This week is going to be…well.

As a storm chaser I feel like it is going to be…hmmm.

Simply put, it will be May. There will be storms to chase. But the ingredients over the week are lower end or storm coverage may be very low. In short: if you aren’t a storm chaser purposefully looking for storms it may feel kind of quiet, unless you find yourself near or under these storms that is.


Not much to report on Monday. Limited moisture and wind shear will be in place. Some CAMs are trying to develop storms off the Raton Mesa in New Mexico — but even if they do take shape there’s not much to organize them.

Not that exciting for storm chasers on Monday.


Things pick up a bit on Tuesday with more moisture and a bit more wind shear. Things will be on the marginal side, but a supercell or two will be possible across New Mexico and the Texas Panhandle with large hail/damaging wind gusts the primary threat.

There will likely be greater storm coverage on Tuesday. Storms will form off of the mountains from West Texas and north into New Mexico. Additional storms may form in the Panhandle.
Wind shear will be limited in the Panhandle but instability will be higher. The shear is actually higher further west but with more limited moisture. Overall a couple of supercells could evolve off of the mountains in New Mexico — but I’m not seeing much more than a marginal threat.


Wednesday is a continuation of Tuesday but with even more ingredients. The other change from Tuesday is that it looks like storm coverage will be less. However, per-storm storm chase quality will likely be higher.

I’m currently eyeing SE New Mexico for the best chances of a couple of supercells.

Shear strengthens from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday in SE New Mexico. This is a snapshot from 6 p.m. local time. There is just enough here I could see a supercell with large hail being possible. But those 48 dews are marginal even for New Mexico.
Mid-level flow that is a main driver of storm organization is going to be weak to spotty on Wednesday. I’m not terribly excited about this day but am tentatively eyeing it for a storm chase.


The ‘main event’ this week on the Southern Plains is Thursday. A shortwave should move over the area with plentiful moisture to set the stage for severe weather. There will be at least a low tornado chance.

The dryline should set up in the central 1/3 of the Southern Plains.
There should be pretty solid storm coverage from SW KS/E CO all the way down into SW Texas.
The strongest flow will likely be from Southern Oklahoma into Texas.
Right now, 850mb flow looks on the weaker side. If this verifies (flow typically below 25kt) then Thursday will end up a 2% to maybe a 5% risk type of day for tornadoes.

Friday Into The Weekend

I think the severe weather chances apparent on Thursday continue into the weekend. The thing I am noticing is low-level flow (particularly at 850mb) remains pretty weak. So I think the overall tornado risks will be lower end regardless of the rest of the atmosphere.

There’s just enough flow on Friday and perhaps enough lift under generally rising heights for a few explosive storms that’ll likely organize into supercells.
For Saturday, flow will move out onto the Plains. This may be the most favorable or second most favorable day of the next seven for severe weather and tornadoes. Hail is the main threat, but the tornado threat will be at least low.
Beyond Saturday, the shortwave shifts north and east. We’ll be done with severe weather on the Plains for the most part, with a lower end chance on the Central High Plains off of the Rockies, but moisture looks low.

Beyond this Week

I think next week will feature severe weather chances associated with some broad SW flow. The GFS this morning actually has a big risk day on it for next week, but that’s the first time I’ve seen that really pronounced type of setup for next week on an operational model. The GFS has trended to the European this morning for week 2 though, which would mean some more enhanced risks into Mid-May.

We talked about just that on our mid-season outlook on YouTube.