Plains Severe Threat
Today Thru Sunday (April 11-15, 2012)
Today: There is a Slight Risk of severe weather across the Southern High Plains late this afternoon and evening. Widespread severe weather is unlikely, but a few cells are likely to become strong to severe. Large hail is the primary threat followed by damaging winds. An isolated tornado is possible, but conditions are not forecast to be especially favorable for tornadoes. Cities such as Amarillo, Lubbock, and Midland will need to keep an eye on the weather later today. The severe threat should diminish by mid to late evening as instability decreases and the cap strength increases.
1300 SPC Day 1 Outlook
Tomorrow: The SPC has placed a standard risk of severe weather from Southwest Texas, through Northwest TX and Western Oklahoma, to the KS/NE border. Within the 15% risk area, lies a significant hail threat from Northwest TX thru Western OK and KS. Due to capping issues, coverage is forecast to be between 20 and 30% across the risk area; however, cells that do form may become quite intense, becoming capable of producing golf ball-size hail (or larger), damaging winds in excess of 65 mph, and an isolated tornado. Cities such as Abilene, Childress, Woodward, Dodge City, and Hays will need to monitor the latest forecasts.
0600 SPC Day 2 Outlook
Friday: A severe threat will persist across the Southern Plains Friday. The SPC has highlighted an area from the Red River Valley of Northwest TX through much of Oklahoma and Kansas. Storm coverage will be a little higher than Thursday with similar threats. The severe threat will include main cities such as Wichita Falls, Lawton, Woodward, Oklahoma City, Wichita, Hays, and Topeka. Storm coverage will be greater late Friday afternoon and evening than Thursday, so a more widespread threat may evolve. Coverage is forecast to be between 30 and 50%, depending on where you live. Supercells capable of very large hail, damaging winds in excess of 65 mph, and isolated tornadoes appear likely. The finer details will continue to worked out over the next 48 hours as the models continue to converge. If you live in or near the risk area, stay tuned to the latest forecasts.
SPC Day 3 Outlook
Saturday: A potentially widespread and/or significant round of severe weather could be in store for the South Central US this weekend. For Saturday, the SPC has placed a risk of severe weather from far Northwest/North Texas through most of Oklahoma and much of Kansas. While details on the evolution of the system and its impacts are still being worked out, there is a consensus for scattered storm development across the Plains come Saturday afternoon. Given the amount of shear and instability, supercells will be likely. Large hail, damaging winds, and isolated tornadoes will all be possible. I don’t wish to go into more details at this time since models begin to diverge on the handling of the upper-level energy. What I can say at the present time is that there is concern for an outbreak of severe weather late Saturday.
SPC Day 4-8 Outlook
Sunday: Models diverge on the evolution of the main system and how it will eject into the Plains. Some models suggest that the system will move eastward as an open wave, while other suggest a more organized, nearly closed low lifting NE. These differences will have an impact not only on which areas are most likely to see a threat for severe weather, but the magnitude of the threat itself. Right now, the corridor of heavy rain and severe potential appears to be from North Central Texas, through Central and Eastern OK, and into the Ozarks. The models should have a better handle on Sunday’s threat by Friday.