Late Severe Weather Season Kicks Off
As April comes to a close, we’ll remember this month for being the second coldest on record and one completely void of tornadoes in the state. If it wasn’t for this late month warm-up, we would have broken the record! Below shows the day-by-day departure from normal for April. Essentially, March decided to repeat itself!
As we move into May, our attention turns to our upcoming severe weather threat. It is, after all, our most active month for severe weather and tornadoes. Over the coming days, our tornado drought (191 days and counting) for our state likely comes to an end. The threat for a tornado kicks off Tuesday in far northwestern Oklahoma along the dry line. A few isolated storms may form, but not make much eastward progress before the loss of daytime heating and CAP kill the storms. For Green Country, we’ll just have another mild and increasingly humid day. Any t-showers in our part of the state will be brief and not severe.
By Wednesday, strong upper-level energy arrives to the dry-line in western Oklahoma. As low-level moisture levels are enriched by a southerly fetch of wind from the Gulf into midweek, the atmosphere will be primed for explosive storms. However, storms may not form until late in the afternoon near the Oklahoma-Texas line. That means, by the time they reach eastern Oklahoma, fueled further by the low-level jet stream, it could be late at night. Tulsa could see storms as early as 9pm, but the main risk likely falls between 11pm and 3am. Tornadoes will remain a risk for Green Country, but it’ll be lower as the night goes along. Below is the general risk area for Wednesday and Wednesday night.
There is even the chance we do not see real-deal severe storms until Thursday. All of the triggers for storms will be right in place for Green Country. However, ongoing storms continuing from Wednesday may actually hold down the instability and force the better airmass to our southeast. If we do see some daytime recovery, Thursday could bring us another risk of large hail, high winds and a few tornadoes. Below is the timeline for our rain chances and storm risks.
This is not a slam-dunk severe weather set-up for us, but this is the first widespread threat our state has faced all season. It’s just wild it has taken so long for this weather pattern to evolve. Now is the time to review your severe weather plan (ie, where you go, your emergency kit, your way of receiving warnings, etc). If you haven’t already, download the News on 6 app. You can learn more about it here. We’ll be covering all of the midweek storms on-air, on the app and on-line.
After Thursday’s storms clear out that evening, we’ll be left with more beautiful weather heading into the weekend. Warm days and cool nights with drier air come behind this storm system. By the middle of next week, another round of active weather may begin again. The map below shows above-normal rainfall is forecast for the drought-stricken western part of the state. But yes, it’s likely it would involve more severe weather. Hang on, we are finally heading into the heart of Oklahoma storm season!