Sometimes, you don’t have to think too deeply about a weather pattern in the extended range. Models are in consensus that we will see SW and W flow across the central U.S. with plentiful moisture and instability around starting this weekend and into the end of the month.

While it’s challenging to pinpoint exact days and locations at this range, it’s clear that the Central and Southern Plains should brace for another active period of severe weather, potentially including tornadoes, starting on 5/18 or 5/19.

Sbcape prob0500.conus 2.

This is Not Unusual, But…

This is a robust and consistent signal across most models, ensembles, and individual members of ensembles. As a proponent of climatology, I emphasize that we’re now entering the historically peak period for tornado counts in the United States. 

Therefore, when the calendar reads late May and this general pattern is in place, you can bet on tornadoes happening over the middle of the country. The only question will be: WHERE?

We Feel Locked In Until…

We can probably count on severe weather and tornado chances over the middle of the country in some areas until May 27 or so. From there, models begin to diverge a bit, but I would bet we see the overall risks continue into the beginning of June.

The General Pattern…

The general pattern will be one where cold fronts push south with storm systems quickly moving across the Plains. Those fronts likely won’t make it far south before washing out and/or returning north as warm fronts. The big caveat, I think, is that a lot of patterns like this can be affected by activity from the day before. So, a day that looks promising at this range can be absolutely trashed by overnight storms the day prior to the time you get to it.

With that in mind, there’s no need to obsess over the individual details.

Our First Chase of This Pattern…

We’re eyeing Sunday as the likeliest first day of this run. There will almost certainly be storms/supercells from Kansas down into Oklahoma, with tornadoes possible. 

Live streams are returning for this run, so it’s an excellent time to subscribe to us on YouTube!