Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Severe Weather Update This Afternoon - Plains

The above image shows the latest surface map for parts of the central & southern Plains.  The green dashed line shows the approximate location of a surface dryline, while the solid red line shows the approximate location of a surface warm front.

Increasingly moist, unstable air continues to flow into the region to the East of the dryline and South of the warm front.  The warm front will continue to lift slowly Northward throughout the afternoon & evening, into tonight.

The latest computer model guidance suggests that isolated thunderstorms may be able to form along the dryline as early as late afternoon, over northwest and/or west-central Oklahoma and southwest or southcentral Kansas.  Another model also developes isolated storms along the dryline as far South as extreme northwest Texas.

Any storm that is able to form this afternoon or evening is likely to become severe, with very large hail, damaging winds and isolated tornadoes possible.  Any storm that forms within the "V" shaped area near where the dryline and warm front intersect would have a particularly good chance of producing a tornado.

Below is a representation of what one of those computer models estimates the radar will look like at 5pm CDT this afternoon:

While I wouldn't "put money" on the estimation that isolated storms will be located specifically at that location in Woods and Alfalfa counties in Oklahoma at 5pm today as the model suggests, I would be inclined to pay attention to the weather if I lived in northwest Oklahoma and adjacent portions of southcentral/southwest Kansas around that time, and on into the evening hours.

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