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A Wild Week of Weather

Extreme swings during the spring aren’t anything out of the ordinary. Three out of the four season have made an appearance this week.. At the center of it all was a strong low coming out of the southern Plains. For the folks out west it has turned colder and a good late-season snow blanketed the Rockies. Meanwhile the Southeast is bracing for a sustained heat wave. This clash of air mass helped fuel multiple rounds of severe weather in middle across the Plains and parts of the Midwest. It’s been a wild weather week to say the least!

Severe weather in the middle

Spring is awake now across Tornado Alley! The week began with a “high” risk for severe weather from northwest Texas to central Oklahoma. This severe weather outbreak produced multiple tornadoes, damaging winds, and very large hail. Thirty tornadoes were reported in Arizona, Texas, and Oklahoma. Some of the tornadoes were violent and devastated small towns in Oklahoma and Texas. One person was injured by a tornado that developed near downtown Tulsa, OK. Flash flooding was also a major concern. Multiple water rescues were performed around Oklahoma City.

The threat shifted into Kansas and Missouri Tuesday. It was a day-long event, again bringing the potential for damaging winds, hail, isolated tornadoes, and flash flooding. A tornado warning delayed and postponed games for the St. Louis Blues and Cardinals.

Northeastern Oklahoma, southeastern Kansas, and southwestern Missouri are in store for another round of active weather today. A “moderate” risk has been issued for these areas with the potential for more tornadoes, large hail, and damaging winds. Part of the Ohio Valley will get a turn tomorrow.

Winter is back out west

The sharp contrast across the Lower 48 has brought colder than normal temperatures to the west. Temperatures have dropped into the 40s and 50s, even the 30s in spots, as the colder air seeps south. The very same system that produced the severe outbreak also brought snow to parts of the Rockies. This wasn’t just a skimpy late season snowfall. Denver’s airport recorded 3.4 inches of snow. It’s biggest May snowfall in 44 years. The MLB schedulers must have known something. The Rockies began a series with Pittsburgh last night.

Snow at Coors Field in Denver. Photo courtesy of Colorado Rockies.

Heat wave brewing

Locally we have enjoyed a really nice start to the week. Temperatures have been comfortable. Humidity levels have been down. And the sun has been out. It doesn’t get much better than that. Stepping out today you can feel summer is back. A “heat ridge” will pump back up over the coming days This will intensify the heat and humidity across the Southeast and eventually for the eastern third of the US. Last week was just a taste. The heat will be more sustained this time. We are expecting a long string of days with highs ranging from the mid 80s to the lower 90s. Our first 90 degree high of the year could occur Friday, Saturday at the latest. Parts of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina are bracing for the worst of it. Temperatures will easily surge into the triple digits over the weekend, and that doesn’t even factor the humidity.

The tropics got off to an early start

And we can’t forget about Andrea. The first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season developed on Monday. It formed over the open Atlantic and never posed any threat to the US. Andrea has fizzled almost as quickly as it developed. The storm was downgraded to a subtropical depression today. Over the coming day or so it will continue to spin itself out.

Jill Szwed

Jill Szwed

Jill Szwed is the Weekend Evening and Afternoon Meteorologist at LEX 18.
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