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Texas Weather Outlook – February 9, 2020

After a very active (well, at least for winter) January 10… here we are looking at another, milder, severe potential here on February 9.

First, let’s look at the SPC outlook.

So, we’ve got general thunderstorms for the Hill Country, South Central, Southeast, and East Texas; this also includes the eastern edge of the Big Country, and the eastern bit of North Central Texas. For the rest of North Central Texas and most of Central Texas, we’ve got a Level 1 out of 5 – Marginal – risk of severe thunderstorms. In the Marginal risk area we’ve got the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex and Waco’s metro area.

Instability in the Marginal risk area will be moderate-ish. Tonight, as I author this, it’s a nice what I call “preamble” night. It’s mild for the winter, in the high 50s and low 60s (in warmer seasons, it’s warm rather than mild), humid, and is marked by beautiful low stratocumulus clouds moving up from the South, a common visual indicator of moisture coming from the Gulf of Mexico, where we Texans get so much of our moisture from.

We’ll warm into and linger in the high 60s and low 70s today, under mostly cloudy skies. A cold front will move to over the Panhandle and High Plains of the state, helping to trigger today’s storms.

For the morning, expect scattered light showers and drizzle. We’ll approach noon, and that’s when to watch for non-severe storms in the general thunderstorms and Marginal area to mix in with the showers. It’s the afternoon where, in the Marginal risk area, isolated severe storms MAY form ahead of the cold front. IF that happens, these storms will have a lot of territory to themselves, and be able to get quite strong. The likely direction for these storms, and other non-strong/severe activity, will be SW to NE. With the given parameters of this afternoon, the main risk is hail up to 1-2″ in diameter, and winds up to ~60 mph. An isolated tornado cannot be ruled out, but is quite unlikely.

There’s also a chance these storms may not even form, as I hinted at in the previous paragraph, and if that happens, the severe threat will be reduced, and will be “saved” for when the actual front comes through & brings a line of storms with it. The risk with this “round” will be strong winds, along similar parameters as mentioned above.

Behind the front, expect temperatures to linger in the 60s into the upper 50s until around midnight; they’ll fall into the 40s and lower 50s by sunrise Monday.

With any thunderstorms, lightning is a risk. In a few areas, heavy rain may lead to minor flooding. As for general winds, they’ll mainly be from the south ahead of the front, and from the north/northwest behind the front. This will not be a “sweep it all out” front, so expect more rain on Monday, sans the storminess of today.

A liveblog will be added to this post as developments happen starting late morning.

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