You would be forgiven if you thought this image was from a day with no severe weather risk outlined at all, much less with a 10% tornado risk outlined in the initial outlooks this morning. I’m sure we’ll get a rogue severe weather report in by the end of the night with a line of severe/strong storms moving across southern Louisiana. 

However, the original risk area that was mostly concentrated in SE Texas was a giant bust today. What went wrong?

This morning, I wrote this:

“The caveats I’m seeing this morning are a lack of low-level instability onshore, and the possibility high-resolution models are right and we might be looking at a widespread/very crowded storm mode. In a limited instability environment, this tends to prevent any one updraft from taking over. Thus, those are the two things to watch and are the obvious ‘failure modes’ of today’s event.”

This is exactly what happened. Thick clouds kept the atmosphere from destabilizing onshore, which made getting even thunderstorms a challenge! Forecasts can change rapidly, and today’s event is proof of that. While the science of weather forecasting is better than it has ever been, there are still some days that are just going to be impossible to figure out until you are about at the time of the event — for now.

We’ll have more on that topic soon enough!