The unusual lull in severe weather across the United States will come to an end this week with the Plains being threatened.
NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center (SPC) only issued four tornado watches and no severe thunderstorm watches from the start of January through the middle of March. None of the tornado watches were in effect in March.
Four tornado watches are less than 10 percent of the typical number of 52 tornado watches issued by mid-March, stated the SPC.
Unfortunately, the lack of widespread severe weather will come to an end during this first full week of spring. There will be risks to lives and property over part of the Central states.
The severe weather danger will progressively increase through Tuesday across the south-central Plains.
Some thunderstorms developed across Kansas on Monday night, but stronger, more organized thunderstorms are expected to erupt on Tuesday and Tuesday night from northeastern Oklahoma to central Missouri.
Muskogee, Oklahoma; Fayetteville, Arkansas; and Springfield, Columbia and St. Louis, Missouri, lie in Tuesday’s threat zone.
AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions Lead Meteorologist Eddie Walker is concerned for the strongest thunderstorms on Tuesday to produce wind gusts over 60 mph, hail, heavy rainfall and frequent cloud-to-ground lightning. Such winds could cause tree damage, power outages and dangerous cross-winds for semi-trucks.
Residents are reminded to seek shelter as soon as thunder is heard. You are then close enough to be struck by lightning.
“A low risk for tornadoes does exist with these storms as well, mainly for Tuesday late afternoon and evening,” added Walker.
The severe weather danger will wane overnight Tuesday with the loss of daytime heating.
However, during Wednesday a large swath of strong to locally severe thunderstorms may develop from part of the Ohio Valley to north central Texas.
The greatest threat on Wednesday will be for strong wind gusts, hail and flash flooding.