After a relatively dry and warm Saturday, clusters of scattered showers and storms returned to the metroplex today, bringing our tentative May rainfall up to 4.21 inches at DFW, despite local areas seeing even more rain. However, looking forward through the next week, the story will be more of the same as rain continues to play a factor every single day.
Throughout the last week, and through the weekend, mesoscale convective systems (which I will refer to as MCS) plagued North Texas with spotty, scattered cells dropping plenty of rain for some and missing others entirely. The prevalence of multiple daily MCS will become prevalent throughout the week ahead, making it an extremely complicated setup for all forecasters as some places in Texas may see up to 5 inches of rain while others barely see a drop.
SEVERE SETUP OVERNIGHT:
The first wave of scattered storms will develop this afternoon for much of Texas, with the possibility of hail for some. As the storms developed around DFW, they could be accompanied by up to golf ball sized hail and gusty winds caused by significant downdrafts. In addition, storms are likely to move into DFW overnight from the west, which could intercept the slow moving MCS that is around North Texas now. The squall line will be weakening as it enters the metroplex, but it is still plausible that some areas receive hail or straight-line winds.
EARLY NEXT WEEK:
Monday and Tuesday will continue to see multiple MCS move throughout the metroplex, with it being difficult to know who exactly will and won’t receive rain. The shortwave from the Rockies that moved in over the weekend, combined with a weakness found in the gulf, means that our rain profile will transition from severe storms to more of a tropical-like rain pattern, akin to places like Orlando. Clouds and rain will keep temperatures in the high 70s, but high dew points indicate that flash flooding will be extremely possible for areas that receive high amounts of rainfall, especially with the high amounts of continuous rain and high precip action rates that could happen early next week. Most of Texas will see heavy rain but scattered thunderstorms are still possible. That being said, the severe risk is considerably lower for the early part of next week than has been with previous events. All of this is the early shift to an eventual wet pattern that could be in place over Texas for weeks to come.
As the rest of the week progresses, a slow-moving ULL vortex will make its way over DFW by mid week, exacerbating the continuous rainfall conditions by sitting over parts of North Texas from late Tuesday through Friday. Similar to ULL events of the past (such as the one that brought a record 12 inches of snow to DFW in February of 2010!) indicate that the threat of floods will continue to increase throughout the week as high levels of sustained precipitation will impact weakened areas and potentially cause flash flooding. However, this combined ULL and MCS event is still a few days out, so being able to anticipate what areas will receive the most amount of rain is impossible at this time. While it’s likely that all parts of NTX could receive well over 2 inches of rain over the next 5 days, it’s not improbable that some areas receive rain every day while others only see rain one day. However, continue to prepare as if it will affect you—flooding is extremely dangerous and if you live in low-lying areas or around weak dams/smaller streams, pay extremely close attention to the weather as the week develops, as it will become apparent quickly whether or not the flood risk is greater or less than it appears to be right now. Throughout this whole event, temperatures are to remain in 70s mostly, as although highs are forecasted to be in the 80s, the prevalence of rain that is forecasted and the dew points indicate that temperatures will likely be suppressed by the rain. In summary, rain will be here to stay for this week and 2-5 inches of rain is extremely likely for most everyone.
The wet pattern continues! Confidence is increasing that we are nowhere near done with this wet pattern, and it could persist for weeks. There is an excerpt from the FWD AFD that I think best sums up how things are looking for the end of May and early June. “The rainfall will further strengthen the troughing aloft, which will in turn lead to more rain events.” As we get these prolonged, heavy rain events, it will, by default, delay a lot of ridging that brings us a lot of our summertime, dry heat. It’s looking more and more likely that we will continue to dodge triple digit weather in favor of wet conditions.
Stay safe, stay dry, and stay weather aware!