Weather News and Opinion

Significant Tornado Threat Today in the South (11/29/22)

Storms, including supercells, will form this afternoon into the overnight hours with a significant threat of tornadoes, especially in the sunset hour and a couple of hours beyond. There are a few questions on storm mode and where storms will be able to keep and maintain clean inflow — but the environment largely supports tornado…

Southern Tornado Threat On Tuesday

A potent upper storm system will shift east towards the Mississippi Valley on Tuesday, creating the ingredients for a severe weather event in Eastern Arkansas, Louisiana, and Western Mississippi. While some details need to be ironed out, the possibility of tornadoes late Tuesday afternoon into the night is apparent. Rich low…

Turkey Day Trouble

For some areas on the Central and Southern Plains, Black Friday will need to be renamed Snow Friday as a strong storm system looks set to bring heavy snow. Right now, models are zero’ing in on the Texas Panhandle and Eastern New Mexico — but there is a fair bit of spread and forecasts will…

Winter is coming…in one form or another

Weather models are showing a compact shortwave trough moving across the Southern Plains from Sunday Night into Monday, which could lead to our first bout of wintry precipitation. However, I remain somewhat skeptical of model output of snow right now because temps ahead of the shortwave will actually be pretty warm. Let’s break it down….

Severe Weather on the Southern Plains Today/Tomorrow

It is going to be a busy 48 hours or so with severe storms forming overnight and moving east and south through the Southern Plains. Ample wind shear combined with low instability will create an environment favorable for rotating storms, with tornadoes possible. Today Storms should hold off on forming much of the day. By…

I Take These Seven Items Storm Chasing With Me Every Time

I am a firm believer that there are some very essential items that will set my storm chases up for the ultimate success. You will want to make sure you have a reliable car, a good camera and source of data, extra layers, sunscreen, and paper maps. Why this matters: One of the most frequently…

Severe Weather on the Menu?

Severe weather risks have been outlined for both Thursday and Friday on the Southern Plains, but each day has a lot of caveats to them at this range. The high-end potential for each day would be supercells with a threat of tornadoes, but there are signs that we could be heading for a washout and…

Severe Weather Today on the Southern Plains! (10/27/22)

A few storms should begin forming today just before sunset across the E. Texas Panhandle into the Texas South Plains with more widespread storms overnight. Large hail is the biggest threat with storms but there is a very low risk of a tornado as well, though I think any tornado would be pretty fluky today….

Supercells in Texas Today? (10/24/22)

The first wave of energy continues to move across the region this morning after it apparently spawned a couple of QLCS tornadoes across Central Oklahoma. The second wave of energy associated with the main upper system will eject out this afternoon, concentrated across Texas, with additional severe weather risks apparent. You…

Big System With Heavy Rain Coming

A big trough with lots of energy will roll over the Plains this weekend, bringing stormy weather to many. The severe weather risk with this system does look to be limited due to warm temps aloft suppressing storms initially and then overwhelming forcing leading to numerous storms which will limit instability and thus, severe weather…

These Five Weather Apps Will Help You Track Storms

For years, I have tried out and tested many new weather apps both for home and field usage. You could say I’ve developed some strong preferences as to which apps I prefer and which ones I don’t. But in this video, despite any small quibbles I might have otherwise, I reveal my five favorite weather…

Major Pattern Shift Incoming

The Rex Block pattern that has been in place for quite awhile in the Western U.S. is set to break down in a big way in the next week, leading to a much stormier pattern for much of the country. The chances of severe weather in the U.S. may also be on the increase. A look at the dew points…

Big Cold Front Coming

The jet stream will become highly amplified this week, sending a cold front and a crisp Autumn airmass south through the Plains. Ahead of this front, a few strong to severe thunderstorms could occur on Wednesday. Generally the areas along and ahead of the cold front with plentiful moisture may favor…

Rare Atmospheric Pattern Emerging

Our sample size of triple-dip La Niña Spring tornado seasons is very low, with only two years recorded since 1950: 1976 and 2001. Both of those years were, for the most part, quiet years for tornadoes on the Plains.Go deeper with our newest video.Thanks for reading Tornado Titans Newsletter! Subscribe for free to receive new…

Hurricane Ian is (Almost Certainly) a Disaster

As of this morning, Hurricane Ian is a major category 3 hurricane. Depending on when you read this newsletter, it may have strengthened into a category 4 by later today. Almost all signs are now pointing to this storm being a major hurricane when it comes ashore on the western coast of Florida in the…

Triple Dip La Niña?! What Could It Mean For Tornado Season?

Last week, NOAA announced that we are almost certainly heading for our third straight winter of La Niña conditions which is an exceptionally rare event. It has only happened twice since 1950: the winters of 75-76 and 00-01. Historically, La Niña has not been a favorable pattern for Plains tornadoes for the most part, with…

Tropical Trouble Ahead? (9/19/22)

We wrote in a newsletter towards the end of August that the tropics would heat up somewhat heading into September, and that is exactly what is happening. Hurricane Fiona should continue to strengthen as it moves north and then northeast in the coming days — and while Fiona shouldn’t threaten the continental U.S., it has…

Marginal threat of severe weather this week!

As the pattern turns, so we turn with it!It looks like there are a series of Marginal risks late this week for the Plains. The low-levels will be pretty dry, so the main threats with any cells should be damaging winds. Hail is also a possibility in the stronger cells.Severe weather threat today.Severe weather risk…

I’d Chase These Three Regions The Rest of My Life If I Had To

I’ve been storm chasing for nearly 20 years and I’ve chased a lot of places across the country! For this completely biased, unscientific, but personally preferred list — I chose the three places I have tended to see more storms that produce tornadoes + good storm structure. I tend to lean more into tornadoes than…

The Tropics Awaken

You would be forgiven if you did not know that it was hurricane season, given that we haven’t had any activity so far this month. Getting through August without much more than a whisper is like tornado season moving through April with little activity. It can and does happen, but it’s more rare. But September…

Is tornado alley shifting? How June tornado activity is changing…

What you need to know: There have been a few studies done about the changing frequency of tornadoes and tornado-favorable environments in the country, showing a notable shift to the east for the most active regions. So is tornado alley shifting? A big reason why tornado environments seem to be less common on the Plains,…

A break from the heat inbound!

I hope this e-mail finds you ok, because the heat we’re all experiencing from the Southwest out onto the Plains is brutal with 110F readings widespread at times. This is some real-deal heat that would make any person uncomfortable, even if you have been trying to convince people you are not! Luckily, the pattern that…

The Ridge Dominates

In our last post, we talked about how there were some signs the ridge parked over the central U.S. might flatten out and shift west some by mid-July bringing reasonable severe weather chances to the Plains again — but models are converging on a scenario that really isn’t that. The mid-level jet stream forecast by…

Severe Weather Incoming in the Northern U.S.

It’s hard to imagine a more traditional summertime pattern than the one setting up over the next week with a strong ridge of high pressure dominating the southern and central Plains. Over the top of that ridge will be some meaningful jet stream energy, which will lead to the chance of severe weather through much…

Severe Weather Still on the Menu!

First off, it should come as no surprise that we will have sporadic chances of severe weather, including supercells and tornadoes, over the next few months on the Plains. That’s a pretty normal thing. As such, we’re watching our first interesting summer setup taking shape tomorrow across Kansas:SPC day two tornado outlook valid for 6/23.Tomorrow’s…

And Quickly, Now Comes Summer

As promised, the pattern was busy the last couple of days of May into this first week of June. We should see a few more days of busy severe weather action this week before the annual summertime ridge of high pressure builds in, signaling the end of the Spring storm season. The Euro ensemble showing…

We're Exiting a Quiet May Into a More Active June

If there is one way to describe May so far, it’d be in like a lion (May 2 and 4 were very active), hibernating like a bear in the middle, and perhaps storming out like an elephant (this weekend).One of the chief reasons we’ve had a quiet middle part of the month has been repeated…

Are we about to enter an active pattern?

We talked about it in our last newsletter, but we might finally be getting that potential flow + moisture link-up we’ve been waiting for in late May. Right now it appears that we’ll see this come in two phases.Early Next WeekAfter the front moving through the Southern Plains today clears out and moisture returns north,…

Severe Weather Chase Forecast Discussion – January 24, 2021

We won’t always post forecast discussions for elevated hailers — but today we’re doing it because it is January and this is the first severe weather threat of the year on the Plains. Location: A slight risk across the Red River Valley with a marginal risk surrounding that in OK/TX. Timing: Evening into the overnight….

Storm in the Southwest (8/8/19)

A lightning bolt from a weak thunderstorm after sunset. Lipan Point on the Grand Canyon South Rim. Captured by Gene on 8/8/19

10 Years Ago – The Watonga Supercell

This incredible supercell thunderstorm formed north of Watonga, Oklahoma in the late afternoon of August 17, 2009 and drifted slowly south, putting on a structure and lightning show that still stands out as one of the best photography days on the Southern Plains over the last decade. Really an incredible chase day, we need more…

Tornado Yesterday in Colorado!

Gene had a reasonably successful chase in NE Colorado yesterday. Although he thought he had planned well in terms of timing, the storms developed about 90 minutes earlier than the models indicated so his view of the Yuma County tornado was from about 10 miles away. The second pic is from the second tornado-warned storm…

Double Strike in Waldo Canyon, New Mexico!

This double strike hit much closer than it appears (thanks wide angle lenses) in Waldo Canyon, New Mexico! This weekend looks like an extremely active period for the monsoon. Both Gene and Raychel have been active this last week capturing incredible monsoon scenes across the southwest.

Beautiful Storm on the Grand Canyon!

Magnificent storm crossed the Grand Canyon near Lipan Point this afternoon. iPhone shot. @WXtremeChaser now has 3000 frames of timelapse to process!!!

Quadruple Lightning Strike!

Incredible single frame quadruple strike on a mesa just north of I-40 at the state route six junction west of Albuquerque captured by Gene on 8/7/19.

May 7th, 2019 Tulia, TX Tornado

A supercell formed northwest of Lubbock, TX and slowly drifted northeast. It produced numerous multi vortex tornadoes near Tulia, TX. Especially neat is watching the video as we drive towards it and seeing it merry go round! The circulation was very powerful, but ultimately no significant tornado formed until further east, but was very rain…