If you watched our seasonal update video from a couple of weeks ago, this turn towards more ridging over the middle/western part of the country should not be surprising.

Still, even in these patterns this time of year even the most subtle of flow setups can be interesting in terms of storm chasing. So with that said, here’s what we are watching this week.

Today – Wednesday

For what seems like the first time in awhile, there’s not much to talk about for the first three days of the week. Some moisture and generalized lift that feels more like monsoon season is around. This will result in some storms and a couple may approach severe levels very briefly.

The radar will look a lot like this in the coming few days with scattered areas of showers and storms. Some over the Lower Plains and others initiating off of the mountains on the High Plains.


Upper flow increases some on Thursday and Friday associated with the subtropical jet. This will likely increase the chances of our severe weather threats late this week.

West/Northwest flow will combine with ample instability to create at least some localized environments favorable for supercells.
The GFS in particular has a pretty reasonably solid setup over parts of Oklahoma/Texas on Friday.
It’s early, but a broad overview of the ingredients reveals an atmosphere I can see producing supercells with large hail and some tornado risk. The Euro isn’t as robust though, which is something we’ll need to watch.

The Weekend/Beyond

The first half of this month was quite busy, which we did say you should anticipate. All signs point to the opposite to close out the back half of May.

Saturday will see a front shifting the best air for storms south towards the Gulf. There will be enough moisture and just enough wind shear on Sunday to see a couple of severe storms off of the mountains — but the threat will be pretty low.

Unlike the ridging signal some latched on earlier this month from the GFS, this one has broad agreement across the model suite into next week. There will likely be some subtle subtropical jet driven events like Thu/Fri of this week through the end of the month.

In the image above you can see a trough coming ashore but much farther north than they have been. If there are severe weather and tornado chances, I think it will be with this trough over the Central/Northern Plains late this month.

There are ample signs the pattern will turn sometime in the last week of May and should be active for a couple or few weeks again. This ridge isn’t a season killer, just a ‘catch up on your affairs’ type of thing.

I’ll be waiting patiently to head out again most likely!