This is usually a busy time for west Texas, in terms of severe storms and today is no different. We've really kicked it up a notch with severe storms this week. It's as though the weather was waiting for the peak of severe weather season. Well, here we are! The severe weather update, from the Storm Prediction Center, as of 11:30 am still shows the highest risk for severe storms will be in the orange counties in the photo above, including Lubbock. The yellow counties will have a threat for severe storms this afternoon.
Thunderstorms should form by 2:00 pm, or so and spread east. They will form around Lubbock, Plainview and Tahoka. The window for storms in these areas will be 2:00-5:00 pm. As the storms spread east, they will increase in intensity. That would be off the Caprock. The window for these storms will be 4:00-9:00 pm. The storms should form a line, like Monday night, as they continue east and will begin to exit the eastern counties by 7:00 pm.
Here is the computer forecast from the model that had the line forming Monday night and was fairly accurate. It is showing the storms already merging into a line by 5:00 pm. This would mitigate the tornado threat, as tornadoes generally form in super cells that are alone and not in a line. It is less common for a tornado to form in a line of storms; although not completely a zero threat. As the line forms, very strong, damaging wind gusts, will be the highest risk, as well as very large, damaging hail. Be weather alert today, especially if you live off the Caprock. This hail has the potential to really damage homes, vehicles, property and animals.
The highest impacts today will be from large hail and very strong wind. Lubbock has the potential to see golf ball size hail and 70 mph wind gusts from these storms. Once you get off the Caprock, you're talking about seeing baseball size hail, or larger and wind gusts to 75 mph. Flooding will be another threat, since there is a ton of moisture in place. Heavy rain will cause travel issue this evening. There is a non-zero tornado threat, more likely in the eastern counties in a small window early on. As the storms form a line, the tornado threat will drop and wind/hail will take over. Please be cautious today. I will keep sending updates on social media, as well as on tv on KLBK this afternoon and evening.