That big upper-level storm system we started talking about at the end of last week will be spreading its version "Christmas Cheer" across the state today with blizzard conditions expected in the Panhandle and severe weather potential from the Hill Country into East Texas -- with the Brazos Valley falling in there as well.
Monday Afternoon Update:
Showers have begun to form and move from south to north in Milam, Lee and Burleson Counties while a line of showers and embedded thunderstorms was starting to build just east of a line from Wichita Falls to Brownwood. Our latest Pinpoint Forecast has processed here in the weather center and still keeps a likely chance of showers and storms forming by mid afternoon the pushing to the east and out of the Brazos Valley by midnight.
It is worth noting that while there is a risk for severe weather, it will be marginal due to the extensive cloud cover layered over the area. Dewpoints and temperatures are high enough, along with some shear in the upper-levels of the atmosphere -- however, without much sunshine to mix things up, there still is a big question mark lingering over the amount of instability that actually will develop heading towards late afternoon.
Rain & Thunderstorm Chances on the Increase
While the morning started off cool and cloudy, we are expecting a warmer and windy day on hand as south to southeast winds blow in 15-25mph along with gusts upwards of 30mph. (Might be an idea to make sure those outdoor Christmas decorations are tied down so that Santa doesn't make an early trip to the North Pole). As a cold front advances in from the west, rain chances increase for our Western Counties by mid-afternoon, the Central Brazos Valley by 5pm and for our Eastern Counties after 7pm.
A Few Severe Storms
While storms that are expected this evening will have the potential to drop some much needed rain across the area -- there will also be the chance that some of these storms could be on the strong to severe side with large hail, damaging straight-line winds and even an isolated tornado threat. In fact, the Storm Prediction Center has placed most of Central and East Texas under a slight risk for severe weather with the best chance of a brief, isolated tornado right over the Brazos Valley. Should severe weather break out this evening, of course we'll keep you updated on KBTX.com but you can also follow us on twitter(@KBTXWeather or @KBTXShel) for the very latest details and radar images.
More Rain In Store This Week?
A couple more upper-level systems will swing across Texas this week. Next chance of rain is on Thursday. Looking into your Christmas forecast, there are indications that it could be a cold and wet one throughout the day -- still lots of question marks in that outlook. We'll be updating that in blogs through the rest of this week.