Severe thunderstorm threat returns to the Plains, South through Tuesday

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Severe Thunderstorm Watches in Place for Plains


The threat for severe thunderstorms will continue in parts of the Plains and South into Tuesday. In addition to the potential for severe weather, locally heavy rain will also be possible, particularly over the Lower Mississippi Valley.

This is a region that has been hit several times with excessive rain since March.

Hail up to 2.5 inches (tennis ball size) was reported near Ralls, Dickens and Guthrie, Texas which are east of Lubbock, on Sunday evening. On Sunday afternoon, golf ball size hail was reported near Crowell, Texas and ping pong ball size hail was measured near Slaton, Texas. A wind gust of 65 mph was also measured near Vernon, Texas and a gust of 60 mph was reported near Hobart, Oklahoma.

(MORE: Record Flooding Strikes Southern States)

This threat of severe weather is being triggered by an upper-level storm system that has brought rain to parts of California and the Desert Southwest, and is now pivoting into the South.

Current Radar with Watches and Warnings:

See below for a guide to watch and warning colors.

(MORE: View National Interactive Radar Map | Difference Between a Watch and a Warning)

A combination of wind shear, or changing wind directions at different levels of the atmosphere, surface low pressure tracking along the front from the Plains into the Mississippi Valley, and warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico will all be factors in igniting severe thunderstorms.

This is a fairly typical early spring setup for severe thunderstorms from the southern Plains into the Mid-South and Gulf Coast, although this does not look like an outbreak by any stretch of the imagination. Nonetheless, severe weather, including a few tornadoes, will be possible.

Severe Setup Early Week

Below is a look at what is currently expected into the coming week.

Severe Weather Forecast

Into Early Monday

  • Low pressure rides along a front sliding through the Plains, while a dryline sharpens across the southern High Plains.
  • A few strong to severe thunderstorms will develop over parts of northwestern Texas into Oklahoma, southern and eastern Kansas and western Missouri. South-central Texas could also see a few strong to severe thunderstorms.
  • Large hail is the primary threat, but gusty winds and an isolated tornado cannot be ruled out with the stronger storms.
  • Other thunderstorms and locally heavy rain may impact parts of the Midwest, although any severe threat appears low in this region due to limited instability.
  • Cities: Abilene | Wichita Falls | Oklahoma City

Sunday Night's Thunderstorm Forecast

The red shaded area shows where severe thunderstorms may develop. The orange area is where general thunderstorms are possible.


  • The frontal system gradually moves southeast across the southern Plains and Mid-South with a dryline positioned over Texas.
  • Scattered severe thunderstorms are expected across east Texas into southeast Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. Overnight the threat may move into Mississippi and western Alabama.
  • Large hail, damaging winds and a few tornadoes will be possible.
  • Heavy rain and local flash flooding could develop across portions of the Mid-South into the Ohio Valley.
  • Cities: Dallas-Fort Worth | Shreveport | Little Rock

Monday's Thunderstorm Forecast


  • The front continues to move southeastward toward the Gulf Coast.
  • Instability and available wind shear appear less robust than prior days, which may limit any severe threat.
  • Nonetheless, a few strong to locally severe storms are possible in portions of the Southeast, from Alabama and northern Florida into Georgia and South Carolina. An isolated severe thunderstorm also cannot be ruled out in parts of southern Texas.


  • A second upper-level storm system swings across the South.
  • This time, warm, moist low-level air and instability may be limited to Deep South Texas and areas near the northern Gulf Coast.
  • Thus, the threat of any strong to severe t-storms may remain pinned to these areas Wednesday/Thursday.

(MAPS: 7-Day Rain/Snow National Forecast)

Continue to check back with for updated information in the coming days.

Related: See extreme weather from across the country so far this spring:

March/April, early spring weather around the United States
See Gallery
Severe thunderstorm threat returns to the Plains, South through Tuesday
Drivers navigate through a heavy rain shower down a bush street, Sunday April 17, 2016, in Richardson, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
A lone bison is blanketed by snow as the animal stands at the buffalo overlook along Interstate 70 as a severe spring storm packing high winds and heavy, wet snow sweeps over the intermountain West Saturday, April 16, 2016, near Evergreen, Colo. While the storm is starting later than predicted, forecasters are expecting driving snow to pummel the region Saturday night into Sunday, which has forced the cancellation of hundreds flights out of Denver's airport. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Visitors stop at a park bench as they enjoy warm weather at Onondaga Lake Park, Sunday, April 17, 2016, in Liverpool, N.Y. The lake is a popular recreational attraction despite is distinction as one of the most polluted in the United States due to a long period of chemical dumping that ended in the mid-1980's. Cleanup efforts to reduce the high levels of mercury and other toxic substances in the lake are ongoing. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Footsteps can be seen on a recently cleared sidewalk during a spring snow storm in Boston, Massachusetts April 4, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Kids play in the surf at Ocean Beach after the sun set in San Francisco, Wednesday, April 6, 2016. A handful of spring heat records are expected to be broken on Wednesday, but then temperatures will fall and the weekend is forecast to be wet. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Fog envelops the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California, United States April 8, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Stadium attendant Eileen Higgins, right, stands behind the outfield display as storm clouds gather overhead before a baseball game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Philadelphia Phillies, Wednesday, April 6, 2016, in Cincinnati. The Reds won 3-2. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
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A man carries an umbrella during a rain storm on Wall St. by the New York Stock Exchange in New York April 4, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Falling snow sits on daffodils outside a Newbury Street shop during a spring snow storm in Boston, Massachusetts April 4, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Rain falls at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., Saturday, April 9, 2016, as a storm system brought much-needed rain to Southern California, which is now in its fifth year of drought. Rain showers occurred repeatedly through the day. Rain showers delayed a ball game in the Bay Area and prompted flood advisories as they scooted through California, but the overall rain totals won't do much to ease five years of drought, forecasters said.(AP Photo/John Antczak)
Raindrops and trees are reflected in a puddle during a rainy Wednesday, April 6, 2016, in Chicago. Rains will scatter and become more occasional during the afternoon. Snow and rain is possible on Friday as well with highs failing to reach the 40-degree mark. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
This photo taken Tuesday, April 5, 2016, and provided by Kaitlyn Stone, shows a dust storm near Stratford, Texas. Forecasters say the dust storm, about 100-miles wide, blanketed much of the Texas Panhandle before moving on and dissipating. (Kaitlyn Stone via AP)
Heavy clouds and rain pass over downtown Los Angeles on Friday, April 8, 2016. The first of two weather systems has brought showers to Southern California but rainfall has been scattered and mostly light. The National Weather Service says radar shows showers running across the region early Friday but not much of the rain is reaching the ground. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)
A woman whose car was stranded stands in receding street flooding, after severe rainstorms moved through New Orleans, Friday, April 1, 2016. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Traffic passes a cherry blossom tree with limbs broken by the weight of heavy snow along Sparks Boulevard in Sparks, Nev., Monday, March 28, 2016, after a late winter storm dumped more than a half foot of snow on the area the day after Easter. Much of northeast Nevada remained under a winter storm warning into Wednesday with as much as 20 inches of snow possible in the mountains. (AP Photo/By Scott Sonner)
A tornado touches down in Tulsa, Okla., on Wednesday, March 30, 2016. The National Weather Service is confirming multiple tornado touchdowns in the Tulsa area. (AP Photo/Larry Papke)
Storm clouds roll in over Champion Stadium in the seventh inning of a spring training baseball game between the Atlanta Braves and the Houston Astros, Friday, March 25, 2016, in Kissimmee, Fla. Moments later the game was stopped because of rain. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
Visitors walk along the Tidal Basin to look at cherry blossoms in Washington March 24, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

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