Alan Crone's Weather Blog: Storms Return Friday

Thursday, April 23rd 2015, 4:22 am
By: Alan Crone

The cold front that moved across the area yesterday morning is located well south of the region this morning.   Temperatures remain cool, with many locations reporting temperatures in the lower 50s and others slightly warmer.   We're tracking storms this morning along the Red River Valley region.   These will remain south of the area this morning.   A few scattered showers have formed well north of the boundary and have moved into part of far northeastern OK this morning.  These may fester for the next hour or so before moving out of the area early this morning.    A few additional showers could develop today when southeast winds return across the area attempting to bring warm and moist air back into the region.   But the higher chance will remain later tonight into pre-dawn Friday, and then again late Friday afternoon as a powerful storm system moves near the region.   Some of the storms could be severe, but questions remain regarding the quality of moisture that will be ahead of the system by Friday afternoon.

The upper air pattern remains very active with a broad trough in the northern stream positioned over the Great Lakes and a southern stream low positioned off the southwest U.S. coastal region near Baja.   This split flow pattern will slowly transition this weekend with a northern stream low ejecting into the region Sunday night into Monday with additional storm chances into the period.   The southern stream system will move near the area later tonight and Friday providing more storm chances for the region.   

Today will be a transition day.   We should see some showers or even a few storms in a few locations, or even some drizzle and fog in a few spots to the south or west early today.   This will occur as warm and moist air returns across the area later today.    Tonight a few storms will develop along the Red River Valley area and lift northeast into southeastern OK.  Despite the early morning hours, some of the Friday morning storms could be strong with hail in a few locations across southeastern OK.   A few of the storms could migrate into northeastern OK during the early Friday period.

Friday afternoon the powerful upper level system will be nearing the area with wind speeds aloft in the 70 to near 90 knot range.   This will cause a rapid development of a surface low across part of southeastern Colorado that will move across far northern OK or southern Kansas during the day.   A dry line (feature separating dry and moist air) will develop and become very sharp by midday across western OK and move to near or east of the I-35 area by early afternoon.   There is some indication the dry line may bulge northeast on the northern end from OKC to near PNC.

While this is happening, thunderstorms may be ongoing across a large part of Central or Northeast TX Friday morning to early afternoon.   This may “interrupt" the low level flow of moisture into and ahead of the system across eastern OK Friday afternoon.   However, thunderstorms across part of northeastern OK Friday afternoon and evening could support rapid and severe development ahead of the dry-line and surface low across part of northeastern and eastern OK.   Some of these storms would be super cells capable of very large hail, damaging winds, and a tornado.   Storms would race to the northeast due to the fast wind speeds associated with the upper level system moving across the region.  Most storms would quickly exit the area by late Friday night with the system exiting eastern OK overnight into Saturday morning.  If the low level moisture flow is pristine and not interrupted by any Texas convection, a regional severe weather outbreak would be possible across southeastern Kansas, north central and northeastern, OK, part of southwestern Missouri and part of northwestern Arkansas.

The weekend appears good for most locations until late Sunday night.   This is when the northern stream will drop southward and bring another powerful upper level system over the state Sunday night through Tuesday.   Another surface area of low pressure will quickly develop near the state with increasing south winds, scattered storms, and the threat of severe storms for some locations with this system.   This storm may not totally leave the state until late Monday night or Tuesday morning, but the pattern suggests we may get a break from Wednesday through Friday of next week.   This early week system also has the potential to produce severe weather somewhere across the southern plains of Texas and Oklahoma.

Thanks for reading the Thursday morning weather discussion and blog.

As always, we encourage you to remain aware of your weather surroundings for the next few days.

Alan Crone