Explaining This Week’s Storm Threats Jun 4, 2013
Lightning in North Platte, NE: Courtesy NWS North Platte
Lightning in North Platte, NE: Courtesy NWS North Platte

Update: El Reno tornado now reported as the widest EVER at 2.6 miles, and also EF5 rated.






We posted yesterday about some of the upcoming severe threats for this week – and unfortunately there are still more on the horizon.  We’ve seen flooding in places like St. Louis, with a levee breach causing some evacuations yesterday evening/last night (click here for more information on that).  We’ve also seen *flash* flooding in places like the Oklahoma City area – even the El Reno region.

Check this out:


El Reno, OK Radar Capture: Early AM Tuesday
El Reno, OK Radar Capture: Early AM Tuesday


If you recall, El Reno, OK, was the site of some major chasing related tragedies, as well as just human tragedies on Friday in general.  Now, this morning I came in around 2AM this morning to work, only to find El Reno under the threat of severe storms and heavy rain.  Soon after, we saw a flash flood warning issued.  Some spots in Oklahoma have recorded rainfall tallies of 6 to 9″ over the past seven days.

Today there is another threat for organized severe storms.  This one is due to a secondary low pressure center that is brewing toward the southern Plains again… with similarities to last week’s storm set-ups.


Why So Stormy?  A Look At Surface Low Pressure Today (Tuesday)
Why So Stormy? A Look At Surface Low Pressure Today (Tuesday)


Yesterday we actually saw four tornado reports from areas that don’t typically see them: Montana and far SW North Dakota.  The low pressure center responsible for creating those storms is moving east today – but with less “oomph” than its younger brother over the Texas and Oklahoma’s panhandle regions.

Dewpoints are plentiful for severe storm development, but there are some questions surrounding other variables:


Afternoon Dewponits
Afternoon Dewpoints


You can see some decent surface winds (about 10-15 knots, which is more than sufficient if you have upper level wind support), and they’re coming in from the Southeast.  The big question mark is upper level wind support: Can a storm survive or will it rain itself out of existence?

We’ll be watching this.  Tomorrow’s threat is decent as well.  A similar setup, but this time with a little less well-defined separation of air masses (i.e. the moist air vs. the dry air).


Afternoon Dewpoints Wednesday
Afternoon Dewpoints Wednesday

Stay tuned here on WeatherNation – we’ll continue to track these storm threats & update you on the specifics of where & when we’re expecting the next several rounds of stronger storms.

WeatherNation Meteorologist Aaron Shaffer @ashafferWNTV

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