Severe Weather Possible in the Central Plains
Yet another round of severe weather is possible in parts of the midsection of the country, Friday afternoon. The main modes of severe weather will be hail and high winds, but a couple of isolated tornadoes can’t be totally ruled out either. The primary area of concern will be far northeast Colorado, the eastern two-thirds of Nebraska and the northern third of Kansas.
A few showers and thunderstorms will be on-going by early afternoon in the western parts of the Nebraska and this could help somewhat inhibit some of the severe threat in that area. But, further east, intermittent sunshine and and ample moisture will only aid in the destabilization of the atmosphere. As of 1 p.m. MDT a defined area of cumulus development is present in central Nebraska and further south into far-northern Kansas — cumulus development is an indication that there’s instability in the lowest levels of the atmosphere.
Forecast models indicate that storms could break loose by 3 p.m. MDT and some of those storms will become severe quickly. Some of these storms will be “supercells” and based on atmospheric profiles, they could produce large hail and even some isolated tornadoes. As the afternoon progresses, some of these storms will become quasi-linear (meaning short line segments, but not a large squall line) and could produce bow echos.
Bow echos are notorious for producing straight-line winds. People that live in the western half of the risk area should be weather-aware though late evening, while those that live in the eastern part of the risk area should remain weather aware through at least midnight local time.
What’s Causing the Severe Threat?
An upper-level low over the Intermountain West — that’s being enhanced by a strong low plowing into the Pacific Northwest — is pushing across Colorado and into the Central Plains. This low is providing enhanced lift to the region. That lift, coupled with the instability in the atmosphere, is what’s going to feed these storms this afternoon.
WeatherNation meteorologists are monitoring the situation and will bring you updates on-air and online throughout the evening.
Meteorologist Alan Raymond