Today is the start of what will be a very active stretch of severe weather on the Southern and Central Plains. Today’s risk is centered in West Texas, the Texas South Plains, and Eastern New Mexico. Damaging winds will be the main threat with storms as they grow more crowded through the day and consolidate their outflows — but I can see a rogue supercell with big hail happening as well.

Screenshot 2023 05 02 at 10 12 08 AMThere will be multiple storms take shape over this region today. I suspect many will consolidate outflows given higher DCAPE values which will lead to 60-70mph wind gusts out of the stronger storms.

Screenshot 2023 05 02 at 10 12 23 AM

There is enough instability and wind shear to organize storms a bit. The tornado threat is going to be nearly zero, but there is enough 0-6km bulk shear (32kt) for some transient supercell structures possibly. The DCAPE of 1148 points to a definite damaging wind threat with any storm this afternoon.

Beyond Today

To keep it simple a quick look at Wednesday looks like today but with better ingredients and fewer storms. This screams pretty, higher-based supercells in the Texas Panhandle to Texas South Plains (and perhaps SW Kansas).

Screenshot 2023 05 02 at 10 24 28 AM

My first glance at tomorrow is showing what I think is a favorable pattern for severe weather in the afternoon. Large hail and damaging winds will be possible.

Screenshot 2023 05 02 at 10 24 45 AM

Shear is sufficient for supercells in my opinion. Any supercell moving SE will be capable of looking pretty for the camera and dropping some large hail. The hodographs enlarge with the strengthening low-level jet in the evening which makes me think there’s a window for a tornado or two if you have a robust, mature, isolated supercell in the sunset hours.

For Thursday, there will be many areas of severe weather to focus on. As a storm chaser, I’m most focused on the dryline in Central/Eastern Oklahoma. I’m expecting a few storms to form off of that boundary on Thursday with tornadoes possible.

Screenshot 2023 05 02 at 10 36 34 AMModels are being their usual coy selves about storm coverage on the dryline, but I suspect at least a couple/few robust, mature supercells will form off of the dryline on Thursday.

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When those storms do form, they’re going to form in an environment immediately supportive of tornadoes. As the low-level jet ramps up near sunset, the atmosphere will become very favorable for tornadoes, some possibly strong.

The bottom line for Thursday is that any isolated, robust supercells will be big-time severe weather makers. The environment is highly reminiscent of previous very large big risk days on the Plains that resulted in many tornadoes. Depending on storm coverage, this could be a pretty big risk day itself. We’re monitoring carefully.