With severe to exceptional drought conditions found across the majority of the southern Plains, many will be singing with joy as much-need rain falls across the region this weekend. Unfortunately for some, it will come with a price-tag.
The primary player in the weather across these regions this weekend will be a stationary frontal boundary located near the Red River Valley. This boundary is separating the fall-like temperatures in the central Plains from the typical summertime heat and humidity across the southern Plains and Texas.
As an upper-air disturbance continues to press southeastward over this boundary tonight, scattered showers and heavy thunderstorms will continue to fire from the Texas panhandle into Oklahoma and the remainder of northern Texas.
These scattered storms may evolve into a larger, more instense thunderstorm complex as the storms track southeastward during the overnight hours.
While the primary threat will be locally heavy and drenching rainfall, hail and damaging wind gusts are possible especially during the evening hours. The best chance for some severe weather lies over the southwestern part of Oklahoma into parts of north-central and northwestern Texas.
There, a more significant threat for wind gusts over 60 mph, hail to the size of golf balls, and torrential, flooding downpours exists.
An inch or two of rain will be possible in less than an hour from some of the strongest and persistent thunderstorms. This, in combination with the dry soil conditions across the region, may prompt localized flash and urban flooding, especially in low-lying and poor drainage areas.
Through this evening, locations across Oklahoma and northern Texas will be impacted including Childress, Fort Sill, Lubbock and Wichita Falls.
As we progress into the evening and overnight hours, a few of these storms will persist as they head towards the south and east. Some locations that may be threatened include the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, Tyler and eventually Shreveport before daybreak. A few storms have already rumbled across the Dallas region and residents there should be aware that additional storms are on the way through the nighttime hours.
Although numerous thunderstorms will fire through the remainder of the weekend across the region, not everyone from Texas westward into Arkansas and Louisiana will end up receiving significant rainfall.
Unfortunately, nearly 12 inches of rain needs to fall across many of these areas to effectively end the drought. A drought this severe will take quite some time to dig out of. Regardless, the rain this weekend will help put a little dent in the drought conditions.
Some of the warmest weather of the year will continue across Alaska over the next few days, challenging more records.
Join us on Thursday for AccuWeather LIVE, we will discuss the debate of climate change and hurricane frequency and the top five things you need to know about summer weather.
Warmth is forecast to build over much of the eastern half of the nation by July, with Alaska of all places helping out.
A brief synopsis of the top five worst weather events of last summer.
The storms could affect cities from St. Louis to Evansville, Ind., Louisville, Ky., Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio to Huntington, W.Va.
A tornado touched down at Denver International Airport as a severe weather system moved through the area.
Philadelphia, PA (1994)
Strong thunderstorm winds blew off a large section of a hanger roof and also damaged two aircraft.
A violent tornado started west of the Hudson River, then travelled on to Poughkeepsie, Waterbury, North Haven, Milford, and Branford line into Long Island Sound. Extensive damage; funnel looked like an "aurora borealis." At New Milford, 28 buildings were destroyed or damaged. A barn door was carried 9 miles from its original site.
Amwell, NJ (1742)
A fatal hailstorm and severe thunderstorm containing hail 4" in diameter killed one child and did considerable damage to crops.