Warm today, chance for thunderstorms late tomorrow

Reported by: Matt Ernst
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Updated: 3/07/2013 8:40 am
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WARMER TODAY: It's still cool this morning, but not the 20s we had yesterday...generally 30s and low 40s across the area this morning. We had the persistent high clouds yesterday. Those clouds have moved east, it'll be a mostly sunny, mild and breezy day. High temp in Lubbock will be near 79, wind S/SSE about 12-25mph. Here are the projected highs, slightly cooler to the northeast:

 
 
 


TONIGHT: Low-level moisture begins to return, so it'll stay mild. This is in response to an approaching upper-level storm system that right now is over the West Coast. Dew points in the 40s, maybe as high as 50, should get into the area by tomorrow morning.

TOMORROW: Clouds will increase, with the air getting more humid. It'll still be above-average for the high, but not as warm as today...generally upper 60s to low 70s. It'll also be windy, S/SE 20-28mph. It might get warm enough in the afternoon for a few isolated showers or thunderstorms. But with limited moisture and the temp near 70 it won't be a great chance for afternoon storms.

The better lift arrives as the upper-level storm system gets closer. Right now it looks like 8 p.m. tomorrow through 4 a.m. Saturday is when we have a chance for thunderstorms. The European model is slightly drier than other models...but most of the larger-scale models as well as the higher-resolution models show some storms developing. This means confidence is pretty decent on storms developing, though the chance gets better east of our area.

SEVERE POTENTIAL: There could be a few severe thunderstorms late tomorrow, but it's not a textbook West Texas severe setup. Like the last time we had thunderstorms a few weeks back, there will be a lot of shear...or twisting of the wind with height. But there won't be much instability because of limited moisture and the temp just in the 60s and low 70s. That said, if storms form the low-instability/high-shear setup could be enough to produce some hail stones. The Storm Prediction Center notes in its morning outlook that there might be isolated tornadoes with turning of the wind at the lowest levels, but it's a limited risk. Here is that outlook area, shown in yellow.

 
 
 


WEEKEND: After the front moves east of here Saturday it'll turn drier and cooler. Sunday should drop off into the 50s before 70s return with lots of sunshine by Tuesday.

 
 
 


SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS: We've been going over severe tips and we actually planned a few weeks ago to discuss severe outlooks today. It's by chance that we have an outlook above to show. The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, OK. is the branch of the National Weather Service that issues watches and also these severe outlooks. Severe outlooks are issued a few times a day for that day's outlook, twice a day for the next day, once a day for day three.

Right now they use three categories: slight, moderate and high. Slight might be misleading, it doesn't mean the weather won't be bad. It means the chance and coverage of severe weather is lower than those higher categories. Moderate is a significant, enhanced risk. High risks are rare, it's been several years since we've had one posted here. It is when a major outbreak is forecast. If we're under any of these risks it's important to pay attention for possible severe weather.

Have a great day. Rudy will have your next forecast update here later today.
-Matt
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Lubbock Weather
38°
Partly Cloudy

Wind: SSW 8 mph
Feels Like: 32°
High: 48°
Low: 35°

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