9:15 AM CDT Saturday, April 14, 2012
Our potentially significant Severe Weather Outbreak is still on tap late today through tonight. There continues to be issues regarding the cap, which I will go into greater detail in just a little bit, but the overall consensus is for isolated to widely scattered storm development ahead of the dryline by mid to late afternoon. Assuming this occurs across Kansas and Oklahoma, supercells capable of very large hail, damaging winds, and tornadoes will become likely. There is a very unstable environment in place, but there is no well-defined trigger to initiate convection. Weaker disturbances rounding the base of the trough appear to be the only trigger. Based on several models, this may very well be enough to get some supercells going late today.
1300z SPC Day 1 Outlook
The models indicate the cap eroding from north to south beginning after midday. Any storm that develops this afternoon is expected to become severe quite quickly. Assuming isolated development occurs as expected, this activity will pose the “High Risk” for Tornadoes indicated by the SPC. Strong, long-track Tornadoes will be possible, in addition to very large hail and damaging winds. Areas near Wichita Falls, to Oklahoma City, to Wichita and points north could be impacted by this activity. I am also somewhat concerned with the cap weakening across North Texas during the mid to late afternoon hours. The RUC indicates that the area will see streamer-type showers on and off today, which may intensify as the cap erodes. Whether this activity could become surface-based or not remains to be seen, but it is worth mentioning. The latest (12z) RUC run does weaken the cap for isolated storm development across North Texas around 20z (3:00 PM CDT). I am not saying that the area will see storms, I am merely pointing out that it cannot be entirely ruled out. Otherwise, the cap will strengthen around/after sunset across North Texas, holding until better forcing arrives from the west Sunday morning.
Oklahoma Severe Threat – Today, April 14, 2012
Additional convection will fire from Northwest Texas, through West Central Oklahoma, and into Central Kansas by late evening. This activity will be linear, so the primary hazards will be large hail to the size of golf balls and damaging winds in excess of 70 mph. Isolated Tornadoes can be expected within the line; however, strong, long-tracked ones will be unlikely given the linear nature. Any storms that develop ahead of the main line will pose a greater Tornado threat. Storms will push eastward through Wichita, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and Wichita Falls overnight, eventually reaching Ft. Smith and Dallas-Ft. Worth Sunday morning. A few strong to severe storms will be likely Sunday morning, but significant Severe Weather is unlikely.
This is still a developing situation, so continue to monitor the latest developments. A very dangerous, potentially high impact, event could unfold across the region later today into tonight. Now is the time to have a plan ready, should a warning be issued for your area. Storms will be fast-moving which will limit the amount of time you have to take prepare and take cover. Have your weather radio activated through tonight if you live in or near the risk areas.
*During life-threatening situations, ALWAYS rely on an official source such as your local television station, the NWS website, a NOAA weather radio, etc.*