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Sunday, March 11, 2012

South Plains Severe Weather Threat for Today

Threat of general severe weather

Threat of a tornado
The Storm Prediction Center extended the slight risk of severe weather south along the Gulf Coast, which was a very good choice in my opinion, as strong storms were forecasted to be ongoing in that area at some point.

A storm system will be moving northeast, with a pool of cold air behind its cold front. As it moves east, the cool air will crash into the warm, Gulf air that is providing this unseasonably warm weather. The result is severe weather.

Instability forecasts have not changed too much, with only minimal amounts expected in Arkansas, where the highest tornado threat is at this point. Despite this, CAPE (instability) values of 500 j/kg are pretty widespread across Texas right now, meaning the instability could be a bit higher than previously thought.

Something I have noticed from a somewhat recent SREF model run to the most recent SREF run is that the calibrated risk of severe thunderstorms has dropped. I can't exactly pinpoint what timeframe has dropped, but I can see generally that the index for 3 hour calibrated severe thunderstorms has dropped slightly.

Here's what I am expecting today for severe storms. The yellow signifies a general risk of strong thunderstorms. The orange represents a risk of some severe thunderstorms with the threat of some severe weather reports (hail, high wind, tornado) being called in. I did add a small area of red to the picture, signifying that I am expecting a tornado somewhere in that area.

I am rushed on time today, so this graphic is based off of the Storm Prediction Center with the oranges and reds, and I do apologize that I do not have enough time to concoct my own forecast map this morning.

Remember- Daylight Savings Time begins today, so set your clocks forward one hour.

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