WEAU | Eau Claire, Wisconsin | Weather

Tornado season looks to ramp up this week in the Central Plains

It’s been a pretty quiet spring so far for severe weather across the country, but that looks to be changing this week. A large spring-time storm system will be slowly working its way through the central part of the U.S. in the coming days.

It all began today with storms firing in Kansas and western Missouri as you can see by the radar image below. It was taken at around 7:20 pm. The major threats with these storms were large hail and damaging winds.

The severe weather threat will only get larger in the next couple days. Here’s the severe weather outlook for Monday. Some of the same areas are under the gun for more severe weather in Kansas. Severe hail will be a big concern but the threat for tornadoes look to go up.

The major day to watch out for will be Tuesday where a tornado outbreak could be a big possibility. Here’s the set up. This storm system really gets wrapped up on Tuesday with a strong area of low pressure at the surface pulling up warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico. Forecast models show dewpoints in the 60s all the way up into Iowa.

Along with the moisture, there will also be plenty of wind shear higher up in the atmosphere as a large trough of low pressure in the upper levels will approach the Central Plains. Storms need wind shear to get spin going and produce tornadoes, and there looks to be ample amounts of that.

Below is a map of winds at about half way up in the atmosphere. Strong southwesterly winds will be screaming between 40 to 60 mph from Texas to Iowa. With moisture and wind shear in place, it is looking more and more likely that supercell thunderstorms and tornadoes will have an easy time forming.

Over 30 million people are in the slight risk area for Tuesday including cities like Oklahoma City, Kansas City, Des Moines, Dallas, Little Rock, and St. Louis among others. Folks in these areas will have to watch the forecast closely as Tuesday gets closer. It looks like the severe weather season will really get going this week.


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