The Storm Prediction Center located in Norman, Oklahoma has issued a moderate threat for severe weather in western Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle. Potential threats are to include tornadoes, large hail, and damaging winds. The SPC has stressed that the greatest threat for strong tornadoes is western Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle. People in this area need to stay weather alert and prepare to take shelter when severe weather is close. Also under a severe threat, but not a moderate threat are to include southern Texas, through Oklahoma and Nebraska, to Wisconsin and Michigan. While a tornado cannot be ruled out, forecasts are showing intense squall lines with damaging winds to be the main threat in these areas. However, if conditions continue to enhance, the SPC has mentioned that central/eastern Kansas as well as Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri could be upgraded from enhanced to a moderate threat. For the northern states, the SPC has said the main threat will be damaging winds and hail, but cannot rule out an isolated tornado. The convective outlook for today is as follows:
Morning water vapor loop shows a deep trough over the western
states, with a leading shortwave impulse rotating across NM. 12z
model solutions remain consistent that a cluster of intense
thunderstorms will develop by mid afternoon over parts of southwest
KS as this shortwave trough approaches. Strong heating is occurring
in this region, with afternoon MLCAPE values over 3000 J/kg and
minimal cap. Initial storms will likely be capable of very large
hail and isolated tornadoes, but it seems likely that rapid upscale
growth into a fast-moving squall line will occur. This will enhance
the risk of damaging winds as storms spread northeastward across
central/eastern KS and into parts of NE/IA/MO. If storm-scale
trends dictate, this area may be considered for an upgrade to MDT
risk in later updates.
...Western OK/TX Panhandle...
Low level moisture continues to stream rapidly northward into the TX
Panhandle and western OK, with dewpoints now in the mid 60s across
the region. Model forecast soundings by mid-late afternoon suggest
strong instability will be present with MLCAPE values over 3500 J/kg
and 8 C/km lapse rates. Isolated and discrete convection is
expected to form along the dryline in the TX Panhandle and track
northeastward through the mid-evening. A pocket of strong low-level
shear is forecast to develop in this region, resulting in favorable
hodograph structures for supercells capable of very large hail and
strong tornadoes. Therefore have upgraded this area to MDT risk.
A shortwave trough over the eastern Dakotas will track eastward and
help to maintain scattered thunderstorms over parts of the western
Great Lakes region. Breaks in the clouds will help to destabilize
this area, and may lead to a few strong/severe storms later this
afternoon and evening. Forecast soundings suggest sufficient
vertical shear and CAPE to pose a risk of hail and damaging winds in
the strongest cells. An isolated tornado is also possible.
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ⓒ 2017 Meteorologist Brandie Cantrell