Severe weather threat through holiday weekend

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Updated: 5/24/2014 11:19 pm
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The Western half of the South Plains is under a Severe Thunderstorm Watch until 4:00 a.m. Sunday morning. This includes, Parmer, Castro, Swisher, Bailey, Lamb, Hale, Cochran, Hockley, Lubbock, Yoakum, Terry, Lynn, Gaines and Dawson counties.

Main threats include isolated events of large hail up to two inches in diameter and damaging wind gusts up to 70 mph with any storms that do develop.

Most of the South Plains is under a slight risk for severe weather tonight. Main threats are large hail, up to golf ball size hail and damaging wind gusts up to 70 mph. There is also a small possibility of isolated tornadoes developing. In fact, Lea county New Mexico is under a Tornado Watch until 9:00 p.m. mountain time and Gaines, Dawson and Borden counties are under a Tornado Watch until 10:00 p.m. central time. They will have the best chance to see tornadoes form.

We have attached the live stream of our radar below, so you can keep updated.

Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

The slight risk for the rest of tonight is shown below.


That is not the end of our severe weather threat. The South Plains will have the potential to see severe storms tomorrow as well. That risk polygon is shown below.

And our south eastern areas for Memorial Day are also plotted under a slight risk for severe weather. When you are making plans for the holiday, take that risk into account.


Timing is a little difficult at this point, models are going back and forth slightly in latest runs. Tonight we will have a chance for isolated to scattered storms to develop, mostly for our far southern counties. This does not mean the rest of the south Plains won't get any storms. By morning, our chances become more widespread.

Models are showing a swath developing in the southern and central portions of the South Plains early morning, and spreading northeast by mid morning. This is also when models are indicating the most energy, which gives us the best chance for these storms to become strong, mid-day. By evening our eastern counties will have the best chance for the highest rain totals, but we could also see showers and storms across the rest of the area by then, too.

Because this system is rotating, it is creating bands, so we are likely to get breaks like we did this afternoon. That would mean sunshine. Any day-time heating could also fuel storms in the afternoon tomorrow. But if we get enough storms tonight, a lot of our energy will be used up, therefor limiting storm chances tomorrow.

As you see, there are a lot of variable that go into knowing if and when these storms will develop. But as the system that is providing these storms slowly tracks across the Texas Panhandle, it will continue our storm and rain chances through Memorial day. That is when models are indicating scattered showers could become more widespread again, especially in the afternoon.

By Tuesday, that system will be to the east of us, we could have some lingering wraparound precipitation Tuesday morning and afternoon, but we should see more of a drying trend by Wednesday and we will also warm back to the mid 80s.


There are small hints of more rain by the end of the week, but it is too far out at this point to be confident. We will watch this potential, but also continue to monitor this holiday weekend's storms and their potential to become severe.

Rainfall totals from the last 72 hours as of 11:00 p.m. Saturday can be found below. For more locations, visit this website.

Ralls: 5.09 in.
Roaring Springs: 3.60 in.
Floydada: 3.30 in.
Slaton: 3.02 in.
Hereford: 2.67 in.
Dimmitt: 2.58 in.
Tatum: 2.56 in.
Lubbock: 20.7 in.

Join us for FOX34 News Saturday at 5:00 p.m. today and for a late News at Nine tonight after baseball.
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