BIG COUNTRY, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Over the past 24 hours, Abilene weather models have been gathering more information about a potential severe weather event later this week.

Models indicated, Tuesday, that the best timing of storm development has shifted slightly to Thursday night into early Friday morning. The setup remains similar to the models yesterday. The National Weather Service’s (NWS) Weather Prediction Center has an updated forecast that shows the timing of the system approaching the Big Country.

This is valid for around 6:00 Thursday evening. There is forecasted to be a surface low just north of the Big Country, with the cold front overtaking the dryline Thursday night. That is important because that can cause thunderstorms to rapidly develop along the cold front, forming a squall line of storms.

Along with the atmospheric setup, conditions here on the surface are also favorable for storm development. Warm to mild temperatures expected Thursday afternoon into Friday morning with high humidity values are considered fuel for storms to develop.

Below are forecasted temperatures for Thursday night into Friday morning via the NWS:

On the left is the forecasted temperature at 8:00 p.m. Thursday. Temperatures are expected to be in the 70s and 80s across the Big Country to the DFW area. By 2:00 Friday morning, temperatures only fall between the 70s and 60s, allowing storms to continue to develop throughout the night.

Combine the atmospheric setup with the forecasted conditions on the surface, that leads to a good potential for severe weather, which leads us to the chance of severe weather.

The way conditions are shaping up, we have been upgraded to a slight risk of severe weather for most of the Big Country, as according to the Day 3 Convective Outlook from the NWS. This is the highest-level risk out at this time.

The biggest threats with this system are damaging winds up to 60 miles per hour, golf ball sized hail, and frequent lightning. Tornado potential is low, but never rule out the possibility of isolated tornadoes.

As this system continues to develop and moves closer to the Big Country, we can gather more information, so stay tuned in the coming days.

Warm and windy conditions will continue as the system approaches. Elevated fire risk returns behind the front with drier and breezy conditions.