Sunday, May 1, 2011

Frontal Boundary Becoming Active in Arkansas & Texas

**Update for the Austin-San Antonio Corridor area at 3:55 PM CDT:

The above image was just taken from the New Braunfels area radar a moment ago.  You can see the thin blue line on the radar, stretching from near Fair Oaks Ranch to Buda to just East of Pflugerville.  This represents the radar seeing the cold front that continues to advance slowly southeast across the region.

Unfortunately, a strong capping inversion has thus far prevented thunderstorms from developing along the front in southcentral Texas.  We were hoping thunderstorms would develop, as rain is much needed across the area (and even if you have to take some severe weather along with it, beggars can't be choosers)...

There is still a slight chance of thunderstorm development ahead of the front for the next couple of hours, increasingly to the East of I-35 over time.  Any thunderstorm that manages to form in the heat of the day is likely to become severe, with large hail the main threat.

Also, don't fret, we are still on tap to receive fairly widespread light to moderate rain over much of the region later tonight through Monday, behind the cold front.

----------------------Original Post Below:

The above Tornado Watch was just issued by the SPC in Norman, OK.  It is valid until 9pm CDT this evening. As you can see by examining the radar image underneath the watch area, thunderstorms are developing rapidly along a cold front across central Arkansas, Southwestward into the extreme Northeast corner of Texas.  Large hail, damaging winds and isolated tornadoes will be possible with this activity, which is likely to continue developing back into Texas along the frontal boundary over the next few hours.

Further Southwest, in central Texas, we are starting to see returns along the frontal boundary on radar.  Note the thin blue line of enhanced reflectivity on the latest radar image from the Granger, TX radar below (noted by the red encircled area):

These echoes are also confirmed by the latest visible satellite image below, which shows towering cumulus clouds developing along the front back into central & southwest Texas:

As the atmosphere continues to heat and become more unstable this afternoon, additional thunderstorm development is likely along the frontal boundary back into central & perhaps even southwest Texas.  Any thunderstorm that develops and becomes severe will be capable of producing very large hail, damaging winds and perhaps an isolated tornado.

This risk of severe weather includes the Austin-San Antonio corridor along I-35.  

Additional weather watches are likely to be issued back into this part of Texas later this afternoon and into this stay alert in these areas as well!

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