Showers and thunderstorms sweep through areas of California and parts of the southwestern desert on Sunday. While parts of central and southern California and the southwest are forecast to rain less than 1 inch, any rain is welcome as these areas continue to suffer from mounting drought. Approximately 83% of the western United States suffers from drought conditions.
It’s what the system does after the weekend that gets people in the central US to be aware.
Over 150 reports of severe storms were received across the country last week, and some of these areas could be more affected by the middle of the week.
“As of Tuesday, the likelihood of thunderstorms will increase, particularly in the eastern panhandles where some storms can be severe,” the Amarillo, Texas, office of the National Weather Service said in a tweet this weekend. “Additional storm activity is possible on Wednesday along a cold front.”
The best chance for severe weather starts Tuesday from Wichita, Kansas to San Angelo, Texas. The main threats are noxious winds, hail and tornadoes.
The Storm Prediction Center also warns that there could be the potential for severe storms on Wednesday, but that largely depends on how the storms develop. If a more advanced system develops, this could indicate increased severe storms in the southeast and mid-Atlantic by the end of the week.
All of these things need to be watched in the days to come as the storm develops.
Flash floods will also be a problem in areas of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Missouri, where some locations could take in more than 4 to 6 inches of rain Tuesday through Friday.
While areas of the Red River Valley, from northeast North Dakota to northwest Minnesota, would welcome the rain to improve the moderate to severe drought conditions in that region, too much rain could be dangerous in a short period of time.
It was a “slow” month for tornadoes
Statistically, May is the main month for tornadoes across the country, but April is also high on the list. However, this year April is well below normal. According to the SPC, we’ve had 34 confirmed tornadoes so far this month, well below the three-year average of 224.
That is a good thing. We want this number to be as low as possible, especially since the first three months of the year were slightly above normal. From January to March, the US saw 218 confirmed tornadoes, but the average is only 162. This is mainly due to the fact that 191 confirmed tornadoes occurred in March, well above the monthly average of 82.
The area most at risk of major storms on Tuesday has been relatively calm in terms of severe weather this year.
“Most of the significant storm days so far this year have been concentrated in the lower Mississippi Valley and the deep south,” said Taylor Ward, a CNN meteorologist. “This could be the biggest threat of the year to date in Oklahoma and Kansas. While this may be a little late in the spring, it is certainly not uncommon as late April and May are the peak of storms in the southern plains.”
CNN meteorologist Haley Brink contributed to this story.