Significant Severe Weather Threat, Including Tornadoes, This Weekend and Early Next Week

April 25, 2014

It's been a relatively quiet start to the severe weather season this year.

To date, not one tornado of EF3 intensity or stronger has been observed anywhere in the U.S. In addition, no tornado-related deaths have been recorded thus far in the U.S. in 2014 through April 24.

(MORE: 2014 Remains Fatality-Free for Tornadoes | Record-Long Wait for Year 's First EF3)

However, the weather pattern is now changing and it appears the threat of severe weather will ramp up through the next five days or so.

If you live from the Plains eastward into parts of the Mississippi Valley, Ohio Valley and South, take note: A potentially significant severe weather threat, including tornadoes, is forecast to develop this weekend and continue into early next week. 

Severe Weather Setup

Background

Disturbance Moves In

Disturbance Moves In

Disturbance Moves In

Disturbance Moves In
Background

Unstable Air Coupled with Wind Shear

Unstable Air Coupled with Wind Shear

Unstable Air Coupled with Wind Shear

Unstable Air Coupled with Wind Shear

Heading into the weekend, a strong, upper-level disturbance will travel east from the Rocky Mountains into the nation's midsection. As it does so, it will pull warm, moist air ahead of it into the central and southern Plains. Warm, moist air is buoyant, and it will easily rise, especially with a few hours of sunshine. This rising air is called atmospheric instability, and it will provide the "fuel" necessary to sustain severe thunderstorms.

By late Saturday and Sunday, a surface low will develop within the central Plains. Ahead of this low, moist air will continue to stream into the Great Plains from the south. At the same time, faster mid-level winds will blow into the Plains from the west, resulting in wind shear (a change in wind speed and direction with height). Wind shear allows thunderstorms to tilt as they build higher in the sky, and the result is long-lived, particularly strong thunderstorms called supercells.

With enough wind shear and instability, supercell thunderstorms can produce and sustain tornadoes in addition to large hail and damaging wind gusts.

This storm system will continue to progress slowly eastward into early next week with multiple rounds of severe storms likely.

For details on the severe threat areas each day, click here.

MORE: Where to NOT Take Shelter During a Tornado

 


Ad Blocker Enabled

Featured Blogs

96L Off the Coast of Africa Growing More Organized

By Dr. Jeff Masters
July 28, 2016

A strong tropical wave that moved off the coast of Africa on Wednesday morning has become more organized over the far eastern Atlantic, and has the potential to develop into a tropical depression in the coming days as it tracks west-northwestward at 10 - 15 mph into the middle Atlantic.

Hottest Reliably Measured Air Temperatures on Earth

By Christopher C. Burt
July 22, 2016

As Jeff Masters mentioned in his recent blog, a temperature of 54.0°C (129.2°F) was observed at Mitribah, Kuwait on July 21st. According to the Kuwait Meteorological Department this was the hottest temperature ever measured in the country (a reading of 54.4°C/129.9°F observed at the same site on July 16, 2010 has been disallowed as a result of a faulty sensor). The 54.0°C reading also is a new record for Asia and ties a similar reading at Death Valley (on June 30, 2013) as the hottest reliably measured temperature on Earth. The key word here is ‘reliably’. Many hotter temperatures have been reported from around the world in years past. However, all of these have credibility issues. In that vein I am going to revisit a blog I first posted on WU in October 2010 listing all the various claims to temperature readings at or above 54°C (129.2°F). In the years since I made that post I’ve learned more about some of these claims and have thus updated my entries and ‘validity’ scores as a result.

An extraordinary meteorological event; was one of its results a 1000-year flood?

By Stu Ostro
October 5, 2015

The confluence of meteorological ingredients the first weekend in October 2015 resulted in an extraordinary weather event with severe impacts. Was one of them a 1000-year flood?

Why the Arrest of a Science-Loving 14-year-old Matters

By Shaun Tanner
September 16, 2015

By now, many of you have heard or read about the arrest of Ahmed Mohamed, a 14-year-old high school student from Irving, Texas. Ahmed was arrested because school officials called the police after he showed one of his teachers his homemade clock. Mistaken for a bomb, Ahmed was taken into custody, interrogated, shamed, suspended (still on suspension today, Wednesday), and reprimanded. All of this after it has been found that the "device" he brought to school was indeed, a homemade clock.