Tornado Threat Forecast: May 16-22, 2017

Fairly strong tornado potential today through Thursday before a much quieter pattern takes over this weekend into early next week.

NOTE: If we leave for Chasecation 2017 at the end of this week, this will be the last forecast until we get back. If we don’t leave, I will probably keep forecasting until we do leave.

1-3 Day


Tuesday – Central and southern Plains, western Midwest

NUMBER OF TORNADOES EXPECTED: 14-32 – CONFIDENCE: High
Tornado Hot-spot: Southern Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas

Pros: Good/excellent low-level directional shear in the Plains, good/excellent speed shear, moderate to high instability, decent upper-level support in the Plains.
Cons: Weak directional shear and either unidirectional or backing mid-level winds from northern Kansas up through the western Midwest.

Wednesday – Southeastern Plains, central Mississippi Valley, western Midwest

NUMBER OF TORNADOES EXPECTED: 6-14 – CONFIDENCE: High
Tornado Hot-spot: Western Midwest

Pros: Decent/good low-level directional shear, good/excellent speed shear, low to moderate instability, good upper-level dynamics.
Cons: Unidirectional winds in the mid-to-upper levels, questionable storm coverage from Missouri southward.

Thursday – Central and southern Plains

NUMBER OF TORNADOES EXPECTED: 10-25 – CONFIDENCE: Normal
Tornado Hot-spot: Oklahoma, central Kansas

Pros: Good/excellent directional shear, good/excellent speed shear, moderate to high instability.
Cons: Weak/decent upper-level support.

4-7 Day


Friday – Central and southern Plains

NUMBER OF TORNADOES EXPECTED: 5-12 – CONFIDENCE: Normal
Tornado Hot-spot: None

Pros: Good low-level directional shear, moderate instability.
Cons: Fairly unidirectional mid-to-upper level winds, questionable storm mode, weak/decent upper-level support.

Saturday – Southern Plains, central Mississippi Valley, western Midwest

NUMBER OF TORNADOES EXPECTED: 3-8 – CONFIDENCE: Normal
Tornado Hot-spot: None

Pros: Moderate instability, decent low-level directional shear.
Cons: Unidirectional mid-to-upper level winds, questionable storm mode, weak/decent upper-level support.

Sunday – Ohio Valley, Tennessee Valley

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

Pros: Low to moderate instability, decent/good speed shear.
Cons: Weak directional shear, weak upper-level support, early rain/clouds limiting the instability.

Monday – Southern High Plains

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

Pros: Low to moderate instability, decent/good directional shear.
Cons: Weak/decent speed shear in the mid-levels, questionable storm coverage, weak upper-level dynamics.

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

One thought on “Tornado Threat Forecast: May 16-22, 2017”

  1. Brian Patterson says:

    Activeeee Stay safe guys!

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