The overwhelming feeling I get when looking at weather models in this current pattern is, “This would be a much bigger deal in May than it is in March.”

What we’re seeing on models right now is a lack of surface moisture. Surface moisture acts to increase instability to the point that, even with the weak to moderate shear we have, severe weather becomes more likely. Still, I think we’ll likely see sporadic severe weather risks this week from the Plains to the Southeast.

The storm system we’ve been dealing with in the Southwest this weekend is still well west to start the week, with a post-frontal high pressure sitting comfortably over the Southern/Central Plains.

Early Week

Today and tomorrow shouldn’t really pose that much for us. The upper-low that’s been dumping rain and snow on New Mexico and Arizona is still sitting back west on both of these days. The Plains will be undergoing slow airmass modification with a post-frontal airmass shifting over into a moisture return regime.

Finally, by Wednesday, that system begins to kick to the east onto the Plains.


Modest moisture return mixed with an approaching system will almost certainly touch off some storms on Wednesday into Thursday in the Southern/Central Plains.

Dewpoints will be pretty meager, though (at best to 50F), and wind shear is moderate-ish, so the environment on Wednesday isn’t that impressive. Still, a high-based storm or two could produce some near marginally severe hailstones and some damaging wind gusts if things can line up. It’s hardly the chase setup of the year, but for folks in the Panhandle desperate to hear some thunder, it might seem too good to be true.

The question for the weekend is how much moisture can hang around with subtle jet stream energy aloft.


What happens behind the Wednesday/Thursday system is a bit of a mystery, with a pretty large model spread still. A cold front will come south, but how far south and how cold are two very open questions. A more shallow/weak push of cold air would mean moisture would be in place with zonal flow aloft and a diffuse dryline lurking about throughout the weekend.

In that scenario, a few storms with severe risks are certainly not out of the question with a well-timed wave over the dryline feature. It is possible you could get a more robust setup in here, but nothing looks too alarming at the moment.

The day to watch may very well be Sunday, as a more substantial wave will move through with a sharpening dryline and mid-upper 50s dewpoints. There is enough in place on Sunday for a severe storm, or two, as models depict it right now — but it’s a week out, so details are extremely TBA.

Beyond This Week

We’ll see how the rest of March shakes out. There are some indications of a pretty active storm pattern, with severe weather and obvious possibility, through the last half of the month. But at this point, we are taking a more cautious approach to the pattern.