Friday, March 16, 2012

Severe Weather on the High Plains Today thru Sunday; Shifting Eastward Monday...

As mentioned in a post yesterday, there will be a threat of severe storms forming along and ahead of a surface dryline over the western High Plains today through Sunday. The threat will shift Eastward into adjacent portions of the central and southern Plains on Monday.

Below is the latest severe weather outlook for this afternoon and evening from the SPC in Norman, OK:

Severe storms are forecast within the yellow shaded area on the above image.  This severe weather threat includes the cities of Lubbock, Lawton, Altus, Abilene, Midland/Odessa and Ft. Stockton.

Large hail, damaging wind gusts and a few tornadoes are possible with severe storms that form in this region, mainly late this afternoon and into this evening.

The SPC has not "officially" outlined a threat area for Saturday, however any severe weather threat that does develop will cover much of the same area as indicated on the above image.  (The threat appears to be lower on Saturday compared to today due to the lack of an upper-level disturbance to aid thunderstorm development.  With that said, a few isolated storms may still be able to form late Saturday afternoon in much the same area as outlined today.  Any such storm that forms would carry a similar severe weather threat).

On Sunday, a pronounced severe weather threat will again develop ahead of the dryline across the High Plains, generally within and near the area outlined in yellow on the image below:

The primary timing for severe weather on Sunday will be from mid to late afternoon into the evening.  Large hail, damaging wind gusts and tornadoes will all be possible with activity that forms within the severe weather threat area for Sunday.

As the surface cold front and dryline shift Eastward on Monday, so will the severe weather threat, encompassing the area outlined in red on the image below:

The combination of an increasingly unstable atmosphere near the surface, as well as even stronger influence from a middle and upper-level weather disturbance currently suggest that the severe weather threat could become significant and widespread on Monday afternoon and evening across the area outlined above.

Large hail, damaging winds and tornadoes will all be possible with severe storms that form in this region on Monday afternoon and evening.

Folks living in and near the severe weather threat areas outlined on the above images should remain alert on the particular days that they are threatened.  Take the time now to review severe weather preparedness tips and make sure that you have a sheltering location in mind should severe weather threaten or a warning be issued for your area.

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