Severe thunderstorm threat returns to the Plains, South through Tuesday

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
Footsteps can be seen on a recently cleared sidewalk during a spring snow storm in Boston, Massachusetts April 4, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Fog envelops the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California, United States April 8, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Malia Obama's hair flies into the air as a cold wind hits her and U.S. President Barack Obama while descending the steps of Air Force One upon their arrival at O'Hare Airport in Chicago April 7, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
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
Visitors walk along the Tidal Basin to look at cherry blossoms in Washington March 24, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Read Full Story

From Our Partners