Severe weather can happen anywhere and any place if the right ingredients come together. For days, the KSN Storm Track 3 weather team has kept a close eye on two different storm systems. The first produced several tornadoes in Oklahoma along with reports of damaging winds and large hail Sunday evening. It stands out in my mind in my career as a rarity of a “Moderate Risk” being issued in fall to this degree.
The cold front cruised through to an ideal position for Kansas, keeping us on the cooler and more stable side. That said, we did have a few severe thunderstorm warnings that did not produce much.
The bigger story with round one was the heavy rainfall training out of Oklahoma along this frontal boundary. A couple of inches of rain has fallen in select locations near the Kansas/Oklahoma state line through late Sunday. Many of us have been able to benefit from this rainfall which has been nice. Here is a look at radar estimated rainfall at 11 p.m. Sunday.
Our longer severe weather season is typically from March 15 through June 15, give or take a few days as cold air from the north clashes with warm, moist air from the south. Right now, we have back-to-back systems that are quite powerful. This is our second severe weather season that only lasts a short time in fall before we transition to the cold season.
The next system arrives Tuesday. The track of the low-pressure system will be farther to the north, putting Kansas in the crosshairs for stronger storms. Please be weather aware from Tuesday afternoon through the early overnight as all forms of severe weather are on the table from western into central Kansas. The orange of the Enhanced Risk stands out for the higher potential for severe weather Tuesday.
We will have plenty of spin in the atmosphere as winds ramp up from the south, ushering in moisture to feed this system that will move through the Central High Plains. There is a question as to the degree of how much moisture can return over the next 24. There will be a small sliver or tongue of moisture, if you will, near and south of Highway 54, from Pratt to Dodge City.
If the right elements can come together, then storms will begin discretely. This is when our greatest tornadic potential will be possible. From there, storms will congeal into a line. While isolated tornadoes cannot be ruled out, we will see a transition to a damaging wind threat through Tuesday night. The severe threat will continue, aided by the low-level jet or a fast movement of air that will feed into this line, keeping storms strong to severe overnight.
Stay updated with the KSN Storm Track 3 weather team on-air and online at ksn.com.
–Chief Meteorologist Lisa Teachman