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Severe Weather Outlook

The storm that brought cooler temperatures, wind and showers to central California Thursday will likely produce severe weather on the Great Plains next week.
The storm system that brought cooler temperatures, wind and showers to central California on Thursday will likely produce severe weather on the Great Plains next week.

Computer models forecast the low pressure trough to move out of California on Friday and travel across the Rockies this weekend.

By Monday and Tuesday the storm system will be in position to produce severe thunderstorms with hail, lightning and tornadoes possible across portions of Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas.

The image below is from the GFS computer model (Global Forecast System) forecasting heavy precipitation along a frontal boundary Monday evening.

Note the red and pink colors in the northeastern corner of Oklahoma showing extremely heavy precipitation and likely severe thunderstorms.



The ingredients for the huge storms that create destructive tornadoes include enormous amounts of warm, moist air being drawn north from the Gulf of Mexico and strong wind shear.

Wind shear is simply a change in wind speed or direction (or both) at different altitudes in the atmosphere.

A typical setting for severe weather on the plains includes a strong jet stream with westerly wind aloft and southerly wind below the jet stream down to the surface.

That southerly wind pumps in huge amounts of energy in the form of moisture-rich warm air.

Here's the jet stream forecast for Monday evening showing a trough of cool, low pressure air right over the central/southern plains.



If the models are correct, the storm that just blew through central California with a bit of rain and high mountain snow will have the potential to produce more severe weather like the tornadoes that struck Texas Wednesday night.

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Fresno, CA

71°F
Partly Cloudy
  • High: 71°F
  • Low: 57°F
  • Sunrise: 6:11 AM PDT
  • Sunset: 7:42 PM PDT
  • Feels Like: 71°F
  • Wind Chill: 71°F
  • Visibility: 10 mi.
  • Dew Point: 40°
  • Relative Humidity: 32%