Lake Texoma May Make History…AGAIN!

Heavy rain has been falling across the area today due to Tropical Depression Bill. Many locations have picked up 3-8″ of rain, and more is on the way for parts of northern Texas and southern/eastern Oklahoma. This heavy rain could, and likely will, send Lake Texoma over its spillway, yet again, for the second time in a month; due to heavy rainfall within the Texoma watershed. If the lake goes over the spillway (at 640 feet), it would be historic because the lake has only gone over the spillway four times (1957, 1990, 2007, and 2015) since the dam was finished in 1944. The most recent flood, May 2015, set an all time record high elevation of over 645.72 feet.

Lake Texoma Exceeding Spillway:
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For those of you who aren’t familiar with Lake Texoma, let me introduce you. Lake Texoma is the 12th largest lake of the US Army Corps of Engineers, and is sprawled out across parts of northern Texas and southern Oklahoma–just an hour north of Dallas. The lake was originally established for flood mitigation; however, the lake has now become a recreational “hotspot” with more than 6,000,000 visitors per year. So to say the least, this lake is very important and popular!

Popular Summer Island On Lake Texoma:
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The level of the lake has risen from 637.69 feet this morning to a current level of 638.29 feet–and is continuing to rise. The lake goes over the spillway once the water exceeds 640 feet, so we are literally inching closer. With all of the aforementioned rainfall in the watershed of Lake Texoma, I would not be surprised to see the lake make history once again, and go over the spillway over the next couple of days.

Bill Expected To Blast Texas And Oklahoma

Tropical Storm Bill is continuing to trek northward across the state of Texas this evening. Per the latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center (NHC), Bill has maximum sustained winds of 40mph and is moving due north at close to 12mph. Bill will continue to move northward overnight, which will increase rain chances for central and southern parts of northern Texas by early tomorrow morning. Some homeowners and business property owners may find their properties and belongings such as cars become damaged, if this is the case you’ll want to get in touch with repair services such as roof repair Cedar park and other repair services to ensure you have a place to sleep at night.

Projected Path From The NHC:
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As Bill slowly transitions into a Tropical Depression tomorrow, rain will begin to impact the rest of northern Texas and southern Oklahoma. The primary threat with Bill is flooding. Flooding is already taking place across southern Texas tonight and will continue overnight. Bill is dumping copious amounts of rainfall close to the center of the storm; rainfall rates are between 2-5″ per hour. The areas that will see the heaviest rainfall overnight are locations south of I-20 and east of I-35 in Texas. This is because, at night, inland tropical cyclones tend to see a reduction in the size of their rain-shield due to cooling and other environmental processes. This does NOT mean Bill is falling apart! The rain actually tends to be heavier with inland tropical cyclones at night; however, the rain is in a more compact area (immediately around the center of the cyclone–the precip shield will expand once the sun rises and the Earth’s surface begins to warm). The aforementioned areas overnight will see 3-7″ of rainfall. By early tomorrow morning, Bill will continue its northerly trek and spread precipitation into all of northern Texas and eastern Oklahoma. Rainfall will be very heavy at times and over the next couple of days (Wednesday-Thursday), northern Texas and all of eastern Oklahoma may pick up widespread 4-7″ of rain with isolated 7-13″ amounts.

Forecast Rainfall Totals For The Next Three Days:
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I cannot leave out the tornado and wind threat. While flooding is the main concern, a few tornadoes are possible with Bill–especially tomorrow morning across northern Texas/southern Oklahoma. CAPE values should begin to increase at this point, coupled with very favorable 0-1KM helicity values, which should aid in large looping hodographs. Any tornado that develops will be weak and brief, but even an EF0-EF1 tornado can still cause damage and is very dangerous. The greatest tornado threat with inland tropical cyclones is in the front-right quadrant of the storm so locations east of I-35 have threat highest tornado threat. A few damaging wind gusts are also possible if some of the high winds associated with Bill are able to mix down to the surface.

Greatest Tornado Threat (Bill near Dallas tomorrow morning–HWRF):
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Greatest Tornado Threat (Bill south of the Red River tomorrow afternoon–HWRF):
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Bill near Oklahoma City Thursday morning–HWRF:
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Tornado Watch Through Midnight tonight (For Areas Outlined In Red):
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One last observation I would like to address is the latest guidance is trending towards a slower progression of Bill once he moves towards the Red River into Oklahoma. This trend is alarming, however premature at this point, because if Bill slows down/temporarily stalls, then copious amounts of rain could fall across eastern Oklahoma and far northern Texas. Please note, I am not saying this will happen, but the last few runs of the NAM (and the HWRF to some degree) are trying to keep Bill in Oklahoma for an extra day or two. I’ll keep an eye on this solution and have an update tomorrow.

Southeast Heat Ridge and Tropical Storm Bill

In this article, I just want to briefly touch on the highlights of this week. The majority of my long-range forecasts were put out back in May for this month, so it’s just been a matter of making some very small adjustments and getting into the nitty gritty details on Tropical Storm Bill. My next cycle of medium/long-range forecasts will be coming out in a few days.

The heat has been relentless across the Southeastern U.S. over the past few days. As I mentioned earlier, the heat has occurred as a result of a heat ridge that has been stuck over the region, and it has made the air stagnant and unfavorable for much, if any, thunderstorm development, unlike what occurred earlier this month. Isolated to scattered thunderstorm development could occur over the region as the week progresses, but the high pressure ridge is going to have to break down some with a more favorable moist flow returning. As Tropical Storm Bill makes its way northward on the outskirts of this ridge, the ridge will break down some and should flatten out, but the heat will likely stay in place. A few degrees cooler is possible, however the increase in humidity will make things seem just as hot, if not hotter!

HRRR Model Temperature Forecast For Noon Tomorrow in Southeast:
HRRR forecast

Tropical Storm Bill made landfall today, and it has already been pushing its outer bands well into Texas and Oklahoma. The mid/upper-level atmosphere is very favorable for this system to maintain it’s overall strength, and the recent floods in Texas/Oklahoma from last month could aid in keeping Bill from weakening too quickly. The outer rain bands have re-saturated the top layer of soil today over the area also.

Tropical Storm Bill is basically moving between a Southwestern U.S. ridge and the ridge over the Southeast that I discussed above. These tropical systems just follow the path where the wind flow steers them. Eventually, a northern trough is supposed to grab up Bill and pull it around the Southeast ridge, but it may actually try to stall a while over northern Texas/Oklahoma. Hopefully it gets pulled out fast, because the longer it stays around, the more rain those already saturated areas will get. Christopher Nunley (the newest meteorologist on Firsthand Weather) is going to detail all of this a bit more and will explain everything more clearly in a future article.

Latest 5-Day Rainfall Forecast By WPC (for the most part, I agree):

Rainfall Forecast

The rain will not be exclusive to Texas/Oklahoma and will continue to wrap into parts of Arkansas/Missouri and eventually into the Ohio Valley. Again, this system is going to be a slow-mover, so many of you are about to get A LOT of rain. Exact timing/track is pretty much key as to who gets what, and that’s what we’ll be covering at Firsthand Weather over the coming days.

Again, I’ll get back to putting out medium and long-range forecasts soon. Right now, the focus is on the very hot weather and Bill.

Soon-To-Be Tropical Storm Bill Expected To Bring Widespread Flooding And Tornadoes To Texas And Oklahoma

Tropical troubles are brewing for parts of the Southern Plains and South beginning late tonight for the Texas Coast (via outer-bands of soon-to-be Tropical Storm Bill) through Thursday. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is in the process of upgrading the low-pressure system over the Gulf of Mexico to a Tropical Storm with maximum sustained winds around 50mph. Right now, the system is in a relatively favorable upper-level environment to allow strengthening before the system moves into the middle-to-upper Texas Coast late tomorrow morning. Regardless of the intensity, this system will bring flooding rains and possibly weak tornadoes to parts of Texas, eastern Oklahoma, western Louisiana, and western Arkansas. Residents should be especially concerned about category 3 water damage, or “black water damage“, if sewerage pipes etc. become compromised in residential areas.

Soon-to-be Tropical Storm Bill will continue to move to the north-northwest overnight before beginning a northward trek across the state of Texas once it makes landfall. The remnants of the storm should remain intact through Texas, and into Oklahoma, spreading tropical moisture into these areas, which will exacerbate the flooding issues this region has dealt with over the past month. Flooding, of course, leads to water damage in many properties; property owners will then want to enlist the services of a company like Water Damage Restoration of Austin in order to deal with the resulting devastation. The best “guess” for the track of the center of the storm is just west of the I-35 corridor. The heaviest rain tends to fall to just to the east of the center of a cyclone, so a large area along and just east of the I-35 corridor–as well as the Texas Coast, will see several inches of rainfall through Thursday. Widespread 3-7″ rainfall accumulations look likely with some areas, especially near the Texas Coast and just east of I-35, may see isolated 7-12″+. Please note, a track difference of 50 miles to the west west or 50 miles east will have HUGE implications on this forecast.

Our Projected Rainfall Totals:

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Flooding and flash flooding are the main threats and this will be a high threat; however, a few weak tornadoes (EF0-EF1) are possible as the storm moves inland. The highest threat for tornadoes with landfalling tropical cyclones is in the right-front quadrant of the cyclone. This means, going by the latest guidance of the potential storm track, areas east of I-35 have the highest chance of seeing weak, tropical tornadoes. These tornadoes will be weak, however, an EF0 or EF1 tornado can still cause damage, so do not take this threat lightly. The greatest tornado threat will be from Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday for the area; this is when the 0-1KM helicity values are forecast to be the highest along with large looping hodographs. As I stated earlier, this is a fluid situation, so a small change in the forecast track can change the area that sees the highest tornado threat.

HWRF Model Landfall Along Texas Coast (Tuesday Morning):

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HWRF Model Moves Cyclone Near Dallas (Wednesday Morning):
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HWRF Model Moves Cyclone Near OKC (Late Wednesday Night):

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The exact timing and track of the storm are still in a gray area right now, but I will have updates as needed to fine-tune this forecast. It is also important to point out: some of the guidance is hinting at this system leaving behind some energy which could aid in more precipitation at times Thursday afternoon through Saturday. If you live 50 miles west of I-35, and all locations east of this, please prepare now for life threatening flash flooding and weak tornadoes.

Flash Flooding Threat Increasing For Parts of Texas & Oklahoma

HWRF Model Landall

Tropical troubles are brewing for parts of the Southern Plains and South this upcoming work week. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is monitoring a low-pressure system over the southern Gulf of Mexico, just north of the Yucatan Peninsula, this afternoon, and has given the system a 70% of further development into a Tropical Depression or Tropical Storm over the next day or two. Right now, the system is fighting conditions in the upper-levels that are not conducive for development, however this should change over the next 24-48 hours. With that said, regardless of development into a Tropical Depression or Tropical Storm, this system will bring flooding rains to parts of Texas, parts of Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Arkansas.

Projected Rainfall Totals from CMC Model:

CMC Rainfall Totals

The low will move towards the north-northwest—inching closer to the middle to upper Texas Coast by late Monday into Tuesday. The exact timing and track is still to be resolved over the next 12-24 hours because the models are all over the place with this system. This low, as aforementioned, should develop into a weak Tropical Storm by Monday evening, right before it begins to encounter the Texas Coast. This will spread tropical moisture into Texas only exacerbating the flooding issues the state has dealt with over the past month. As the system tracks northward into the state, it appears it will remain intact relatively well. Not only does this mean rain chances, including flash flooding, will be high, but some gusty winds and possible isolated weak tornadoes are possible on the eastern side of this low (probably east of the I-35 corridor) by Tuesday afternoon through Thursday morning. This means that homes could have substantial damage done to them by the flash floods. If this is the case then they will need to get the Action 1 Restoration services provided by them to help restore the water damage.

HWRF Model Landfall Along Texas Coast:

HWRF Model Landall

HWRF Model Brings System Farther North Towards Dallas:

HWRF Model Dallas

HWRF Model Eventually Brings System Along TX/OK Border:

HWRF Model OK/TX

Some locations may see several inches of rainfall. Right now, the best rain chance will be Tuesday through Thursday, and locations along and east of I-35 will likely see 2-6″ of rain (some areas, especially near the Texas Coast and far eastern Texas/eastern Oklahoma may see 5-10″+ of rain). Flooding and flash flooding are likely during the upcoming work week and are the main threats with this system. Again, the exact timing and track of the storm are up in the air right now, but I will have updates as needed to fine-tune this forecast. If you live along and east of I-35, please prepare now for life threatening flash flooding!

Projected Path from Various Models:

Tropical Storm Bill Track