3:30 PM CDT | March 17, 2019
It looked like the severe weather season was off to a fast start earlier this month. We saw one round of severe storms impact the region March 8-9th, and a few days later we saw an even more significant round during March 12-13th. Since then, things have calmed WAY down (which is good). This was not surprising as we enter a cooler period. I actually touched on this back in January. In that article, I mentioned that we would see a cooler weather pattern return in the second week of March. I stated, "Could it impact our start to the severe weather season? We will have to wait and see once we get closer." We saw a brief burst of spring storms, but this cooler period has quieted things down again. Expect things to pick back up toward the end of the month, though. More on this in just a minute.
In the wake of the last system, the deep moisture has been shunted all the way into the central Gulf of Mexico. Dew points across the state are currrently in the 20*F's and 30*F's. This is why (1) the air feels crisp and why (2) temperatures have quickly dropped during the evening and overnight hours since the last system. The temperature can never fall below the dew point. Thus, when we see higher dew points lift into the region, it acts as a floor for our nighttime lows. Ahead of the last front, Tuesday night's temperatures for many Texans were in the 50*F's and 60*F's - more like late April/May than March. Southerly flow briefly gets underway Monday night before another front pushes through the state Tuesday night-Wednesday. It then gets underway again by Thursday night ahead of more upper-level energy from the west. I have attached a dew point/wind graphic from one of this morning's models. It gives you an idea of what could transpire between now and Saturday morning. Pretty interesting to watch the moisture lift northward, get shunted back into the gulf, before lifting back into the state again.
Rain chances increase by Friday across parts of the state ahead of more upper-level energy from the west. This next system may not be particularly strong, since it will be somewhat detached from the main flow. Regardless, I will keep an eye on the strong storm potential given the time of year. I do anticipate a more significant system during the final week of March. The latter will likely prove more favorable for severe weather in the South Central US than its predecessor. I look for them to be spaced around 5-7 days apart. This will be discussed in more detail once we get closer, but I wanted to share what I will be watching over the next couple of weeks.
There are quite a few new folks following Texas Storm Watch on Facebook. I just wanted to take a minute to say welcome and thank you for following! :) For the latest local weather forecast, please visit the National Weather Service website. Check back here and on Facebook for the latest weather updates. To help make sure you do not miss any updates, LIKE the Facebook page and join the Facebook group.