Friday, May 17, 2013

First Significant/Widespread Tornado Threat of Season This Weekend and Monday...

The 2013 severe weather season has been "slow" to evolve with regard to significant and/or widespread tornado activity, but I am afraid that's about to change this weekend, perhaps in a major way...

Below are the latest severe weather outlooks for today through Sunday, respectively:

As you can see, the threat of severe weather, with respect to both coverage and intensity, becomes stronger each day as the weekend progresses.  A similar threat will exist into Monday over much of the same area indicated in red on the Sunday outlook, while extending a bit Eastward in Missouri as well.

Today's activity will be limited to the high plains, mainly in the form of large, damaging hail and wind gusts.  An isolated tornado or two cannot be ruled out.  Most of this activity will be limited to the late afternoon and evening hours.

On Saturday, the threat will expand Eastward, particularly across the Dakotas, Nebraska and Kansas.  As the wind field increases throughout the atmosphere, the tornado risk will increase on Saturday afternoon and evening, particularly within the area shaded in green and red.  Very large hail can also be expected in these areas.

So far, the "worst" of the 3 days appears to be taking shape for Sunday.  Sunday is starting to take on characteristics of a "classic" severe weather outbreak day, with strong tornado potential across a large area, as indicated in red on the outlook map:

I am becoming increasingly concerned that one or more strong to violent and/or long track tornadoes are likely on Sunday, especially within the red shaded area.  This enhanced threat of tornadoes includes the cities of Tulsa, Joplin, Kansas City, Omaha and Des Moines.

If you live anywhere within the severe weather outlook areas for this weekend, and especially within the red shaded areas for Saturday and Sunday, please keep a very close eye on the weather.  Take a few moments ahead of time to ensure that your severe weather safety kit is stocked, and identify your best sheltering option in case threatening weather is observed or a warning is issued for your area.

"Stay tuned" for more information over the next few days...

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