3:00 PM CST | March 8, 2019
It is a great spring day across much of the state! Temperatures range from about 80*F in San Antonio and Houston, to the mid-70*F's around Dallas and Abilene, to near 60*F in Amarillo. While 60*F is not that warm, it is a quick turnaround for the panhandle, considering they saw single digits and teens in the past week. Moisture is on the increase ahead of our system, which will arrive overnight.
Let me step through what everything is pointing toward. A lead disturbance will spark showers and a few thunderstorms after dark across Northwest/West Central Texas. This activity will lift northeastward overnight. The lift from this first piece of energy will be maximized over North Texas after midnight. The actual Pacific cold front/dryline will lag behind. Additional storms will likely fire along this boundary as it sweeps eastward through the I-35 corridor after daybreak Saturday. At the bottom of the page, I have attached loops from two of this afternoon's weather models. They are valid from 6:00 PM this evening through 9:00 AM Saturday. Please keep in mind that these are only models and not exact forecasts. The reason I am sharing them is (1) to give you an idea of what we could see unfold and (2) to illustrate some of the differences among the models.
As discussed yesterday, there is a decent chance that storms remain elevated just above the surface overnight. There will be enough wind shear and elevated instability for some quarter to half dollar-size hail and damaging winds to 60 mph with the strongest cells. A few storms may exhibit rotation due to the amount of "spin" in the atmosphere; however, the tornado risk still appears on the lower-end of the spectrum so long as they remain elevated. If a storm does happen to briefly become surface-based, then an isolated tornado will be possible. This potential will increase toward daybreak along/E of the I-35 corridor. You can see the latest outlook from the Storm Prediction Center below.
The greatest risk on Saturday will be across Northeast Texas. Large hail and damaging winds will be the primary concerns, but a couple tornadoes are possible as well. Storms should exit the state during the late afternoon hours. A more significant episode of severe weather is possible for the Middle Mississippi Valley on Saturday. This includes cities such as Jonesboro, Memphis, and Poplar Bluff. If you have friends or family in that part of the country, please make sure they are aware.
We will see a brief break from the action on Sunday before rain chances increase again on Monday. A warm front will lift northward Monday night into Tuesday ahead of a more significant system. This system is the one I have been discussing for several days now. I do expect some severe weather Tuesday into Wednesday from this system. The risk may be greater than with this system, so it bears watching. Those of you who enjoy reading about the recurring cycle theory will want to check back later this evening for another discussion.
For the latest local weather information for your area, please visit the National Weather Service website. You can also find Texas Storm Watch on Facebook. To help make sure you do not miss any updates, LIKE the Facebook page and join the Facebook group. A good resource during weather events is the National Weather Service Product Feeds page. You can see the latest watches, warnings, and storm reports from local offices across the state. Just find your county and click the associated office. Please note that the feeds are not intended to be a replacement for a weather radio - which is the best and most reliable way of receiving such information.