A #gustnado intercept in the #Texas Panhandle on April 30, 2012. Gustnadoes are essentially dust devils which form on the edge of #thunderstorm outflows. #storm #weather #nature #stormchasing #stormchasers http://ift.tt/XZe3tq
Today’s storm outlook features a pretty typical late-summer convective regime, with sporadic storms possible along a surface trough across the region. As the sun heats up the surface today, expect instability and lift to increase, resulting in strong storms across the area. Last night’s storms worked over the atmosphere a bit, bringing lapse rates down — so instability will be somewhat limited versus yesterday. As it stands, a couple of storms could still manage to become severe this afternoon across Oklahoma into Kansas with damaging wind gusts.
Fast Forwarding our efforts to Sunday, a more classic springlike severe weather setup looks to occur. While we still have several details to sort out between now and Sunday, a strong shortwave coupled with an unseasonably strong Low-level Jet should act to create an environment somewhat conducive to severe weather. Supercells will be possible, with large hail and damaging winds at least possible. Given the strong nature of the low-level jet, a tornado or two isn’t out of the question but we’ll have to continually re-examine that threat in the next 48 hours.
A couple of severe storms are possible today across western Oklahoma and adjacent areas of Southern Kansas, the Texas Panhandle, and NW Texas. The atmosphere should become rather unstable this afternoon, thanks to hot surface temps, and storms should begin forming by early afternoon in areas where they are not already ongoing. In the evening and overnight, storms should slowly spread east and northeast through the area.
Shear is not incredibly strong, but some areas could see 0-6km bulk shear values of 30kts, which would support a large hail threat with some storms. Damaging winds will also be a threat with storms this afternoon and evening. We will have more storms through the area tomorrow before drying out somewhat for the weekend.
The National Weather Service has suffered from a series of glitches that have disrupted the flow of life-saving weather information to the public.
Big #tornado touching down near Manitou, #Oklahoma and churning up dirt and debris on November 7, 2011. This #twister remained over mostly open fields during it’s life. #storm #Thunderstorm #weather #nature #stormchasers #stormchasing #fall #autumn
LP #Supercell #Thunderstorm spitting out #lightning bolts at twilight near Norton, #Kansas on May 27, 2012. This #storm was producing some marginally severe hail at the time, with a core that you could see right through, very classic! #weather #nature #sky #clouds #stormchasing
Severe weather is possible for portions of the Central Plains, from Northeast Colorado into Southern Nebraska and Northern Kansas. Wind profiles and shear will be sufficient for supercells across the risk area, with large hail, damaging winds, and an isolated tornado possible today. The tornado risk is dependent upon storm isolation along the frontal boundary which should be draped somewhere near the KS/NE border. Storm isolation likely will be less of a ‘thing’ through the afternoon and into evening, so the highest tornado risk may be earlier in storm evolution.
For us down here in the Southern Plains, continued dry and hot with afternoon showers and storms across the western parts of our region. Right now it appears cooler and wetter weather are returning to the southern parts of Kansas into Oklahoma and Texas tomorrow into Friday.
A bit of weather geekiness tonight — many of you are probably not aware that there is an obstruction on the Vance radar site, which causes all echos to its south and west to appear weaker than they actually are as you can see comparing the two radar images in the pic. There are still numerous areas which don’t get adequate radar coverage in tornado alley, this is a funding issue obviously. Check out a map showing many of these gaps in coverage quite obviously: http://ift.tt/1kwKJNZ
Wicked multi-vortex wedge #tornado near Ft. Cobb, #Oklahoma on November 7, 2011. This #twister was spawned by the parent #supercell #storm which produced several tornadoes during the day, including Oklahoma’s only violent tornado in November ever. #stormchasing #weather #nature #fall #autumn #clouds #thubderstorm #stormchasers #sky http://ift.tt/1luc4Yy
Here’s one from the archives, a tornado near Oklaunion, TX from Brandon and Brett during the April 17, 2013 moderate risk day. Frustrating early day gave way to this brief tornado near sunset.
Supercell just west of Clinton, Oklahoma on October 4, 2013. This was a cool but pretty benign overall fall chase! Still pretty structure!
When it comes to a second tornado season in the Fall, there’s likely a lot more hype than substance surrounding its discussion here in Oklahoma. Check the chart above which shows the average number of tornadoes per month in Oklahoma, see that little blip up in September and October? That’s the fall season people talk about — when compared to the average Spring, you can see the average Fall is quite quiet.
However, where you can see the secondary season show up is in the record numbers of tornadoes per month. After July, there is a clear uptrend into October before the records crash again for the Winter months here in Oklahoma. There are typically notable tornado events in the Fall every 5-10 years across Oklahoma on average, but most Autumns come and go with only very minor severe events compared to the Spring months.
Storm chasing wise, each fall typically does bring at least one chase day where tornadoes happen — as I personally do not remember an autumn I did not chase an event where tornadoes were either possible or happened in the Fall.
So the long and short of this: severe weather does return for a few months in the autumn in the Southern Plains and while the season is neither nearly as violent on average as the Spring nor as busy, it’s certainly there and should be monitored.