12/29/06 NOW: KS / OK / TX

Billy Griffin

Might as well go ahead and start the "now" thread, since numerous thunderstorms are firing now over the high plains of the TX and OK panhandles, along with southernmost Kansas. USPLN showing an explosive development in the number of CGs associated with initiating thunderstorms. Winds are all backed throughout Oklahoma, but dewpoints are still sluggish ~ 50.


I would expect this activity to increase in coverage throughout the morning hours, with a continued risk of severe activity from the OK/KS border, south.

An absolute perfect setup for cold-core activity in OK today, with most of the true gulf moisture kept near the Texas coast. I can foresee more of a linear event in this system, but perhaps a few isolated cells in Texas and the "needle in a haystack" cold-core stuff in Oklahoma.

Everyone stay safe today, and good luck!
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The Cell NE of Austin and the cells NE and W of Waco have intensified and are starting to look more organized. Wont be surprised to see a watch issued pretty soon. The cells in and around Dallas/Ft. Worth are looking healthy as well. Look for things to get going within the next 30 min to and hour in S central and central Texas.

Also for those of us who live N of where all the activity will be today theres going to be alot of rain put down over the next couple of days. Flood Watch's will be needed in the next 36 hrs for parts OK, KS, MO, AR.
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Fairly impressive thunderstorms around here in Dodge City now... fairly frequent thunder by end-of-December standards. Sitting at 37F now, the front went through a couple hours ago... but the large majority of this event will be plain-old cold rain for here in Dodge. A couple hours west of here could be another story entirely. This event, if we get 1.6" or more, which it looks like we will, will put us in top-5 wettest Decembers on record... dating back to 1874. And another fairly close CG... wow... I really wish I was in Goodland, though :(
First Warning of the day comes with a storm in N central Texas for Freestone Co. Penny Size hail and 60 mph winds possible with this storm. NWS in Ft. Worth says the storm is traveling N at 45 mph but I think the track of these storms in general will be N to NNW untill one starts spinning and then we will see some right turns. Matter of fact Ill bet you the first storm that starts tracking in a NE direction will be the first to go tornadic.
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Problem in Texas is going to be the orientation of that warm front. I haven't had time to do any surface analysis as I am concentrating on the winter storm that is about to hit the South Plains (near Blizzard potential expected tonight with up to 10" of snow, which is a LOT for West Texas). If the depiction of the warm front on the last mesoscale discussion graphic is correct, your only going to see a very short term tornadic potential as storms cross the warm front.

Seems to me the only chance a storm has to sustain tornadic status would be along the component of the warm front that is oriented NE and only then if you could get one to turn right and run along it. I wouldn't rule out a straggler grabbing on to some weak boundary and running with it further south and east of I35, but given the terrain, the overall setup and storm motion and I don't like the way the warm front is oriented, chasing that and scoring will be difficult at best. I've chased these type of warm front setups in late winter/very early spring across that area and it's a royal pain in the ass and has never resulted in any significant catches for me. A lot of luck and being in the right place at the right time to score a tornado on camera there today.
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SPC is saying that the potential for tornadoes is still there and a watch will be needed soon. Cyclonic shear has already been noted with in relatively shallow convection near the Tx coast, and rotation potential regionally will increase with continued deepening of convection. Discrere supercell probability is greatest in the free warm sector out ahead of the cold front. The storms that do cross the warm front will interact with the associated relative peak of low level vorticity along with shear and ascent.

Edit* TORNADO WARNING FOR Coryell CO. Texas until 115pm. NWS detected and developing tornado 12 miles SE of Gatesville, Tx. WOW that was fast.

Edit* Erath Co in Tor Warning until 2:15 pm. At 1:12pm a storm with a history of producing tornadoes was 10 miles Se of Dublin, TX moving north at 35 mph.
Also Bosque Co has just been tor warned until 2:15pm.
Also Central Falls Co. has been warned until 2:15.
They all just started spinning LOL.
3 confirmed tornadoes so far with damage done to a mobile home in near Oglesby, Tx and some other minor damage.

Also SPC just put out a mesoscale discusion for C Oklahoma. The storms that fire in Texas are expected to keep moving north and will affect Oklahoma later this afternoon. Still a chance for a good cold core event in OK. I also want to point out NW right now. If you go to a radar site for that area you'll se a large area of very heavy rain falling. That big red blob has hung over that area now for almost 3 hours.... thats a crap load of rain.

Does Anyone have a Video Link to one of the News stations down in Tx covering this event?
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Hey all... myself and Jason Doss also from this site are heading to the McClennon County/Bell County line for possible intercpet.
Look at that storm in W Texas riding the cold front. THAT THING IS HUGE and looks like its trying to rotate. Anyone else notice that cell. Also the pressure cooker has cracked every mature looking cell is exploding. I cant get over this storm riding the cold front in W texas. That thing is a monster. Oh this is only the beginning the area for tornado development will be W and NW of Houston and is being caried to the N. E Texas get ready!!! According to the models the best stuff is yet to come.

EDIT* SPC has now upgraded todays convective outlook to a Moderate Risk for C Texas. And a tornado watch has been issued for N central texas/ S Ok untill 8 pm. This event has turned into a tornado breeding ground I thought that it was going to be linear dominate with some discrete supercells. I look at the radar right now and im counting 7 supercells on radar in C texas. WOW what a day. This is very unusual for Texas this time of year. On average from Dec. 25- Jan. 3 they see a tornado once every nine years.
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At the present time, it looks as though a small outbreak of tornadoes is underway. Instability is much higher than forecast, with CAPE values of over 2000 j/kg near the Gulf Coast. Earlier WRF forecasts showed at most 1000 j/kg for the same area just yesterday. Consequently, the threat for supercells and tornadoes has dramatically increased (since there hasn't been a question regarding the strength of the wind fields---obviously).

Right now, I would expect that most of the tornadic activity would be limited to areas with locally higher instability and with storms that can remain relatively discrete. I've noticed that, for the Southern Plains, low instability/high shear setups are not as conducive for a widespread threat of tornadoes. Thus, I would expect that most of the tornadic activity will be limited to the regions of higher instability (though I wouldn't rule out an isolated tornado or two near the Red River).

Given the magnitude of the low-level shear (0-1 km SRH >300), unseasonably strong instability, and the low LCL heights, I wouldn't be a bit surprised to see a strong (or even violent) tornado in E TX.

Very complex situation to pin down. Widespread SVR ongoing from TX coast northward into OK. In regards the cold core situation, I'd anticipate new development in southwest / south-central OK within the next hour, as those storms will race to the NNE ~ 40+. Shear is almost "too good." Numerous reports of damage now coming in from those tornadic storms south of the DFW metroplex. A more classic situation, both linear and isolated cells, appears to be an increasing threat over much of eastern Texas, along the I-45 corridor.
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I think we'll see a warning soon on the cell just south of Ft. Worth. This cell was warned before but I'm seeing some rotation again on radar (if I'm seeing things right). I live near Denton, TX so I might head out for a quick 1 hour chase. Anyone else seeing this same rotation. Just as I'm typing this I have hail outside. I believe that most of the action for stronger tor. will be in the Red River later today which is tough chasing territory. Good luck to all.

The cell I was talking about just went warned. I'm packing up and heading out.
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4 New tornado warning have been issued for areas North of Houston, Tx. WOW THINGS ARE EXPLODING!!! You know im still really impressed with those storms out in W Tx. They are not tornadic but are very big and once that line moves into a more unstable air mass we could see some really strong derechos later on this evening. Some of the counties just issued in the tor warnings include cherokee,Burleson, Washington, and Hill counties. The storm in Bosque Co. is the strongest storm at the moment. The storm just Nw of Ft. Worth is looking impressive as well not rotating yet but look healthy.

EDIT* The storm in Bosque co if it holds together will hit Ft. Worth. Storm spotters are observing a tornado on the ground. The guys at Fox Ch. 4 in the Dallas Ft worth area have already mentioned this.
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To me, the most impressive signature (currently) is on that one SSW of Austin, in Bastrop County. No warning on it as of yet, but it's been pulsing and is rather isolated at this time.
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