The storms moving through south central Kansas this morning will play one role in whether there are higher-end severe weather this afternoon, especially anywhere east of K-14, or an Lyons to Anthony line. They may leave behind air that is "worked over" -- the energy already spent -- and not enough time for sunshine and return moisture flow to rebuild instability.
Further west, say anywhere along a line from Dighton through Dodge City to Ashland and south into Oklahoma, a dryline will provide a focus mechanism for storm initiation. The main question is whether enough moisture will be in place. Most models are showing 63 to 68 degree dewpoints between 4pm and 7pm -- but morning observations have that kind of moisture still well south of the Red River. The most common thinking is that a 63 dewpoint will be optimistic, and we may be looking at closer to 60. That would significantly reduce the tornado threat.
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Because of time constraints, I’m going to let the risk graphics tell the story today. The dynamics are pretty well covered above.
Please tap or click to enlarge the image. As mentioned above, this risk is conditional, and the number of negative factors is what caused SPC to back down from a Moderate to an Enhanced risk area for today. The key is, if a storm gets going and stays discrete, it has a decent potential to lay down a strong tornado.
I believe this remains the largest economic risk from today’s storms. Wheat is looking good in many of the areas threatened, and this is its period of fastest growth. Hail larger than 2″ poses a serious threat to fields as well as to homes, cars and other property.
Tap or click the image to see it full-size. I’ll note again, the entire red area has the potential to see large hail — 2″ or greater. The numerical probability is 10% that any point within the red area will experience 2″ + hail within 25 miles. There is a 30% probability of 1″ or larger within 25 miles of any point in the red, as well.
I’d already picked a target — only a few miles further west than I thought yesterday — when I saw this from NWS Dodge City:
The best area for tornadoes will be near and just east of a dryline from just east of Dodge City to near Ashland and east by mid afternoon, then shifting towards St. John to Pratt and Medicine Lodge by later afternoon and early evening. Any supercells that form will also contain very large hail with around 2 to 3 inch size possible, and damaging winds.
Again, tap or click the image to see full-size. To my other chaser friends who will be in the field today, be safe and good luck…maybe we’ll cross paths…