Daily Archives: December 13, 2012

Update on Severe Weather Possibilities Friday

The SPC has placed a portion of the panhandle, northwest and north central <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>Texasstrong> under a 5% risk of <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>Severe Weatherstrong> <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>tomorrowstrong>.  While this is certainly less than their standard 15% risk which we normally see, it’s indicative that there exists a chance of some isolated strong to <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>severestrong> thunderstorms to develop during the afternoon and evening hours across the panhandle and northern parts of the state.

Friday SPC Outlook

The risk of strong to <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>severestrong> <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>stormsstrong> should not be much of a problem during the early part of the day when scattered light to moderate rain showers look to be the primary mode of convection.  The risk of stronger <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>stormsstrong> increases later in the day just ahead of the Pacific front as it moves in from the west/northwest across the state.  At this time, the primary threats with the stronger <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>stormsstrong> will be wind, small hail and lightning.  The panhandle area will get to experience some extra special weather <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>tomorrowstrong> in the form of high winds.  David Drummond posted a great article about that earlier this evening.  Be sure to check it out here:  http://www.texasstormchasers.com/?p=12559

<strong>Timing for the development of a line of strong to severe storms may need to be adjusted tomorrow, but the following will serve as a good estimation at this timestrong>

<strong>Panhandle:  strong>Noon to 5pm

<strong>Northwest Texas:strong>  5pm – 9pm

<strong>North Central Texas:  strong>9 pm to midnight

Again, this is a low threat (just 5%), but we wanted to put this out there so you can be aware of the possibility.  As always, if you’re going to be out and about <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>tomorrowstrong> in these areas, keep a weather eye out and make sure you have a way to receive Warnings should any be posted for your specific area.

High Wind Event in Store for West Texas on Friday 12/14/2012




Blue areas represent where we expect the highest winds.

The next upper level storm system to affect Texas is on the way, currently located near Southern California, and will quickly move just north of our area by late Friday.

Ahead of this system, our surface winds will swing around to the south-southeast bringing moisture up from the Gulf of Mexico into Western Texas. We’ll likely see some low clouds early in the morning, perhaps even some fog. During this period, we may also see some rain showers across Northwest Texas. The above graphic depicts the areas we expect to see the highest winds Friday afternoon.

Texas Panhandle and the South Plains

As noon approaches, things will be quickly changing through the afternoon, as a fast moving Pacific cold crosses the area, showers and perhaps thunderstorms will develop along this front. Some models depict a narrow squall line even. This activity will quickly move northeast 50-60 mph, and thus any rainfall from them is likely to be light and short-lived. Given the nature of this system, any thunderstorms will be able to efficiently translate higher winds down to the surface, and we could see gusts in the 60 mph range from them. We could likely see some Thunderstorm Warnings for high winds with this activity.

In true Texas weather fashion, following on the heels of this activity, dry air and high winds will begin to develop behind this front and come around to the southwest at about 30-40 mph across the area, with gusts to 60 mph expected, as well as the usual blowing dust. Winds will drop a little by sunset, but still stay up in the 25-40 mph range overnight up on the Caprock. A High Wind Watch has been posted for the western South Plains, from I27 westward where the worst of the winds are expected, and in the eastern NM plains as well.


Expected areas of precipitation across Northwest Texas.

Permian Basin and Southwest Texas

A slightly more complicated scenario in place in southwest Texas, due to the quick changes in elevation. The aforementioned fog will also be likely across the Permian Basin Friday morning as well as some light rain chances. Most, if not all, of the thunderstorm activity should stay north of this area. The Guadalupe Mountains could see a rain/snow mix, or just snow, with little accumulation expected.

The winds in the Permian Basin and Southwest Texas will also be the big story, a strong belt of winds a few thousand feet up will affect the higher terrain of the Guadalupe Mountains and the Davis Mountains. High Wind Warnings have already been posted for these areas, where winds of 34-55 mph with damaging wind gusts near 80 mph are possible at Guadalupe Pass, and slightly less 30-50 mph gusting to 75 mph in the Davis Mountains. Some of this wind will likely make it to the plains east of the mountains and in southeast New Mexico being the most likely areas to get the brunt of it as it comes off the mountains. Wind will back down overnight, but still remain quite breezy.

Fire Weather and Cold Temps?

Fortunately, due to this being a Pacific Front, temperatures won’t be crashing this time, with highs in the low 70s and the lows around 40 Friday night in the southwest, and highs in the low to mid 60s on the South Plains and in the Panhandle, with lows Friday night in the 30s.

These high West Texas winds tend to take off with your lightweight yard items, so be sure to secure anything that might blow away, and you might want to bring in any of those delicate blow up decorations you may have out, as these winds could damage them, or take them to the next town over!

Be Careful!

High profile vehicles need to be extra cautious on north/south roads on Friday, and I expect Guadalupe Pass will be closed tomorrow afternoon, as it typically is during such high wind events.

Visibility will likely be significantly reduced, especially on the western South Plains and adjacent Eastern New Mexico plains from blowing dust.

It’s also notable that this system is only the first in a series forecast to come our way, in a very progressive weather pattern. One of which, on the longer range models, just might bring a bit of a white Christmas to some places in Texas!


Rain Chances Tomorrow and Saturday

A fast moving storm system is expected to traverse across New Mexico then northeast across the panhandle on Friday.  Widespread areas of showers and possibly a few storms are expected.  Rainfall totals will not be great, but this will provide at least a little moisture for what vegetation remains.  Hopefully this will help to snuff some of the high fire danger for a few days.

Below are some graphics from the North American  (NAM) Model to help visualize what the math thinks things will look like at the following times.   As always, keep in mind this is just a projection, so don’t get too fixated on exactly where the green spots are.

After passage of the rain, a weak Pacific cool front will move through but this will do little more than provide a wind shift and slightly cooler and drier air.

am Friday Morning 

GFS 6am rain


Noon Friday 

GFS noon rain


pm Friday 

GFS 6pm rain


Midnight Friday into Saturday Morning 

Midnight Friday

am Saturday

GFS 6am Saturday


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