The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has issued two separate Slight Risk areas this afternoon.
Associated with the Slight Risks, there is also two 5% Tornado Threat Rings.
I am most interested in the 5% Tornado Threat Ring over the high plains.
The 12Z upper air sounding from Amarillo, TX, is unimpressive. There is a small amount of Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE), going from 288 J/kg and forecasted to rise to over 900 J/kg. This is marginal for severe storms. There is also a strong capping inversion in place, visible at the bottom of the sounding.
The surface moisture was high this morning, with a dewpoint of 54F, and there is a large dry layer above 800 mb.
In terms of shear, the deep-layer shear is marginal (38 kts), but the low-level shear is pretty good (26 kts).
The 12Z upper air sounding from Dodge City, KS, has lower CAPE, but better deep-layer shear.
Visible satellite imagery shows that there is a nice cumulus field developing on the backside of some existing clouds. This cumulus field extends from western Nebraska into the Texas Panhandle. A few storms have already fired in northeastern New Mexico and southeastern Colorado.
The SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map surface observations show a dryline setting up through the middle of the Texas Panhandle, with a 46F dewpoint in Amarillo, TX, and a 58F dewpoint in Pampa, TX.
I think everything is pretty well capped in the Slight Risk area over the Great Plains. There is better shear in the north, near Dodge City, and slightly better CAPE towards Amarillo, but the capping will be a factor in today’s storms in these areas. As it is, it is already 5:30PM local time, and there is nothing but a cumulus field. Most of the daytime heating has passed, and I am not expecting much more than the remnants from the storms that have already fired in NM and CO to pass through this region.
I guess it’s not a bad week to not have a car. It gives me time to go look at cars without feeling like I need one this instant.
Thank you for reading my prediction.
The Severe Weather Outlook is from the Storm Prediction Center website.
The satellite imagery is from the NOAA Satellite and Information Service.
The surface observation and upper level charts are from Unisys Weather.