Weather Discussion for 02/28/2017

Weather Discussion for 02/28/2017

Yesterday: This time yesterday, isolated, but severe thunderstorms were already underway across parts of North Texas. By the end of the day, there were 17 hail reports across North Texas, most of which came from one supercell that tracked across Johnson, Ellis, Kaufman, and Van Zandt Counties. Another storm that developed over Collin County produced hail in Frisco.

Yesterday’s (02/27/2017) severe weather reports. Source: NWS/Storm Prediction Center.

Analysis: Surface analysis this morning shows a surface low near Lincoln, NE, with an associated cold front extending to the southwest across the high plains of Western Kansas and into southern Colorado. In the upper levels, a high-amplitude trough extends inland from the West Coast. Radars across Texas are quiet this morning.

Forecast: There will be two distinct air masses in place across Texas today. The eastern two-thirds of the state will be ahead of a dryline. In this region, despite temperatures in the upper 70s and dewpoints in the mid 60s leading to CAPE in excess of 2,000 J/kg, a very strong cap and limited upper-level forcing is expected to keep rain and thunderstorm chances to a minimum. Still, given the very strong instability and steep mid-level lapse rates, should any thunderstorms develop over Northeast Texas, they would likely become severe quickly. For this reason, the Storm Prediction Center has everything northeast of a Sherman to Marshall line in a marginal risk. A much more significant severe weather event is expected across Northern Arkansas and into the Midwest where SPC has an enhanced risk.

Day 1 Convective Outlook from the Storm Prediction Center.

Not to forget about West Texas however; behind the dryline, very warm (temperatures in the upper 80s to lower 90s), dry (relative humidity below 10%), and windy (winds increasing to over 20 MPH) conditions will lead to extreme fire conditions west of a Childress to Fort Stockton line. Red Flag Warnings are in effect for most of West Texas that is expected to be west of the dryline. High winds will also likely lead to areas of blowing dust.

Day 1 Fire Weather Outlook from Storm Prediction Center.

The cold front will push across Texas beginning late tonight, and clearing coastal Texas by late Wednesday. This will bring cooler and drier conditions to the state through the remainder of the week and into the weekend. The next chance of rain looks to come early next week, but details between model runs vary considerably.

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