The new severe weather outlook for Thursday has a few changes compared to the outlook we shared on Wednesday. Again I should emphasis that we could still see changes to the outlook areas depending on any residual outflow boundaries and cloud cover today. With that in mind here is the new outlook from the Storm Prediction Center. An enhanced threat of severe weather is expected from the mid afternoon hours (say from 3 to 4 PM) into the mid-evening hours across portions of the Hill Country, North Texas, Central Texas, Northeast Texas, and East TExas. Brownwood, Killeen, Waco, all of the D/FW Metroplex, Paris, Longview, Texarkana, Shreveport, and Lufkin are in the enhanced risk zone highlighted in red on the outlook graphic. Those locations are where confidence is currently highest in the possibility of severe weather occuring later today. Initial storm development will likely be discrete and supercellular. The strongest storms could produce destructive hail up to the size of baseballs, localized damaging wind gusts over 70 MPH, and even a few tornadoes as they move east/southeast. Not all locations in the enhanced risk zone will be impacted by severe weather today but the zone does highlight where there will likely be more high-impact severe storms today. Surrounding the enhanced risk zone is an area of possible severe weather which includes Wichita Falls, Abilene, San Angelo, Sonora, Kerrville, Austin, and College Station. The orange zone on the graphic will likely have a few strong and severe thunderstorms but confidence and the overall threat is not as high as the enhanced risk zone. The strongest storms definitely could produce large hail and damaging wind gusts. Otherwise there is a small possibility of a couple strong storms and maybe an isolated severe storm in the yellow shaded regions.
We continue to anticipate a volatile atmosphere across North Texas by the afternoon hours as rich moisture combines with surface heating and a storm system aloft to produce an extremely unstable atmosphere. While wind shear values will not be as impressive compared to April or May the extreme instability values will likely compensate for the weaker winds aloft and create the threat for significant severe weather. Luckily the weaker wind shear will help keep the tornado threat at bay (mostly) with the threat of very large, destructive hail being a big player in today’s strongest storms. Should the storms form into a cluster by the evening hours there is the potential for an enhanced damaging wind threat tonight.
The tornado threat today is secondary compared to the damaging hail and gusty wind threats but because of the extremely high instability values and residual outflow boundaries from storms on Wednesday there could definitely be a couple tornadoes with any dominant supercell that interacts with an outflow boundary today. The tornado threat will be of most concern in the enhanced risk zone highlighted on the graphic. Jenny is on vacation and camping down in Fairfield which just so happens to be in the enhanced risk zone today. While she won’t be chasing I wouldn’t be surprised if she ended up ‘driving’ around a bit and just so happen to come upon a storm. I’ll be in the weather center covering today’s threats online. I’ll also be watching for any impressive live streams from storm chasers. If some manage to pop up today I’ll be sure to share their links for your viewing pleasure.