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Increasing Plains Tornado Risk This Afternoon and Evening

16 May 2017, 2:02 pm

The threat for tornadoes is increasing this afternoon as a strong storm system is moving into the Plains. A PDS (Particularly Dangerous Situation) Tornado Watch has been issued until 10 p.m. this evening, with additional watches likely later this evening. PDS Tornado Watches are issued when there is the risk for several tornadoes and the forecaster has high confidence that multiple strong (EF2-EF3 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale) or violent tornadoes (EF4-EF5) will occur in the area.

A PDS (Particularly Dangerous Situation) Tornado Watch has been issued for parts of the Texas Panhandle and western…

Posted by NOAA NWS Storm Prediction Center on Tuesday, May 16, 2017

A moderate risk for severe weather has been posted for portions of the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles, where tornadoes are most likely today. Strong wind gusts above 60 mph and hail larger than 1″ in diameter are possible today over most of the Plains.

A strong low pressure center in the upper levels of the atmosphere is digging the Jet Stream into the region, helping to produce lots of energy aloft to sustain severe storms, including supercells. Heat and humidity is flowing into the region from the Gulf of Mexico around an area of high pressure, providing for increasing instability to fuel severe weather.

At the surface, a well defined dryline is slowly pushing east across region. As it moves eastward, supercell thunderstorms will likely develop. Wind shear will be aided by a developing surface low pressure center in Kansas.

The tornado threat will gradually decrease overnight, but thunderstorms will likely remain severe across the region into Wednesday morning as the system slides to the east and a cold front pushes southward from the north. There is also a risk for heavy rain.

For WeatherNation: Meteorologist Mace Michaels

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