RECORD HEAT: Hot Temperatures Continue Today

Published: Mar. 20, 2017 at 10:15 AM CDT
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Record heat is expected across the region today. The record high of 89 (that has stood since 1934) will likely fall today. The forecast high is 92!

Look for sunny skies and south winds at 10-20mph for most of the day.

During the afternoon/early evening hours, isolated thunderstorms will develop over the Davis Mountains and move into parts of Pecos, Reeves and Brewster Counties. Another area where an isolated storm or two could develop is in SE New Mexico.

None of these storms will be strong and all of the storms will die off as the sun sets.

Even hotter temperatures are in the offing on Tuesday. Highs will be in the mid to upper 90s across the region. This will once again break records.

The chance of storms will spread a bit further east on Tuesday. It currently looks like the best chance of rain will be over the NE Permian Basin, southward toward the Lower Trans Pecos. Once again, the storms will largely be tied to daytime heating and no severe weather is expected.

Temperatures will be cooler on Wednesday but will still be well above normal for this time of year. Look for highs in the mid 80’s. A weak cold front will move through the area, only making it to around I-10 before stalling and retreating north on Wednesday night.

As the front retreats north, strong southeast surface flow will fill in across the region. This will pump in some extra moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. At the same time, a vigorous upper level storm will be moving over the Desert Southwest, approaching the area.

As the upper level storm nears the region on Thursday, the dryline will sharpen along a line that will extend from just east of Amarillo to Fort Stockton. On the west side of this line, very dry air will persist, with strong westerly winds blowing. Fire danger will be high west of the dryline.

On the east side of the boundary, dew points in the mid 50’s are expected. In addition to the increased low level moisture, thermodynamics are looking mildly impressive. MUCAPE well above 1000 J/KG, lapse rates nearing 9c per KM and bulk shear 30-40KTS are all suggest a severe weather environment. Of particular interest is the amount of wind shear in the lowest levels of the atmosphere. Given the stronger low level wind flow (ESE 20-30KTS) juxtaposed with a 500MB southwest flow around 55KTS, there appears to be enough shear to induce a few tornadoes, especially if a storm could root into the boundary layer near the old cold front in the northern Permian Basin. Given that storm development will be during the evening hours and cooling will have set in, cloud bases will be closer to the ground. This will have to be monitored for a possible Red Alert Day.

At this time, it appears that storms would develop in the evening and then grow upscale into a large squall line that will move east of the area in the early morning hours of Friday. Everything should be east of our area by 2am. However, I have carried 20% pops into Friday’s time block to account for this. The greatest risk of severe weather will be from 6-10pm Thursday, along and north of I-20 and east of HWY 385.

Slightly cooler temperatures and breezy winds are expected on Friday.

A subtle warm up is expected over the weekend. However, the winds will be a bit breezy, especially on Sunday.