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Monday, March 19, 2012

Rough Night Ahead for Texas, Oklahoma

Here's the latest forecast off Norman, Oklahoma's National Weather Service Office WRF Model. It is showing something I certainly would not want to be in, with rampant bowing segments and intense storm cells. Judging by this image (which is valid at 5:15 PM CDT), this is probably a bit overdone, but nonetheless sending a warning message which should validate, even if the image should not.
The storms currently in progress have a good 1000-2000 j/kg of instability to work with, which should sustain any storms that do develop. But then here's the thing that could push the storms to the next level- frontogenesis.

Current Surface Frontogenesis
The whole concept of watching for elevated levels of frontogenesis is that it helps severe storms. Frontogenesis means the making of a frontal boundary, and we weather folk know that storms favor frontal boundaries to form and become the strongest along a frontal boundary. You know there is a frontal boundary present when there are elevated levels of frontogenesis, and in this case, the levels are sky-high, only adding to the case to enhance severe storms.

My Thoughts include that these storms will move into southeast Texas, where more instability will be available. As the sun sets, daytime heating will take a big punch out of storms, but if there remains strong frontogenesis and fair lifting and instability mechanisms, the storms could certainly continue along through the night.


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