Tornado Threat Forecast: April 13-19, 2017

The “Is It May Yet?” edition. We are struggling to find the more dynamic storm systems that kept the tornado season so active earlier in the year. In late May and June, this isn’t much of a problem, since the smallest of waves can trigger tornadic storms. But this is mid-April, and we usually still need that extra oomph to get things rolling.

1-3 Day


Thursday – Southwestern Oklahoma, north-central Texas

NUMBER OF TORNADOES EXPECTED: 0-2 – CONFIDENCE: Normal
Tornado Hot-spot: None

Pros: Moderate instability, good/excellent low-level directional shear, decent/good speed shear, decent upper-level forcing.
Cons: Some backing winds in the mid-to-upper levels, questionable storm mode.

Friday – Central Plains

NUMBER OF TORNADOES EXPECTED: 0-2 – CONFIDENCE: Normal
Tornado Hot-spot: None

Pros: Moderate instability, good/excellent low-level directional shear, good speed shear.
Cons: Questionable storm coverage and mode, unidirectional winds in the mid-to-upper levels, some hints of backing winds in the upper levels, cap could be stronger than expected, weak upper-level dynamics.

Saturday – Southern Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas Panhandle

NUMBER OF TORNADOES EXPECTED: 1-3 – CONFIDENCE: Normal
Tornado Hot-spot: None

Pros: Moderate instability, good/excellent low-level directional shear, decent/good speed shear.
Cons: Questionable storm coverage due to capping, unidirectional winds in the mid-to-upper levels, mid-level speed shear is somewhat weak, some hints of backing winds in the mid-to-upper levels, weak upper-level dynamics.

4-7 Day


Sunday – Southern Plains

NUMBER OF TORNADOES EXPECTED: 0-3 – CONFIDENCE: Normal
Tornado Hot-spot: None

Pros: Good/excellent directional shear, moderate instability.
Cons: Weak/decent speed shear, weak upper-level dynamics.

Monday – Central and southwestern Plains

NUMBER OF TORNADOES EXPECTED: 1-4 – CONFIDENCE: Low
Tornado Hot-spot: None

Pros: Good/excellent directional shear, moderate instability, decent/good speed shear.
Cons: Uncertainty with storm coverage and with the strength of the lee trough, weak upper-level dynamics.

Tuesday

No tornadoes expected.

Wednesday

No tornadoes expected.

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Operational Meteorologist at WeatherBug (Earth Networks). See full bio.

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