Quiet severe weather season could get noisy next week - KCTV5 News

Quiet severe weather season could get noisy next week

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FAIRWAY, KS (KCTV) -

The last time the state of Kansas waited this long for its first tornado of the year was back in 1989 when it landed on April 23.

However, that’s not a record. In 1987, the first tornado of the year didn’t occur in Kansas until May 28. That same year, in Missouri, the first tornado came on June 2. 

So far in 2018, there have been eight tornadoes in Missouri, but this relatively quiet tornado season could become more active next week.

“Severe weather often ends and begins with a clash between cold air and warm air,” explained KCTV5 Meteorologist Brett Anthony. “Next Tuesday, there will be a potential showdown between the contrasting air masses in the Central Great Plains.”

There will also be a cold front with gusty southern winds at the surface and strong winds aloft that are from a different direction.

“We call this change of wind direction with height ‘shear,’” Anthony said. “Shear helps create updrafts and the right amount of shear can get a thunderstorm rotating.”

Those rotating thunderstorms can produce large hail and even tornadoes. 

The map for forecasted hail potential corresponds with the area where the best wind shear exists. 

It suggests a threat level for hail; the higher the number, the more likely it is to hail. The contours point to a threat between one and three, with a peak closer to four just northwest of Oklahoma City. 

According to that data, there is a moderate threat of hail for most of the Central Great Plains. That is a lot of real estate where quarter-size or larger hailstones could potentially fall.

Next week’s storm setup also comes with a threat for tornadoes. 

On the map showing where there is significant tornado potential, zero is the lowest threat and 10 is the highest. 

A large portion of southwestern and south-central Oklahoma sits in a moderate threat area. In other words, it could be a lot higher, but the threat is high enough to produce a few tornadoes in that region. 

A portion of south-central Kansas has an elevated threat as well.

There will be a lot of fine-tuning in the coming days. 

Now is a good time to think about your severe weather plan and talk about it with your family. Everyone is a little “rusty” since colder air has kept a lid on severe weather, leading to the slow start to the spring storm season. 

Stay with KCTV5 News over the weekend and into the workweek for updates.

To get weather updates on your phone, download our StormTrack5 Weather app. Click here to download it on the App Store or Google Play.

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