It's a somber moring for us as we make our way eastward for today's storms. Last night and this morning we were saddened to hear of the destruction from the supercell storms that developed east of us in Texas. NWS Dallas/Fort Worth has a preliminary count of ten tornadoes causing six fatalities and numerous injuries. We did not chase these storms since our policy is to not chase storms that close to the I-35 corridor due to traffic difficulties and visibility issues with terrain. Our thoughts are with
all of those affected by these terrible storms last night. (Photo from NWS Dallas/Fort Worth)
We did see some severe storms yesterday near Archer City, TX, which is just south of Wichita Falls. These had some intense structure to them but they were clustered too close together and in a less favorable upper-level wind environment than those to the east of our area. These storms had frequent lightning with deep, rolling thunder, large hail, and lots of heavy rain. Below is a slideshow of some photos I took as we chased these into the evening hours of last night.
Our chase takes us eastward today as we follow an upper-level low across parts of Arkansas, Texas, and Louisiana. Not only does this low give us instability but it also allows winds to be out of the southwest aloft. These winds will encourage supercell storm development today, much like they did yesterday in Texas.
Winds down at the surface will also be favorable for severe storms. The southeasterly winds that we have now and will continue to see today will increase the amount of moisture flowing into Southern Arkansas and the surrounding areas while also creating low-level wind shear for storms to sustain themselves.
One issue we do have right now is an area of showers and storms moving along the Texas/Oklahoma border. These are dissipating rather quickly though so instability will be allowed to build again this afternoon as these storms and clouds clear out. How quickly this happens exactly will determine the actual severity of the storms this afternoon and evening.
The Storm Prediction Center has parts of the ArkLaTex under a Slight Risk of severe weather this afternoon. This carries with it a 5% tornado probability and 15% hail and wind probabilties. The area of potential severe weather is so small today because the upper low is compact. Nevertheless we're in South Central Oklahoma now and will make our way eastward this afternoon as we see conditions come together. Remember to follow me on Twitter and Facebook for up-to-the-minute chase updates today.