Tropical Update: Harvey and Hurricane Safety

Hurricane Harvey, now 115 miles southeast of Corpus Christi Texas, has seen the maximum sustained winds increase to 110 this morning, just shy of major hurricane status. The minimum central pressure has dropped 947 Millibars. Harvey is expected to become a major hurricane today with winds increasing further to 120 mph. As of this 11 AM EDT, the following watches and warnings are in effect.

A Hurricane Warning is in effect from Port Mansfield to Sargent Texas. Hurricane conditions will be occurring in these areas within the next 12-24 hours.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect from south of Port Mansfield to the Mouth of the Rio Grande River and from North of Sargent to High Island Texas

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for South of the mouth of the Rio Grande to Boca de Catan Mexico

A Storm Surge Warning is in effect from Port Mansfield to High Island Texas. A Storm Surge Warning means there is a danger of life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland from the coastline in the indicated locations. This is a life-threatening situation. Persons located within these areas should take all necessary actions to protect life and property from rising water and the potential for other dangerous conditions. Promptly follow evacuation and other instructions from local officials.

A Storm Surge Watch is in effect from south of Port Mansfield to the Mouth of the Rio Grande. A Storm Surge watch means there is a possibility of life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland. Persons located within these areas should take all necessary actions to protect life and property and be on the look out for rising seas.

Forecast Information


Hurricane Harvey continues to increase in strength this morning and is now approaching major hurricane status. Harvey is expected to be a category 3 storm when he moves ashore in Texas. Sustained winds are expected to be between 120 and 130 miles per hour with higher gusts. Harvey will be bringing life-threatening storm surge, rainfall, and wind hazards to portions of the Texas coast. Preparations to protect life and property should be completed this morning, as tropical storm force winds will first arrive in the hurricane and storm surge warning areas later today.

Life-threatening storm surge flooding could reach heights of 6 to 12 feet above ground level at the coast between the north entrance of the Padre Island National Seashore and Sargent. Devastating and life-threatening flooding is expected across the middle and upper Texas coast from heavy rainfall of 15 to 25 inches, with isolated amounts as high as 35 inches, from today through next

Harvey will hug the coast after he moves inland, which could help prevent the quick weakening associated with land falling hurricanes. While Harvey will still weaken, it may be a slower process and he could maintain Tropical Storm strength longer than usual. Harvey is forecast to impact this area for several days.

Hurricane Harvey Hazards

Storm Surge and Storm Tide

Storm Surge and large waves are the greatest threats to life and property along the coast. A storm surge is an abnormal rise of water generated by a storm’s winds. Many will remember the surge from Hurrican Ike is 2008. Storm Surge with Harvey is expected to be as high as 12 feet in some locations (was 20 feet in Ike). Please check your local media sources for the exact surge totals expected for your area. Surge related flooding will be dependent on the exact timing and the tide and can vary greatly over short distances. Large waves will also be a factor at the coast. Based on the tide charts, Harvey should hit as tides are moving out and close to low tide, but onshore winds are possible during several tidal cycles.


Hurricanes frequently produce tornadoes, usually in the embedded thunderstorms in the rain bands now beginning to hit the Texas coast line. They can also be associated with the eye wall. Tornadoes produced by these systems are usually weak and short lived, but they can be a threat to where they hit. A Tornado watch is expected to be posted for coastal areas of Texas and Louisiana later today.


It goes without saying that winds are a major issue with Hurricanes. Sustained winds with Harvey are expected to reach up to 120 mph with gusts reaching as high as 150 mph with some locally higher gusts. Harvey is forecast to be a major Hurricane at landfall.


Forecasts for Harvey have indicated significant rainfall is possible, with some models showing over 30 inches of rain. This will be a very long duration event and flooding and flash flooding will bea major issue for many areas.

Hurricane Safety


Many areas in Texas have had evacuation orders given, for those who are evacuating, you will need to determine a safe evacuation route inland. While evacuating, you’ll want to monitor the latest information to ensure that you will be evacuating to a location that is not also under a risk. Public services in these areas will already be strained and adding many evacuees will only cause more strain for everyone. Learning the location of official shelters will be helpful both in the event that you evacuate as well as for those who do not evacuate. Areas that are not under evacuation orders should also have shelters for the residents who end up in trouble due to hurricane hazards. Tornadoes, lightning, power outages, and property damage due to falling trees can force residents from their homes, even if a mass evacuation isn’t needed. The good news is that a quick check of traffic in this region doesn’t show any, so many heeded these orders in advance.

When evacuating, put together a go-bag. Include a disaster supply kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, medications, and copies of your critical information if you need to evacuate. Snacks and stuff to drink will also be good for longer evacuations, especially with children. While you may stop for gas, many others are also evacuating with you so its possible that many supplies will be sold out along your route. If you haven’t already, fill up your gas tank in your local area, gas supplies may also be strained along your route. Cell phones should be charged before you leave. Have one member of your family turn their phone off while travelling together. This will ensure that if one phone does run out of battery, you will have another phone to turn on and use. All family members should have all numbers for your phones and know to call multiple numbers if they can’t get a hold of you.

You should also inform someone of your plans. If you fail to arrive at your destination due to a car accident, your contact can alert the authorities. Having them know the route you planned to take is essential in locating you.

Stay tuned to local news outlets as you travel. Conditions may change and areas you were heading to that were going to be safe may not be anymore. Harvey is brining a large area of rain to Texas and the location you were heading for may end up under a flood warning when it wasn’t before. Always ensure that the safety of your location is the top priority.

Staying at home

For those of you who are not leaving home, I would first implore you to heed local evacuations if you are under them. Evacuation orders are given for a reason. If you are under those orders it is absolutely not safe where you are. While I do realize that some properties remain even in massively damaged areas, you only put yourself and those who would need to rescue you in the event of an emergency in danger by taking that gamble. It is never just your survival on the line.

If you have not been ordered to evacuate, there are several things you should plan for. First, as I mentioned above, have a plan to be able to evacuate to a local shelter if your house if one of the unfortunate locations that falls victim to one of the more local hurricane hazards. Lighting occurs frequently within a hurricane and can strike even in areas where hurricane conditions are not occurring. You should also have a plan for any pets you may have. Not all shelters accept pets so ensure the one you may go to does.

What to bring to the shelter

You will need to make sure that you have everything you need at the shelter. While the shelter will have supplies, they don’t usually carry specific medications or your specific brand of baby food. Ensure that you have a first aid kit with all the medications taken by your family. If you are running low, see if your local pharmacy can give you more. Baby food and diapers will be needed. Your baby should be prepared for a multiple day stay at the shelter. Bring things to do as well. Books, games for children, headphones and a source of music (we all know some of you still have a Walkman) will all be desired. The shelter is not exactly a fun place to be. Bring your toiletries and blankets. The shelter will have some but we all prefer our own. Flashlights and batteries are good to have in case the power goes out at the shelter as well. Also ensure you bring identification, cash and credit cards as well as copies of your essential documentation like proof of insurance.

Protecting your home

Be aware that Hurricane winds can cause trees and branches to fall, so before a hurricane trim or remove damaged trees and limbs to keep you and your property safe.
Secure loose rain gutters and downspouts and clear any clogged areas or debris to prevent water damage to your property. When it comes to repairing your rain gutters, it’s as easy as checking out sites such as, finding the right materials and replacing your damaged/old gutters. This will help protect your property, which is what you need to consider, especially after weather conditions like thunderstorms and heavy rain. This can also help keep them lighter and not fall under the weight of all the rain. Reduce property damage by retrofitting to secure and reinforce the roof, windows and doors, including the garage doors. Plywood over windows or close storm shutters if your house has them, this can protect them from wind and debris. If you are construction inclined, hurricane clips can be installed in your attic to help secure your roof to the house. You may also want to get in touch with a home improvement service similar to Mastershield Atl that may be able to provide support for homeowners who are looking for a way to protect their roof from water damage. While it is certainly too late to hire a contractor to do this for Harvey, other storms will come along and this can be done for future storms. You can also brace your garage door and doors that lead outside with planks to keep it from blowing in. You should also close all interior doors to compartmentalize the house. This way, if a window does break in one area, the remaining areas will have protection against the elements coming in. Purchasing a portable generator or installing a generator for use during power outages is also a good idea. Remember to keep generators and other alternate power/heat sources outside, at least 20 feet away from windows and doors and protected from moisture. You should never try to power the house wiring by plugging a generator into a wall outlet. If power does go out, use a flashlight. Candles are a fire hazard.

Keeping food and water safe

The most important thing when it comes to food is to buy nonperishable goods and to store water. You do not need to buy multiple gallons of water for activities like brushing your teeth. Simply refill an old milk or water bottle with tap water and use it. You can do the same thing for bath water, pre-filling your tub is also recommended. Tap water storage can be done with any container from large pots used for cooking to old bottles and even any large plastic container. Always remember to keep using the tap water until it goes out, you don’t want to needlessly use up your supply and not be able to replenish it. For any cold food you do have, turn your refrigerator and freezer to their maximum cold settings and open them as little as possible. This will help keep things cold. Try to use up any chilled foods first so that keeping things cold becomes unnecessary and have a supply of ice on hand to keep things cold longer. While you can buy ice at the store, you can also just use ice cubes. Simply dump your tray into a plastic bag and refill the trays. Dump new ice cubes as they form and keep refilling the trays. You will be able to continue this process for as long as you have power or tap water. This also creates an emergency water supply should you run out of water. Simply melt the ice. You can also use rain water if you have a safe way to get a bucket outside to collect some. You should always try to keep a lid on your water supply. This will keep dust and bugs out of it.

After the Storm

It will be tempting to go outside after the storm has passed or during the calm period in the eye. This should be avoided. The eye is only temporary and hurricane conditions can start very quickly. After the storm, there will be a lot of damage in the region. Floods could still be occurring and the water could be contaminated. You also can’t see what’s in the water. Animals and hazards in the water could be potentially dangerous to your health. The water could even be electrically charged from downed power lines.

We here at Firsthand will do our utmost to keep you up to date with the latest information. Our thoughts go out to those in the areas affected by Harvey. Stay safe everyone.

Robert Millette

Incident Meteorologist

Braintree Emergency Management Agency

Tropics heat up as Franklin moves ashore

The tropics have been heating up as Tropical Storm Franklin has moved ashore on the Yucatan Peninsula this morning.  Franklin continues to batter the region with heavy rains and high winds.  Current sustained winds are 60 mph with rainfall expected to cause significant flooding and flash flood conditions. A storm surge of 2-4 feet was expected and major evacuations have occurred in low lying communities in Mexico.   Tropical Storm Warnings continue from Belize City to the Gulf coast of the Yucatan at Sabancuy at this time.  Franklin is expected to move into the Gulf of Mexico later on today.

Tropical Storm Watches are in effect from Sabancuy to Puerto de Veracruz along the southern portion of the Gulf of Mexico.   Once in the gulf, Franklin is expected to intensify and as we mentioned on Sunday, Franklin is going to come very close to hurricane strength before making a second landfall in Mexico.  To account for this, hurricane Watches are in effect from Puerto de Veracruz north to Rio Panuco.  Some of this area will be downgraded to a Tropical Storm Warning as Franklin approaches, as the hurricane wind field will not be that big.  The large area is simply to take into account possible changes to the track.

As we have stated before, Franklin is not a threat to make landfall in the US.

Tropical Atlantic

In other news for the tropics a tropical wave roughly 1000 miles east of the Lesser Antilles continues to be disorganized at this hour.  Environmental conditions remain poor for development over the next couple of days.  Conditions begin to improve as this system moves north of the Lesser Antilles into the region around the Bahamas.  Some models have developed this system and bring a tropical risk to the east coast of the United States so we here at Firsthand Weather will be watching this system closely.


Robert Millette

Severe weather risk continues for the next few days

After yesterday’s severe weather across parts of Oklahoma and Texas, storms have spread to the east.  Severe Thunderstorm watches are in effect across several states from now until tonight.

Severe Risk

A trough across Missouri this morning moved eastward to the middle Ohio River Valley and will arrive by late tonight. A belt of 40-50 kt west-southwesterly mid level winds will continue to overspread an increasingly moist warm sector. A cold front has moved across the Ozarks and Ark-La-Tex region and continues east through Kentucky and Tennessee down to the Gulf Coast.  Organized convection across far northeast Arkansas far southeast Missouri from late this morning has spread east-northeastward and increased in coverage and intensity into Tennessee and Kentucky. This activity will pose a damaging wind and severe hail risk, although a tornado cannot be ruled out.

Farther south, more discrete storms have developed within the warm sector this afternoon across additional portions of Tennessee, northern Mississippi and northwest Alabama.  A supercell-favorable wind profile and steep mid-level lapse rates will support large hail potential. A few tornadoes also appear possible,  particularly into early evening across middle portions of Tennessee and northern Mississippi and northwest Alabama.   In this corridor, a modest westerly component of the mid-level winds  and modestly strong low-level shear coincide.


Tornado Risk

Hail Risk

Wind Risk

Current Watches

A Convective line stretching from near Huntingburg Indiana southward across central Kentucky and middle Tennessee and into northwest Alabama is expected to continue moving eastward over the next few hours. The downstream airmass is generally cooler and has less overall instability. However, the line is well-organized and the bulk shear
is expected to remain relatively constant for the next several hours. Near-severe gusts have been measured at several sites as the line moved through. The ongoing severe threat will persist for the next few hours.  A threat is possible downstream in eastern Kentucky, Tennessee and far northwest Georgia and a watch has been issued for this region.  Additionally, the cluster of storms ahead of the line in eastern Kentucky pose an isolated hail and damaging wind threat.

Current warnings



Robert Millette


Matthew downgraded to Post Tropical Storm

Satellite and radar imagery show that Matthew has continued to degrade and is now a Post Tropical Storm.  Matthew’s center is now exposed to the wind shear that has begun affecting him with no deep convection near the center.  Despite this, strong winds continue across Eastern North Carolina this morning with winds just southwest of the center still sustained at hurricane force.

A motion toward the east-northeast or east is expected for the next couple of days. On the forecast track, the center of Matthew will move farther offshore of the coast of the North Carolina Outer Banks today and tonight.  Maximum sustained winds are near 75 mph with higher gusts. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles, mainly to the southwest of the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 240 miles. A sustained wind of 61 mph and a gust to 79 mph were recently measured by a National Ocean Service instrument at Duck, North Carolina. A wind gust to 90 mph (127 km/h) was measured at an elevated private weather station near Nags Head, North Carolina and a wind gust to 70 mph (113 km/h) has been observed at Dare County Airport near Manteo, North Carolina. . The estimated minimum central pressure is 984 mb (29.06 inches).


Hurricane Hunters

An air force reserve reconnaissance mission completed this morning continues to indicate hurricane force winds were occurring, but not over land.

Surface observations indicate that the cold front should overtake Matthew shortly and push Matthew east with no loop occurring towards Florida.  Matthew should undergo his extra tropical transition when this occurs before he dissipates.


Watches and Warnings:

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for North of Surf City to Duck North Carolina including the Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Cape Fear to Duck North Carolina including the Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds

Flood Warnings and High Wind Advisories are in effect for most of North Carolina and Southeast Virginia.


As Matthew’s structure changes, the system’s strongest winds continue to shift to the west side of the circulation. The winds are expected to increase significantly over the coastal areas of eastern North Carolina during the next several hours, and during the next 6 to 12 hours there is the possibility of near-hurricane force winds over the North Carolina Outer Banks, as well as the Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds. There is also an increased threat of storm surge in these areas.

Matthew Hazards:


WIND: Tropical storm conditions are expected to continue over the warning area through early this afternoon, and then gradually diminish by this evening. Hurricane-force wind gusts should continue through this morning over the North Carolina Outer Banks.

STORM SURGE: The combination of a dangerous storm surge, the tide, and large and destructive waves will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline. The water could reach the following heights above ground if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide Surf City to Duck, North Carolina, including portions of the Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds could see surge tides of 3 to 5 ft

The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast in areas of onshore winds. Surge-related flooding depends on the relative timing of the surge and the tidal cycle, and can vary greatly over short distances. Large waves generated by Matthew will cause water rises to occur well in advance of and well away from the track of the center. There is a danger of life-threatening inundation during the next 36 hours along the coast from Surf City to Duck, North Carolina, including portions of the Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds.

RAINFALL: Matthew is expected to produce additional rainfall accumulations of 1 to 3 inches across southeast Virginia and extreme eastern North Carolina through this morning. Storm total rainfall of 6 to 12 inches, with isolated amounts up to 20 inches, continues to result in life-threatening flooding and flash flooding across the region.

SURF: Swells generated by Matthew will continue to affect much of the southeastern and Mid-Atlantic coasts of the United States during the next couple of days. These swells will likely cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.


Robert Millette

Severe Weather 101: Floods

Flooding is the overflow of water onto land that is normally dry. Floods can happen during heavy rains, when ocean waves come on shore, when snow melts too fast, or when dams or levees break. Flooding may happen with only a few inches of water, or it may cover a house to the rooftop. They can occur quickly or over a long period and may last days, weeks, or longer. Floods are the most common and widespread of all weather-related natural disasters. Flooding occurs in every U.S. state and territory, and is a threat experienced anywhere in the world that receives rain. If your home has been affected by floods it might be a good idea to consider consulting Water Damage Austin US ( to start restoring your home.

flood 2

Flash floods are the most dangerous kind of floods, because they combine the destructive power of a flood with incredible speed and unpredictability. Flash floods occur when excessive water fills normally dry creeks or river beds along with currently flowing creeks and rivers, causing rapid rises of water in a short amount of time. They can happen with little or no warning. These flash floods can cause significant damage to houses. If your home ever experiences flash flooding, it’s important to try and find a company that can remove this water from your home before it begins to cause structural damage. By searching the internet for emergency water damage restoration near me, homeowners will be able to find a restoration company that can help them to get their house back to normal. It’s so important to keep an eye on your home throughout these flash floods, the water can cause significant damage.

In 1993, many levees failed along the Mississippi River, resulting in devastating flash floods. The city of New Orleans experienced massive devastating flooding days after Hurricane Katrina came onshore in 2005 due to the failure of levees designed to protect the city. Dam failures can send a sudden destructive wall of water downstream. In 1889 a dam break upstream from Johnstown, Pennsylvania, released a 30-40 foot wall of water that killed 2200 people within minutes.

Here in the U.S., floods kill more people each year than tornadoes, hurricanes or lightning. These tragic incidences happen too often and ironically, the people who are rescued from the vehicles reported the reason they drove into the water was to get to the safety of their home.

severe flooding

Where does the idea that a heavy vehicle will keep you safe come from? Many automobile commercials advertise the ability to drive through water. This may lead to the false sense of security at best and tragic consequences at worst.

Many believe that a 3000 lb vehicle will remain in contact with the ground and won’t float. But if you really think about that, a 97,000 ton aircraft carrier floats, why wouldn’t your car?

Vehicles can be swept away in as little as 2 feet of moving water. Trucks and SUV’s don’t fare much better with only an extra 6 to 12 inches of clearance. In moving water, all that needs to happen if for the vehicle to become buoyant enough for the force of the water to push it sideways. Once swept downstream, vehicles frequently flip over, leaving the driver only a few seconds to escape.

The solution is simple. Turn around, Don’t drown. Stay out of flooded roadways. Not only may the water be much deeper than it appears due to washed out roads, but as little as 6 inches of rapidly moving water is enough to sweep a person off their feet. You must be especially cautious at night, as flooded conditions can be hard to see.

The best thing to do is know when you’re at risk. Consider carefully when you camp or park alongside a river, especially during threatening conditions. Keep alert for the latest watches and warnings and pay attention to local weather conditions. Also plan a safe route. Find a hill near the river that you can go to should flash flood conditions occur.

Robert Millette

Southern Plains Storms

As expected this time of the year, it has been hot and oppressive across the Southern Plains this week. Luckily, changes are in store beginning tomorrow (Friday). An approaching upper-level trough will push a cool front into northern Oklahoma late tonight into Friday. This cool front will provide adequate lift to generate scattered thunderstorm activity along and north of I-40 in Oklahoma, southern Kansas, and parts of the Texas Panhandle. Any thunderstorm that develops tomorrow has the chance to become severe. The main threats are damaging winds and large hail.
SPC Thunderstorm Forecast (Friday)

Heavy rainfall is possible with the thunderstorm activity on Friday, too, and the rain chances will continue through Sunday. These rain chances will continue throughout the weekend due to a couple upper-level disturbances moving across the area. 1-2″ is possible north of I-40, and for parts of the Texas Panhandle; with isolated higher amounts.
NAM Rainfall Forecast Through The Weekend

While most of southern Oklahoma and northern Texas wont see widespread rain chances. A few thunderstorms are possible for these areas; however, the more widespread activity will remain further north. Areas that do not see rainfall/cloud-cover can expect temperatures and humidity levels to remain uncomfortably high.

Sunday Severe Storms

Showers and thunderstorms are ongoing across parts of Oklahoma and northern Texas this morning. This activity will continue to progress towards the east throughout the morning hours before new activity ignites. A cool front is slowly pushing into central Oklahoma this morning, coupled with a shortwave trough rapidly approaching the area; this will be the focus for new thunderstorm development this afternoon.
HRRR Simulated Radar For This Afternoon

Some of these storms will likely be strong to severe and the Storm Prediction Center has a slight risk for severe thunderstorms for most of eastern Oklahoma. Damaging winds, large hail, very heavy rainfall, and frequent lighting will be possible with any thunderstorm.
SPC Thunderstorm Forecast (Yellow Area: Slight Risk)

The heaviest rainfall will be along and east of I-35. These areas will see .5-1″ of rainfall with amounts as high as 2-4″ towards northeastern Oklahoma.
HRRR Rainfall Forecast

If you’re on area lakes today, please remain on high alert in case a thunderstorm approaches your area. Regardless of thunderstorm chances, temperatures will be extremely hot. Heat indices will exceed 100, so stay hydrated out there. Another chance for thunderstorms exists for you 4th of July across parts of Texas and Oklahoma. I’ll have an update on this later this evening.

Forecast and Severe Outlook: Monday, May 2nd

Severe Weather is forecast in the Piedmont of the Carolina’s to the Mid-Atlantic as the system that brought a few tornadoes to Indiana yesterday moves east.  Meanwhile in Texas, showers and thunderstorms will continue to exacerbate the flooding problems across that region.

The current Surface Analysis

Surface map us

Today’s National Forecast

Weather Forecast map

A quasi-stationary front extending from the Mid-Atlantic and Central Appalachians southwestward to the Lower Mississippi Valley will slowly sag south and eastward to the Southern Mid-Atlantic to the Southeast and parts of the Eastern Gulf Coast by Tuesday evening. Showers and thunderstorms will develop along and ahead of the boundary from the Mid-Atlantic to the Southern Plains that will extend from the Northern Mid-Atlantic Coast to the Central Gulf Coast by Tuesday.  Rain will also develop over parts of the Great Lakes to the Northeast that will slowly move into Southeastern Canada by Tuesday afternoon.

Meanwhile, upper-level energy over Southern California will move slowly eastward to the Southern Plains by Tuesday. The energy will produce rain with embedded thunderstorms that will have a diurnal component to the areal coverage over parts of Central California to the Central and Southern Rockies that will end over the Region by Tuesday morning.  Another area of upper-level energy will move southward from the Northern Plains to the Southern Plains by Tuesday evening.  The energy will trigger rain over parts of the Northern Plains on Monday morning that will move southward to the Central High Plains by Tuesday morning.

Furthermore, a front moving southward out of Central Canada on Tuesday morning will move to parts of the Upper Great Lakes and Upper Mississippi Valley and Northern Plains by Tuesday evening.

Current Model Analysis

6 hour model

On Monday, one batch of rain moves out of the Northeast as another prepares to move in. Rain should stop for a time in New York and New England as the second batch comes through the Ohio Valley.  This system did produce a couple of Tornadoes on Sunday and brought several instances of severe weather across the Ohio Valley.  This risk will continue from Virginia down through the Gulf Coast along the cold front.

Showers and storms will continue to exacerbate the flooding issues down in Texas throughout the day though conditions will begin to dry out later in the forecast period.

High pressure will dominate the western half of the country but a couple of weak disturbances will be enough to generate some rain  and snow showers from the Pacific Coast into the 4 Corners region.

18 hour model


Monday afternoon, the rain shifts east and is now impacting the East coast from Florida to Maine within this broad circulation and along the cold front.  Areas near Dallas should begin to dry out as the front pulls east toward the coastline.  Rain and thunderstorms should be expected along the entire Gulf Coast and Eastern Seaboard at some point during the day.

High pressure will completely dominate the western half of the ountry Monday afternoon with only a few spot showers and a small batch of rain showers in the Dakotas associated with a weak low in Canada.

36 hour model

By early Tuesday, High pressure dominates the West with only the remnants of a cold front draped across the Country from Massachusetts to Coastal Louisiana. Low pressure in the Mid-Atlantic will continue to bring rain to nearly the entire East Coast.

Current Severe Weather Outlook

Fire Weather Update

Fire Weather

No critical fire weather expected

Severe Weather Analysis


A few severe storms are forecast today across the Appalachian Mountains and Piedmont of the Carolinas into the Mid-Atlantic region.

Severe Outlook

Day 1 Risk Area (sq. mi.) Area Pop. Some Larger Population Centers in Risk Area
SLIGHT 70,267 19,724,039 Baltimore, MD…Charlotte, NC…Washington, DC…Greensboro, NC…Durham, NC…
MARGINAL 155,209 27,778,806 Philadelphia, PA…New Orleans, LA…Virginia Beach, VA…Atlanta, GA…Raleigh, NC…


Weak to moderate boundary layer destabilization is expected by this afternoon near and east of the lee surface trough from the Piedmont region of the Carolinas to the Mid-Atlantic. Moderate instability and strong southwesterly low and mid tropospheric winds are forecast to be sufficient for convective development.  These thunderstorms will be capable of producing damaging wind gusts and some hail.  Storm coverage east of the Appalachians is expected to become more widespread this afternoon with the approach of a upper level disturbance emerging from the west.

This Week’s Flood Risk

Flood Risk

Yesterday’s Storm Reports

storm reports 2

Robert Millette

Staff Meteorologist

Firsthand Weather

Forecast and Update for Significant Severe event

Today’s delayed and abridged forecast. We are focusing on the Severe Weather Threat for the Central and Southern Plains. Another Severe Weather update should be out this afternoon. Any preparations you have left to be made for this event should be made as quickly as possible.


Today’s National Forecast

01 National Forecast

A strong storm over the Central Plains will move slowly eastward to the Middle Mississippi Valley by Wednesday evening with a quasi-stationary front extending from the Mid-Atlantic/Southern New England to the Central Plains. Showers and thunderstorms will develop along and near the boundary from parts of the Mid-Atlantic Coast westward to the Central Plains. These could affect homes, consider talking to Hamilton Roofing they can help you figure out an action plan if your roof is severely affected. The front will sag southward to parts of the Southern Mid-Atlantic westward to the Middle Mississippi Valley by Wednesday evening.

Similarly, showers and thunderstorms will develop along and near the boundary from parts of the Mid-Atlantic roughly northwestward to parts of the Northern Plains and Upper Mississippi Valley. In addition, a cold front associated with the system will move from the Central/Southern High Plains eastward to the Middle and Lower Mississippi Valley by Wednesday.

Showers and thunderstorms will develop along and ahead of the front from parts of the Central Plains to the Southern Plains and Lower Mississippi Valley on Tuesday afternoon advancing eastward to the Middle and Lower Mississippi Valley by Wednesday evening, with showers and thunderstorms developing over parts of the Central and Eastern Gulf Coast on Wednesday afternoon into evening.

Furthermore, rain and higher elevation snow will develop over parts of the Northern Plains/High Plains to the Northern Rockies and from parts of the Great Basin to the Central High Plains from Tuesday morning into Wednesday evening.

Meanwhile, an upper-level trough over the Eastern Pacific will move to the West Coast by Wednesday evening. The system will produce rain along the Pacific Northwest and Northern California Coast by early Wednesday morning that will move inland to parts of the Northern/Central Rockies by Wednesday afternoon producing snow at the higher elevations of the Northern and Central Rockies and Great Basin. The rain and higher elevation snow will continue from parts of the Northwest to Northern and Central California eastward to the Northern/Central Rockies through Wednesday evening.


Severe Weather Update

severe outlook

Day 1 Risk Area (sq. mi.) Area Pop. Some Larger Population Centers in Risk Area
MODERATE 66,843 3,497,331 Oklahoma City, OK…Wichita, KS…Norman, OK…Lawton, OK…Edmond, OK…
ENHANCED 123,051 15,066,402 Dallas, TX…Fort Worth, TX…Kansas City, MO…Tulsa, OK…Arlington, TX…
SLIGHT 215,090 31,205,506 Philadelphia, PA…San Antonio, TX…Austin, TX…Baltimore, MD…Washington, DC…
MARGINAL 215,410 38,144,436 New York, NY…Cincinnati, OH…Newark, NJ…Lexington-Fayette, KY…Louisville, KY…


Tornado Risk

02 hail

Day 1 Tornado Risk Area (sq. mi.) Area Pop. Some Larger Population Centers in Risk Area
SIG SEVERE 83,449 9,968,722 Dallas, TX…Fort Worth, TX…Oklahoma City, OK…Arlington, TX…Wichita, KS…
10 % 83,916 10,011,584 Dallas, TX…Fort Worth, TX…Oklahoma City, OK…Arlington, TX…Wichita, KS…
5 % 107,573 6,581,830 Tulsa, OK…Lincoln, NE…Waco, TX…Olathe, KS…Killeen, TX…
2 % 149,128 9,619,753 San Antonio, TX…Austin, TX…Kansas City, MO…Omaha, NE…Shreveport, LA…

Hail Risk

03 actual hail

Day 1 Hail Risk Area (sq. mi.) Area Pop. Some Larger Population Centers in Risk Area
SIG SEVERE 176,470 17,276,064 Dallas, TX…Fort Worth, TX…Oklahoma City, OK…Kansas City, MO…Tulsa, OK…
45 % 66,946 3,549,691 Oklahoma City, OK…Wichita, KS…Norman, OK…Lawton, OK…Edmond, OK…
30 % 86,289 10,647,223 Dallas, TX…Fort Worth, TX…Tulsa, OK…Arlington, TX…Plano, TX…
15 % 199,275 30,075,387 Philadelphia, PA…San Antonio, TX…Austin, TX…Baltimore, MD…Washington, DC…
5 % 244,342 41,578,980 New York, NY…St. Louis, MO…Cincinnati, OH…Newark, NJ…Lexington-Fayette, KY…


A substantial severe weather event is forecast for today and tonight over parts of the Central and Southern Plains. Significant Tornadoes, Destructive Hail, and Strong Damaging Winds are all possible. Damaging winds are also expected in the complex of thunderstorms currently moving across the Lower Missouri Valley and Middle Mississippi Valley regions this morning. A Severe Thunderstorm Watch is in effect for that complex.

Sever Weather Analysis

Two mid and upper level features are moving across the country today and the interaction between the 2 is setting up out scenario for Severe Weather. The first shortwave, located near Southeastern Lower Michigan, is forecast to move through New York and Pennsylvania this afternoon. The second system will move from near the Texas Panhandle and become the primary 500 millibar low over Northwestern Kansas by the end of the day. This will lead to a trough extending from Western Oklahoma to the Edwards Plateau region of Texas.

A Warm front will move north across the plains and bring plenty of warm and moist air behind it. The dryline, which will initially be over Southwestern Kansas will shift eastward into Western Oklahoma and West Central Texas before being over taken by the cold front.

Two to three rounds of thunderstorms are forecast for today and tonight, initiating near the dry line and then cold front with some forming in the warm sector as well. The greatest threat will be along and south of the warm front and outflow boundary that moves into Southern Nebraska, and along the dryline and cold front from Central and Eastern Kansas, down through Central and Eastern Oklahoma into Central Texas.

South of there, while storms can still be severe, the overall number of storms should be less.

Thunderstorms will produce very large to giant hail and have very strong damaging wind gusts with tornadoes likely in the warm sector from and mature and discrete supercells.

Given the very large buoyancy expected, high surface dewpoints, and the steep mid-level lapse rates, updraft growth, and thus thunderstorm development, will be very quick. Hail, both severe and non-severe, should be expected in many places. The tornado risk will increase as the day goes on when ambient surface winds begin to strengthen.

Remember, all preparations for severe weather need to be completed as soon as possible. These thunderstorms will develop very rapidly and a storm could form and be severe in very short amounts of time. While we will be keeping you as up to date about severe weather watches as facebook allows, Firsthand Weather does not put out severe weather warnings. Facebook simply doesn’t allow us to have the capability to do so at this time, so it is important to stay in tune with your local media sources for the very latest in warnings in your area. To all our readers in this region, be safe, good luck, and god speed.

Robert Millette

Staff Meteorologist

Firsthand Weather

Forecast and Severe Outlook: Wednesday April 20th

The Forecast calls for Strong the severe thunderstorms continue across Texas though the Severe Thunderstorm watch that was in effect over night has now expired.  Another round of severe weather is expected today.

The current Surface Analysis

Surface map us

Today’s National Forecast

Weather Forecast map

The system that brought widespread heavy precipitation flooding to portions of the southern and central plains will slowly track to the east through the end of the week. Showers and thunderstorms will persist for much of the southern/central plains and portions of the western Gulf Coast today before expanding into the Midwest and Upper Midwest by tonight into the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys on Thursday. Some of the storms that develop in northern Texas could become severe. The Storm Prediction Center has issued a slight risk for portions of the Texas today. Locally heavy rain will be also possible, which may result in flash flooding for some areas. An excessive rainfall outlook have been issued for portions of the southern plains and the Lower Mississippi Valley today.

Excessive rainfall

Warm conditions will continue for most of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states. Showers and thunderstorms will begin to spread into the region by Thursday afternoon/evening ahead of the advancing system. Most of eastern third of the CONUS will have widespread precipitation by Friday morning.

A vast portion of the West will also remain relatively dry with well-above normal temperatures. High pressure at the mid and upper-levels of the atmosphere will help to keep coverage of precipitation scattered, and will also keep high temperatures 10 to 25 degrees above average today and Thursday. More widespread showers are forecast to begin spreading into the coastal Northwest by late Thursday as a Pacific frontal boundary approaches. Snow is forecast for Sierras – highest elevations could have snow accumulations near 10 inches.

Current Model Analysis

6 hour model Forecast

Rain in the Houston area will have ended for this morning but heavy rains outside the Dallas region will continue to exacerbate conditions there. Those heavy rains will extend up into Oklahoma and Kansas with some lighter rain into Missouri and Nebraska this morning.

Mountain snow will continue in the Rockies though warmer temperatures may turn some of that precipitation to rain, especially near Western Wyoming and Eastern Utah.

Some rain showers will prevail over Northern California and Southern Oregon as a weak and relatively dry low pressure system moves over the Pacific Northwest but the Southwest looks to remain dry.

In the Northeast, rain and snow showers begin the day while the rest of the East Coast looks dry.18 hour model

By Wednesday afternoon, the heaviest rain will be near the Dallas area as rain moves back into the Houston area. Rain will extend from New Orleans up along the Mississippi River toward the Iowa Minnesota border.

36 hour model

By early Thursday, the system in the Plains, wrapping up over Wisconsin, continues to bring heavy rain and severe weather to the Plains while the snow in the Rockies finally winds down as high pressure develops.  The Coastlines remain clear and dry under the influence of high pressure with only a break away batch of showers moving through the Northwest.


Current Severe Weather Outlook

Fire Weather Update

Fire Weather

Severe Outlook

Day 1 Risk Area (sq. mi.) Area Pop. Some Larger Population Centers in Risk Area
SLIGHT 31,502 643,776 Lubbock, TX…Amarillo, TX…Abilene, TX…Plainview, TX…Canyon, TX…
MARGINAL 173,869 18,399,608 Houston, TX…San Antonio, TX…Austin, TX…Portland, OR…Shreveport, LA…

Severe Weather Analysis


A threat for isolated strong to severe thunderstorms may develop across parts of Texas, the ArkLaTex region and in the Pacific Northwest during the afternoon and evening.


For Northwest Texas, meteorological conditions remain in place for another round of late day supercells forming into a mesoscale convective system(MCS) slightly further north than Tuesday’s storms. Diurnal destabilization will occur along the edge of a moisture plume over the Planes from the Panhandle to Souther Plains of West Texas.  Convergence along the Dryline should increase during the late afternoon as vorticity moves through Kansas.  Isolated convection should form over the Panhandle and head southeast as it forms the MCS with the risk for hail and severe winds lasting into the overnight hours.

The risk in Eastern Texas into Louisiana and Arkansas is due to the current MCS which is slowly beginning to decay. Current strong to severe thunderstorms will weaken as the morning progresses but scattered convection will remain through the day along the outflow boundary.  Dewpoints in the upper 60s mean we have very moist air ahead of the boundary which could aid in development but the favorable mid-level flow remains over the Ozark Plateau.  While severe storms could develop, the set up appears marginal for wind and hail.

In the Pacific Northwest, a weakening shortwave trough will have a confined belt of southerly winds that overspreads the Cascades during the hours of peak heating. Despite weak buoyancy rates, steep lapse rates should support an isolated severe hail and wind risk.

This Week’s Flood Risk

Flood Risk

Yesterday’s Storm Reports

storm reports 2

Robert Millette

Staff Meteorologist

Firsthand Weather