Significant severe weather is possible this afternoon from Texas northeastward into southern Illinois. The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has an enhanced risk for severe thunderstorms in this region (see Fig. 1). The greatest tornado threat appears to be from western Arkansas southwestward through Texoma down into the Dallas-Fort Worth Metro (see Fig. 2).
This afternoon into the evening is when the severe threat for northern Texas, southern Oklahoma and western Arkansas really gets going. Shear is adequate for the region and guidance indicates a few breaks in the cloud-cover after the lunch hour, which will help make the environment more unstable (any prolonged period of sunshine will help aid in more significant severe weather).
Currently (this morning), convection is ongoing across west Texas. This convection will slowly push eastward towards southern Oklahoma/northern Texas late this morning into the early afternoon hours. Through the late morning hours, the main severe threats with this area of convection are damaging winds and large hail. At noon, the area of thunderstorms will be west of I-35 (this is where the more widespread severe threat will be at that hour–see Fig. 3). The area of convection will continue to push east (towards the I-35 corridor) by the early afternoon hours (see Fig. 4). At this time, it appears an isolated tornado threat will increase within the line of storms. Also, ahead of the line of storms, guidance indicates isolated supercells will develop across northern Texas/southern Oklahoma. These storms will likely produce very large hail and tornadoes in northern Texas, southern Oklahoma and western Arkansas.
The flash-flood threat is appreciable, too. The Southern Plains have been very wet over the past few weeks so any storm this afternoon will exacerbate flooding.
Christopher Nunley is Meteorologist on Firsthand Weather, Lecturer in the Department of Geosciences at Mississippi State University (MSU), and a PhD Candidate (Earth and Atmospheric Sciences) at MSU. He earned his M.S. in Applied Meteorology at MSU, was an Assistant Cross Country Coach and taught at the University of North Texas, and was a Broadcast Meteorologist at KTEN-TV (just north of Dallas, Texas). Christopher’s main focus lies within teaching and inspiring prospective meteorology students, atmospheric research to further our understanding of atmospheric processes, and forecasting and analyzing extreme weather events to help save lives!