Active weather across the Plains todayApril 14th, 2012 at 9:25 am by David Mazza under Weather
Tornado Alley it appears may live up to its name today as there is a “High Risk” for severe thunderstorms across the mid section of the country this afternoon. A lot of factors are lining up to make for a very active day. First off, we have tons of very warm unstable air that is pouring into the Plains already this morning. You can see on the plot below, we have temps and dewpoints in the 60s and 70s already this morning through parts of Oklahoma and Kansas. Along with sufficient daytime heating, a dryline will push east this afternoon through parts of southern Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma and provide a focal point for super-cell t-storms to form.
Also the mid level jet stream across the area will enchance shear and produce more dangerous t-storms. The upper low out west (in Arizona this morning) will move into the area later this afternoon into tonight and provide even more lift and turning in the atmosphere which will increase the chances of seeing large hail and very dangerous tornadoes. What is very scary about the set-up today across the plains is that many of the severe storms could develop after dark, and makes the storms especially dangerous.
The Storm Prediction Center has put a large area from Nebraska, through Kansas, and down into Oklahoma in a “High Risk” for severe storms.
The main threats in the “High Risk” and “Moderate Risk” areas today will be tornadoes and large hail.
This is one of those days that folks in that part of the country will be preparing for early. Us to the south will be keeping our fingers crossed for our friends to the north that there are no injuries or loss of life from today’s eventual outbreak of severe weather.