TX Panhandle Initiation 4/22
Based on virtually all model guidance and near-term trends, the focus area for thunderstorm development this afternoon is the eastern Texas panhandle. Particularly between Amarillo and Childress.
The atmospheric setup involves a sagging frontal boundary, an outflow boundary across north Texas and a surface low/dryline combo to the west. More than adequate wind shear combined with modest to moderate instability may result in one or more supercells firing by mid to late afternoon. The HRRR and Fire Wx NAM are closely zeroed in on one area for a potentially dominant, discrete supercell. They highlight initiation around 5 p.m. or so just SE of Amarillo and bring the cell to a point near Childress by 7-8 p.m. Given the environment and modeled updraft helicities, a supercell in this area could produce one or more tornadoes. The biggest threat is most likely to be large to very large hail.
Model guidance isn’t perfect. Satellite, radar and surface observation trends will need to be closely monitored this afternoon. Although the TX panhandle is highlighted, other storms may fire across far southern Oklahoma and into north Texas, near to just south of the Red River Valley.
Storms will probably merge into lines or an MCS tonight and pose a wind damage threat as they move east-southeastward.
The potential for severe weather will continue into Thursday and Friday, albeit slightly further east.
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