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updated 4:28 p.m.
A severe thunderstorm watch has been posted for the northern South Plains and southern Panhandle. This includes Muleshoe, Littlefield, Plainview, Floydada and points north. Storms today will have the potential to produce hail to 2" in diameter and gusts to 70mph.
Live steam of radar:Stream videos at Ustream
updated 3:29 p.m.
There is some moisture in place this afternoon, mainly over the northeastern and eastern South Plains and Rolling Plains. Meanwhile, some upper-level lift is approaching from New Mexico. This has developed a few isolated storms across Northeast New Mexico and the western South Plains. The the spread between air temp and dew point of nearly 60 these storms are very high based, bringing the potential for strong wind.
Meanwhile, the Storm Prediction Center is watching areas farther north, across the Panhandle, for a possible watch in the coming hours. There is better moisture here, increasing the threat from hail and strong wind:
The afternoon severe outlook from the Storm Prediction Center has pulled the standard "slight risk" for severe storms south to Lubbock. This shows that late this afternoon into this evening we could see some storms producing large hail and damaging wind.
Late this afternoon into this evening some thunderstorms are possible in the area, some which could turn severe. There is a pretty strong cap aloft...warmer air...which is preventing widespread storm development.
posted Thursday morning
RECORD WARMTH: Wednesday goes down in the record books for the hottest day in April over about the past century. The previous April record was 100, set in 1925 and 1989; we made it up to 104 degrees. The daily record was 96.
Look at these observed high temperature readings from the Texas Tech Mesonet:
Knox City (well SE of our area) 111
Lake Alan Henry 105
White River Lake 104
Roaring Springs 104
Near TTU in Lubbock 102
Reese Center 101
TODAY: It'll be plenty hot again today, just not quite as hot as yesterday. The strong ridge of high pressure that was directly overhead yesterday is skirting east...but still influencing our weather.
We'll top out in the low to mid 90s, Lubbock's high near 96.The daily record for Lubbock is 96.
There could be some thunderstorms in the region latethis afternoon into tonight, most likely well northeast of Lubbock. The past several model runs of various models have shown the wind backing to the SE/E this afternoon across our eastern and central counties. This pumps in humid air, dew points in the 60s. With a frontal boundary in the Panhandle some storms could develop. Even though there's lots of heat and humidity at the surface, warmer air aloft may prevent storm development completely.
We will watch for isolated storm development in our northeastern counties. If they develop they could turn strong. This is the early-morning Storm Prediction Center severe weather outlook, showing the standard "slight risk" outlook in yellow:
TOMORROW: Our final hot day of this stretch, high temp in the upper 80s to lower 90s. It'll be windy, W/SW wind 16-28mph. There might be some patchy dust.
WEEKEND: We get a break from the heat, the afternoon readings will fall close to average in the upper 70s to lower 80s. The cooldown for Sunday doesn't look nearly as impressive as it did the past few days.
We'll see a mostly sunny sky Saturday, partly to mostly cloudy Sunday. There is a chance for some showers and thunderstorms Sunday. We'll maintain the chance for rain or a few thunderstorms into Monday.
NEXT WEEK: It's too far out for specifics but it appears we'll have a few days with the potential for storms. Tuesday may have a dry line develop, with strong surface instability east of it...at least according to models right now. There may again be some storms around Wednesday.
HOT CORRELATION: You may be wondering...if we hit 104 yesterday does that mean it'll be an incredibly hot summer. There isn't data to suggest that. The two other times we hit 100 in April, in 1925 and 1989, there were 12 triple-digit heat days that year...not too bad.
The soils are dry, which supports greater morning-to-afternoon temperature spreads. We saw the feedback last year where it was dry, so the afternoons got hotter. The hot afternoons further dried the soil out...and it continued through the summer. Indications are the El Nino weather pattern will develop by late this summer, which supports cooler and wetter weather here.
DROUGHT FORUM: Texas Tech and the National Weather Service are hosting a forum today reviewing the 2011 drought. Though things are getting better we still aren't completely out of the drought. The drought affected so much of our region and heavily impacted our economy. I look forward to hearing from the experts.
Make it a great day! We'll have any updates here through the day, Rudy will have the next full forecast later today here and tonight on FOX 34 News @ Nine.