Severe weather season in west Texas took a while to get going. But over the last few weeks, it has been making up for lost time. We're going to see more severe storms over the holiday weekend. The above photo is for Saturday. The yellow areas have the best shot at seeing severe thunderstorms on Saturday afternoon and evening. The 1:00 am update from the Storm Prediction Center had nearly all of our counties, including Lubbock, in a slight risk for severe storms. The 8:00 am update has shifted that farther to the east. The 3:00 pm update has moved the likely severe weather threat area back west to include Lubbock. The dry line will be setting up just west of Lubbock. As usual, areas ahead of the dry line will see the ingredients needed for severe storms to form. Hail to baseball size is possible with any storm and wind gusts to 70 mph, as well. There is a non-zero tornado threat, but that threat is low. Please have a plan of action to stay safe today, especially if you will be outdoors.
The photo above is the high resolution forecast radar at 6:00 pm Saturday evening. It is showing thunderstorms already forming a line just to the east of Lubbock. Just a note, this computer forecast has been very accurate as of late for depicting how and where the storms would form. That is why I am showing this forecast. When you get storms forming in lines, damaging wind is going to be the biggest threat. Hail can get to golf ball size with these storms and that will be something to look out for today. There could also be pockets of larger hail within these storms off the Caprock. It looks like the storms will exit the eastern counties by 9:00 pm.
As we move to Sunday, it will be rinse, wash and repeat. The yellow areas in the photo above are the target areas for severe storms on Sunday afternoon. The dry line is going to be setting up farther west on Sunday. That is why the yellow area (slight risk) has been pushed farther west. A slight risk is when forecasters start to be concerned about severe storms. Lubbock had a slight risk on Wednesday when hail got larger than baseball size. So anyone that lives in the yellow counties really needs to pay attention to the weather on Sunday afternoon. I know a lot of people will want to get outdoors with more things opening and with it being a holiday weekend. But you must really pay attention to the weather Sunday afternoon and evening. Have multiple ways to get warnings, because there will be many warnings with the storms that form.
The photo above is the high resolution forecast radar for Sunday evening at 7:00 pm. It is depicting a large line of thunderstorms from west Texas all the way up into Kansas. The threats for Sunday look to be more for damaging wind, but quarter, to half-dollar size hail will be possible as well. The tornado threat for west Texas is basically zero for Sunday, which is good news. Wind gusts to 70 mph will be possible with these thunderstorms. There is more uncertainty if hail will be an issue with the storms Sunday, since the mode will be more linear, instead of individual storms. Individual storms are selfish. They take all of the energy and get very strong because there are no other storms to take that away from them. That's what happened with the large hail storm that moved through Lubbock Wednesday. Storms that are in a line are driven more by wind and less by hail and even less by tornadoes. It's difficult to get very large hail and tornadoes with storms in a large line. While that is good news, wind gusts to 70 mph can still knock down trees and power lines. So please be weather aware on Sunday evening.