Sunday, August 12, 2018

Did The Donut Get Us Again? Where's the Rain?

How many times have I heard that one?  LOL, far too many for me to even imagine a number.  But, not surprisingly I'm hearing it again today (Sunday, August 12, 2018) and I don't blame anyone for asking.  It's another day with just a few random showers and thundershowers around the Texoma area.  But, why?

Well, this time we have a very good reason as to why the donut hole seems to have set up shop over a majority of Texoma with the center near Wichita Falls.  It's an easy answer really because with this weather situation over Texoma there is a hole in the atmosphere and it's empty of rain . . . for now.

There's a regional area of low pressure over Texoma and the center is located along I-44 between Wichita Falls and Lawton probably in Cotton County.  Want to see it on radar?

There it is:


(The map is clickable and you can enlarge it).  That's right nothing in Texoma, or at least as I'm writing this at about 450p on Sunday.

But, if we look just a little further out with a view of Oklahoma City on the upper right corner and the Panhandle on the left as well as DFW to the lower right we can start to see activity to our northeast, north and west.  Take a look . . . 


The area of low pressure is causing lift all around Texoma but the greatest combination of lift, instability and moisture is about 100 miles from the center near Grandfield in southwest Oklahoma.

The needed ingredients for rain and thundershowers over Texoma just haven't really come together at this point inside the donut so once again it's all literally going around us.

Do you know what direction it's rotating?

Low pressure rotates counter-clockwise in the northern hemisphere (just like most tornadoes in this area).  So the worst of the activity is on the right upper side of the low and that corresponds with what's happening up in the Oklahoma City metro area.  A couple of those storms could even be strong with gusty winds and very small hail as the hours go by.

Here's one more picture of the radar and you can see (the badly drawn) arrows I put on the map.  This shows the overall rotation of the low.


The next question is, when will it fill in if at all and will showers and thunderstorms make it into Texoma?

The current computer model forecast consensus says that the low will rotate and re-position itself over Woodward, Okla. by tomorrow morning (Monday, August 13, 2018).  Woodward is up in northwest Oklahoma.

If this were to happen and actually take place then we would be on the south side of the low instead of in the middle.  That should bring the showers and potential thunderstorms that are occurring on the South Plains to our west into our area.  This is the better side to be on for a more soaking and thundershower rain instead of any powerful thunderstorms.

But tomorrow morning is a long way from now, a good 12 hours.  And, we all know the forecast changes.  But, let's hope we finally get some additional rain.  It's important we get some soon because the drought in Texoma is at the top of the scale at "Exceptional" and "Extreme."

Keep watching the skies Texoma!

Bryan W. Rupp