Cool afternoon, strong storms possible Thursday

Reported by: Matt Ernst
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Updated: 5/21/2013 11:44 am
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updated 11:44 a.m.

Thunderstorms this morning produced some rain in a few South Plains and southern Panhandle locations. Here are numbers from the Texas Tech Mesonet:

Friona 0.45"
Tulia 0.34"
Caprock Canyons State Park 0.24"
Hart 0.23"
Silverton 0.15"

Amherst 0.12"
Muleshoe 0.05"
Plainview 0.04"
Dimmitt 0.04"
Olton 0.03"

A few isolated showers are possible next few hours, though it'll mainly be just a clearing sky.

Meanwhile, a new severe thunderstorm watch has been posted for the southern half of Oklahoma, including OKC. A tornado watch is in effect until 7 p.m. for much of the Big Country, North Texas and Central Texas. This includes Abilene, Fort Worth, Dallas, Paris, Junction, Brownwood, Temple and Waco.

posted earlier this morning

OKLAHOMA TORNADOES: There really aren't words to describe what we've all seen coming out of Moore, Oklahoma after a most violent tornado hit yesterday afternoon. The NWS gave a preliminary rating of EF-4, which may change after damage surveys are complete. Please send your thoughts and prayers to that community, again forced to deal with a terrible storm.

This morning parts of Oklahoma along and south of I-40 are under a severe thunderstorm watch. It's not the same destructive weather as yesterday, but any rain or storms are unwelcome when you have so many people with no place to go and they're combing through the rubble.

WEST TEXAS WEATHER: It'll be noticably cooler today, behind a front that's pushing south across the state. We also have a few thunderstorms across northeast New Mexico building to the east. This will bring the chance for a few showers or weak thunderstorms across roughly the northern half of the area this morning.

Today's high in Lubbock near 82. It'll be somewhat breezy this morning, backing off to about 5-15mph wind from the north through the afternoon. An isolated shower is possible, but the chance is low.

It'll warm back into the 90s tomorrow beneath a mainly sunny sky.

THUNDERSTORM POTENTIAL: Forecast guidance continues to show a large upper-level storm system developing over the western United States late this week with a weak ridge of higher pressure over the middle of the nation. The ridge should be moving just east of our area by Thursday. The large storm system will draw Gulf and even some Pacific moisture into the region. With the ridge east storms will be possible beginning Thursday as an upper-level disturbance moves over the moisture and the dry line sharpens up a bit.

SEVERE POTENTIAL: The Storm Prediction Center has highlighted an area roughly from Lubbock to the north and east with the risk for severe storms Thursday afternoon and evening, shown in yellow below.


Right now primary mode appears to be large hail and damaging wind. The NAM model is a little more aggressive on severe parameters than the GFS. We'll be watching each new model run to get a better grasp on the setup. It's not a clear-cut severe outbreak, but definitely something to watch for a few bigger storms late this week.

LATE WEEK: More showers and thunderstorms are possible across the region, a few could be strong or severe. Like Thursday, storms will be isolated to scattered in coverage. Storm coverage may shift a little farther west into New Mexico Saturday. With moisture still in place we may see a few isolated storms through Memorial Day.

AROUND THE REGION: There is an enhanced risk for severe weather today across North, Central and East Texas. This includes Fort Worth, Dallas, Tyler, Waco and Texarkana. The standard risk for severe storms is in yellow below. The red area is where very large hail, damaging wind and tornadoes are possible, including perhaps a few strong tornadoes:


Rudy will have an updated look at the forecast later today.
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