National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Showers and thunderstorms will develop initially over the Texas Panhandle late Thursday night in response to a potent upper-level trough digging into the Great Plains. These thunderstorms will begin to reach portions of North Texas west of U.S. Highway 281 during the very early morning hours Friday. These thunderstorms will approach the I-35 corridor and the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex by morning, and push east of the Metroplex and into Central and East Texas during the afternoon hours. The severe weather threat will be low, but damaging wind gusts and small hail will be possible. The tornado threat is expected to remain very low, but an isolated tornado or two cannot be completely ruled out. Finally, the flash flooding threat should be low given the recent dry conditions, but minor flooding may still be possible in flood-prone areas.
Another upper-level trough will dig into the Great Plains on Sunday, leading to the development of a surface low over the Oklahoma and Texas Panhandles. There will be a potential for thunderstorm development east of a dryline and south of a warm front, with conditions likely to be favorable for some of these thunderstorms to become severe. Confidence is increasing in this severe weather setup as models have come into better agreement. Some uncertainty still remains however, especially with regards to timing and placement of the highest threat area. Still, interests in the Southern Great Plains are advised to monitor weather forecasts over the coming days.
It will be a breezy and warm day on Thursday. Morning clouds will give way to mostly sunny conditions during the afternoon. Winds will increase quickly during the mid to late morning hours. South winds of near 20 mph with gusts around 30 mph are expected. High temperatures will generally been in the mid 80s.
The first day of Spring is this Monday March 20th, and so is the time to prepare for severe weather season. Advance planning for thunderstorms, tornadoes, damaging winds, floods, etc. requires specific safety precautions. Are you prepared for severe weather? Do you know the different terminology? Plan ahead before severe weather affect you!

 
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Drought Information

 


 

Drought conditions continue across portions of Northeast Texas.

With below normal precipitation expected the remainder of the winter, drought conditions are likely to expand/intensify.

 


Current Drought Conditions

  

U.S. Drought Monitor

 

U.S. Drought Monitor - North and Central Texas

 

U.S. Drought Monitor - Texas

 


Fire Danger

  

Even if a burn ban is not in effect for your area, it is still important to be vigilant about fire usageAvoid open flames near dry vegetation, and assure all coals and embers are fully extinguished.

 

Texas Outdoor Burn Bans

Keetch-Byram Drought Index

The Keetch-Byram Drought Index is a drought statistic specifically designed to assess fire danger.

 


Water Restrictions

 

After nearly 5 years of significant water restrictions, the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) began allowing twice-per-week watering on May 1, 2015.  Sprinklers and other irrigation systems are still be prohibited between 10 am and 6 pm (April 1 to October 31).  The NTMWD serves 1.6 million customers east and northeast of the city of Dallas.

In April 2014, the Fort Worth City Council made permanent its twice-per-week limit on landscape watering.  Only hand watering is allowed between 10 am and 6 pm.  Arlington, also within the Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD) service area, is still requesting that residents adhere to a twice-per-week watering schedule, but the formal restrictions have been lifted.  Dallas has made permanent its twice-per-week limit, but the restriction on daytime watering is limited to the warm season (April 1 to October 31).  Since water restrictions vary considerably throughout the Metroplex, residents should keep informed with the current guidelines from their municipality or water utility provider.

Voluntary conservation continues for both Waco and Temple/Killeen.  However, water restrictions remain in effect for some communities within McLennan County and Bell County.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) maintains a list of water restrictions across the state.

 


Outlook

 

La Niña conditions are expected to persist throughout the cold season.  As a result, North and Central Texas are more likely to see below normal precipitation the remainder of the winter.

 

Precipitation Outlook for January-February-March 2017

Precipitation Outlook for January-February-March

 

These outlooks present the likelihood of receiving a precipitation total that differs significantly from normal.  Green areas denote parts of the country with an increased chance of being in the wettest tercile, or the wettest third of historical data.  Similarly, brown areas denote parts of the country that are projected to have an elevated chance of being in the driest tercile.  Where neither color is shaded, there is no strong signal to determine an accentuated chance of being in either the driest or wettest tercile.  This does not mean that near normal precipitation is expected, but simply that the period is just as likely to be in the wettest tercile as it is to be in the driest tercile.

 


 Drought Links

 

 National Integrated Drought Information System

 National Drought Mitigation Center

  Drought Impact Reporter

  Precipitation Estimates

  Lake Levels