As the country transitions from the heat of summer to the cold of winter, the clash between seasons will trigger severe storms, including tornadoes, this weekend in the central United States.
A system developing in the Southern Plains Friday will become the focus of severe weather Saturday and Sunday. This system will move into some very warm and moist air, creating the perfect environment for impactful thunderstorms.
“It will very much feel like spring ahead of the approaching storm system,” said CNN meteorologist Chad Myers. “Afternoon temperatures will be 20 to 30 degrees above normal with surging Gulf of Mexico humidity mixing in.”
Storms will fire up late Saturday in eastern Kansas after a round of morning thunderstorms rolls through the southern part of the state into Missouri.
NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center issued a slight risk, level 2 of 5, of severe storms for northeastern Kansas on Saturday. The primary threat looks to be isolated large hail, but damaging winds and an isolated tornado are also possible.
By Sunday morning, widespread showers and thunderstorms will extend from the Central Plains to the Lower Great Lakes.
Severe storms are expected to develop by mid-morning along a line from eastern Kansas into eastern Oklahoma. These earlier storms will be spread out and may become supercells — storms that are more likely to produce tornadoes — before becoming a connected line of storms, with a damaging wind threat as they move through the Mississippi and Tennessee valley regions later in the evening.
“All severe hazards are possible including potential for significant severe weather,” the SPC warned for Sunday. These hazards include damaging winds, tornadoes and large hail.
The SPC has already issued an enhanced risk, level 3 of 5, of severe storms from much of central and southern Missouri and northern Arkansas, including St. Louis and Little Rock.
“Concern is increasing that we may see more widespread severe storms, so now is the time to make sure your severe weather plans are in place!” said the National Weather Service in St. Louis.
An area from Dallas to near Des Moines, Iowa, and Indianapolis will also be under a marginal and slight threat, level 1 and 2, of severe weather on Sunday.
More severe weather is possible next week for the central US as the intense storm hitting the West Coast this weekend swings through the country.