Check Out This Awesome Pinwheel Low Over Texas and Oklahoma

A well-defined low pressure system over Texas and Oklahoma this afternoon is producing an awesome sight on satellite imagery, including a classic comma shape and even an eye-like feature in the middle of it.

Check Out This Awesome Pinwheel Low Over Texas and Oklahoma

The system is a result of a stubborn upper-level cutoff low that's been separated from the jet stream since the beginning of last week, leaving it to sit and spin over the southwestern and southern United States. This system is responsible for the large amount of severe weather in New Mexico, Texas, and Colorado last week and this past weekend.

Here's a zoomed in view of the low on visible satellite imagery, showing the eye-like feature as well as the defined swirling/banding radiating out away from the center of the system.

Check Out This Awesome Pinwheel Low Over Texas and Oklahoma

The system is even more well-defined on water vapor imagery, which shows the amount of moisture in the atmosphere at around 10,000 feet. Warmer colors indicate drier air, while cooler colors indicate more moisture. The low is wrapping in moist air from the Gulf of Mexico while dragging in drier air from the west.

Check Out This Awesome Pinwheel Low Over Texas and Oklahoma

The low pressure has two troughs — axes of lower pressure — circulating around the southeastern side of the system, creating two distinct areas of thunderstorms. The large one is obvious on satellite imagery stretching from Oklahoma through Louisiana and Mississippi, and there's a smaller (but more dangerous) trough extending off the low south through eastern Texas.

Check Out This Awesome Pinwheel Low Over Texas and Oklahoma

There are two severe weather watches in effect across Texas right now — a tornado watch (red) in south-central Texas including the cities of San Antonio, Austin, Victoria, and Corpus Christi. Immediately to the north of the tornado watch is a severe thunderstorm watch (blue) that includes Fort Worth and Dallas.

It's a good reminder that even the most impressive-looking weather can be dangerous. Stay safe if you're in the path of the storms.

[Images via GOES and SimuAWIPS]