The forecast for Wednesday called for the potential for large hail in DFW. Not only large hail, but very large hail. Thankfully it didn't happen. But why?
The easy answer is the weather changed. But let's dive deeper into that explanation.
A small disturbance zipped across parts of North and East Texas Wednesday morning. You may have noticed some light rain that fell around lunch time. As that system moved away, it left much of North Texas in an area of sinking air for the rest of the afternoon. Unfortunately our high resolution computer models failed to pick up on the sinking motion. By the way, sinking air is bad for thunderstorm formation.
In essence, during the time of the afternoon when storms would have been capable of becoming quite severe, the ingredient of rising air was missing. That kept the super-cell thunderstorms from forming and no large hail occurred.
The part of the forecast that verified was that there were numerous storms that developed Wednesday evening into early Thursday morning. We also had several reports of quarter- to half-dollar-size hail. Winds gusted to 58 mph at Alliance Airport in Fort Worth and 74 mph at Denton Airport. So it's not like there was no severe weather. There just wasn't giant hail.
As a meteorologist I'm always torn between the frustration of seeing my forecast bust, and being happy that no lives or property were affected by intense severe weather. It's also a constant reminder that our atmosphere is infinitely complex. Very subtle changes that occur may not be detected by our computer models. Forecasts can change rapidly, and sometimes people are left disappointed with the outcome.
Despite the difficulty, we will continue to give the weather our undivided attention. Providing you with accurate and timely weather information is our highest priority.