It’s going to be yet another day with big-time severe weather possible on the Plains and today is a true Prime Time on the Plains setup in every way. A very moist airmass is in place this morning, along with an approaching storm system — all of which should set the stage for rapid supercell development this afternoon along a dryline from western Kansas down into Oklahoma and perhaps Northern Texas.

Sfctd mean cp f02200

Rich dewpoints running from the low to mid 60s all the way to near 70 will be in place across the Southern and Central Plains.

500mb mean cp f02300A compact but pronounced region of SW flow aloft will overspread parts of the region during the afternoon hours, with a 60-70kt jet core.

850mb mean cp f02200Low-level winds just off of the surface will already be cranking pretty solidly in the late-afternoon and will only increase into the evening hours.

Things I’m Watching

  • Outflow this morning is really doing a number on the atmosphere across Western Oklahoma. This may delay storm initiation by a few hours honestly and could limit overall instability today except in the southernmost parts of the risk area.
  • Where will storms form? This is also known as how far south will they form? I think storms become more isolated further south on the dryline but I do think you can expect storms all the way to Texas today.
  • The upper-level winds have shown some weakness in some model runs. This may hamper things somewhat and could at least lead to HP storm modes. It may be something, it may be nothing. But this becomes more pronounced the further south you go.
  • If you get storms, will they all go at once in the same area (not unlike April 19th earlier this year) or will they be more widely scattered? I think the earlier storms go and the more isolated they are, the more potential for tornadoes these cells will pack as we move towards evening.

Final Analysis

Right now, I think it is pretty clear today could be yet another big tornado day on the Southern and Central Plains — not unlike the hundreds we’ve seen in Mays past. Everything is seemingly there for tornadoes today, and I would be very surprised if there are not at least a few tornado reports.

I think the highest tornado risk area is across Oklahoma on the dryline, but that is dependent on the atmosphere recovering into the afternoon. I think the absolute most favorable blend of ingredients exists in this area, but they’re definitely imperfect. I think helicity looks great but the overall magnitude of the shear isn’t as robust as you’d expect for a big tornado day, which is probably a sign of things getting messier than you’d otherwise expect. 

Expect at least a couple of tornadoes and giant hail today, but beyond that might be a bit of a mystery.

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