An active pattern of severe weather is expected to ramp at the end of this week, with long range models carrying it into next week as well.
A mid/upper level trough of low pressure has already started working its way from the southwest coast into the four corners. While Tuesday brought funnel clouds and tornado warnings to California, Wednesday’s severe threat is centered around Utah. The Storm Prediction Center is highlighting wind as the primary threat.
By Thursday, south southeasterly winds will pump Gulf moisture into the central US. A surface low pressure system will deepen on the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains, with a cold front and dryline extending south. More individualized supercell thunderstorms will fire along a North Platte to Lubbock line, pushing east as a linear Mesoscale Convective System (MCS) overnight.
On Friday, a closed off, well organized mid level low will bring the most wide spread chance of severe storms. The dry line quickly slides east into the southern plains, acting as a lifting mechanism to spark up thunderstorm development. Daytime heating and a continuous surge of moisture will lead to sufficient instability. Like Thursday, the initial storms will be more individualized. A damaging wind threat will become likely as they congeal into a line and move east overnight. Enough shear, or change in wind with height, is present for a tornado threat near the Arklatex.
The entire system moves into the southeastern US on Saturday. Strong storms from the night before will remain powerful into the morning. Once the sun comes up, that line should die down. However, daytime heating will increase instability and a secondary area of development is likely in the area highlighted by the SPC’s 15% risk.
Another wave taking a similar path will follow quickly behind. The SPC is already looking at Oklahoma and north Texas as an area to watch for severe weather potential on Sunday.
For WeatherNation, Meteorologist Karissa Klos