Severe thunderstorms are anticipated across parts of the Southern High Plains into the Hill Country of Central Texas this afternoon and evening. The enhanced risk area, particularly over portions of West Texas and extreme southeastern New Mexico, could see very large hail and a couple of tornadoes.

Locations:

  • Primary Focus: Portions of West Texas and extreme southeastern New Mexico.
  • Surrounding Slight Risk Area: Includes broader parts of the Southern High Plains and Central Plains.

Threats:

  • Very Large Hail: Expected in areas near the dryline and outflow boundary.
  • Strong Tornadoes: A couple of strong tornadoes are possible, particularly in prefrontal supercell development.
  • Damaging Winds: As storms potentially aggregate into clusters or complexes.

Timing:

  • Thunderstorm Development: Expected to initiate this afternoon and could persist into the evening. The peak for severe weather will likely occur late afternoon through early evening.

Discussion

Weather Patterns: The region is influenced by a complex upper-level cyclone centered over the northeastern Pacific. By tomorrow morning, a trailing shortwave trough is expected to move from southern Idaho and northern Nevada to eastern South Dakota and central Nebraska.

Atmospheric Dynamics:

  • Surface Features: A low is progressing southeastward, with a cold front extending from southeastern South Dakota through western Nebraska and central Colorado. This front will interact with a developing dryline over the Central High Plains, enhancing convective potential. Further south, a convectively enhanced boundary is crashing south through West Texas this morning. It’s progress may stall later today, but that is an open question.
  • Storm Development: Widely scattered to scattered thunderstorms are forecast to form this afternoon along and behind the enhanced boundary/cold front over West Texas and southeastern New Mexico, as well as ahead of it near the dryline and in heated, higher elevations west of the Pecos Valley.
  • Severe Potential: Large hail is likely on both sides of the front, with severe wind and tornado potential more prevalent to its south. Dominant supercells may evolve and sustain threats for tornadoes and very large/destructive hail, especially in and near the “enhanced” hail area.

Impact: Today’s severe weather setup poses risks for very large hail and strong tornadoes, especially in West Texas and southeastern New Mexico. The area south of the front is expected to see the strongest storms due to favorable moisture, buoyancy, and kinematic conditions. Upscale growth of convection this evening could lead to damaging gusts as storms move eastward across the Edwards Plateau/Hill Country. Monitoring for storm initiation and development will be crucial for those in the affected regions.

Technical Discussion

Convective boundary crashing south.

Storms are continuing to develop to the north of a convectively reinforced boundary from storms last night, which will continue to shove it south through the day. Progress of this feature may slow later today, but it may stall closer to the RIO GRANDE, putting much of the enhanced risk area to the north of this boundary,. This means the tornado threat may be lower for much of the region, but any storm along and south of this boundary will certainly pose the risk of a tornado or two.

Untitled 18.

Temperatures on the cool side of the boundary are actually quite chilly, with dewpoints and temps both in the 50s. This strong push south will likely continue and stabilize the near surface region of much of the target area. Big hail with storms is likely north of the front though.

Refcmp.us_sc 3.

Most models are still pretty insistent on widespread coverage of storms, with perhaps a single supercell south of the boundary by late afternoon. This lone supercell is the one to watch for the most severe weather.