1:30 PM CDT | October 5, 2018
We are getting ready to transition to a much more active weather pattern. The first domino to fall will be tonight as a cold front pushes into the state from the northwest. Before the front arrives, isolated Severe Storms are expected to fire off the dryline in West Texas. The SPC has a Slight Risk for a good portion of the Texas Panhandle and parts of West Texas later today and into tonight. The main concerns will be Damaging Winds and Large Hail. The Tornado Risk will be low but non-zero. Activity will weaken by late evening with gusty winds still possible with the collapsing activity. Greatest rain chances tonight and early Saturday will be along and behind the cold front.
After sunrise, the cold front will likely be near a Ponca City to Plainview line. Given the shallow nature of the cold front, I am siding with the more aggressive model guidance at this time. This would place the front from about Wichita Falls to just northwest of Abilene by sunset. Behind the cold front, temperatures will be in the 50*F's and 60*F's. Ahead of the front, temperatures will range from the upper-70*F's to mid-80*F's. That is quite a gradient across the state!
A few stronger storms may occur near the boundary, but given the shallow nature, storms will have tendency to be undercut. This means that they will likely have trouble organizing. With that in mind, I do not see more than a low-end/marginal risk. The front will retreat back to the northwest on Sunday as another disturbance approaches from the west. The severe risk could increase on Sunday, but details have yet to be ironed out. Right now, the favored area for a few strong to severe storms would be Northwest Texas. The primary trough will push eastward early next week with a continued risk for heavy rainfall, flooding, and even some severe storms.
The last thing I want to mention is the gulf. There are signs that we could see another tropical system develop late this weekend or early next week in the Northwest Caribbean/Gulf of Mexico. This tropical disturbance is over the Western Caribbean at this time. It has a 40% chance for development over the next 48 hours and a 70% chance for development over the next 5 days.
Things are about to get BUSY! For the latest local weather information for your area, please visit the National Weather Service website. To make sure you don't miss any updates from Texas Storm Watch, check the blog daily and join the new Texas Storm Watch Group on Facebook.