During the early Spring and Fall, you can get some really wildly huge severe weather risk areas. Today we have a risk stretching from north of Fargo, North Dakota to Abilene, Texas. The risk isn’t even along this stretch though, let’s break it down.

Today’s risk area, with an enhanced risk that includes Kansas City and Tulsa.

The Enhanced Risk Area and South/West

We’re going to focus our attention on the Enhanced Risk area and to the south/west into the body of Oklahoma. Here, the most favorable environment for severe weather exists today. Big hail, damaging winds, and a tornado or two are possible.

A cold front will crash south and east through the day, with subtle boundaries present to its east, which will serve as the focus for storm development today.
Adequate 500mb flow will work its way over the risk area today. This is a secondary wave of sorts south of the main jet streak, which may act to limit storm coverage a little bit.
850mb flow isn’t particularly strong and it is veered, which is why we’re not seeing large amounts of 0-1km SRH on models today it seems.
Storms will take their sweet time to get going along and south of an axis along Kansas City. This can help the atmosphere really destabilize through much of the day.
As a cold front begins to surge south, convergence will increase in a moist environment. This will allow for the development of storms a couple of hours prior to and then through sunset along the front.
The ‘Spinny Storms Index’ shows a couple of areas models are concentrating on for supercells today. One near Tulsa and another S and E of Kansas City.
The environment will be highly to extremely unstable with moderate 0-6km shear. SRH values are modest, but still supportive of supercells and even a tornado.
After dark, storms will encounter increasing shear with time, but also a more stable low-level environment. Any supercells that are dominant in this time-period will have a chance to produce tornadoes but the window may be short-lived.

Bottom Line

Storms will take shape in the late afternoon along the front roughly from Kansas City down to Tulsa. Any storms that form here will be capable of extremely large hail, especially if the storm mode can evolve into a dominant supercell or two.

Tornadoes will be possible around and just after sunset as shear increases, especially with any right-moving dominant supercells. Storm mode is a question here, and there may be too much of a good thing where storms form, with constant interactions lowering the tornado risk.

As time goes on, storms will form into more linear segments with a continued risk of hail and damaging winds — and a tornado or two will remain possible.