More storms threaten the Big Country as spring begins
BIG COUNTRY, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The second week of spring in the Big Country has already brought some storms. Most notably, thunderstorms hit our southern and eastern regions on Monday. The chances of more storms hang in the balance this week.
Conditions were cooler on Tuesday as a front moved through the region earlier in the day. Temperatures are expected to return to the upper 70s and into the 80s by the weekend. Winds are also expected to increase throughout the week, with gusts of up to 40 miles per hour by Thursday.
Speaking of Thursday, there is a risk of severe storms. Going forward, the best chance of severe storms could occur Thursday evening through Friday morning.
It’s the second week in a row that the storm forecast center has a day 3 convective outlook for parts of the big country. There is a conditional risk of severe weather in the Big Country, which means extreme weather is possible if certain conditions occur. A closer look at the Big Country is in the attached video.
According to the National Weather Service’s latest area forecast discussion, there doesn’t appear to be much help available for the storms to reach severe levels. Many features limit the development of storms.
Due to the heavy cloud cover forecast for Thursday, with gusty winds and a dry line heading our way, there must be some type of force or thrust for the storms to break through. the ceiling for convection to begin.
Capping is, figuratively speaking, a level in the atmosphere that acts as a ceiling for the development of storms. If broken, these storm cells will have the ability to reach severe levels. The models indicated varying strengths of the ceiling level leaving the possibility of severe storms on the table.
A trough is expected to move behind the dry line late Thursday evening, along with a cold front that could help these storms develop to these severe limits. However, the latest models have indicated that the main trough and front are located too far west to help storms reach this severe level.
Below you can see the expected configuration from Thursday evening to Friday morning:
According to the surface forecast, pictured above, that’s for 7:00 p.m. Thursday. If this forecast holds Thursday night, the dry line will approach the Big Country from West Texas with a cold front following early Friday morning.
This is where the uncertainty begins. The configuration does not support the potential for severe storms. With the cold front and main axis of the trough so far west of New Mexico, there may not be enough forcing behind the dry line for the storm to develop. However, if the front and trough are closer to the dry line by Thursday, things could get interesting.
The question remains whether this trough will be close enough to provide enough forcing along the dry line to allow storms to break through the ceiling and develop. If that happens and these isolated storms hold, all hazard is possible with these storms near the dry line as they approach the Big Country.
It seems like a lot is at stake for all of these scenarios to come together. Between Tuesday and Thursday, things can change. Therefore why we are under a conditional threat for severe thunderstorms.
BCH meteorologists will continue to gather more information regarding the system’s track, intensity, and areas most likely to be affected as the system moves closer to the Big Country.