An active severe weather period will return to the Southern Plains, Plains and Mid-South late this upcoming week into the weekend (Friday through Sunday).
By Friday, a trough will approach the Plains from the west (see Fig. 1). This will spread decent shear into the Southern Plains and allow a ‘sharp’ dryline to take shape. Good moisture will advect ahead of this dryline with dewpoints in the 60s & 70s by Friday afternoon (see Fig. 2). The states that look to be under fire Friday afternoon are: Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas as thunderstorms develop along the dryline.
Due to the favorable setup for severe thunderstorms, the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has already highlighted a slight risk area for western Kansas, western Oklahoma and western Texas for Friday afternoon/evening (see Fig. 3).
By Saturday afternoon, the dryline will move east (closer to the I-35 corridor) allowing the severe weather threat to shift east into northern & central Texas, central and eastern Oklahoma and eastern Kansas (see Fig. 4).
Heading into Sunday, the severe threat will shift east into Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi. At this time, it appears widespread severe thunderstorms are possible each day (Friday through Sunday). While this event is still severe days out, there is enough confidence to introduce the possibility of tornadoes, damaging winds, large hail and flash flooding each afternoon during this time period. As the event nears, and certain details become more clear, we can pinpoint which areas will have the greatest chance to see tornadoes.
Christopher Nunley is Meteorologist on Firsthand Weather, Lecturer in the Department of Geosciences at Mississippi State University (MSU), and a PhD Candidate (Earth and Atmospheric Sciences) at MSU. He earned his M.S. in Applied Meteorology at MSU, was an Assistant Cross Country Coach and taught at the University of North Texas, and was a Broadcast Meteorologist at KTEN-TV (just north of Dallas, Texas). Christopher’s main focus lies within teaching and inspiring prospective meteorology students, atmospheric research to further our understanding of atmospheric processes, and forecasting and analyzing extreme weather events to help save lives!