BIG COUNTRY, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Week two of spring in the Big Country has already brought in some storms. Most notably were thunderstorms in our southern and eastern areas Monday. Chances of more storms hang in the balance this week.
Conditions were cooler Tuesday as a front passed through the area earlier in the day. Temperatures are expected to get back into the upper 70s and into the 80s by the weekend. Winds are also expected to increase throughout the week, gusting up to 40 miles per hour by Thursday.
Speaking of Thursday, there is a chance of severe storms. As of now, the best chance of severe storms could come Thursday night into Friday morning.
This is the second week in a row the Storm Prediction Center has a Day 3 Convective Outlook for parts of the Big Country. There is a conditional risk of severe weather across the Big Country, meaning severe weather is possible if certain conditions occur. A closer look at the Big Country is in the attached video.
According to the latest Area Forecast Discussion from the National Weather Service, there doesn’t seem to be much help available for storms to reach a severe level. There are many features limiting storm development.
Due to the abundance of cloud coverage forecasted during the day Thursday, with gusty winds plus a dry line headed our way, there needs to be some type of force or boost for storms to break the cap for convection to start.
Capping is, figuratively, a level in the atmosphere acting as a ceiling for storm development. If broken, those storm cells will have the ability to reach severe levels. Models indicated varied strengths of the cap level leaving the possibility of severe storms on the table.
There is a trough forecasted to move in behind the dry line late Thursday night, along with a cold front which could help those storms develop to those severe limits. However, the latest models indicated the main trough and front are located too far west to help the storms reach that severe level.
Below you can see the forecasted set up for Thursday night into Friday morning:
According to the surface forecast, pictured above, is for 7:00 p.m. Thursday. If this forecast holds true Thursday night, the dry line will be approaching the Big Country from West Texas with a cold front following early Friday morning.
That’s where uncertainty begins. The setup does not support the potential for severe storms. With the cold front and main trough axis so far west in New Mexico, there may not be enough forcing from behind the dry line for storm development. However, if the front and trough are closer to the dry line by Thursday, things could become interesting.
The question remains if that trough will be close enough to bring enough forcing along the dry line to allow the storms to break the cap and develop. If that happens, and those isolated storms become sustained, all hazards will be possible with those storms in the vicinity of the dryline as it approaches the Big Country.
It’s seeming like a lot hangs in the balance in order for all of those scenarios to fall into place. Between Tuesday and Thursday, things can change. Hence, why we are under a conditional threat for severe thunderstorms.
BCH meteorologists will continue to gather more information regarding the track of the system, intensity, and areas most likely impacted as the system approaches the Big Country.