Monday, November 7, 2011

Midday Severe Weather Update for Oklahoma / Texas...

The above composite radar and surface weather map was taken shortly before Noon CST. Showers and thunderstorms had become widespread along and generally North of a warm front snaking its way across northern Oklahoma into extreme southeast Kansas.  An area of low pressure was developing over the southern Texas panhandle, while a dryline was taking shape Southward from the low into West Texas.

The latest visible satellite image (below) shows that overcast conditions are thinning in parts of southwest Oklahoma and northwest Texas, and several breaks in the cloud cover are now visible:

The additional sunshine across this region during the afternoon hours will lead to an even more unstable low-level airmass, while Southerly surface winds draw moisture into the region from the Gulf of Mexico.  Meanwhile, a strong upper-level weather disturbance will approach the region from the Southwest, along with increasing jet stream winds from that direction as well.

As a result, severe thunderstorms are forecast to develop across west-central and southwest Oklahoma into northwest Texas by late afternoon, corresponding with the Western edge of the red and black hatched area on the image below:

This activity will have the potential of producing very large hail (greater than 2 inches in diameter), damaging winds and tornadoes.  A few of the tornadoes could be strong and/or long tracked.  Once formed, this activity will move and/or develop toward the East and Northeast across the remainder of the red shaded area on the above image through early evening.

By mid to late evening, this activity is likely to congeal into one or more lines of strong to severe thunderstorms which will move Northeast across much of the remainder of the region outlined in yellow and brown on the same image.  By that time, large hail and damaging winds will be the primary threats, although an isolated tornado cannot be ruled out even into the nighttime hours.

This is a potentially dangerous weather situation for the affected areas.   Please remain alert across this region this afternoon, evening and into tonight.  Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or other local sources and be prepared to seek shelter if threatening weather is observed or a warning issued.

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