Thunderstorms possible next few days

Reported by: Matt Ernst
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Updated: 3/29/2013 6:32 am
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THUNDERSTORMS POSSIBLE: It's not a great setup on any one day, but thunderstorms are possible next few days. It's a mild start, with the temperature in the 40s, 50s and low 60s across the area this morning. That's because low-level moisture has returned to the area. We want to see a dew point of at least 50 for the possibility of rain and storms later today. Here is the current map:

 
 
 


While the moisture has improved here we have to look at the source region of the moisture. The Gulf is relatively cool, so the moisture isn't that great downstate. Dew points are in the 50s down to the Gulf Coast. We'll have some moisture today...and it may be enough for storms...but it won't be terribly deep. One note...a 50-degree dew point at 5 a.m. is more humid than what models had pegged by this point.

There is a minor upper-level disturbance over AZ and NM this morning. It'll move overhead during peak heating this afternoon, which could be enough for some storms to develop. At the same time, the dry line should shape up across the Central South Plains. That's the boundary separating low dew points west, higher dew points (more moisture) to the east...and could be the focal point for storm development. There will also be a front stalled out over the Panhandle or northern South Plains, which also could be a focal point to get storms to form. There is a slight chance for storms after 4 p.m. today.

The Storm Prediction Center's morning outlook highlights areas east of Lubbock, about from Floydada to Crosbyton to Snyder and points east, with the potential for storms to produce gusts to 65mph and hail of at least 1" diamter:

 
 
 


It'll be mild tonight, then it'll warm to the low 80s again tomorrow. It looks like the dry line will set up farther east, taking the moisture farther east. So the potential for storms tomorrow evening is across the Rolling Plains. A few storms again could be strong.

EASTER: Sunrise 7:36 a.m. It'll be slightly cooler, in the low to mid 70s by afternoon. Guidance now shows the potential for a few isolated shower or weak thunderstorms Sunday.

NEXT WEEK: A strong cold front will move through Monday. We'll likely have a large temperature range during the afternoon from north to south, with the temperature falling quickly late in the day. This will set up a freeze for most or all of the area Tuesday morning. It'll warm up by later in the week.

Earlier this week models were showing the setup for rain by next Tuesday. The past few days models showed the moisture being pushed out of the area, no rain. Now the past few model runs have re-introduced rain Tuesday into Wednesday. We'll keep the forecast dry for now, to avoid flip flopping too drastically. But if these trends continue we may add the rain chance in the coming days.

 
 
 


Check back here for updates through the day. Rudy will have a full update to the forecast later today.
-Matt
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