Early May has the potential of being very active with severe weather across the south central plains of the United States, as some of the conditions required to produce thunderstorms - moisture, instability, wind shear, and forcing mechanisms such as surface boundaries and upper level disturbances – frequently come together over the plains during this time of year. Oklahoma, north Texas, and southeast Kansas experience the highest probability of these components producing severe thunderstorm events, including supercells, tornadoes, giant hail, straight line winds, and frequent lightning.
As we move into mid-May, we begin to approach the peak of the severe weather season for the southern Great Plains. The area of highest probability for severe weather expands to include northeast Kansas and the panhandle of Texas, with Oklahoma remaining in the statistical bullseye. When storms occur during this period of time, it is not uncommon to witness incredible structure, tornadoes, vivid lightning, and many other meteorological phenomena associated with supercell thunderstorms.
Late May brings us to the peak of the severe weather season for the Great Plains, and the area with the greatest potential for chaseable storm activity expands to include all of the Texas Panhandle, eastern New Mexico, eastern Colorado, southeast Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma. It’s not uncommon for all these areas to experience isolated to scattered severe weather events, including supercells and their associated phenomena, simultaneously during large outbreaks.
Our final tour of the severe weather season. The focal point for photogenic severe weather remains across the northern Great Plains. During this period of time, powerful supercells can occur anywhere from Northeast Colorado all the way up to the Canadian border. Jaw-dropping storm structure, vivid lightning, giant hail and tornado genesis are all possible when and where conditions come together to produce these incredible rotating thunderstorms.