The jet stream will become highly amplified this week, sending a cold front and a crisp Autumn airmass south through the Plains. Ahead of this front, a few strong to severe thunderstorms could occur on Wednesday.

Generally the areas along and ahead of the cold front with plentiful moisture may favor some strong to severe storms on Wednesday.


Low instability but high shear could lead to some severe storms on Wednesday. Learn how to read these charts here.

Severe weather threat rising: It certainly appears to be possible that we could see a severe weather threat develop on Wednesday. The 0-6km shear value is greater than 40kt in most areas with 800-1200 j/kg of MLCAPE. The surging cold front and hodograph shape indicate a linear storm mode with damaging winds and small hail as the primary threat.

Cool, dry air will filter in behind the front.

A shot of Autumn: The airmass behind the cold front crashing through will be slightly cooler and much drier than the airmass ahead of it. The bigger impact overall will be for this front to push the tropical Gulf moisture well south, which is always notable this time of the year.

A look at the jet stream pattern shows a highly amplified trough over the country.

The polar jet wins: The polar jet stream driving this front south is incredibly amplified. For a storm chaser on the Plains, a pattern like this is just as bad as a large ridge.

The day 1-7 rainfall forecast from the Weather Prediction Center.

Drought relief incoming: While this system will create largely dry conditions for the Plains as a whole, parts of New Mexico and West Texas will get generous rainfall totals between today and Wednesday. Drought conditions should continue to slowly worsen for much of the Plains though as the pattern in the mid-term does not look positive for additional chances at rainfall.