with heavy rain being the biggest story.
Friday could go either way. I think the thing to watch for on Friday will be the progress of any overnight convection on Thursday and then if you can get any sun through the morning into the afternoon on Friday. In a lot of ways, this feels like a storm event in the Southeast where you really need cloud breaks and then it would be game on even with messy storm modes. We’ll post additional updates on our latest thinking in the coming days.