Friday, May 20, 2011

Early Afternoon Severe Weather Update - Southern Plains

The above severe weather watches are currently in effect via the SPC in Norman.  The blue area is a Severe Thunderstorm Watch valid until 8pm, and the red area is a Tornado Watch valid until 6pm CDT.

The Tornado Watch area covers the mass of rain and thunderstorms that traversed through much of Oklahoma overnight and early this morning.  Activity is now regenerating along and ahead of the leading edge of this activity, mainly over Arkansas.  Large hail, damaging winds and isolated tornadoes can be expected with severe storms in this region through at least early evening.

Further South in Texas, a Severe Thunderstorm Watch was just recently issued for much of the central portions of the state, including the Austin/San Antonio corridor on I-35 and the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex.

As you can see by the radar image above, thunderstorms are forming along and ahead of a surface dryline along the West-central and Northwestern edges of the watch at this time.  This activity will continue to move and develop East/Northeast throughout the afternoon, with large hail & damaging winds the primary threat.  Isolated tornadoes also cannot be ruled out.  This activity will impact the Dallas/Ft. Worth area over the next few hours.

Further Southwest, towering cumulus clouds are developing along the dryline to the West of the Austin/San Antonio areas at present (see visible satellite image below):

Additional thunderstorm development is likely along this portion of the dryline, and could eventually affect the Austin/San Antonio corridor along I-35 later this afternoon and/or evening.  Large hail, damaging winds and isolated tornadoes will  be possible with this activity.

Further North and West, isolated to scattered thunderstorms may re-develop late this afternoon or early this evening across western or central Kansas, into northwest Oklahoma.  The atmosphere is still trying to recover in this region from early morning rain & thunderstorm activity.  If the atmosphere is able to recover sufficiently this afternoon, re-development is likely along the cool front and dryline late this afternoon or early evening.  This activity would move East/Northeast into adjacent portions of Kansas & Oklahoma.  The most likely time for redevelopment would be after 4pm, and before sunset.

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