Updated 845am CT – Thursday / 3 April 2014
…. Widely Scattered Rain Showers and Isolated Thunderstorms Today into Tonight ….
…. Where Isolated Storms Develop, Strong Thunderstorms Possible ….
…. A Cold Front Due Late Tonight ….
On this Thursday morning…. surface high pressure /1020mb/ is situated over the southwestern North Atlantic Ocean east of the Bahamas. A low pressure area /999mb/ is over northern Texas panhandle and northwestern Oklahoma. A warm front extends eastward from another low over southeastern Kansas into the Ohio Valley region. A cold front extends from the southeastern Kansas low through the lows over Oklahoma and northwest Texas into northeast New Mexico and Colorado. As a result of this surface weather pattern, our local surface winds are southerly.
In the upper levels of the atmosphere… an eastward trough.. or “line”.. of strong upper level low pressure extends southward from eastern Montana into Arizona and western New Mexico. As a result of this upper air wind pattern, the upper level winds over south central Texas and the Austin metro area about 18,000 feet above the ground are southwesterly at 50 to 60 mph.
As low pressure continues to deepen to our north, southerly surface winds continue to bring low level moisture to our area. As our atmosphere grows a little more unstable, we’ll see slightly better rain shower and thunderstorm chances locally later today into tonight. By late tonight, a cold front will surge southeastward across the area. We could continue to see a few rain showers and thunderstorms as the front moves through the area.
According to the meteorologists at the NWS/Storm Prediction Center, there is a threat of severe weather.. mainly larger hail.. in areas east through northeast of Austin. Let’s remain “weather aware” later today into tonight, until the front passes, for the risk of severe thunderstorms in the isolated thunderstorms that do develop.
In the wake of the front, surface high pressure.. marked by drier and cooler air.. will settle southward across our area for tomorrow and into the weekend. However, a more active upper air pattern will eject several disturbances over the area back over the cooler air by the weekend which will return overrunning cloud cover and a chance of rain for Saturday into Sunday.
It looks like another cold front will move through the area by early next Monday with clearing skies and drier air once again moving into the area.
Regarding my forecast, my local forecast confidence: My forecast confidence is medium to high through tonight (the cold frontal timing late tonight and cloud/rain chances for later today into tonight being the primary issue). My forecast confidence rises back to high to very high tomorrow and tomorrow night but again falls to medium to high (reference rain chances) by Saturday into Sunday. My forecast rises back to high to very high for the early part of next week.
Have a good Thursday…
Meteorologist Troy Kimmel