Saturday, October 13, 2012

Update on Today's Severe Weather Threat

Above is the latest severe weather outlook for today and tonight from the Storm Prediction Center, SPC, in Norman, OK.  Severe storms are forecast anywhere within the yellow (and to a lesser extend, the brown) shaded areas on the image.  A more pronounced threat of severe weather is forecast within the red shaded area on the image.

Two large complexes of thunderstorm activity continue to move slowly Eastward across central and eastern Kansas as well as central and eastern Iowa  this morning:

This activity has somewhat complicated the forecast insofar as severe weather potential is concerned across this region later today, as the atmosphere will tend to become stabilized by the activity through the morning and midday hours.  The degree to which the atmosphere is able to recover this afternoon will determine how much of a severe weather threat will exist across eastern Kansas and western Missouri, as well as much of Iowa later today.

At this time it appears that at least scattered severe storms are likely to redevelop in this region during afternoon heating and continue into this evening.  Large hail and damaging wind gusts would be the primary threats, although an isolated tornado cannot be ruled out.  

Further South, a more pronounced threat of severe storms appears likely for portions of central and eastern Oklahoma, Southward into northwestern and northcentral Texas, generally within the red shaded area on the image at the top of the post.

This also roughly corresponds to the area with the highest tornado potential later this afternoon and this evening, as indicated by the brown shaded area on the image below:

In addition to the threat of tornadoes, large hail and damaging thunderstorm winds can be expected from severe storms that form in this region today and early tonight.  

Storms are initially forecast to develop, near the Western edge of the severe weather threat area, in an isolated to scattered manner this afternoon, which will support a threat of tornadoes.  Over time, as the activity moves East, it is likely to congeal into one or more complexes of storms with the primary threat shifting to damaging winds by this evening and early tonight.

Further South in Texas, scattered to numerous thunderstorms are likely to develop along a cool front and/or dryline late this afternoon and this evening. Large hail and damaging winds are likely, and an isolated tornado or two are possible across west-central and northwest Texas this afternoon, moving into the northcentral and central portions of the state (including the DFW Metroplex) this evening.

This activity will congeal into at least one complex of thunderstorms that will move Southeast to the I-35 corridor in the Austin to San Antonio areas during the pre-dawn hours of Sunday.  Locally heavy rainfall will be the main threat by that time.

If you live in the severe weather threat areas for today, please pay particular attention to the weather, especially this afternoon into this evening and at least early tonight.  Listen to NOAA Weather Radio, local media or another trusted source for the latest information, watches and possible warnings.  

Take the time in advance to make sure your severe weather safety kit is prepared and/or re-stocked, and be sure to identify your best sheltering options so that you can move there quickly if need be.

I'll post another update on the latest trends around midday...

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