Monday, June 20, 2011

Severe Weather Update - Oklahoma

The above visible satellite image shows a band of towering cumulus clouds over central and southwest Oklahoma, generally extending from the Kansas border North of Enid to just East of Bridgeport to the Texas border South of Lawton.  Thunderstorms are expected to form along this line at any time.

You can also see this line on the latest Oklahoma City radar image below:

Thunderstorms have already initiated just to the South in Texas on the line, and just to the North in Kansas on the line, but have yet to take hold in Oklahoma.  This should change over the next hour, as heating and instability combine with a strong upper-level weather disturbance to break the capping inversion that has held thunderstorms at bay for most of the day.

Once thunderstorms develop, they will rapidly become severe, with large hail and damaging winds the primary threats.  Initially, the activity is likely to be isolated to scattered in nature.  During this time, isolated tornado activity also cannot be ruled out.  Activity is expected to quickly evolve into a near solid line of storms by mid evening, with wind damage and hail being the primary threats by that time.  Winds could be particularly damaging in some areas by mid to late evening, with gusts in excess of 80 mph possible.

Below is what an experimental computer forecast model (called the HRRR) believes the radar will look like at 7pm CDT this evening:

As you can see, the computer model depicts a nearly solid line of storms from just West of Tulsa to just East of Oklahoma City to the Texas border South of Oklahoma City.  Based on current trends, I'd say this model depiction may be about 1-2 hours too fast, with the radar perhaps looking like this more toward 8-9pm, but we'll have to see how quickly things evolve over the next hour or so.  Once the solid line is formed and starts producing high winds, it should accelerate toward the East fairly quickly.

If you live anywhere in central or eastern Oklahoma along and to the East of the line described in the first paragraph, please remain alert this evening and be prepared to seek shelter if threatening weather approaches your area.


The Planet Pink said...

I just watched James Adeylott's forecast and he seemed fairly confident that the tornado risk is low for Tulsa. I'm hoping he's right!

Rob In Texas said...

I agree. Wind damage will be the thing to be concerned about by the time things get over your way, in my opinion. The main tornado threat would be earlier and further to your West.

Starting to see a solid line building South as far as I-35 to the West of Ponca City. The faster this lines out, the faster the tornado threat diminishes - but the wind threat could be nasty in some areas (i.e., winds in excess of 80 mph). Watch for "bowing" segments along the line this evening, that is where the highest winds will be.