North Texas avoided harsh weather Thursday, although people living south of Interstate 20 were told to keep watching out for fierce thunderstorms and possibly even some tornadoes.
Lightning and light rain greeted Tarrant County commuters Thursday morning in the first round of scattered thunderstorms ahead of a cold front.
But conditions for damaging storms largely did not develop, said Tom Bradshaw, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Fort Worth.
Cloud cover from the morning showers kept temperatures down. DFW Airport recorded 82 degrees around 4 p.m., but that wasn’t warm enough to trigger thunderstorms, Bradshaw said.
“Today things just held in a little longer than we thought they would,” Bradshaw said. “We still have plenty of moisture around, but we really don’t have the heating to create the instability to get storms going.”
Meanwhile, however, conditions favored storms in West and Central Texas, and storms were popping up near Abilene.
Bradshaw said the air was extremely unstable along a line from Abilene to Waco to just north of College Station.
With plenty of moisture in place, communities along and south of that line were “pretty ripe for new activity,” Bradshaw said.
Rain and isolated storms were moving southeast at 45 mph around 4 p.m.
A threat of severe storms across North Texas was slightly possible through the evening, but “mainly along and south of the Interstate 20 corridor,” the weather service said in an updated statement.
“Hail, damaging winds and lightning will be the main threats, but isolated tornadoes may also occur south of Interstate 20,” the NWS said.
Rainfall totals were less than a half-inch in many areas of North Texas Thursday morning. The weather caused some delays at Dallas//Fort Worth Airport. Electricity provider Oncor reported fewer than 1,100 customers in Tarrant and Dallas counties without power on Thursday morning because of the storms.