Active April Weather Pattern Continues This Week

Monday, April 20th 2015, 4:53 pm
By: News On 6

This past weekend brought us a rash of severe weather to the state, but so far, we have avoided the worst this season can offer.  Outside of the tornadoes that struck around the Tulsa area last month, it has been a relatively quiet season.  Fortunately, we've received some much-needed rain without an overload of severe weather.  In fact, Tulsa is neck and neck with our year-to-date average rainfall (just a 0.04” deficit for the year)!  More rain is likely this week as the active weather pattern persists, but this time, it may include a greater severe weather threat.

                Starting with Tuesday, a lead shortwave in the mid-levels of the atmosphere will likely overspread the area with spotty showers and perhaps a thunderstorm.  That night, a few more elevated thunderstorms may develop near the OK/KS line with a hail threat.  Elevated thunderstorms just imply that the air feeding the thunderstorm is not rooted at the surface, eliminating the threat for tornadoes.  A more substantial severe weather threat may develop on Wednesday as a frontal boundary sets up over the state.  North of it, some severe weather is possible, but the threat would be limited to mainly hail.  South of it, a more unstable air mass will develop and the threat will also include high winds and a few tornadoes.  The storms will likely form earlier in the day and could form into a complex, racing southward.  The highest risk of severe weather is over the southern half of Oklahoma, but we can't rule out some nasty weather as far north as Tulsa that day.  The Outlook for Wednesday's severe weather is shown in the attached image.

                The front shifts south of us on Thursday allowing a break between rounds of storms.  On Friday, a stronger wave in the jet stream will force that front northward and bring back the instability.  That will lead to another risk of strong to severe thunderstorms.  Once again, the position of the front may be crucial for where severe weather occurs, but this strikes me as a pretty pronounced severe weather threat should it evolve like our computer models show right now.  It looks like this nasty spell of weather will clear by early in the weekend.

                According to the Storm Prediction Center, only 10 tornadoes have happened within Oklahoma's state borders so far in 2015. The bulk of tornado season is still to come as we enter the “prime time” for severe weather set-ups.  Let's hope we don't add to this number this week, but keep advised to the threat, especially Wednesday and Friday of this week.  Be sure to follow me on Twitter: @GroganontheGO and on my Facebook page for all of the updates!