Thursday, March 16, 2023 3:21 PM

Damaging spring thunderstorms likely today and Friday, tornadoes possible


Spring thunderstorms sparking severe weather and tornadoes are possible today and Friday from the Southern Plains to the South. While thunderstorms are ongoing this morning, the main severe weather begins later today in Texas and Oklahoma as thunderstorms intensify.

Today’s severe risk

Today's thunderstorm outlook

Thunderstorms begin to really intensify early this afternoon just west of I-35 in Texas and Oklahoma. Storms in this area will intensify becoming severe producing very large hail, damaging straight line winds, tornadoes, and heavy rainfall that could lead to flash flooding from early afternoon west of I-35 to areas along and east of I-35 from mid to late afternoon and continuing into the evening hours.

Today's thunderstorm hazards

Today's thunderstorm hazards

Storms will gradually shift east and develop farther east this evening and tonight in parts of Arkansas, Louisiana, and western Mississippi.

Because of the severe risk, the Storm Prediction Center has a level 3 of 5 severe risk for the Red River Valley of northern Texas and southern Oklahoma. This does include the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex where there’s a higher chance for damaging hail and tornadoes. Storms will move into the heart of DFW during rush hour which will be a major concern due to the very large hail and potential for tornadoes.

Friday’s severe risk

Friday's thunderstorm outlook

The severe threat continues tonight and Friday for locations farther south and east. The Gulf Coast states from Louisiana to Mississippi to Alabama and the Florida Panhandle will see the potential for heavy rainfall leading to flash flooding, damaging straight line winds and isolated tornadoes throughout the day Friday beginning early Friday afternoon continuing into the late afternoon hours.

There’s a level 2 of 5 severe risk for these areas due to the severe risk extending along the I-10 corridor south to the Gulf Coast from Louisiana to Florida.