Severe storms possible on Wednesday
The severe weather season so far this year has been a quiet one across Nebraska. March, April, and so far this May have seen a combined 27 Severe Thunderstorm Warnings, and just one Tornado Warning - well below the average.
Over the past week to 10 days, the weather pattern has favored cooler than average temperatures, with little to no severe weather. That will be changing later this week as the upper level pattern shifts to a more westerly and southwesterly flow aloft, bringing back warmer temperatures, more moisture, and more chances for severe weather - the first of which will come on Wednesday.
As an upper level trough develops across the western U.S., a few things will happen. Firstly, it will (finally) bring in some warmer temperatures to the Central Plains with temperatures climbing back into the 60s and low 70s for Wednesday and beyond as warmer air finally surges northward. Not only will warmer air move north, but more low-level moisture will also be pulled north into the region. You may or may not have noticed, but so far this May there has been little to no humidity as the air mass in place over the last week to two weeks have been quite dry. That looks to change later this week, with dew points likely returning to
the 50s and low 60s, but potentially as high as the upper 60s to low 70s by early next week - quite humid for this time of year.
The combination of increasing temperatures and increasing dew points will serve to provide fuel to thunderstorms later this week. Combined that with a low pressure system pushing out of the Rockies on Wednesday, and this will set the stage for severe weather from Nebraska down through portions of Texas for Wednesday afternoon into Wednesday evening.
Across western Kansas into the Oklahoma and Texas Panhandles, a very strong dryline will develop with temperatures in the 80s with dew points in the 60s to the east of the dryline. Storms are expected to develop along the dryline and will be capable of large hail, damaging winds, and tornadoes. A strong cap in place across the area will limit the areal coverage of storms though, with just scattered severe storms expected.
Further north into Nebraska, a marginal and slight risk for severe weather is place for the day on Wednesday. This means that isolated to scattered severe storms are possible. Thunderstorms are forecast to develop along the Nebraska-Kansas border Wednesday night as the low-level jet strengthens. Thunderstorms will be a bit elevated, and it appears that large hail is the primary threat at this time, though damaging wind gusts and torrential rain will also be possible across the outlined area.