Fort Worth's Mayfest storm free so far, but watch out for Saturday

Don't cancel your Friday night plans for Mayfest on the banks of the Trinity River; the weather ought to be OK.

Saturday, however, might be a different story, according to the National Weather Service in Fort Worth.

A cold front was moving through Tarrant County Friday, but it wasn't expected to spur major thunderstorm activity until it got east of Dallas in the late afternoon or early evening.

Powerful southerly winds the past few days have helped pump moist air from the Gulf of Mexico into North Texas.

But the cold front by itself probably won't provide enough instability to unleash severe thunderstorms in Tarrant County. Only a light band of rain showers was sweeping over Fort Worth in the early afternoon.

Storms were not developing because a stout cap of dry air was flowing above the moisture, said Steve Fano, meteorologist with the weather service in Fort Worth.

"I think Mayfest is in good shape for tonight," Fano said. "Anyone out there may catch a sprinkle or maybe even a brief thunderstorm. But if they look off to the east this afternoon, they may see some impressive thunderstorms."

He said heating east of Dallas may provide the extra spark to ignite severe weather.

Fano added, however, that computer models indicate that the front will stall late Friday and possibly swing back into Tarrant County on Saturday morning. The cap of dry air, meanwhile, may erode overnight.

"In order to tap into that really good moisture, we have to eliminate the cap," Fano said, "If we can, there's quite a bit of energy in the atmosphere.

"(The front) looks like it may back up, and if it does, then the thunderstorm chances will increase. And, actually, we've got a 40 percent chance for them tomorrow."

Mayfest is 3:30-10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday.

The high temperature Friday was expected to reach 80. Saturday is expected to be about 75 degrees. Sunday will be partly sunny and around 80 degrees, the weather service said.

Related stories from Fort Worth Star Telegram