Severe Weather Update for Thursday
- Published on Wednesday, 07 March 2012 06:28
- David Reimer
- 0 Comments
I said in several of my blog posts that the areas that would have a chance of severe weather on Thursday would depend on how fast or slow the cold front ended up moving. Well, model guidance has now come into agreement the cold front will be faster then first thought, thus the severe weather risks have shifted eastward from previous forecasts. This graphic shows the severe weather risk zone for Thursday, based off the morning Storm Prediction Center outlook. Locations within this green line have a standard “slight” risk of severe weather on Thursday. That means there is a 15% chance of severe weather occurring within 25 miles of any point (such as your house) on Thursday. Major cities included or very near this risk include Gainesville, Sherman, eastward to Paris into Arkansas, south through the Interstate 20 corridor to College Station, then west to around Austin and the Interstate 35 corridor. The Dallas Fort Worth Metro is also included in this risk.
I don’t want to get into the nerdy weather stuff, but I do want to show you this one model graphic. This graphic comes from the North American Model and shows winds around 5,000 feet above sea level at 6 PM on Thursday. When assessing tornado potential, I want to see southeast winds of at least 35 to 40 knots during the cool season months. Based off model data, it looks like winds will be closer to 25 knots with southeast winds. That combines with several other factors I won’t get into that make the tornado threat on Thursday seem rather low. I certainly won’t rule a brief tornado out at this point, but I don’t expect issues with tornadoes on Thursday. The primary severe weather threats will come as a squall line forms along the cold front. As the cold front and squall line move southeast, instability and mid/upper level winds will supportive organized thunderstorms. A few storms may become marginally severe with hail up to around quarter size (1 inch) and 60 MPH winds. This is not looking like a big severe weather event, more like a low-end severe weather risk day. That said, if a severe storm ends up impacting you, it’s going to seem a lot more substantial then ‘low-end’.
We’ll keep an eye on the latest data as it arrives today and provide updates as warranted. Don’t forget we’re also facing a heavy rain threat, which I do expect could become the bigger weather story as we head into the weekend.