As an upper level system and Pacific cold front near the Brazos Valley, showers and thunderstorms will be on the increase. There is a possibility that some of these thunderstorms will be strong to severe.
The best chances for severe weather will still remain to the North and East of the Brazos Valley, but there is a slight risk of strong to severe thunderstorms.
Why are we expecting severe weather?
Thunderstorms need special conditions to develop, and even more so to become severe thunderstorms. First, we need to have lots of moisture near the surface. We have plenty of that with the Southerly winds that have been pumping moisture into the Brazos Valley for days now. Next, we need something to kick off the thunderstorms. There is a "cap", or lid, over the area that needs to be "broken" in order for thunderstorms to get going.
That would be our cold front as well as outflow boundaries ahead of the front from storms forming along the cold front. We would also need winds in the upper levels to cooperate. With a jet max forecast to move over the Brazos Valley tonight(or area of very fast moving winds at around 30,000 ft.-the levels that planes fly) this will help destabilize the atmosphere. Combine that with an upper level low moving into Southeast Texas, and the upper levels are right in line for what we expect when we see severe weather.
For severe storms to form, you also need wind shear. This is a change in direction of wind in the upper levels. Wind shear helps storms to grow upwards, and sometimes to rotate. Even though storms may rotate, this does not necessarily mean that a tornado will develop in these storms.
So what kind of severe weather can we expect?
The wind shear is not particularly strong over the Brazos Valley, so tornadoes are unlikely, although we cannot rule out an isolated tornado completely. Off to our Northeast, where there is much stronger wind shear, tornadoes will be possible.
For us, hail and strong winds look to be the primary threat with this system. We could also see some heavy downpours and lots of lightning with these storms.
Storm Prediction Center's Hail Outlook
When should we expect these storms?
Showers already moved through the area this morning and we may see a few more this afternoon and evening, but the best chances for the stronger thunderstorms will be overnight tonight.
You can keep up to date with the latest weather updates at kbtx.com/weather.