Monday, March 28, 2011

Much Needed Rain Still Appears Likely - Question is: How Much???

In a post late last week, I remarked that it appeared as though some much needed rain was on the way for much of Texas this week.  That still appears to be the case, as a frontal boundary combines with an upper level weather disturbance and returning low-level moisture from the Gulf late Tuesday into at least the first half of Wednesday.

Below is the latest surface weather forecast from the HPC, valid 7pm CDT on Tuesday evening:

and 7am CDT on Wednesday morning:

The HPC is forecasting fairly widespread rain event across the central and eastern two-thirds of the state, as indicated on the rainfall forecast image below:

The $64,000 question is just how quickly the low-levels of the atmosphere will dry out behind the frontal boundary - and how quickly the upper-level energy will leave the state on Wednesday.  Some computer forecast models want to retain some moisture and energy over the region into much of Wednesday (which would mean more rain), while others rapidly move the system out to the East (which would mean less rain).

The HPC rainfall forecast above tends to side more with the "rapidly moving out" scenario, which results in less overall rainfall.  I am personally hoping for the "stalling out" scenario, as much more beneficial rains would fall across the region as a result.  We'll have to see how things pan out over the next 24-36 hours.

Isolated strong to severe thunderstorms are also possible along and ahead of the front late Tuesday afternoon and evening (area outlined in green), as per the latest severe weather outlook from the SPC, below:

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