What was the biggest weather event in our area during 2011?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Cold, Wet, And SNOW?!

October will be very active for the eastern part of the country. We will experience the first system starting tomorrow, for parts of Oklahoma. A very strong cold front is diving south across the northern United States, ushering in unseasonably cold air and snow to that part of the county. You can see the chilly air pushing south.
US: Current Temperatures
This cold front will continue moving south, and will push through Oklahoma tomorrow, followed by Texas on on Friday. Behind the front, winds will be strong out of the north around 20 to 30 mph which will send temperatures tumbling. Saturday will be the coldest day thus far, this season. Temperatures will stay in the 50's across north Texas and in the 40's across Oklahoma & Kansas; a 39 degree reading in parts of Oklahoma and/or Kansas is possible. Saturday will shatter several record low maximum high temperatures for several cities including OKC (55) and Tulsa (57). This map shows how cool the NAM is keeping our area on Saturday.

A line of showers & weak thunderstorms will accompany the front as it treks through the Southern Plains on Thursday and Friday. Post frontal rain chances will increase on Friday through Saturday as a weak wave rounds the base of the trough. The majority of the rain should stay in Kansas and Oklahoma, but there's a chance for showers across northern Texas. The rain should remain light to moderate, but none the less it'll be a good soaking rain; amounts on the order of .1-.4".
Some of the guidance has been 'hinting' at wintry precipitation for parts of Kansas and northern Oklahoma. While this is very early in the season, it's not impossible. The soundings for northern Oklahoma and southern Kansas do not appear to be conducive for snow, at this point; however, there are times that we don't have reliable soundings until several hours before an event. With that said, I do not believe that it's entirely impossible for wet flakes to mix in with the rain briefly on Saturday across southern Kansas and northern Oklahoma. I'll continue to closely evaluate this and bring updates as needed.

One of the bigger concerns will be the potential for a frost or freeze for parts of the Southern Plains. The best night for radiative cooling will be Saturday night. Wherever the skies clear, expect near freezing conditions. The areas that need to prepare are: Kansas, central and northern Oklahoma, the Panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma, Missouri, and northern Arkansas. Temperatures in these areas will range from 30-38 degrees on Sunday morning. Make sure you watch out for you "Three P's"-pets, plants, and pipes. The areas that are included in the blue shaded box are the areas that will likely see a frost-across the southern portions, and a freeze across the northern sections.

The rest of October looks active too. Several storm systems will impact the Southern Plains as well as the eastern seaboard. Cold shots will continue to dive south, so it'll be interesting to see if the northern branch can interact with the southern branch in October. The next storm system to impact the Southern Plains will be around Thursday of next week.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Game Day Forecast! Go Rangers.

Rangers Game Day Forecast for Game 1 looks to be wet. The majority of the rain should stay just north of the ballpark, but there will be a 30% chance for showers with temperatures in the low to mid 70's.

For Game 2, it should be a different story. Dry weather conditions appear to rule this game and the sun may even make an appearance. Temperatures will begin to slowly cool after 7:00 PM. Good luck from Texoma Weather & primoweather.com, RANGERS! 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

North Texas Earthquake!

There was a 3.4 magnitude earthquake 2 miles north of Irving, Texas this evening. The earthquake was shallow which allowed it to be felt over a very large radius. There have been no reports of damage as of yet, and no reports of damage are likely due to the small magnitude.

A few aftershock may be felt overnight, so please be aware of this possibility. I guess we literally felt Texas win the game against OSU.

Cold And SNOW?!

Good afternoon Texoma, with this fall like weather, let's have some fun! The guidance has been 'hinting' on and off about the possibility of a couple strong cold fronts pushing into the Southern Plains between days 7-18. Along with this 'hint' of cold air, there have even been a few 'hints' of wintry type precip falling in the Oklahoma Panhandle, Kansas, and Missouri.

Please keep in mind that this is very far out and will likely change, but I wanted to give some insight as to what the models are showing. I do believe a very chilly air-mass will engulf the Southern Plains by next weekend; with more cold shots through October. What will cause these cold air-masses to push south? A weather phenomenon which is occurring thousands of miles away will cause the cold air-masses to move south into our area.

The Southern Plains will be indirectly impacted by Typhoon Jelawat and Tropical Storm Ewiniar which are in the Western Pacific at this time. These two systems are pushing into the higher latitudes and are bringing warm air into those higher latitudes. The atmosphere will 'balance' itself by sending cold air south, and that southward push will impact the United States.

With all of this said, I do believe a strong cold front will impact the Southern Plains, but as for the wintry precip, that's a long shot and will likely not happen. It's fun to day dream about though! Enjoy the rain, and don't forget to check out our 2012-13 Winter Outlook.
(This is the 12Z GFS forecast snow accumulations at 180 hours-October 7th, 2012.)

(276 Hours)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Rain, Rain, And More Rain!

Good evening Texoma. Rain chances will be very high over the next 48-72 hours; we are going with 80-90% coverage. By Sunday afternoon, the majority of Texas and Oklahoma will have seen at least a drop of rain. Deep moisture is feeding northward from the Gulf of Mexico tonight which will help set the stage for heavy rainfall-some flooding is possible, especially south of I-20 in Texas.

This deep Gulf moisture will be in place as energy from once Hurricane Miriam moves across Texas, will aid in a large rain shield, with embedded thunderstorms, to develop across the west Texas and slowly push eastward. Rainfall rates will be high and some isolated locations could pick up 5-9" of rain! This is the latest map from the HPC, which shows near 100% coverage across the Southern Plains.
This graphic is in line with what much of the guidance is showing. This map may actually be slightly conservative for the Hill Country of Texas where the aforementioned 5-9" of rainfall could fall. Along with flooding, a few damaging wind gusts may occur with some of the storms Friday and Saturday; with that said it's a very low-end risk due to weak shear.

Rain chances will increase throughout the day Friday and through Saturday afternoon. By Sunday our rain chances will become lower, and shower coverage will be more isolated. A weak cool front will move through all of Oklahoma and into northern Texas on Sunday too, which should help taper rain chances across northern Texas and Oklahoma; rain will be confined to southern Texas at this point. Temperatures throughout this time-frame will be below average due to thick clouds and falling precipitation-mainly in the 80's on Friday with 70's possible on Saturday.

We will then pay close attention to the extended, 7-12 days, when a strong cold front looks to move through our area. This cool down will actually be partially related to Typhoon Jelawat. As Jelawat moves N/NNE and impacts Japan, it will force warm & moist air into the higher latitudes which in return the atmosphere will try to 'balance' this impact and send cold air southward into our neck of the woods. We will keep a close eye on this cold front as well as the rain chances over the next few days. We will have updates as needed.

(These thoughts are that of "Texoma Weather" and primoweather.com. For official information, please see www.nws.noaa.gov)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Rain Chances On The Incease

Good afternoon, Texoma! Rain chances are slowly creeping back into our forecast. Storms have fired in the eastern Texas Panhandle; those storms will push ENE through the evening hours. These storms are the first in a series of storms that will develop throughout the week in response to an elongated upper level trough. Parts of central/northern Oklahoma and southeastern Kansas will get very heavy rainfall; some locations could pick up 2-5".

Later in the week and over the weekend, western/southern Texas could get in on the action too. A piece of energy from Hurricane Miriam may move over Texas producing excessive rainfall in excess of 3". Guidance is all over the place with the evolution of this energy, but I'm leaning towards the heavier rain that the ECMWF showing. This model has been very consistent with this feature. Temperatures will cool across the Southern Plains due to an increase in clouds/precip. I'll have updates as needed.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

2012-13 Winter Outlook

This winter should be very different from last winter.  We at "Texoma Weather" & primoweather.com are expecting chilly & stormy conditions for the eastern part of the nation.  It's no secret that we will deal with a weak to moderate El Nino this season, and it no secret what its impacts are on the nation-specifically across the Southern Plains. 

Let's start out looking at the 'big picture!'  We are expecting frequent arctic visits east of the Rockies.  Temperatures should be below average for the eastern third of the nation;  the Southern Plains and Southeast will also see below average temperatures.  (The northwest will deal with temperatures that are slightly above average.)  Expect wet conditions for much of the southern United States, and some of that will be in the form of winter precipitation.  California will receive some much needed rainfall as will the Southeast-places like Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina.

Now let's bring it in and look at Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas.  We are expecting a very active winter for the Southern Plains.  Temperatures will be below average with above average precipitation.  There will be several winter precipitation chances for central-northern Texas, Oklahoma, and central-southern Kansas;  snow & ice will be above average for cities across the Southern Plains such as Dallas-Fort Worth, OKC-Norman, Tulsa, & Wichita.  

The above average precipitation will be caused by an active southern jet.  There will be several disturbances and cutoff lows that traverse across the lower latitudes of the United States.  This active jet paired with a negative PDO means a wintry mess will likely develop a few times across the southern portion of the country. 

The first wintry precip event should evolve in Kansas, Oklahoma & the Texas Panhandle in mid-November; we wouldn't be surprised to see some sleet pellets/flurries fall in Kansas earlier than that.  North Texas can expect to see it's first wintry event by early December.  The most active winter period should evolve from late-November through mid-January, followed by another peak in mid-February. 

We will have updates on our forecast as needed.  This is our preliminary winter outlook and should be used as that.  Please keep an eye out for severe weather this winter season too because there could be a couple severe weather events for eastern Texas and the Gulf Coast States. 
(For official forecasts, please see www.nws.noaa.gov)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Are Texas & Oklahoma In The Ballgame For Isaac?

Good Afternoon Texoma,

I hope you all have had an amazing weekend; hopefully you picked up some rainfall too.  Let's get right to, the overnight forecast model runs have shifted the 'track' of Tropical Storm Isaac to the left-west.  A couple  reliable models are even showing potential impacts for eastern Texas & Oklahoma.  This graphic shows what the current thinking is for Isaac per forecast models.
The reasoning behind the northerly track-ECMWF, and the northwesterly track-GFS is that the ECMWF has Isaac being picked up by a trough, whereas the GFS has Isaac being caught under the ridge which will try to dominate the Southern Plains.  The 12Z GFS shows Isaac moving northwest to near NOLA, followed by a westerly track towards the southeastern Texas coast.  Once Isaac approaches the Texas Coast, per GFS, Isaac moves into northeastern Texas. (Please note that the models could shift east with the next run.  Forecast models can flip-flop more than a politician.)
Isaac is currently a 65mph tropical storm with pressure down to 995mb.  Further strengthening is likely with Isaac and Hurricane Isaac is possible by this evening.  The 'track' of  Isaac will be monumental in forecasting the strength, but a Category 2 or 3 hurricane is possible.  Residents who live along the Gulf Coast from Beaumont, Texas to Pensacola, Florida need to keep a close eye on future forecasts.

Here is the official cone from the NHC and the NAVY.
NHC Cone
[Image of 5-day forecast and coastal areas under a warning or a watch]

ImageWe will have updates on Isaac as needed.  Please note that these are the thoughts of 'Texoma Weather' & www.primoweather.com.  This forecast is not official and you are encouraged to see
www.nhc.noaa.gov for official forecasts.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Tropical Storm Ernesto A Heat Buster? And Invest 90L

The tropics had been quiet over the past few weeks, but that changed quickly.  We are now watching Tropical Storm Ernesto, as well as a tropical wave in the Eastern Atlantic that has the potential to slowly develop into a Tropical Depression or Tropical Storm over the next few days.

Tropical Storm Ernest is currently moving through the Lesser Antilles-producing heavy rain and very gust winds; a 63mph gust was recorded this morning near St. Lucia.  Ernesto had weakened this morning from a 50mph storm to a 45mph storm, but as of 11:00am the storm has strengthened into a 50mph storm.  The slight weakening was caused by the quick forward motion of the storm-close to 24mph earlier this morning.  Forward motion at this speed makes it difficult for a storm to maintain its strength because it shears itself.
Some of the guidance was showing Ernesto opening up into Tropical Wave after it moved through the islands, which could have been shown due to the projected speed of the system.  With that said, other environmental conditions are favorable for strengthening by late this weekend.  There are two possible tracks for Ernesto which will heavily depend on the strength of Ernesto.

If Ernesto strengthens over the Caribbean, it would move poleward into the southern Gulf of Mexico as it feels a weakness over the southern part of the United States; however, if Ernesto opens up into a Tropical Wave-and stays as a wave, it could move inland over the Yucatรกn Peninsula.  I believe Ernesto will begin to strengthen over the western Caribbean, and feel the weakness which will drive it towards the southern Gulf of Mexico.  At this point, the "death ridge" over Texas and Oklahoma will build west which could direct Ernesto in our direction.

The whole Gulf Coast needs to be on alert, but at this point I think the Texas/Mexico Coast has the highest chance of seeing direct impacts from Ernesto.  By the time Ernesto makes it into the Gulf of Mexico it will likely become a Hurricane Ernesto.  There will be low shear, the SST are very warm, and the environment Ernesto will move into will be fairly moist.

Taking a look at the latest guidance-the models are having a hard time agreeing on the strength of Ernesto which will play a pretty big role in which path Ernesto takes.  This image below is GFS Ensemble 4 which is one of the most intense solutions.  It paints a picture of Hurricane Ernesto slamming into the Texas Coast. Keep in mind this is only a model run and should be used that way.  These models can flip flop every run-just like politicians.

This is the spaghetti plot which shows the path that the models are projecting.  Notice the models agree upon a similar path over the next 48 hours.

Here are my thoughts on a possible path for Ernesto which I believe will become a Hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico.  I'm leaning towards a Texas/northern Mexico impact at this point.  This is an educated guess and the whole Gulf of Mexico needs to closely watch Ernesto.
This is the latest projected path from the NHC as of 11:00am.

If Ernesto follows my projected path, parts of Texas-possibly Oklahoma will see some heat and drought relief by next weekend.  I know many people are praying and thinking good thoughts for this to happen because we need the rain.  Let's hope no major damage is cause by Ernesto-no matter which path it takes. 

No let's take a quick look at Invest 90L which has developed in the eastern Atlantic.  This wave has developed some intense convection and if it can sustain itself then slow organization could occur which could lead to this system developing into a Tropical Storm over the next few days.  The NHC has given this system a 30% of tropical development.
We will have updates over the next several days.  Please note this forecast and these opinions are that of www.primoweather.com and not the NHC.  For official information please see http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

Monday, July 30, 2012

Tropics: Ernesto?!

The tropics have been quiet over the past few weeks, but that appears to be changing in the near future.  We are watching a tropical wave in the Eastern Atlantic that has potential to slowly develop into a Tropical Depression or Tropical Storm over the next 3-7 days; this is also supported by several numerical models.

Invest 99L-the aforementioned tropical wave, while experiencing relatively conducive conditions for further development will have a few obstacles to overcome before any significant strengthening occurs.  This wave will have to fight of the dry Saharan air as it treks further north which will likely slow the development of the system.  (The environment the system is in now is moist.)

Another big factor is the the positioning of the wave; it's near 8-9 degrees N which is close to the equator.  This proximity to the equator will hinder the systems rotation due to the lack of the Coriolis Force-acceleration caused by the earth's rotation.

99L still has a lack of convection associated with the wave, but a slow increase in convection is likely.  (Latest water vapor satellite image, courtesy NHC)
The wind-shear remains low ahead of the system which should allow the wave to slowly organize and allow further convection to develop-and likely consolidate to form a closed surface low.  The NHC has given Invest 99L a 20% of development over the next couple of days.  (Tropical Outlook from the NHC.)
Without a developed system, we will be very vague on possible tracks for the system.  The wave will appears it will either move WNW into the Caribbean or possibly take a more NW track.  The Greater and Lesser Antilles need to keep a close eye on this system over the next few days.  Please note that this track map is www.primoweather.com's and Texoma Weather's projected path and is not the opinion of the NHC or NWS. 
We will have updates on this system over the next several days.  For official information please see http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wet End To July!!

Texoma will be blessed with beneficial rainfall to end the month of July.  A surface cold front will move into extreme northern Oklahoma tonight which should be the focus for shower and thunderstorm development.  The convection that forms will push the front further south into Oklahoma on Thursday which will increase Texoma's rain chances.  Scattered thunderstorms should develop along the front Thursday and Friday becoming quite numerous at times; especially in southern Oklahoma.  You can see on the HPC map just how widespread the activity could become;  north Texas can expect .50-.75" while southern Oklahoma could pick up a quick 1.00-1.25".
A few storms could become strong-possibly severe on Thursday afternoon.  The main threat is damaging winds in excess of 50-75mph.  With that said, if you have any outdoor plans make sure you stay alert to Texoma Weather and www.primoweather.com for the latest updates.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Very Hot, But A 10% Chance Of Storms

Today will be another hot day across Texoma and all of the Southern Plains.  Most locations will easily exceed the 100 degree mark with a few locations topping 107. But, with that said, there is an ever so slight chance of an isolated thunderstorm this afternoon.
Thunderstorms developed in northern Oklahoma yesterday, along a diffuse boundary, and pushed south overnight.  The storms have fallen apart as of this morning, but not before a small circulation, known as an MCV, developed.  This MCV is currently over south-central Oklahoma and its pushing slowly southward.  As it treks into the Red River Counties this afternoon a couple isolated thunderstorms could develop.  Chances are about 10-15%, but if you get under a storm, expect heavy rainfall and possibly downburst winds.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Hot, Hot, HOT!!!

I hope you all are having a great Thursday.  It has been miserably hot over the past several days, but there's a little relief in sight.  Temperatures will cool by 2-6 degrees  across Texoma tomorrow and even further by the weekend. 

The massive ridge that has been in place, which is responsible for our hot temperatures, will have a pretty subtle weakness over the weekend.  This weakness will allow a quick surge of moisture over the weekend which could allow for one or two pulse variety storms to form; most areas will stay dry.

The ridge will strengthen its grip over our area on Monday and Tuesday causing temperatures to spike once more.  Your 4th of July forecast looks hot with a slight chance for thunderstorms during the evening hours.  We will have updates over the next few days to fine tune your holiday forecast.

Also, we are keeping an eye on a tropical wave that's east of the Windward Islands for possible development over the next several days!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Earthquakes, Thunderstorms, Tornado, and Tropics!

We have a lot to talk about today, but I'll try to not to make it too wordy.  Over the past few days, several parts of Texoma have picked up very beneficial rainfall.  This rain did come with a price for some areas, especially Fannin County.  The Fort Worth National Weather Service confirms an EF0 tornado caused damage north of Randolph.  Winds were estimated around 85mph with this tornado which caused damage to several homes and barns.  Most of the damage in the County was caused by softball sized hail and 85-95mph straight line winds.  Three people were injured in this storm.

Three other predominant supercells in the DFW Metroplex caused an estimated $400 million in damage on June 13th.  Most of the damage was caused by 3-5" hail that created a winter-like scene with inches of hail piling up on the ground.

There will be a chance for thunderstorms today in north Texas and southern Oklahoma.  The scenario that will play out is unclear, but some of the models are paining a thundery scenario for the area this afternoon.  The morning convection will need to move out of the area to allow the atmosphere to recover.  It appears this will occur, and an MCV which is located in south-central Oklahoma will be the culprit for thunderstorm development this afternoon.  If storms develop, they could become severe with damaging winds and very large hail.
This morning around 2:02am there was a 3.1 earthquake between Cleburne and Fort Worth.  Many people felt the earthquake across north Texas.  The earthquake caused no injuries or damage.
A 2.5 earthquake occurred in Oklahoma yesterday too; this one was near Oklahoma City!  The quake was not felt widespread because of its low magnitude.  No injuries or damage were reported with the earthquake near OKC.
These earthquakes come just weeks after a 4.3 earthquake occurred near Timpson, Texas which caused one injury and minor damage.

Tropical troubles could be in store for Texas!!  Computer models have been consistent in developing a tropical system over the Bay of Campeche and moving it into the Gulf of Mexico.  At that point it appears the system could impact Texas; likely dumping heavy rainfall and possibly spinning up a few tornadoes.  This tropical system, if it develops, would begin to impact Texas around Friday-Saturday of next week.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Isolated, Very Severe Storms Today!!

Good afternoon Texoma!  Isolated severe thunderstorms are possible today across the area.  These thunderstorms will be isolated in nature, but the ones that develop will be extremely damaging; with hail larger than grapefruit size, 70-80mph winds, and an isolated tornado, along the Red River, are all possible.

(This is the severe weather outlook, per SPC; notice most of Texoma is included in this outlook.  Dallas-Fort Worth, Wichita Falls, Norman-OKC, and southern Tulsa are all at risk.)
At this hour there is a strong CAP in place which will limit storm coverage this afternoon.  The CAP will weaken as temperatures warm into the mid/upper 90's, coupled with 70-74 degree dewpoints, which will lead to CAPE values at or above 5000 J/KG in some areas!!  CAPE values that high will allow for extremely large hail and damaging winds.  There will be a small opportunity for isolated tornadoes this evening once the cold front pushes into the Red River Counties.  The boundary could allow for the LCL to lower which will allow for this enhanced tornado opportunity during the evening hours.

(Tornado threat today, per SPC.  Again, the best chance for an isolated tornado is along the Red River!)
We will have updates throughout the afternoon on this evolving situation.  Please stay alert today because once storms form they will quickly become severe!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tropical Troubles?

We are monitoring the Caribbean for possible tropical development over the next several days.  Thunderstorms continue to fire over the very warm waters, and are showing signs of of a mid-level circulation.  Right now, the shear is pretty strong over this area, but we need to keep a close eye on this system for potential development.  This could become Invest 95L.  Gulf States, watch out....

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Alligators In Local Lakes?

This picture of an alligator, posted on Facebook yesterday, caused concern and left many asking, "how safe are our local lakes?"  It's not unknown, in Texoma, that alligators have been found in the area and will continue to be found.  The picture above was reportedly taken near Washita Point in Kingston, Oklahoma; which is near Lake Texoma.  This comes in just days after an 11 foot alligator was found, dead, in the Trinity River! 

Over the past decade, dozens of alligators have been found in southern Oklahoma and northern Texas.  There have even been several recent reports of alligator sightings near Cumberland Cove; some reports say gators have been up to 13 feet long!  

There's no need to panic, but there are a few safety measure that can be taken to protect your family and yourself.  So what can you do to protect your family this summer and over the upcoming holiday weekend?

-Never feed alligators.
-Avoid swimming and other water activities in areas with large alligators, or where large gators have been seen.
-Swim only during daylight.
-Do not throw fish scraps in the water.
-Closely supervise small children in and around water.
-Do not allow pets to swim, exercise or drink in waters where alligators may be found.
-If you hear an alligator hiss, move away. You are too close.

**To report an alligator that threatens people, call the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's district office weekdays at 817-831-3128 or after hours and weekends at 800-792-4263.
**To report an alligator that threatens people, call the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation
Here's a link to the entire Oklahoma Game Warden directory: http://www.wildlifedepartment.com/laws_regs/lawstatemap.htm

(It is currently alligator hunting season in Texas, but state regulations say that alligators may only be hunted by means of firearms on private property and cannot be hunted from, on, in, across or over public water.)

Courtesy, (Star-Telegram) http://www.star-telegram.com/2012/05/15/3962452/authorities-investigate-death.html
(KTEN) http://www.kten.com/story/18610516/alligators-reported
Picture, courtesy KTEN.com and Kris Hair

Friday, May 18, 2012

2012 Atlantic Hurricane Forecast

The 2012 hurricane season will be near average, to slightly above average; hurricane season for the Atlantic is from June 1st through November 30th.  First, here are our thoughts in terms of numbers:

2012 Tropical Storms: 13-14      NOAA Average: 12
2012 Hurricanes: 6-7                   NOAA Average: 6
2012 Major Hurricanes: 3           NOAA Average: 2

The hurricane season could get off to an early start, with possible development in the western Caribbean next week.  It appears a low pressure will develop over the western Caribbean and meander over the very warm waters.  The steering currents in the area will be very minimal at this time which could allow the low to slowly organize.  Even if this doesn’t materialize, conditions will be conducive for tropical development in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean over the next three weeks.

This season will likely feature a lot of “home-grown” storms; storms that develop in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean.  The possibility of these “home-grown” storms means locations from Brownsville, Texas to New York City, New York need to be on high alert, especially the Gulf States.  Don’t let your guard down due to the near average season expectancy.

The two main reasons as to why I believe hurricane development will be hard to come by in the eastern Atlantic are: relative cooling of the eastern Atlantic waters and the possible development of El Nino this summer.  In order for tropical development to occur, systems need very warm surface water, which has a lot of energy, for storms to thrive.  El Nino also does its harm by typically causing a lot of wind shear which isn’t favorable for tropical systems, unlike thunderstorms in the Plains.

Those are our forecast thoughts for the upcoming hurricane season.  We may need to slightly adjust these numbers as we head into the season.  There are still some questions regarding El Nino which could force us to change the numbers as we get later into the year.  With that said, don’t focus solely on the numbers; all hurricane forecasts are an educated guess!  What you need to focus on are the possibility of “home-grown” storms!  If you live along the coast, from Brownsville, Texas to New York City, New York, be on high alert this season; especially along the Gulf Coast.  It only takes on major storm to impact the coast for the season to be considered “bad!”
 (Here are the areas that I'm concerned about for the 2012 hurricane season.  The red shaded region has the greatest impact threat from tropical systems.)

**This forecast is not official and is the opinion of forecasters at Texoma Weather, primoweather.com.  For official information please refer to www.nws.noaa.gov!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Severe Weather Comeback

(Thunderstorm Outlook per SPC, Saturday Afternoon)

May has been relatively quiet in terms of severe weather for the Southern Plains, but that will change soon.  Starting Saturday afternoon, thunderstorms will develop along a cold-front/dryline in Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and northwest Texas.

Instability, shear, and moderate moisture will allow thunderstorms to become severe.  Hodographs in Oklahoma/southern Kansas will support supercells; likely high-based, though.  The main threat will be very large hail Saturday afternoon.

Thunderstorm chances will slowly spread southeast Sunday into Monday.  This event is still a couple days out, so a lot can change.  We will continue to keep you all updated on the latest.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Severe Thunderstorm Chances On The Increase

Thunderstorm chances are on the increase, starting Saturday afternoon; eastern Texas Panhandle, Oklahoma Panhandle, and western Oklahoma will have a chance to see isolated severe storms Saturday.  Moisture will be on the increase as a strong shortwave moves across the Southern Plains producing isolated severe thunderstorms along the dryline.  Parameters (moisture, shear, instability) are coming together to support supercell thunderstorms.  Right now, it appears there will be a chance for all modes of severe weather Saturday afternoon.

(Saturday's severe weather probabilities per SPC. This will be updated daily, and I believe a slight risk will be included.  Severe thunderstorm chances will likely be expanded eastward too.)
Thunderstorm chances will continue into Sunday and Monday.  Each day the thunderstorm threat will shift further east-southeast.  A cold front will push into Oklahoma, likely stalling, igniting thunderstorms Sunday and Monday.  Heavy rainfall will also be a concern in southern Oklahoma and north Texas.  This is needed due to our recent dry-spell across Texoma.

In the meantime, get outside and enjoy the delightful weather.  Temperatures will push into upper 80's, some locations will break the 90 degree mark.  Relative humidity will be on the increase each day making the afternoon hours uncomfortable for some. Drink plenty of water and wear sunscreen!

This event is still a few days out, so a lot can change.  We will continue to have updates on this evolving situation.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Sherman, Texas Tornado (May 15th, 1896)

On May 15th, 1896, an F5 tornado traveled from northeastern Denton County through the west side of Sherman.  This supercell killed 73 people and injured over 200 others.  Most of the deaths occurred in the town of Sherman, which is located in Grayson County; 60 people lost their lives in Sherman while 12 people died in the community of Howe.  Bodies and victims were taken to the Grayson County Courthouse, while others were taken to vacant buildings in downtown Sherman.

Close to 50 homes were destroyed in Sherman.  The Houston Street Bridge, constructed of iron, was demolished by the tornado too.  This is where most of the deaths occurred.
(Photo of the Houston Street Bridge, courtesy www.yesteryearsnews.wordpress.com/2009/02/10/shermans-black-friday-texas-tornado-1896)
The tornado tracked for 28 miles to the northeast and at its largest was near 400 yards wide.  This deadly tornado was part of a larger outbreak of tornadoes that affected much of the central and southern United States.

The May 1896 tornado outbreak produced a series of violent and deadly tornadoes.  This series of tornadoes occurred from May 15th through May 27th.  As many as three F5 tornadoes were recorded in what was one of the worst tornado outbreak sequences on record.

484 people lost their lives during this tornado sequence outbreak.  Texas (Sherman Tornado), Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Kentucky, and Michigan were all impacted by these deadly tornadoes. 

Information courtesy:

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Deadly Tornado Outbreak

Sunday was the beginning of a long recovery process for parts of the Southern Plains and Midwest, just hours after deadly tornadoes ravaged the area.  The tornado count stand at 122 from Saturday; this number will likely be adjusted by the National Weather Service over the next few days.
                                                              (Filtered Storm Reports, SPC)
The hardest hit areas, by the tornadoes, were Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, and Iowa.  The only known deaths were in Oklahoma.  A powerful, long track, tornado blasted through the city just after midnight as many residents were gearing up for bed.  To make the situation worse, the tornado impacted the transmitter which triggers the tornado sirens to alert residents of immanent danger by a tornado.  This caused the sirens to not work properly as the tornado churned through the city at 60mph.  The tornado was rated an EF-3 in parts of the city and destroyed 89 homes and over one dozen businesses.                                (Photo Courtesy: NWS)
Sadly, this EF-3 tornado took the lives of six people in Woodward, Oklahoma; town of about 12,000 people.  The medical examiner confirms the six deaths as well as confirms two of those deaths were children believed to be ages 5 and 7; close to thirty people were injured in Woodward too.  Most of the deaths occurred at the Hidden Valley Mobile Home Park which took a direct hit from the tornado.  (The photo above is from that mobile home park)  The mobile home park does have a community storm shelter, but due to the lack of warning, because of the sirens not functioning properly, many were not able to make it to shelter in time.  (Tornado Timeline, Courtesy Norman NWS)
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin declared a state of emergency in 12 counties in order to help expedite resources.

Damaging tornadoes ripped through Kansas Saturday afternoon/overnight as well.  Kansas Governor Sam Brownback said "97 tornadoes touched down" in his state; this has not been confirmed by the National Weather Service.  Wichita, Kansas was one of the hardest hit areas in the state overnight.  The NWS has given the tornado a preliminary rating of an EF-3.  The hardest hit areas, in Wichita, were on the southeast side of the city where the large wedge tornado rapidly moved through the city.
                                    (Picture Taken By Brandon Ivey, Courtesy KWCH & NWS)
The tornado in Sedgwick County, Wichita, also hit after dark, but luckily no deaths occurred; close to one dozen people were injured.  Sedgwick County estimates damages close to $300 million!  (Another noteworthy tornado in Kansas was in Ellsworth County and the NWS has given a preliminary EF-4 rating on that tornado.)

Iowa and Nebraska were also hard hit by tornadoes on Saturday.  The community of Thurman, Iowa, town of 300 people, was especially hard hit with 75% of the town being wiped off of the map.

Sunday has featured volatile weather for parts of the country as tornadic storms moved across areas just west of the Mississippi River.  There have been 10 reports of tornadoes.
                                                                        (Preliminary Reports)
These tornadoes were caused by a very potent low, combined with exceptionally moist conditions, and strong windshear near the surface and aloft.  The SPC, and NWS, recognized this outbreak would occur several days in advance of the event and gave adequate warning to the public.  Their hard work and advanced warning helped save the lives of many people.  I commend their very hard work and spot on risk outlook.

I do not want to leave out the Norman, Oklahoma tornado because this was also indirectly caused by the same system.  Norman lucked out as this tornado briefly touched down in parts of the city.  It would have been a different story if this tornado would have stayed on the ground through the whole city.  Norman is home to the University of Oklahoma; there are over 30,000 students who attend the University.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Tornado Outbreak!

A dangerous tornado outbreak is in the making for this evening and overnight.  Tornadic supercells have already formed in Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska this afternoon with several reports of tornadoes touching down.                                (Preliminary Storm Reports)
Thunderstorms will continue to develop in the Southern Plains as we near the dusk hours which will make for an even more dangerous situation.  The SPC has a high risk for severe thunderstorms from Nebraska down into central Oklahoma.  High risk days are very rare and this needs to be taken seriously.  Violent EF2-EF5 tornadoes are possible this afternoon and overnight; these storms will not weaken overnight!                                                    (Risk Area Per SPC)
The best chance for violent tornadoes will be from Nebraska down into the OKC/Norman Metro areas, but southern Oklahoma and northwest/north Texas need to watch out too because if a surface based storm gets going in one of these areas a tornado will be possible too.  The main limiting factors, for southern Oklahoma/north Texas,  is the CAP and strong forcing being located just north which will help inhibit thunderstorms.
                                                                  (Tornado Probabilities)
All the parameters are coming together at the most dangerous time of the day, so again, please be alert to your weather conditions; these storms will continue into the night and will even be enhanced due to the LLJ which will contribute to the winds changing with height.  This could be a record outbreak for the Southern Plains!  Everybody please be safe tonight and share this to spread the word about this dangerous setup. 

Just a side note, this is the one year anniversary of the deadly Tushka tornado that occurred on April 14, 2011.  We at Texoma Weather/primoweather.com commend the people of that community as the continue the recovery process.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Tushka Tornado Anniversary And Severe Weather Season!

Severe weather has already begun to impact parts of the country and will only continue to worsen as we get into late March.  Texas and Oklahoma have seen relatively quiet weather in terms of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes, but that will change later this week and into next week.  We spent part of the day in Tushka, Oklahoma, which is in Atoka County, assessing the recovery efforts and speaking to long time residents of the town. 

The town is slowly rebuilding and it's amazing how strong the residents of Tushka are.  I spoke to a few of them after the tornado and again today, almost a year after the tornado, and their resilience is motivating.  If you're not familiar with the tornado, here's a brief summary of what occurred on April 14th, 2011. 

A sharp dryline was advancing eastward across Oklahoma and Texas along with a strong upper level storm system which moved into the Southern Plains on the afternoon of the April 14th.  By noon the dryline had stalled just west of I-35.  A very strong capping inversion prevented thunderstorm development until further daytime heating took place; once the cap was overcome, violent thunderstorms developed in Oklahoma and north Texas.  (The Storm Prediction Center had a moderate risk area east of a line from Cushing, Oklahoma down to Durant, Oklahoma; Tushka was included in the moderate risk.)

(Satellite image, courtesy NWS. Notice the thunderstorms developing off of the dryline in Oklahoma and Texas.)
Here's a brief rundown of what occurred on April 14th, 2011:

By 3:41pm there were several severe thunderstorm warnings in place including one on a storm that impacted Pontotoc County, Garvin County, and Murray County in southern Oklahoma.  It's now 4:12pm and the NWS issues its first Tornado Warning of the day for a storm that's in Pontotoc County, Garvin County, and Murray County.  5:29pm and storms continue to fire along the dryline that's near the I-35 corridor; a tornado warning is issued for a storm that's in Johnston County, Marshall County, and Carter County.  This is the same storm that produced the deadly tornado in Tushka, Oklahoma.  This tornadic storm continues to advance eastward just north of the Red River causing sporadic damage in Carter County and Marshall County.  By 6:15pm a tornado warning has been issued for Atoka and Bryan County in Oklahoma.  At 6:36pm storm spotters observed a tornado near Milburn, Oklahoma moving east at 30mph.  This tornado continued and at 6:54pm was located near Fillmore moving ENE directly for Atoka County. At 7:16pm the NWS continued the tornado warning for Atoka County stating that the storm had a history of producing tornadoes and was moving towards Tushka.

(Here's a look at the radar at 7:20pm, courtesy KXII-TV.)
7:25pm, the NWS issued a warning stating that a violent tornado was two miles west of Tushka heading due east for the city; they warned all resident to take shelter immediately.  At 7:37pm, the tornado had moved through Tushka and was heading towards southern Atoka; several reports of damage and injuries were already reported by this time.  This tornadic storm continued into the evening as it moved ENE out of Atoka County.  Several minutes after the violent tornado moved through Atoka County another tornado was issued for the county due to a thunderstorm that was showing signs of rotation in western Atoka County.  (By the time the second tornado warning was issued for Atoka County my news team had already arrived in Tushka; they were immediately taken down into the community storm shelter which is located near the Tushka Schools.)  The tornado outbreak of April 14th, 2011 was dangerous and produced several tornadoes that unfortunately caused 40 injuries in and 2 deaths in Atoka County.

(Graphic displaying the southern Oklahoma tornadoes, courtesy NWS.)
I worked at KXII-TV during the Tushka tornado, and I will always remember this event.  The stories I have heard were truly devastating and I realized how precious life is; it also reinforced how powerful mother nature is.  It was great seeing how strong these people are almost a year after the tornado that changed their lives forever. 

Looking ahead to the near future Texas and Oklahoma will experience very spring-like conditions with thunderstorms possible, some of which could be severe.  Tuesday night and Wednesday a very low chance for thunderstorms will exist across north Texas, but the cap will likely prevent most convection.  Thursday will feature a better chance for thunderstorms across Oklahoma and Kansas which could become severe. 

Another system will move overhead Friday giving Texoma another chance for thunderstorms.  A noteworthy system to watch is one that will impact us after next weekend.  Right now it appears a deep trough will have adequate moisture, shear, and instability to work with; we could be looking at our first high impact outbreak of the season in Oklahoma and Texas.  This is several days out, so continue to check back for the latest updates. 

We at Texoma Weather (primoweather.com) believe this tornado season will be above average with several record breaking outbreaks.  Last season wasn't as bad in Oklahoma and Texas as it could have been, but this year will likely be a lot different.  The air mass over the Gulf of Mexico is very moist and unstable for this time of the year; water temperatures are very mild due to the lack of winter in the Southern lower 48.  And with the above average precipitation, diminishing the drought, moisture content in the soil over Texoma is high which will not allow the drylines to mix eastward as quickly, unlike last season. 

Now is the time to prepare for severe weather!  Have a plan, know what to do if a watch is issued, and know what to do if a warning is issued; get a battery operated NOAA weather radio too.  We have lifesaving severe weather tips at http://primoweather.com/severe.html , as well as tornado frequency per month in the United States.