Monitoring Thursday: Brazos Valley outlined for possible severe weather
All types of severe weather are possible if the lid on the atmosphere breaks
BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - The Storm Prediction Center is monitoring a widespread risk for potential severe thunderstorms Thursday afternoon, evening, and overnight into the pre-sunrise hours of Friday morning. As of the update released Monday morning, that risk is outlined from Central & East Texas to Southern Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. The Brazos Valley has been included on the western edge of this broad outlook.
According to the agency, “a regional outbreak of severe weather appears increasingly likely Thursday afternoon and...night, including the potential for large hail, damaging winds, tornadoes, some of which may be strong.” It goes on to note that the potential should steadily increase across Central/Eastern Texas during the day before the risk further organizes by evening hours across the Arklatex/Arklamiss and Lower Mississippi Valley.
The highest threat for significant thunderstorms is expected to the east and northeast of the Brazos Valley. Still, if storms manage to develop west or on top of the area, severe weather cannot be ruled out ahead of or through the sunrise hours.
RECEIVE SEVERE WEATHER ALERTS AND WARNINGS ON YOUR PHONE WITH THE KBTX PINPOINT WEATHER APP
WHAT WE KNOW/WHAT TO MONITOR THIS WEEK
A potent weather maker will dive south through the Desert Southwest and into the Texas Panhandle by Thursday evening. This approach to Texas will allow the upper-level winds over Central and East Texas to “diverge” or split, promoting the possibility of thunderstorm growth. By evening and overnight, this weather system will move across Oklahoma and the Red River Valley, shifting the more significant storm potential to the east of Texas.
A thin lid is forecast to be in place over the Brazos Valley through much of the day Thursday. If this limiting factor can hold, storms will struggle to develop or maintain any sort of strength locally. However, if temperatures warm past the mid-80s or cloud cover breaks to allow sunshine to erode that “lid”, storm development is expected to occur and strengthen rapidly. Should this occur, all types of severe weather will be possible as discrete storms form. This activity would likely quickly congeal into a line of storms, transitioning the concern to more of a wind and embedded tornado potential for East Texas, possibly including Houston and Trinity Counties. These storms would be pushed quickly east-northeast on the strong upper-level winds. Storm motion is currently forecast between 50 and 55mph!
Short of the long: storms are not guaranteed, but if they form they have the potential to quickly become strong or severe.
WHAT COULD CHANGE?
Future updates from the Storm Prediction Center could move the western edge of this risk further east, removing parts of the Brazos Valley closest to I-35. If the forecast supports the lid holding on the atmosphere, suppressing storm development, attention may be turned more to the east of the area where the severe potential is expected to be more organized. Hi-resolution forecast modeling will be able to lend a better understanding of the development and evolution of this event by late Tuesday and early Wednesday.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THIS STORM POTENTIAL?
A cold front passes through the Brazos Valley Thursday evening and night, allowing cooler and drier air to sweep in ahead of the first weekend of March. Morning lows fall to seasonal 40s while afternoon highs run below the mark in the low-to-mid 60s. Friday will be yet another day of wind, making it feel a bit cooler as you step out in this refreshed, late-winter air.
Copyright 2023 KBTX. All rights reserved.