First look: Risk of damaging storms on Friday

Severe weather season is ramping up, and our first springtime storm system arrives in two days.

The First Warning Weather team will constantly be fine-tuning the expected timing and impacts from this storm. Stay tuned for frequent updates, especially if you’ll be attending the WGC Dell Technologies Match Play golf tournament, or Rodeo Austin events.

Download the KXAN First Warning Weather app.

First look at potential storm timing

10:30 a.m. Friday — Showers, isolated thunderstorms fire over the Hill Country with minimal risk of damaging storms.

1:30 p.m. Friday — Storms gather strength, enter the I-35 corridor. Minimal to slight risk of damaging storms.

4:00 p.m. Friday — Line of storms continues to fill in, with an increasing risk of damaging thunderstorms.

Hail, damaging winds, and isolated tornadoes all appear possible at this time, though the greatest risk of damaging storms should stay in northeast Texas.

Interestingly, Austin’s three costliest hailstorms have all occurred on March 25. This Friday’s risk of severe weather comes on March 24.

Read the technical severe weather discussion from the NOAA Storm Prediction Center:

Day 3 Convective Outlook  
   NWS Storm Prediction Center Norman OK
   0229 AM CDT Wed Mar 22 2017

   Valid 241200Z - 251200Z

   ...THERE IS A SLIGHT RISK OF SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS ACROSS PARTS OF
   THE SOUTHERN PLAINS...ARKLATEX AND LOWER MISSISSIPPI VALLEY...

   ...THERE IS A MARGINAL RISK OF SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS ACROSS PARTS OF
   THE SOUTHERN PLAINS...CENTRAL PLAINS...ARKLATEX...OZARKS AND LOWER
   TO MID MISSISSIPPI VALLEY...

   ...SUMMARY...
   Wind damage, isolated large hail and a tornado threat is forecast
   Friday and Friday night across parts of the southern Plains,
   Arklatex and Lower Mississippi Valley.

   ...Southern Plains/Arklatex/Lower Mississippi Valley...
   An upper-level low is forecast to move across the southern Plains on
   Friday. At the surface, a low is forecast to move across the Texas
   Panhandle into Oklahoma as a dryline advances quickly eastward
   across the southern Plains. By midday, surface dewpoints to the east
   of the dryline are forecast to be in the lower 60s F in northeast
   Texas and in the upper 50s F in east-central Oklahoma. As surface
   heating takes place during the day across an uncapped moist sector,
   convective initiation appears likely just to the east of the
   dryline. This convection should gradually organize into a squall
   line being strongly forced by a band of large-scale ascent
   associated with the southern Plains upper-level low. The squall line
   is forecast to move across much of Arkansas and the western half of
   Louisiana during the evening eventually reaching the Mississippi
   River late in the period.

   Moisture advection will continue on Friday across the southern
   Plains and Arklatex as the upper-level system moves from west to
   east across the region. This should allow for moderate instability
   to develop by late afternoon across parts of eastern Oklahoma and
   east Texas. This combined with strong deep-layer shear profiles of
   60 to 80 kt should result in a wind-producing MCS as the strong
   winds aloft congeal storms into a nearly continuous line. Wind
   damage will be possible along the leading edge of this convective
   line with the greatest potential in the Arklatex during the evening
   as the MCS gains access to higher quality moisture where surface
   dewpoints may reach the mid 60s F. In addition, forecast soundings
   across the Arklatex Friday evening show low-level shear profiles
   sufficient for tornadoes. Supercells that develop in the line or
   ahead of the line could be accompanied by a tornado threat. Isolated
   large hail may also occur with cells that rotate. An isolated wind
   damage and hail threat will be possible in much of the overnight
   period as the line of storms approaches the Mississippi River.

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