Joe’s Weather World: Our weird (so far) severe weather season (WED-5/20)

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Don’t really feel like writing a ton about what I’ve written about all week…the clouds…the clouds and the clouds. They’ve backed into the area overnight. They should burn off gradually this afternoon at some point…but it may be a process from the State Line eastbound.

The clouds will be around overnight again and probably to some extent tomorrow as well. Blah blah blah.

There really aren’t any changes to the forecast overall for the holiday weekend. Rain chances increase on Friday…decrease on Saturday and increase again Sunday into Monday morning. Storms…locally heavy rains. There is a minor severe weather risk Friday afternoon/evening but it’s not really an overwhelming type thing at this point.

Which seems to be a theme around here and the Plains for May at least.



Today: Mostly cloudy skies through at least lunch, if not beyond. There may be more breaks in the clouds on the KS side as the afternoon moves along. Temperatures will be in the upper 60s to lower 70s depending on the amount of sunshine that develops in spots. Yesterday we hit 71°

Tonight: Back to clouds…steady temperatures with lows near 60°

Tomorrow: Variable clouds and a few degrees milder with highs in the low>mid 70s

Friday: Storm chances increase. It won’t rain all day though but there should be some patches of rain in the morning and then increased storm chances later in the day.



Again let’s start with the satellite pictures…because you know…day 1000 of the clouds.

The upper level storm is now near eastern Tennessee…but the swath of moisture is more or less still there rotating around. Some 3-5,000 feet of it in the lower part of the atmosphere. We’re relying really on the May sunshine and pockets of breaks to help to warm the atmosphere and then help to break up more of the clouds. We’ll see how far that gets us this afternoon.

Onwards to the subject of the blog…the severe weather season.

The motivation to this was the fact that today is the anniversary of the last EF5 tornado (with winds over 200 MPH) to be recorded. This happened in Moore, OK

That’s a lot of days inbetween and that count increases by the day. No big severe weather events are expected for awhile too.

This season has been a bit strange …active to very active overall to start the year…through April (not necessarily for the Plains though). Certainly for the deep south. Then we waited, at least on the KS side for the 1st tornadoes of the year. That happened this past Thursday.

We’re more or less now in the peak of the season for the Plains…at least for the next 10 days or so.

As you can see though…a large part of the Plains hasn’t even had a tornado watch yet. (I’m not complaining for the KC Metro either..

So far, through Monday at least here is where we stand…tack on about another 10 or so to this for what’s happened since.

Oklahoma has had about 20 tornado reports and Nebraska has had 0 thus far.

You can see the trend this year so far, all down south…in the southeastern 1/3rd of the country. Very little across the Plains and none across the northern Plains.

Unfavorable jet stream patterns have been the main reason with more persistent cool weather in the Plains over the last month or so especially during the core of the season. Now as the temperatures warm up into the holiday weekend the winds aloft won’t be overly favorable for tornadoes. Not to say that there won’t be a tornado or two out there somewhere, but it’s not a true “breakout” set-up at this point.

This is all fine by me…not a fan of this stuff anyway.

This Spring though has been a weird one…will we get a more active June…perhaps..I can’t imagine things going like this for the next 6 weeks. We typically worry a bit more about severe weather through the middle of June…then as the jet stream lifts farther and farther north the winds tend to lighten up in the mid and upper part of the atmosphere and that reduces the potential of more organized storms.

We’ll talk more about the rain situation tomorrow and Friday.

The feature photo comes from Kevin E Lewis…we’ve had some pretty decent sunsets these last few days, but because of the nature of the lower cloud deck…you sort of needed to be in the right spot to see a good one.


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