8:00 PM CDT | April 11, 2018
Our next weather system is beginning to move onshore the West Coast this evening. When systems are way out in the Pacific Ocean, they are outside the range of the U.S. Upper Air Network. This is the network of sites that collect upper-air data via weather balloons across the United States. This data is collected twice a day at 12z and 00z (7:00 AM & 7:00 PM CDT). This data is then sent to the National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) where it utilized by the weather models. Once a system moves into the range of this network, the model guidance has much better data available. This evening's models will have a partial sample of our weather system, but it will not be until tomorrow morning when they will have a more complete sample. As this data arrives, we will have to watch for any changes that could impact the timing and location of thunderstorms Friday afternoon and evening. In the meantime, let's take a look at what we know right now.
Our weather system will organize as it moves through the Rockies Thursday night/early Friday morning. Increasing lift ahead of the system may result in a few showers and storms Thursday night across western North Texas. Small Hail will be possible, but right now, it does not appear that this activity will pose a severe risk as it shifts east and northeast late Thursday night/early Friday morning. The dryline will sharpen and shift eastward by late Friday morning. Most of the model guidance suggests that this dryline will move into the I-35 corridor of Central Oklahoma and North Texas by early to mid-afternoon. This would place the severe risk mainly east of the I-35 corridor, as the latest outlook from the SPC shows.
I will be looking over the latest data and will be closely monitoring for any changes. It's not uncommon to see some changes with the models once they have actual upper-level data on a system. Regardless, a Severe Weather Event is certainly possible on Friday from parts of Texas into the Ozarks. Supercells capable of Very Large Hail, Damaging Winds, and a few Tornadoes are possible, especially in the Enhanced Risk. Keep an eye on your local forecast. Check back here and on the Facebook page for updates!