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May 10, 2011 / Dave Gorham

The New "Texas T" – Thunderstorms

About 80% of Texas is currently classified as being in “extreme drought.” Houston is almost eight inches behind in average annual rainfall. Dallas/Ft. Worth and San Antonio are more than four inches behind average. Around the state, conversation has long since moved from the weather to the other headaches such as the price of gas and President Obama’s visit to Texas for discussions about immigration. (Is it really that bad around here?)

The latest Drought Monitor image classifies most of Texas being in extreme drought. Note that "Extreme," as bad as it sounds, is not the most severe category of drought. Image: NOAA/NWS/NCEP/CPC (Click any image for larger size.)

Just the same, rain is in the forecast finally. We at ImpactWeather picked up on the pattern change last week and identified how such a pattern could bring thunderstorms to Texas. Now as that magical pattern change takes shape, the forecast is more in focus yet the rain is by no means guaranteed. Wait — let me rephrase that: the rain for most is by no means guaranteed. It will rain in Texas — how much, when and exactly where remains in question.

In the four computer model panels above, the upper-level storm system is identified over Utah and Nevada early this morning (upper left), it then swings into Colorado and New Mexico (upper right) then moves slowly into eastern Colorado (bottom left and right) in the 48-hour period ending late tomorrow night. Image: Unisys

This surface map shows the cold front moving out of Colorado and into the Plains tomorrow. Heavy showers and strong-to-severe thunderstorms are expected across northern Texas and the central Plains. Image: ImpactWeather StormWatch

As the upper-level system moves east, so too does the surface system. Based on low and mid-level moisture patterns, most of the rain with this system is expected across the northern Plains and the Upper Mississippi River Valley on Thursday. However, showers and thunderstorms along the front are possible across a broad area of Texas. Image: ImpactWeather StormWatch




Wednesday: Showers and thunderstorms, some possibly severe with heavy rainfall, strong gusty winds, hail and isolated tornadoes, will be possible from Minnesota to Mexico. Image: ImpactWeather StormWatch

The storm threat moves east on Thursday, but still a large area of Texas may experience strong-to-severe thunderstorms. Image: ImpactWeather StormWatch


Meanwhile, many areas along the Mississippi River have crested, however more rain is expected tomorrow and Thursday. Image: ImpactWeather StormWatch



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