The atmosphere is primed and ready for severe weather today, the question is, and may remain all day, will there be storms to take advantage of that atmosphere?

An area expanding from Southeast Nebraska through Kansas and into Oklahoma and Texas will have a low to enhanced shot at severe weather today. There will likely be a line of storms take shape along a surging cold front in Kansas — but further south along the dryline feels more interesting as a storm chaser.

Lots of Ingredients Are In Place

There are plenty of ingredients today for severe weather to be sure.

  • Dewpoints from the upper 50s to middle 60s are in place this morning across the Central/Southern Plains.
  • A potent upper storm system is approaching from the west.
  • Accordingly, wind shear will be increasing through the day, with low-level wind shear becoming increasingly favorable for tornadoes if you had the right storm mode.
  • However, despite all of this, a strong cap is also in place. This warmer/drier air aloft may keep storms from forming until after sunset as the cold front surges south.
A dryline with 60 dewpoints ahead of it will exist from NE to SW from Kansas to Texas.

Will the cap break?

The question of the day though is, do we actually get a storm on the dryline?

The model trends over the last 24-36 hours have been towards at least a couple of storms initiating along the dryline somewhere from W of Oklahoma City down towards Wichita Falls.

Most models this morning are showing some variation of this solution between OKC and the Red River (or just barely south).
The environment this afternoon and evening consists of a nearly completely uncapped airmass, 48kt of 0-6km shear, and when adjusted for what will likely be actual storm motions — very favorable SRH values for supercells and a tornado or two.

If storms do go on the dryline, it will likely be much later in the day, 5 p.m. or later. This will mean storms will have a pretty narrow zone of time and space to produce very severe weather before evening capping kills them.

I think the zone of severe weather today is likely 75 miles wide or less along the dryline (in the graphic above) with that in mind.

Further north in Kansas, several storms will form along and ahead of a cold front late this afternoon to this evening. Severe weather is likely here as well, with giant hail, damaging winds, and a tornado or two also possible. 

The Bottom Line

Everything is here today for severe weather, except maybe…the storms themselves. Still, trends are beginning to favor a storm or two on the dryline. Any storm that goes will almost certainly produce giant hail (tennis ball size or more) and it seems inevitable they will be rotating enough to at least warrant a tornado warning.

The tornado threat is low overall, but the 6-8 p.m. timeframe I’d classify it as enhanced for any robust supercell that is ongoing.

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