Saturday, May 18, 2013

Severe Weather Update for Kansas/Oklahoma/Texas for Today...

Above is the latest analysis of CAPE (Convective Available Potential Energy) across the primary severe weather threat area for today.  CAPE is a measure of how unstable the atmosphere is, and the values in excess of 5,000 across Oklahoma and southwest Kansas are extreme by any measure.

A surface low pressure area is strengthening over the central Oklahoma panhandle area, with a dryling trailing off to the South and a warm front arching to the East then Southeast across central Oklahoma.

The winds are out of the East to Southeast along and immediately to either side of the warm front, which will provide favorable turning in the atmosphere to cause storms to rotate later this afternoon and evening.

Storms will likely initially form along and ahead of the dryline by late afternoon, and also along and North of the warm frontal boundary.

The latest run of the high resolution NAM model generally agrees with that scenario, as shown on the simulated radar forecast images valid at 4pm, 5pm, 6pm and 7pm today, respectively:

Tornadoes, very large hail and damaging winds will be possible with severe storms in this region today, with the highest risk located within the red and orangish-red shaded areas on the image below (which is unchanged from my earlier outlook):

Please stay weather aware in these areas - and be prepared to move to shelter quickly if threatening conditions are observed or a warning is issued.

As I mentioned in my post earlier today, graduation ceremonies and other events are abundant across the region this afternoon and evening.  If you are heading out to a public place, be sure to note your best sheltering option while entering the venue, just in case.  Many public places have signs like these to help direct you to a safe place, but be sure to identify them ahead of time, not in the heat of the moment when you're likely to be distracted:

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