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Storms likely tonight, but severe weather may bypass Dallas-Fort Worth

Thunderstorms could develop Thursday in North Texas, although timing might spare the Metroplex of damaging weather, according to the National Weather Service in Fort Worth.

A large low pressure system was approaching the state from the southwest this week, pushing dry air ahead of it.

This wall of dry air has the potential for creating severe storms as it creates a "dry line" by smacking into moist air from the Gulf of Mexico that has been spilling into Texas all week long.

That could happen late today as daytime heating adds more instability in West Texas and the northwest portions of North Texas, said Ted Ryan, weather service meteorologist.

"The timing, with daytime heating, is going to be primarily in West Texas," Ryan said.

A 170-mile-long line from Abilene, north to Childress, "is really going to be under the gun," he said.

"But, I think, for the immediate Metroplex, it looks like it will be pretty quiet, with the better chances tonight for severe weather north and northwest of the Metroplex," Ryan said.

He noted, however, that there could be some storms in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, especially after midnight when the front passes through the region.

But when that happens, there won't be any triggers to spur widespread severe weather, Ryan said.

"When the heart of the system moves across the Metroplex, it will be kind of cool (in the low 60s), at a time when we won't be unstable from afternoon heating," he said.

Therefore, Ryan predicted, the front will "hop, skip over the Metroplex."

"The threat for severe weather is not zero," he added, "but it certainly is low."

A potential for severe weather returns Friday afternoon and evening when daytime heating rattles the system, but not in the Metroplex.

The activity will likely be just east of the Metroplex and deeper into East Texas, Ryan said.

He noted, however, that "another spoke of energy" at the back of the system could "bring some morning showers" Saturday morning to North Texas.

But after that, the weekend will have mild temperatures and partly sunny skies.

And it's going to stay that way, with daytime temperatures in the mid to high 70s, through Wednesday, according to the forecast.

Meteorologists earlier this week thought that storms might sweep through the Metroplex Friday afternoon and evening.

They said the low pressure system would help dissolve a cap of dry air in the upper atmosphere, which would open the door for the dry line to stir up the moist air at the surface.

But the weather service revised the forecast when computer models got a better fix on the storm system's appearance in North Texas.

"Forecasting severe weather this time of year is very sensitive because it comes down to detecting the location of that dry line," Ryan said. "To get severe weather, we need it right over us."

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