A low pressure center is forming over the Texas Panhandle this afternoon, and with southerly winds pumping in a good amount of heat and moisture along with strong upper level winds out of the west, enough instability and shear is expected to be in place across the area to develop severe thunderstorms with all modes of severe weather likely -- tornadoes, very strong damaging winds, and very large hail (on part with what we saw yesterday -- baseballs or larger). The storms are expected to develop as supercells capable of producing incredibly large hail and tornadoes, and as the evening progresses, the supercells will merge together and form a strong mesoscale convective system (complex of storms), at which point the threat will transition to strong, damaging winds over 70 MPH.
Here's the outlook map. Green indicates a risk of non-severe thunderstorms. Yellow indicates a slight risk of severe weather. Red indicates a moderate risk of severe weather.
Here's the tornado threat for today. This map indicates a x% of tornadoes within 25 miles of any point within the shaded area. A 10% risk of tornadoes means that there's a 10% chance of a tornado within 25 miles of any point within the yellow shaded area. The percentage is based off of climatological averages compared to the environmental conditions today. 2% is generally worthy of concern, so 5 and 10% are very troublesome.
Here's the damaging wind threat today. The same rules apply to this map as they did to the tornadoes (x% risk of damaging winds within 25 miles of any point), and the black hatching indicates the risk of 75+ MPH winds.
Here's the large hail threat for today. As with the wind and tornado maps, the percentages indicate the risk of large hail within 25 miles of any point. The black hatching indicates the risk of large hail over 2.00" in diameter (larger than golf balls).
While the main focus is on Oklahoma and Kansas today, keep in mind that there is a threat for severe weather anywhere in the shaded areas in the maps above. It won't be quite as organized as the threat in the moderate risk zone, but severe weather is still severe weather.
It's also worth mentioning that there is an elevated threat for tornadoes along the eastern coast of North Carolina as Tropical Depression Beryl makes its way back out to the Atlantic Ocean.
Keep an eye on the weather today using the following links. You can also keep up with weather updates by following me on Facebook.
National Weather Service Main Page
National Weather Service -- Dallas/Fort Worth
National Weather Service -- San Angelo TX
National Weather Service -- Central Oklahoma
National Weather Service -- Amarillo TX
National Weather Service -- Wichita KS
National Weather Service -- Tulsa OK
National Weather Service -- Shreveport LA
National Weather Service -- Arkansas
National Weather Service -- Jackson MS
Storm Prediction Center Main Page
Storm Prediction Center -- Current Severe Weather Watches
Storm Prediction Center -- Convective (Severe Weather) Outlooks
Storm Prediction Center -- Mesoscale Discussions
Storm Prediction Center -- Storm Reports
Storm Prediction Center -- Mesoscale Analysis Pages
National Hurricane Center
Wunderground's Detailed Radar (click the + nearest to you to see your local radar)
NOAA Weather Models
iMapWeather Radio App for iPhone/iPod Touch (costs $9.99 but well worth it)