Updated 915am CT – Thursday / 16 April 2015
.. Rain Chances on the Increase ..
.. Severe Thunderstorm Risk This Afternoon through Tonight into Friday ..
.. Several Inches of Rain Possible ..
On this Thursday…. a cold front extends southward from western Nebraska and western Kansas into a surface low over the northwestern Texas panhandle then south southwestward into far west Texas. As a result of this surface weather pattern, our local surface winds are southeasterly.
In the upper levels of the atmosphere.. an strong upper air disturbance is centered over southeastern Utah over the four corners region. As a result, our upper air winds at about 18,500 feet are west southwesterly at 30 to 40 mph.
The southeastward moving surface cold front out west, combined with passing disturbances associated with the counterclockwise rotating strong upper air disturbance over the four corners region, will result in increased/thickened cloud cover and an increase in rain chances by this afternoon and continuing through tonight and into Friday. The cold front is now forecast to move much more slowly and now not expected through the area until Saturday. As a result, forecast rainfall amounts have increased a bit.. especially tomorrow. This latest computer, manual and NWS guidance suggests anywhere from 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches of rain for the local area along with the risk for severe thunderstorms with strong thunderstorm wind gusts and larger hail being the main risk along with the always present deadly cloud-to-ground lightning risk with thunderstorms. The latest Storm Prediction Center outlook for tomorrow mentions an enhanced threat of severe weather.. including the possibility of a few tornadoes.. to our immediate south and southeast toward the Texas coast.
As mentioned above, it now appears that rain chances will linger into the weekend with this slowly passing upper level storm system and the weakening cold front overhead.
A drier and more stable weather pattern looks to develop by Sunday into Monday with temperatures near seasonal averages.
Another weak cold front looks to approach the area from the north by late Tuesday into early Wednesday with rain and thunderstorms chances returning to the forecast.
Have a good Thursday….
Meteorologist Troy Kimmel