The threat for severe weather is gradually decreasing as we go through the wee hours Thursday morning. Still showers and thunderstorms in the forecast overnight and still some potential for marginal severe weather with the main threats hail, strong winds, lightning and hopefully some decent rainfall.
Thankfully, this did not turn out to be a huge severe weather event! So what went wrong, or right? Well it's always very easy to look back after the fact and come up with reasons why my forecast didn't work out. You know there are so many variables in weather forecasting. It's like baking cookies. If you leave out one ingredient or the oven was set at the wrong temp those cookies taste really bad. Just like when you make a forecast and one ingredient is a no show it's another busted forecast.
Actually my forecast from last night wasn't that bad. Here's the hand drawn weather map I posted right here on the weather blog last night. My mother always told me I had doctors hand writing. She was so right! RIP Jane...
I showed the greatest concentration of thunderstorms in northwestern Oklahoma and points northeast from there. Then I showed a break through central Oklahoma with more thunderstorms to the south in Texas. Well, that kinda happened!
I also put an X where I thought tornadoes could develop through 6pm Wed. Looking back the only tornado warned severe thunderstorms were over northwestern Oklahoma in southeastern Ellis county, southwestern Kansas to the southwest of Medicine Lodge in Comanche and Barber counties and then in Custer county near Butler. Not a bad forecast at all!
Enough of the good, what about the bad. Why didn't we get clobbered from this system. Well right off the bat remember I kept referring in my blog that the main upper storm system was slowing down and tracking more north. It's possible the lack of atmospheric forcing may have contributed to the lack of thunderstorm coverage. Also, did you notice the coolish feeling in OKC that started around 4pm and lasted into the evening? If you remember an area of showers and thunderstorms moved across Oklahoma and Texas around midday and the rain lingered in southern Oklahoma and northern Texas into the afternoon. As strong gusty south winds developed those winds tapped rain cooled air from Texas pulling it northward into central Oklahoma by late afternoon / evening. Posted above are the high temps from the Oklahoma Mesonet. You can clearly see cooler high temps across central and southern Oklahoma with the hotter temps to the west and northwest. It's very possible that the thunderstorms that formed in western Oklahoma weakened as they moved east because they encountered the rain cooled air over central Oklahoma.. We may never really know!!
Here's the severe weather risk for Thursday from the Severe Storms Prediction Center. As a cold front moves slowly southeast tomorrow it catches up with the dry line and the whole thing moves east shoving the severe weather risk to east with it. It's basically a Slight to Enhanced Risk for severe thunderstorms stretching from northeastern TX northeast across eastern OK all the way up into the Great Lakes! It's possible that portions of this risk area could be upgraded to a Moderate Risk. So you folks over in eastern and southeastern Oklahoma are under the gun for large hail, high winds, lightning, heavy rainfall and maybe even a few tornadoes.