Severe Weather Potential For East, Southeast and South Texas

Storms are starting to flare up in central TX, currently.  Below, you can see a temperature gradient across north-central TX; this is where a frontal boundary is located, with thunderstorms developing along the warm side of the boundary

Figure 1. Current (6:25 CDT 3/29/11) temperatures, with surface fronts.

Next image below show current RADAR in TX.  I do expect a lot more thunderstorm to pop up along the stationary boundary tonight and along the cold front tomorrow morning.  Whether these storms have enough energy to make it down to the Valley is another thing.  IF they do end up having enough energy to push through, some storms COULD be severe, no promises.

Figure 2. Current (6:30 CDT 3/29/11) RADAR, with surface fronts. Arrows indicate storms movement

It seems like right now the bulk of lift, CAPE, and shear remains over Mexico.  However, dynamics and thermodynamics support thunderstorm formation in north-central, central, and south TX (just north of the RGV).  It can already be seen on RADAR at this time.  Again, how far south theses storms come is still in question.  I do believe the RGV will see rain and a few thunderstorms tonight and into tomorrow.

 

Figure 3. MUCAPE (Most unstable CAPE) and SBCAPE (Surface-Based CAPE) max values. CAPE is potential energy for thunderstorm development.

Figure 4. MUCAPE with Effective Bulk Shear and MUCIN.

Figure 5. 300mb Divergence, Heights, and Winds.

CONCLUSION:

Storms will start firing up along the stationary boundary in central TX throughout the evening and into the early morning hours tomorrow.  Though I don’t expect too many tornadoes in this area of TX (most tornadic activity will be in LA, MS, and AL), significant hail and winds will be the main threats tonight for much of central and south TX.  I can’t and won’t rule out a few tornadoes, especially in extreme eastern TX, tonight and into tomorrow but the chances are slim.

WHAT ABOUT THE VALLEY???

BLAH BLAH BLAH some of you can care less what happens upstate or out of state…so what about the RGV?  I’m just a forecaster, not a fortune teller, but I can say that I can’t rule out a stray thunderstorm or two to roll on into the Rio Grande Valley later tonight.  The best chance for thunderstorms will be the upper and middle Valley.  This doesn’t mean the rest of the Valley won’t see any rain.  The severe threat is at its minimum for the RGV if there are storms.  However, you should still use caution if driving around the Valley early in the morning because IF there are thunderstorms, they may produce strong, gusty winds and hail.  As far as QPF (quantitative precipitation forecast), don’t expect an inch or more of rain with this cold front (unless your area does get that stray thunderstorm or two).  I say half an inch of rain at best (and that’s being very optimistic), if it does rain at all. Certainly won’t help the drought much.

The cold front will pass through the RGV between 4 am and 7 am tomorrow, dropping tomorrow highs into the mid-70s around the Valley, a much need break from the hot temperatures this month.

About Brian

University of Oklahoma graduate with a degree in Meteorology. Follow me on Twitter: @WeatherInformer
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