It wouldn’t be the Easter weekend without the chance for showers and storms. We’ve noticed over the last several weeks that the upper level pattern has slowly started to wake back up; in other words, the pattern has become very amplified. Fortunately, we’ll remain dry for Saturday and Sunday for the outdoor Easter egg hunts.
Our next chance for severe weather will be Friday late afternoon and evening. The SPC has issued a slight risk for severe weather across eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas.
Showers and storms should hold off until after 3 p.m. on Friday. Warm temperatures aloft will cap the atmosphere and keep the convection from firing. The combination of peak heating, moisture transport, and a cold front will ignite the showers and storms toward the evening. Plan on showers and storms through 10 p.m. on Friday.
There are some questions with this severe weather forecast. The first will be the amount of low level moisture on Friday. Forecast models transport lower 50 dewpoints across eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas. That would be enough for severe weather; however, the real deep low level moisture looks to stay to our south.
The second question is the amount of cloud cover for Friday. I think we’ll see a mix of clouds and sun during the afternoon. That should be enough for CAPE values to reach around 1,000 J/KG. That type of CAPE would indicate the chance for quarter size hail stones within the strongest cells.
There is also enough wind shear with this next event to warrant an isolated tornado threat. If storms can develop and get rooted in the boundary layer, there’s enough shear to spin up tornadoes. The greatest threat with this event would be a squall line ahead of the cold front. If storms can’t get ahead of the front, the tornado threat would likely be low.
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