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Storms tonight in DFW; more possible Friday, Sunday

FORT WORTH -- Wet weather is in the forecast for Wednesday evening, and again on Friday and Sunday, forecasters said.

Storms late Wednesday could be severe, said Jessica Schultz, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Fort Worth.

"The better chance for the metro (area)," she added, "is after 5 p.m and through evening hours. Some storms could be severe, with large hail and damaging wind and heavy rainfall."

The storms are expected to develop when an upper level storm system links with a moist, unstable air mass already in place, Schultz said.

The disturbance, which was over Northern Mexico and Far West Texas Wednesday morning, could provide the lift needed to trigger thunderstorms when it reaches North Texas later in the day, Schultz said.

But while there is a 70 percent chance for scattered thunderstorms late Wednesday, weather service officials don't believe they will be as severe as the storms that hit the region in the last couple of weeks.

Missing from this latest mix is a dry line boundary that helped create a potential for tornadoes in the recent storms. The dry line separates dry desert air and the moist gulf air, but it sparks storm activity as it pushes east, mingling the dry air with the moist.

Schultz said that mechanism on Wednesday was way up in the Panhandle around Lubbock, so it wasn't expected to contribute to the evening storm activity in North Texas.

Meanwhile, high temperatures Wednesday are expected to be in the lower 80s

It seems North Texas is in a springtime pattern of upper level disturbances and cold fronts pulsating into the region every couple of days, said Jennifer Dunn, another weather service meteorologist.

She noted, however, that an upper-level disturbance from the Rockies that was supposed to drop into the area Wednesday stalled along the Red River and retreated north as a warm front.

But, Dunn added, that system will be replaced by another cold front on Friday, which will prompt another round of showers and thunderstorms.

There's a 20-30 percent chance in the Metroplex Friday, but that could increase, Dunn said.

Saturday will be clear with highs in the upper 70s or low 80s, Dunn said.

But Sunday could be wet when yet another cold front enters the region, Dunn said.

POSSIBILITY FOR RAIN

The National Weather Service officials attach a percentage to their rain predictions for precipitation, but the system they use involves a "12-hour probability of precipitation or POP12." This refers to the likelihood, expressed as a percent, of a measurable precipitation event (1/100th of an inch or more) during the 12-hour period in a particular area.

In our case that generally means Tarrant and Dallas Counties -- the Metroplex.

The POP, usually for rain or snow, can be illustrated by an example, so let's use Wednesday night, which calls for 70 percent probability of rain in the Metroplex. This means that there's a seven-in-10 chance that any location in the Metroplex will receive at least 1/100th of an inch of rain.

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