Monday, March 19, 2012

Significant Outbreak of Severe Weather Likely Today and Tonight in the Southern Plains...

An outbreak of severe thunderstorms, including tornadoes, appears likely for portions of the southern Plains this afternoon and into tonight.  Below is the latest severe weather outlook for today and tonight from the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, OK:

Severe Weather Outlook for Today - Click to Enlarge/Clarify

Severe thunderstorms are forecast within the yellow shaded area on the above image.  An enhanced risk of severe thunderstorms is forecast within the red shaded areas on the same image.  This enhanced risk of severe weather includes the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex, Waco, the Austin-San Antonio corridor along I-35, and much of the Texas Hill Country.

A line of strong to severe thunderstorms is currently located over northwest and westcentral Texas:

A Severe Thunderstorm Watch is in effect along and ahead of that line, until 12 Noon CDT.  Large hail and damaging wind gusts are the greatest threats in association with this line this morning.

The activity in northwest Texas will likely reorganize and/or reintensify by midday as it approaches the I-35 corridor in northcentral and central Texas.  Large hail, damaging winds and a few tornadoes will become possible in this region (which roughly corresponds with the northern one-half of the enhanced (red) severe weather outlook area) this afternoon.

By mid-afternoon, additional thunderstorm development will take place southward into the southern portions of the enhanced (red) severe weather outlook area, across the Texas Hill Country to the West of I-35.  This activity will become severe with large hail, damaging winds and tornadoes possible.

This activity will spread Eastward along the I-35 corridor from southcentral and then into northeast Texas by this evening and continue East into the night.

Below is the latest tornado probability outlook for this afternoon and into tonight.  The highest threat of tornadoes is within and near the yellow shaded areas on the image:

The highest threat of damaging winds will exist within the red and lavender shaded areas on this image:

...and the highest threat of large hail will exist within the red shaded areas on the image below:

Within the black hatched area, very large hail in excess of 2 inches in diameter is possible with severe storms this afternoon into this evening.

Very heavy, possibly flooding, rainfall is also likely this afternoon and tonight in association with this activity.  The latest rainfall forecast from the HPC is shown below.  It is valid 7am CDT today through 7am CDT Tuesday:

Rainfall amounts will likely exceed 4 inches in the darker red and orange shaded areas, with some localized amounts up to 8 inches possible.

If you live across the severe weather threat areas outlined above, please remain on a high state of alert today.  Take the time now to review severe weather safety tips and make sure that you have identified and prepared your sheltering location.  Listen to local media or another trusted source for later statements, watches and warnings.

This outlook will be updated by 10am CDT.  Please also check back for other updates throughout the day...

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