Strong storms expected Thursday night
St Patrick’s Day looks dry and MUCH cooler
BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - After an absolute gem of a Wednesday, wind and moisture build Thursday with the next storm chance not far behind. The next low pressure system (and resulting dryline and cold front) affects us starting Thursday. We’re looking at a couple of different chances for rain and storms here, one as early as Thursday midday.
ROUND ONE: THURSDAY 12 PM - 6 PM
This round is a conditional chance and a “watch and wait” scenario. Data Wednesday afternoon suggests that the “lid” of stable air in the atmosphere should hold through midday. If this comes to fruition, then storms will have a hard time developing and strengthening with limited fuel to work with. However, should clouds break early, and we get a little warmer than expected, some storms may fire well ahead of the dryline around our area. Any storm that can break past the cap will be capable of large hail and a tornado, but this is the more isolated and less likely chance for severe weather before the main line arrives Thursday night.
It is important to remember while the severe concern is lower in the afternoon, there will likely still be rain around through the midday hours. While one or two would have the potential to be significant or severe, not every storm is expected to reach that potential. Still, lightning, gusty wind, and heavy rain may stall outdoor plans if this round manages to develop and move east across the Brazos Valley.
ROUND TWO: THURSDAY 8 PM - FRIDAY 2 AM
Higher coverage and therefore a higher chance for strong storms arrives as we get past sunset. A cluster of strong storms looks to form along the dryline (and the cold front that will catch up with the line over the course of the evening) and move eastward into the area as early as about 8-9 pm, exiting the area by 12am-1am Friday. Heavy rain and strong wind will be the main threat with this line, but we will need to monitor the line for embedded rotation and possible brief tornados. Rain and a few elevated thunderstorms look to fill in behind the initial line of storms. The severe concern with these is low to none, as colder air undercuts the line and will highly limit storm development.
Scattered thunderstorms are still possible as the low moves out of the area through early morning Friday, but severe weather is not expected at this time. Behind the front it gets COLD and windy, so we may be dry, but don’t get caught without several extra layers if you’re planning on some St. Patrick’s Day festivities outside. A reinforcing front is expected this weekend, keeping lows in the 30s/40s and highs likely not exceeding 60 until early next week.
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