12:00 PM CT- As expected, the Storm Prediction Center has expanded the slight risk area (yellow) from the Rio Grande all the way to areas south of Fort Worth and Dallas. This is in response to model updates regarding a line of storms expected to form this afternoon and move to the east/northeast with time. The biggest threat in the yellow areas will be large hail to tennis ball size possible. There will also be heavy rain, especially east of I-35. If anything else changes, I will post another update.
First of all, I'd like to start by saying that today is the 51st anniversary of the devastating F5 tornado that destroyed downtown Lubbock and killed 26 people on May 11, 1970. You can still see some of the damage/repairs today. Most notably, the different color brick on the NTS tower. The darker colored brick is the replacement from where the tornado ripped the previous brick from the concrete and threw it across town. It is wild to think that a tornado actually went to a downtown area and caused that much destruction. The damage estimate is $200 million in 1970 dollars, which is equivalent to $1,365,345,360.82 in 2021 dollars. Let that sink in!
The memorial is being dedicated today in Lubbock. It's a shame COVID ruined the 50th anniversary dedication that was originally planned last year. But I am glad the memorial has moved forward and the city is able to dedicate it today.
On to today's weather. The Storm Prediction Center is focusing the severe weather threat along the Rio Grande, to just south of San Antonio; the areas in yellow. I am keeping an eye on the darker green region, specifically from Travis and Williamson Counties north and northeast. There may be an upgrade to a slight risk for severe weather at the next update just after 11:30 am today. I will post an update if that is the case. The overall tornado threat is low today, with the main problems looking like 1-2" diameter hail and 60-70 mph wind gusts. Be prepared for severe storms along the Rio Grande and portions of central/north Texas this afternoon and evening.
The computer forecasts for today, shown above, all have a line of storms forming this afternoon, but there are some differences between the models. The best window for storms to develop is now, through 2:00 pm. The storms will push east through the evening hours, including the evening rush. Roads in Austin, Waco, Fort Worth, Dallas, Denton and Tyler could be wet during the drive home today. Keep that in mind and be sure to drive safe and watch for others.
A line of storms typically has more of a wind and heavy rain threat rather than hail and tornadoes. However, the hail threat is going to be an issue today. I am not ruling out a tornado, or two, but that is highly unlikely. Make sure your cars and homes are prepared for the potential for large hail in central and north Texas, as well as part of the Hill Country and Rio Grande.
The rest of the week shows scattered showers and thunderstorms generally across central, north and east Texas. Showers will end across west Texas tonight, with another round of some rain Saturday-Monday. Those showers/storms in west Texas will be more scattered. Steady, more heavy rain is possible for central, north and east Texas today, through Friday with more showers possible by Saturday night and Sunday.
As always, you can get updated severe weather outlooks on my Twitter account, @Nick_Weather, as soon as they are issued by the Storm Prediction Center. Both my Facebook and Twitter pages will post watches/warnings across the state as soon as they are issued, as well. Thanks for reading and be sure to share this post!