Multiple-day threat likely to end tornado-free spell across Central Plains

It has been a record quiet star...

Posted: May 1, 2018 8:33 AM
Updated: May 1, 2018 8:33 AM

It has been a record quiet start in 2018 across "Tornado Alley," the central portion of the country that traditionally receives the bulk of the nation's twisters.

In fact, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska have yet to see a tornado this year; typically, there would have been nearly 50 tornadoes across these three states by the end of April.

Cold air from Arctic blasts has confined the warm, humid air needed for severe weather to the Southeast

Monday through Wednesday will see increasing chances for tornadoes, large hail and damaging winds

But that is about to change, and potentially in a big way, as a multiday severe weather threat sets up this week over much of the Central Plains.

Frequent shots of cold air from repeated Arctic blasts have confined the warm and humid air needed for severe weather to the Southeast this spring, but longer days and an increasing sun angle are finally starting to win the battle against the cold.

Temperatures will climb into the 80s on Monday all the way up to South Dakota, setting the stage for the severe weather to heat up as well.

Storm threat increases each day

Monday through Wednesday, each day will see increasing chances for tornadoes, large hail and damaging winds from Texas to South Dakota.

The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, says there is a "slight risk" for Monday, indicating that severe storms are possible for parts of western Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas as well as Nebraska and southeastern South Dakota.

The threat level increases on Tuesday as more moisture from the Gulf of Mexico is pumped into the Central Plains, providing more juice for thunderstorms to develop.

An "enhanced risk," level three out of five from the center, is expected for portions of Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri on Tuesday.

Though the highest-risk region is fairly sparsely populated, there are a few larger cities facing severe weather, including Omaha and Kansas City.

Wednesday looks like the worst day

Wednesday looks to be the most likely day for severe storms. The enhanced risk area more than triples in size and expands to the south, including Oklahoma City and Tulsa.

A slow-moving cold front stretching from the Midwest to the Rocky Mountains will provide a focus for storms to build off of, and key ingredients for tornadoes such as warm, humid air and strong winds will be in abundance across the Plains.

The result will be a "likelihood of widespread severe storms," according to the Storm Prediction Center, and the risk level may increase as we get closer to Wednesday.

The forecast will continue to evolve, and the exact location and type of severe weather may change as scenario plays out, but it appears likely that severe storms will break out in Tornado Alley each afternoon through Wednesday.

Though this is nothing new for springtime in the Central Plains, it is certainly new for 2018, and residents should review safety plans for tornadoes in anticipation of the active week.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 161516

Reported Deaths: 3916
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10863104
Hinds10705207
Harrison7624114
Jackson6774131
Rankin6303114
Lee557798
Madison5311112
Forrest405587
Jones388589
Lauderdale3754149
Lafayette347358
Washington3421108
Lamar310350
Lowndes265168
Oktibbeha262763
Bolivar254686
Panola243754
Neshoba2333124
Marshall229451
Leflore216492
Monroe216278
Pontotoc213631
Lincoln203267
Sunflower198156
Warren189559
Tate187251
Union179626
Copiah176141
Pike170860
Pearl River168170
Itawamba166637
Scott166030
Yazoo164441
Alcorn161529
Coahoma160044
Prentiss159034
Simpson156954
Grenada149545
Adams148852
Leake146244
George138326
Covington137642
Holmes136861
Tippah135230
Winston134326
Hancock132842
Wayne127424
Attala126836
Marion126548
Tishomingo116444
Newton114929
Chickasaw112632
Tallahatchie101227
Clay98527
Clarke96954
Jasper90023
Stone85115
Calhoun82413
Montgomery80726
Walthall80430
Carroll78115
Lawrence76814
Smith76516
Yalobusha75728
Noxubee74817
Perry70127
Greene66023
Tunica64019
Amite61815
Jefferson Davis60818
Claiborne59716
Humphreys56119
Benton51018
Quitman5107
Kemper50019
Webster49514
Wilkinson42522
Jefferson39012
Franklin3866
Choctaw3757
Sharkey33517
Issaquena1254
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 264199

Reported Deaths: 3831
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson35310515
Mobile20626372
Madison14521153
Tuscaloosa13897173
Montgomery12844246
Shelby1127878
Baldwin9501138
Lee807167
Morgan740555
Etowah704870
Marshall695358
Calhoun6939126
Houston559140
DeKalb521843
Cullman490650
St. Clair466557
Limestone462446
Lauderdale452257
Elmore440070
Walker3914112
Talladega386157
Jackson373523
Colbert347948
Blount323146
Autauga294542
Franklin265534
Coffee260023
Dale247355
Dallas236832
Chilton235445
Covington234834
Russell23433
Escambia208832
Tallapoosa192692
Chambers189154
Clarke165422
Pike165215
Marion150236
Winston146325
Lawrence139936
Pickens129720
Geneva12929
Marengo127824
Bibb127038
Barbour121729
Butler121142
Cherokee108224
Randolph108022
Fayette102216
Hale102132
Clay95527
Washington94222
Henry9097
Monroe85311
Lowndes82930
Cleburne80914
Macon77522
Crenshaw73830
Lamar7348
Conecuh73215
Bullock71120
Perry7037
Wilcox65918
Sumter60122
Greene45818
Choctaw43620
Coosa3854
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