Today and tonight, severe thunderstorms are anticipated across the southern and central Plains into the lower to mid Missouri Valley. The highest risk areas, from north Texas through Oklahoma to southeast Kansas, are expected to see strong tornadoes, very large hail up to 2-3 inches in diameter, and damaging winds of 60-70 mph.

Locations:

  • Primary Focus: Oklahoma, north Texas, southeast Kansas, and extreme southwest Missouri.

Threats:

  • Strong Tornadoes: Several strong tornadoes are possible.
  • Very Large Hail: Hailstones potentially reaching 2-3 inches in diameter.
  • Damaging Winds: Wind gusts ranging from 60-70 mph.

Timing:

  • Peak Activity: Throughout today and tonight, with several rounds of severe weather.

Discussion

Weather Patterns: A significant midlevel trough over the Four Corners will advance eastward today and turn northeastward tonight over the central/southern High Plains. This will sustain a lee cyclone in southeast Colorado and shape a dryline near the western Oklahoma border.

Atmospheric Dynamics:

  • Moisture and Instability: A warm sector characterized by boundary-layer dewpoints of 65-70°F will support high instability (MLCAPE of 2500-3500 J/kg) conducive to severe/tornadic storm development.
  • Storm Development: Initial severe threats have started near the Caprock area from Lubbock to Childress with embedded jet streaks enhancing storm potential early in the day. Additional storms are likely to develop by early-mid afternoon along outflow boundaries and the dryline.

Severe Potential: The environment will increasingly favor tornadic supercells into the afternoon and evening, particularly if semi-discrete supercells can persist. These conditions are also ideal for producing very large hail up to 3 inches in diameter.

Practical Tips:

  • Target Area: Key areas for storm chasing will include regions along the dryline and near outflow boundaries where semi-discrete supercells are more likely.
  • Impact: Today’s severe weather setup presents a critical risk of strong tornadoes, very large hail, and damaging winds across the highlighted regions. The environment is expected to support long-track EF2-EF3+ tornadoes, making this an especially significant event for the affected areas.

Technical Storm Chasing Discussion

04 27 24 morning radar.

Looking at our radar image this morning, we see storms already forming across the Panhandle into Western Oklahoma. A tornado watch is out for these storms, and further development later today. This is not the only round of supercells with a tornado risk today.

Refcmp uh001h.us c-15.

By noon storms will be ongoing across much of Western Oklahoma. This round is also not the last round of the day. 

Refcmp uh001h.us c-16.

By later afternoon, storms will be ongoing from central Texas to Kansas, with embedded supercells and mixed storm modes. This is the final boss of the day, which eventually turns into a raging squall line.

Refcmp uh001h.us c-17.

By evening, storm modes will be mostly crowded/mixed but with increasing shear. QLCS tornado formation is very possible in the nighttime hours due to low cloud bases and very strong low-level shear. How today goes will depend on the storm mode and evolution. If you get robust supercells for more than an hour or two, there will be tornadoes today. If things line out quickly, there will still likely be tornadoes, but the worst possible outcomes for the day will be off the board. We’ll be out there to see either way.