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March 12-16, 2024 | Severe Weather/Tornado Outbreak

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A couple of interesting setups over the next couple of days. Marginal risk for Tuesday for mainly parts of MO, but I doubt we much storm development so I'm not too concerned there. 

Wednesday is a little more interesting with an upgrade to slight risk including a 5% tornado area in E KS/W MO including the KC metro. 


2% tornado area extends south into OK and far N TX but it's highly conditional. I'm highly skeptical anything will be able to break the cap but there's still enough time for things to change, especially if we end up getting a little better moisture. Anything that does manage to break it would be capable of all hazards. 

Thursday has a bigger threat but should be mostly wind/hail for the current slight risk, although I'd watch further north in the IL area for better tornado potential. Wouldn't be surprised to see a slight risk up there at some point. 

Edited by ElectricStorm
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Thursday morning/mid-day definitely looks very interesting in KS, and especially MO. Slight cap but definitely weak enough that it could potentially be broken. Current CAM's not showing that, but with a set-up like this you really can't rely on the CAM's at all for storm initiation. 



Central MO 






Edited by Neoncyclone
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Getting 4/19 vibes for tomorrow. Very fine line between a cap bust and a significant tornado event. Some models have a dry pool ahead of the dryline at 850mb which could hold updrafts in check, even if the cap breaks. Though forecast and a very interesting day ahead. Strong tornado threat for any storm that can fully mature. 



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2 Convective Outlook  
   NWS Storm Prediction Center Norman OK
   1259 AM CDT Wed Mar 13 2024

   Valid 141200Z - 151200Z


   Strong to severe thunderstorms are possible across a large area from
   the Middle Mississippi Valley into eastern Oklahoma, East Texas, and
   the Lower Mississippi Valley on Thursday. Greatest threat is
   currently expected to be from southeast Oklahoma into western

   A surface low is forecast to be over the NE/IA/MO border
   intersection vicinity early Thursday morning. A cold front will
   extend from this low southwestward through southeast KS and central
   OK into the TX Hill Country. A warm front will extend from this low
   east-northeastward through central IL. A broad warm sector will
   exist ahead of the cold front Thursday morning, characterized by
   dewpoints ranging from the mid/upper 60s over east TX to the mid 50s
   near the IA/MO border. This reservoir of low-level moisture will
   exist beneath steep mid-level lapse rates, resulting in moderate to
   strong buoyancy as heating destabilizes the air mass. As such,
   thunderstorms are anticipated across much of the warm sector as the
   cold front gradually shifts eastward throughout the day. Some strong
   to severe storms are possible, particularly in the corridor from
   northern MO into the Arklatex.

   ...Mid MS Valley Thursday morning into late afternoon/early
   Showers and thunderstorms will likely be ongoing near the surface
   low and warm front early Thursday morning. General expectation is
   for most of this activity to be north of the warm front, with an
   attendant threat for isolated hail. However, there is some potential
   for the southern edge of these storms (and associated outflow) to
   move within the far northern corridor of the warm sector, resulting
   in some threat for damaging gusts as well as hail. This activity is
   expected to continue eastward, reaching the Middle OH Valley by the

   The presence of these early morning storms could act to shift the
   position of entire the frontal zone southward, with an attendant
   shift of the afternoon severe threat as well. Additionally, if
   strong outflow is realized, the resulting boundary could act as a
   focus for afternoon development across MO. Evolution of these
   mesoscale details varies within the guidance, but the more favorable
   area for afternoon development does appear to be over central MO,
   which is farther south than forecast yesterday when the area just
   south of the warm front looked more plausible. Given steep mid-level
   lapse rates and strong deep-layer vertical shear, large to very
   large hail is still anticipated with the initial more cellular late
   afternoon storms. Strong downdrafts are possible as well, with
   potential for upscale growth into one or more bowing clusters.
   Veered low-level flow is forecast to limit the tornado potential,
   although interaction with any boundaries could lead to mesoscale
   corridors of slightly greater tornado threat.

   ...Middle OH Valley during the afternoon and evening...
   As the activity initially over the Mid MS Valley continues eastward,
   there is some potential it transitions from elevated to surface
   based (or at least near-surface based) as it interacts with the warm
   front progressing northward across the region. Buoyancy will be
   modest, but moderate southerly low-level flow beneath strong
   westerlies will result in vertically veering low-level hodographs
   that could support updraft organization and even a few tornadoes.
   Uncertainties regarding the position of the front as well as how the
   convection evolves out of the Mid MS Valley limit forecast
   confidence with this outlook, but future guidance will be evaluated
   closely, and upgrades may be considered in later outlooks.  

   ...Far Northeast TX and eastern OK into AR during the afternoon and
   Large-scale forcing for ascent will be nebulous over the region,
   with some guidance even showing height rises during the afternoon.
   Even so, weak surface troughing is expected to interact with an
   increasingly unstable airmass across the region during the
   afternoon, resulting scattered thunderstorms from far northeast TX
   into eastern OK and western AR between 18Z and 21Z. Given robust
   buoyancy and moderate vertical shear, initial development will
   likely be supercellular and capable of all severe hazards, including
   very large hail. Low-level southerly flow (perhaps even
   southeasterly) is also anticipated, resulting in low-level
   hodographs that support tornadogenesis, particularly from far
   southeast OK into western AR. Even with favorable hodographs, storm
   interactions could prevent the discreteness needed for updraft

   ...Mid MS Valley into the Mid-South during evening and overnight...
   After the initial development described above, some upscale growth
   into one or more clusters appears plausible, with an attendant
   threat for damaging gusts as these clusters move eastward. Buoyancy
   will gradually decrease with eastward extent, leading to the
   expectation that whatever line segments do develop will lose
   intensity as they continue eastward overnight.

   ..Mosier.. 03/13/2024


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Thursday into Friday...

Focus is on chances for severe weather on Thursday into Thursday
night. However, there remains a lot of uncertainty as details will
depend on mesoscale features and interactions of areas of convection.

Some showers and thunderstorms may be ongoing with an initial round
of forcing Thursday morning. The stronger portion of the 850mb jet
will be west and impact more of northern Illinois by Thursday
morning. Will trim back the very high blended guidance PoPs.

After the initial round of convection in the morning, some upper
energy may trigger scattered to perhaps numerous convection midday.
This could depend on coverage of the morning convection and thinning
of cloud cover. Will go with mainly chance PoPs, with perhaps some
likely PoPs late in the day north to account for storms along an
approaching cold front.

The most likely round of convection will come Thursday night. An
area of surface low pressure will move through lower Michigan and
drag a cold front into the area. This, another potential wave riding
along the front to the southwest, a decent low level jet, and
plentiful moisture will all work together to bring showers and
thunderstorms to the area. Will go high PoPs all areas.

Severe convection is possible, especially later Thursday afternoon
and night. However, the threat remains conditional. If convection is
minimal Thursday morning and early afternoon, good instability will
build across the area with surface heating and steep mid level lapse
rates. Surface dewpoints will be around 60, and a 40-50kt low level
jet will be nearby. Primary threat would be damaging winds and large
hail, but tornadoes cannot be ruled out, especially if a surface
wave can ride along the front.

More convection earlier in the day could disrupt the atmosphere and
diminish the severe threat. Convection to the south and west could
also disrupt things Thursday night. Will continue to monitor
closely and highlight the threat in products and social media
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Late tonight into Thu is the primary concern for this forecast

package with the potential for some strong/severe storms. A piece of

the western CONUS trough is expected to break off and eject NE into

strongly confluent flow over our region. This will send a weak

surface low through the area supported by strong prefrontal

warm/moist air advection and associated building convective

instability. Wind/shear profiles are highly supportive of organized

convection (850mb winds near 40 kts and 500mb winds near 70 kts) but

as is so often the case the instability picture is muddy. Multiple

rounds of convection are likely and this leads to low confidence in

the final mesoscale picture. The primary source of uncertainty

centers around how far north the warm front and associated surface

low setup. Lower-res deterministic NCEP models indicate the warm

front blasts well north of here Thu morning with heavy rain over

central MI and largely dry conditions locally. Hi-res CAM`s suggest

the warm front stalls roughly in our northern CWA with potentially

several rounds of convection training through our area late tonight

and into the day Thu. This idea has some support in the ECMWF

and some lower res ensemble guidance as well given a weaker/more

sheared midlevel wave in highly confluent flow aloft. This is

currently the preferred solution given that upper air pattern

and the fact that it is often difficult to get warm fronts

through Michigan this time of year due to very cold lakes. This

scenario likely supports three distinct rounds of convection as

seen in several 00Z hi-res models. The first with the primary

theta-e surge during the early morning, followed by some type of

convective cluster around midday (noted in several models), and

finally with the cold front during the evening. This doesn`t

allow instability to ever really build (save for perhaps ahead

of the cold front Thu evening which is at the end of most

current hi-res guidance) suggesting primarily an isolated heavy

rain threat with perhaps some pockets of gusty winds/hail. This

will have to be watched closely though because midlevel lapse

rates are impressive (over 7 C/km) and while low level moisture

isn`t extreme it could still be enough to generate 500-1000 J/kg

of MUCAPE (sufficient in this kinematic environment). If this

better instability does materialize, all hazards are possible.

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I'm not seeing it today for anything south of Kansas. Cap looks a little too strong, and too much dry air aloft. Could still see a storm or two try to fire but I'm thinking we'll see nothing here. 

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ILN with a lengthy disco on how tomorrow could exceed the marginal in place or not be as severe. 18z HRRR looking very active.

Primary concern tonight will be with shower and thunderstorm

Ample sunshine and warm breezes across the ILN CWA early this
afternoon, and dew points have held steady in the lower 40s
which is keeping humidities in the 30-40% range, so with the
more sporadic wind gusts vs yesterday`s more widespread and
stronger winds, did not feel a need to message any fire weather
concerns into this evening on a larger scale.

After midnight, increasing theta-e advection aloft will drive
the potential for an arc of showers and perhaps a few elevated
storms from southwest to northeast across mainly the northwest
half of the ILN forecast area. This is not a high confidence
signal across the suite of convective allowing and global
ensemble members, however, thus chances along I-71 are
maintained in the 20-40% range. A better /spatial and forcing/
signal exists for showers and thunderstorms to develop tonight
in Illinois and cross Indiana on an ENE trajectory toward the
northwestern third of the ILN forecast area, arriving in the
hours before or just after sunrise in west central Ohio. Likely
elevated in nature, these are unlikely to be strong / severe but
do warrant the maintenance of higher rain chances that were
ongoing in the forecast already across west central Ohio in the
10Z-12Z timeframe.


Expect the cluster of showers/storms mentioned above entering
west central Ohio around sunrise to continue on a east-northeast
trajectory toward central Ohio during the morning hours, but it
is at this point where the forecast begins to lose some degree
of certainty, and how long these hold together downstream over
central Ohio (or perhaps moving more into northern Ohio) remains
to be seen.

In general, as a potent mid level speed max ejects northeast
owing to height falls digging into the Rockies and with heights
rising downstream over the Ohio Valley, activity should have
the propensity to either weaken/diminish over central Ohio or
lift more north into northern Ohio as forcing diminishes
immediately over the ILN CWA, leaving somewhat of an open-warm-
sector lull across much of our forecast area from late morning
into early mid afternoon.

That being said, as this speed max and embedded shortwave
arrives into Indiana/Michigan during the afternoon, expect a
renewed storm cluster/MCS to develop across ILN/IN and move
rapidly toward MI/OH. There are some convective-allowing
solutions which develop a rather robust MCS that rides along the
synoptic warm front lying either just north of our area or
across our northern tier, taking on linear/bowing
characteristics. Some solutions ride this activity well north of
our area, but there is a general / overarching trend in most
guidance /backed up by machine learning probabilities based on
GEFS/HREF/ that our northern half of our forecast area is under
a threat for severe storms tomorrow that could - if things come
together - exceed current Level 1 /Marginal Risk/ categories
from the SPC. But the uncertainty tied to the coverage / track
of this cluster of storms, coupled with marginal thermodynamics
are likely playing a role here. What we do know is that low
level and deep level shear /hodograph curvature/ is rather
optimal for storm longevity and organization for any MCS or
discrete cells which may form, but there is some concern for the
level of moistening that can be maintained in an open warm
sector scenario. If dewpoints can`t ascend past the mid 50s -
which is being hinted by some of the CAMS which have handled low
level moisture more optimally this week - overall convection
may struggle to maintain intensity outside a more optimal setup
with regards to shear/warm front/synoptic forcing with the jet
streak. This situation will need to be watched closely, and if a
more robust storm cluster can get going in this kind of shear
environment across the northern half of the ILN forecast area,
all modes of severe weather including a tornado or two will be
in play.

After the potential afternoon-early evening storm threats, we
are not out of the woods as the passing jet streak will begin to
push low pressure and associated cold front southeast toward our
area later Thursday night into Friday morning, and another wave
of storms /likely focused more to the southwest of the ILN CWA/
may impact areas along the Ohio River and points south later in
the night. While severe threats with this activity would be
less, there would still be ample low level shear in play,as
despite the more reduced instability by coming through at such a
late time of night.



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8 minutes ago, snowlover2 said:

ILN with a lengthy disco on how tomorrow could exceed the marginal in place or not be as severe. 18z HRRR looking very active.



Pretty wild run for sure. interested to see how it looks in the morning after the MCS moves through. Never know how those will affect storms later in the day.

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CU field starting to develop near the dryline in N/NE OK. I would watch areas from Tulsa north for potential storm development. South of that looks pretty stable. Dryline well east of OKC metro now so looks like we're not getting anything here. 

Looks like a watch is coming soon for the warm front in KS 

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1 hour ago, Neoncyclone said:

Pretty wild run for sure. interested to see how it looks in the morning after the MCS moves through. Never know how those will affect storms later in the day.

This is definitely a set up for some discrete powerful Supercells. 

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