Severe weather outbreak, including threat for tornadoes, in the Midwest, Plains, and Mid-South Wednesday

Tornado, Thunderstorm Threat Ahead


Despite the mid-November date on your calendar, a severe weather outbreak, including the threat of tornadoes, may target parts of the Plains, Midwest and mid-South during the middle part of this week.

A powerful southward dip in the jet stream, which had earlier spun up an impressive storm over Alaska's Aleutian Islands, is expected to swing out of the Desert Southwest Tuesday and punch east into the Plains and Midwest Wednesday.

Ahead of this jet stream dip, warmer, more humid air in the lower levels of the atmosphere will flow northward into the Plains from the western Gulf of Mexico as strong low pressure forms to the east of the Rocky Mountains.

The resultant wind shear and instability from the strong jet stream and colder air aloft overlapping warm, humid air near the surface should give rise to severe thunderstorms.

RELATED: See more photos of severe fall weather in the US

4 PHOTOS
Severe weather, east coast, 9/30 - 10/2
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Severe weather outbreak, including threat for tornadoes, in the Midwest, Plains, and Mid-South Wednesday
PORTLAND, ME - SEPTEMBER 30: A pickup truck plows through heavy floodwater on Somerset Street near Whole Food Market Wednesday, September 30, 2015. (Photo by Gabe Souza/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
PORTLAND, ME - SEPTEMBER 30: Torrential rain pounded Southern Maine causing flooding in Portland Wednesday, September 30, 2015. (Photo by Gabe Souza/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
PORTLAND, ME - SEPTEMBER 30: Laura Hall walks through floodwaters on Pearl Street to return to work at Whole Foods Market after taking a break to move her car to higher ground Wednesday, September 30, 2015. (Photo by Gabe Souza/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
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As with virtually all severe weather forecasts a few days out, there are uncertainties. In this case, it pertains to the magnitude of the tornado threat and how far east the severe weather will spread.

Severe weather threats in fall typically have plenty of wind energy from the jet stream, but limited amounts of unstable air. The setup this week is no different.

In these cases, the main threat from severe thunderstorms tends to be widespread damaging wind gusts with embedded tornadoes. The magnitude of the tornado threat is dependent on how unstable the air mass becomes, which remains uncertain at this time. Also, the amount of unstable air will dictate how far east the severe weather will spread into parts of the mid-Mississippi Valley and Ohio Valley.

(MORE: Where November Tornadoes Are Most Common)

Regardless of the tornado threat, damaging thunderstorms winds and large hail appear to be likely. We expect the areal coverage and number of severe weather reports to be far greater than we saw last week.

Here is our latest forecast thinking.

Severe Weather Forecast

  • Tuesday night: A few strong to severe thunderstorms may break out overnight in the Plains from eastern Nebraska and western Kansas to north Texas.
  • Wednesday: The most active day with severe thunderstorms and tornadoes possible in eastern Nebraska, eastern Kansas, northeast Oklahoma, Missouri, Iowa and western Illinois. Depending on how the jet stream energy and unstable air interact, the severe weather may also impact parts of eastern Texas, northern Louisiana, Arkansas, eastern Illinois, Indiana, northern Mississippi, western Tennessee and western Kentucky.
  • Thursday: The jet stream disturbance will blast east, but near-surface air in the Great Lakes, Appalachians, and Northeast may only be marginally warm and humid. However, thunderstorms with damaging straight-line winds are certainly possible in these areas. Details at this time are uncertain.


For specific tornado threat forecasts, check out the latest TOR:CON forecasts from severe weather expert, Dr. Greg Forbes.

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

Severe weather and tornado outbreaks are not unusual in November. In fact, November is a climatological "second season" of severe weather, not simply in the Deep South but, occasionally, in parts of the Midwest.

Almost two years ago, an outbreak of 72 tornadoes raked through parts of seven states, including a pair of EF4 tornadoes in Washington, Illinois, and near New Minden, Illinois.

This outlook is subject to change in the days ahead. Check back with us at weather.com for the latest on this potential severe weather event.

RELATED: See damage from a tornado in Illinois earlier this year

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Illinois tornado
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Severe weather outbreak, including threat for tornadoes, in the Midwest, Plains, and Mid-South Wednesday
COAL CITY, IL - JUNE 23: A pickup truck drives through a flooded roadway on W Daisy Place after a tornado struck the previous day on June 23, 2015 in Coal City, Illinois. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
COAL CITY, IL - JUNE 23: The scoreboard at Coal City High School's football field is left damaged after a tornado struck the previous day on June 23, 2015 in Coal City, Illinois. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
COAL CITY, IL - JUNE 22: Lighting strikes outside of Joliet, Illinois from a tornadic supercell that produced a tornado that struck Coral City on June 22, 2015 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
COAL CITY, IL - JUNE 23: The scoreboard at Coal City High School's football field is left damaged after a tornado struck the previous day on June 23, 2015 in Coal City, Illinois. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
COAL CITY, IL - JUNE 23: A view of damage on Coaler Drive after a tornado struck the previous day, on June 23, 2015 in Coal City, Illinois. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
COAL CITY, IL - JUNE 23: Mitch Hamann of Coal City moves his damaged patio furniture to the curb on W. Daisy Place on June 23, 2015 after a tornado struck the previous day in Coal City, Illinois. The National Weather Service has confirmed that at least five tornadoes touched down in north central Illinois, causing widespread damage and power outages. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
COAL CITY, IL - JUNE 23: A playground set lays on the ground in the backyard of a home on W. Daisy Place on June 23, 2015 after a tornado struck the previous day in Coal City, Illinois. The National Weather Service has confirmed that at least five tornadoes touched down in north central Illinois, causing widespread damage and power outages. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
COAL CITY, IL - JUNE 23: A damaged vehicle sits in a driveway on W. Daisy Place on June 23, 2015 after a tornado struck the previous day in Coal City, Illinois. The National Weather Service has confirmed that at least five tornadoes touched down in north central Illinois, causing widespread damage and power outages. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
COAL CITY, IL - JUNE 23: Bryan Phelan talks on the phone outside of his home on W. Daisy Place on June 23, 2015 after a tornado struck the previous day in Coal City, Illinois. The National Weather Service has confirmed that at least five tornadoes touched down in north central Illinois, causing widespread damage and power outages. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
COAL CITY, IL - JUNE 23: Gezim Bakiu of the Coal City Mantainence Department works to unclog a drain on W. Daisy Place on June 23, 2015 after a tornado struck the previous day in Coal City, Illinois. The National Weather Service has confirmed that at least five tornadoes touched down in north central Illinois, causing widespread damage and power outages. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
COAL CITY, IL - JUNE 23: American flags are placed on the mailbox of a house on W. Daisy Place on June 23, 2015 after a tornado struck the previous day in Coal City, Illinois. The National Weather Service has confirmed that at least five tornadoes touched down in north central Illinois, causing widespread damage and power outages. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
COAL CITY, IL - JUNE 23: Alex Wills of Mazon helps his uncle clean up his property on W. Daisy Place on June 23, 2015 after a tornado struck the previous day in Coal City, Illinois. The National Weather Service has confirmed that at least five tornadoes touched down in north central Illinois, causing widespread damage and power outages. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
COAL CITY, IL - JUNE 23: A hat is stuck on the roof of a house on W Daisy Place after a tornado struck the previous day on June 23, 2015 in Coal City, Illinois. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
COAL CITY, IL - JUNE 23: A car drives through a flooded street and a damaged house on Oak Drive after a tornado struck the previous day on June 23, 2015 in Coal City, Illinois. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
COAL CITY, IL - JUNE 23: Debris lay in a retention pond off of S Carbon Hill Road after a tornado struck the previous day on June 23, 2015 in Coal City, Illinois. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
COAL CITY, IL - JUNE 23: A car is stuck under a collapsed garage on Coaler Drive after a tornado struck the previous day on June 23, 2015 in Coal City, Illinois. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
COAL CITY, IL - JUNE 23: Debris lay in a retention pond while utility crews work on S Carbon Hill Road after a tornado struck the previous day on June 23, 2015 in Coal City, Illinois. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
COAL CITY, IL - JUNE 23: A view of a flooded street and damaged homes on W Daisy Place after a tornado struck the previous day on June 23, 2015 in Coal City, Illinois. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
COAL CITY, IL - JUNE 23: Bryan Phelan of Coral City talks on the phone outside of his home and damaged vehicle on W Daisy Place after a tornado struck the previous day on June 23, 2015 in Coal City, Illinois. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
COAL CITY, IL - JUNE 23: The scoreboard at Coal City High School's football field is left damaged after a tornado struck the previous day on June 23, 2015 in Coal City, Illinois. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
COAL CITY, IL - JUNE 23: A playground set lays on the ground in the backyard of a home on W Daisy Place after a tornado struck the previous day on June 23, 2015 in Coal City, Illinois. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
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