Strong Storms Likely in Texas, Oklahoma Late This Week
It’s May, which means that severe storms are common, and perhaps especially so across Texas and Oklahoma.
That’s exactly where the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has outlined an enhanced and slight risk (level two and three on a zero-to-five scale) for severe storms for Thursday. On Friday, the threat shifts to Southeastern Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
There is a significant threat for large hail with Thursday’s storms, according to the SPC, though the potential for damaging wind gusts will be elevated in the enhanced risk area as well. The larger hail stones could exceed 2 inches in diameter, which is about the size of a hen egg.
The tornado threat is expected to be low, but there is a risk for an isolated tornado or two in area in green below, which includes the I-35, I-40, and I-44 corridors.
A developing area of low pressure across the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles will help draw up warm, humid air from the Gulf of Mexico. While it won’t be all that warm or humid due to a cold front moving through the region earlier in the week, there should be enough warmth and humidity to support some stronger storms.
South of the low, a dryline (separating humid and dry air) will also serve as a focal point for stronger storms further south into Texas. Temperatures will be warm throughout the region, running as much as 15 degrees above average in spots.
Isolated storms are expected to mainly develop during the afternoon and early evening hours in West Texas and Oklahoma, but a late night or overnight threat could develop in the risk area as a line of storms potentially forms and moves south toward the Gulf Coast.
On Friday, the slight risk shifts to the Gulf Coast near Houston and Lake Charles with isolated severe storms possible from Laredo through Baton Rouge.
An isolated tornado will be possible through portions of the I-10 and I-20 corridors, though the risk is low. Hail and damaging winds will continue to be the primary threat with strong storms.
A few strong storms should initiate in Western Texas and Oklahoma during peak heating hours in the afternoon Thursday before heading east into the early evening.
The initial storms should become isolated and weaken after sunset, but another line of storms could develop across Northern Oklahoma before moving southeast overnight into early Friday. If storms form lines or bowing segments as model data suggests, the damaging wind threat will likely stay elevated overnight through early Friday.
Storms will likely regain some strength into the early afternoon as they approach the I-10 corridor where daytime temperatures will be warming quickly. A few severe storms could continue into Friday evening in Southern Texas near Corpus Christi and Brownsville, but most locations will be clear from the severe threat by sunset as the front moves into the Gulf of Mexico.
Stay with WeatherNation for the latest on these storms.