Saturday, May 5, 2012

A Strong Tornado or Two Possible northeast Nebraska / southeast South Dakota Today...

A very unstable atmosphere will combine with a surface low pressure center, frontal boundary and cool front/dryline to produce a potentially volatile weather situation across the central and northern Plains later today and into at least this evening.

Above is the latest severe weather outlook through tonight from the SPC in Norman, OK.  Severe storms are forecast in 3 general areas of the country, as shown by the yellow shaded areas on the image.

The area with the highest threat of tornadoes and very large hail today will exist across the central and northern Plains, from southeast South Dakota and northeast Nebraska, into adjacent portions of southwest Minnesota and northwestern Iowa.  A few strong tornadoes are possible within the yellow shaded and black hatched area on the image below:

The enhanced tornado threat will primarily exist across this region from mid to late afternoon into this evening, and will develop from West to East across the outlook area.  Some thunderstorm activity is already ongoing this morning in the South Dakota portion of the outlook, with the main threat being large hail during the morning and midday hours.  The potential exists for many areas to be affected by several rounds of severe storms throughout the day, so please don't let your guard down after one round passes by.

Very large hail is also likely in this region, especially within the red shaded and black hatched areas on the following image:

Hailstones may exceed 2 inches in diameter in these areas.

Elsewhere, the primary threat for severe weather across the southwest Texas and the southeast U.S. outlook areas will be large hail and damaging wind gusts.  An isolated tornado cannot be ruled out in these areas, however that is not expected to be the primary threat.  The primary severe threat in these areas will occur from late afternoon into this evening.

If you live or have travel plans across the severe weather threat areas for today, please remain alert.  Listen to NOAA Weather Radio, local media or another trusted source for later information, watches and warnings.

Review your severe weather safety tips now, and make sure that you've identified your best sheltering option should severe weather threaten your area.

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