2 Chances For Severe Storms Saturday As Cold Front Surges Across Oklahoma

Friday, May 17th 2019, 11:38 am

Heavy rainfall and severe weather threats will remain for part of Saturday and then again early next week as a series of western U.S. troughs influence the southern and central plains. 

Windy and warm weather is expected again across eastern OK today with highs in the mid to upper 80s along with south winds from 20 to 30 mph along with some high clouds and sunshine.  A layer of warm air aloft (the cap) should suppress any thunderstorm activity across eastern OK today with a focus for a few storms more westward ahead of the dry line across part of the high plains of Texas. 

This dry line will surge eastward Saturday along with a cold front.  Storms are likely to develop well ahead of these features by early tomorrow morning and move across part of eastern OK with threats of severe storms and heavy rainfall.  Depending upon convective overturning and recovery, additional storms may develop Saturday evening as the cold front overtakes the dry line and advances across part of northeastern OK.  The data this morning suggests a high coverage of thunderstorm activity Saturday morning to midday across eastern OK with a break in the early afternoon before the possibility of a second round later. 

Later this afternoon and evening, the dry line, currently located across eastern New Mexico will spread eastward and be positioned slightly east of Amarillo by evening.  (Thank you George Straight.)  The parameters suggest a strong capping inversion may for most of the afternoon in this region but later tonight will be weakening allowing for a few storms to develop.  If these do, the threat for supercells will be likely. 

WARN Interactive Radar

A more likely scenario will be more southward, in Texas, where storms are likely to develop into a line or complex of storms while propagating east and northeast with time.  This complex or linear configuration should grow upscale approaching southcentral OK early Saturday morning and spreading eastward across eastern OK by morning to midday. 

Despite being well removed from the surface features to the west, very strong low-level jet winds combined with the deep layer flow will support severe storms, including damaging winds and possibly embedded supercells.  This means all modes of severe weather would be possible even tomorrow morning through midday.  A complicating factor will be the southward expansion of storms across central Texas.  The exact timing for this first round of storm activity remains inconsistent.  This could be approaching the metro as early as 7am or as late as 11am with some severe threats.

The morning to midday activity should exit the area by early afternoon with the mid to late afternoon in a watch and wait mode as the main cold front and dry line approach the area.  If the atmosphere can recover, additional storms will be possible, mostly across northeastern OK by later Saturday evening including the threat of additional severe storms.  If Saturday morning storms arrive and exit quickly, this 2nd window Saturday evening would have a higher potential for severe weather. 

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This window of opportunity will end by pre-dawn Sunday as the main upper level system ejects into the Midwest.  After a one-day break, the western U.S. trough will reload with additional storm chances becoming likely Monday into Tuesday along with severe weather threats and heavy rainfall potential.  The data this morning continue to support very heavy rainfall across portions of southern Kansas and part of Oklahoma during this period.  Due to the saturated soils, high river flows and lake levels, flooding and flash flooding will be possible and even likely in this scenario.  Flood watches are likely during this period.

The early week system will exit Tuesday midday to afternoon.  GFS data support another western trough loading for the 2nd half of next week that would offer additional storm chances by late next week into the following weekend.  The EURO is not quite as bullish but would still offer some chances by late next week into the weekend.  

We will encourage you to remain aware of your weather surroundings Saturday and early next week.

Thanks for reading the Friday morning weather discussion and blog.

Have a super great day!

Alan Crone

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