Well, spring officially arrives Thursday night at 10:49 pm CT. Technically we are still in winter, but don't tell that to the weather. West Texas has its first shot at seeing severe weather Tuesday afternoon. As you can see in the photo above, the yellow areas have the best shot at seeing a few severe storms. A weak dry line is going to be setting up in the region Tuesday morning. That is going to slowly move east, as it typically does. That will be the focal point for thunderstorm development. Moisture will be prevalent starting in the morning with cloudy skies. As we move into the afternoon, the ingredients will come together for thunderstorms to form and move east. Coverage is up to 60% from 1:00 pm-8:00 pm. Large hail is going to be the biggest threat from any storms that can get organized.
Now, this forecast may change as the Storm Prediction Center gets updated information through the day today and tomorrow morning. The computer forecasts are showing that we will see instability through the afternoon and evening tomorrow, so there will be plenty of energy there to support thunderstorm growth. With highs in the mid 60s, the air a few thousand feet up will be much colder. That's why there is reason to believe hail is a real possibility with these storms. Any severe storm will be isolated, but will drop heavy rain and strong wind, along with the 1-2" diameter hail. So be weather aware tomorrow afternoon and evening.
As mentioned above, hail is going to be the biggest threat from any thunderstorm that gets itself together tomorrow. However, wind will also be a threat and will likely be the biggest threat from these storms. Any thunderstorm will see the potential to have gusts up to 70 mph at times. That will knock down tree branches, some trees and could cause damage to roof shingles and home siding. Very heavy rain will fall, thanks to the large amount of moisture that will be present. Street flooding will occur, especially since we have seen plenty of rain this month. These hazards will impact the evening rush hour, so keep that in mind as you head home from work Tuesday.
The photo above is the computer forecast for 5:00 pm Tuesday evening. It is depicting showers and a few storms for generally the central and eastern part of the area, showing an ending to thunderstorms in the western counties. We know there will be plenty of moisture in place, along with weak lift and weak instability. The weak lift and weak instability are reasons why I believe tornadoes will not be an issue. The lack of strong heating just is not there to support strong instability, which you need for tornadoes. The strong wind shear is also not there. However, with the air being on the cool side at the surface, that suggests it will be very cold in the area of clouds where hail would form. That is why I believe hail and wind will be the biggest threats tomorrow.
There is a small possibility of a few severe storms Wednesday evening, as well. Coverage is much less; only at 30%. Damaging wind will be the biggest threat, with a near zero threat for hail. The timing is later in the day; closer to 4:00 pm- 9:00 pm. These storms will also race off to the east. Some areas east of Lubbock will see near an inch of rain from any storms that get organized Wednesday night. Yes, it's that time of year where will likely see a threat for severe storms nearly each week. So be sure to stay weather aware this spring.