According to AccuWeather meteorologists, another round of extreme weather and floods will occur in the United States in the middle of May, but this time the risks will be centred on the centre of the nation rather than the Southeast, which has been pummelling by round after round of pouring rain on top of severe weather episodes.
“A series of weak disturbances are expected to track eastward from the Rockies and into the Plains through the weekend,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson said.
With the threat of severe weather possible this afternoon, we’d like to remind folks that even if you don’t get large hail or damaging winds, #lightning is a hazard as well. This video was sent to us by Misti Miles from Friday southeast of Amarillo. #phwx #txwx #okwx pic.twitter.com/qHUbdhCOEa
— NWS Amarillo (@NWSAmarillo) May 16, 2021
On Friday, the severe weather kicked off across the region, bringing in strong wind and hail reports across Texas, New Mexico, Colorado and Kansas.
According to The National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center, hail across the states reached the sizes of tennis balls and in some cases the size of softballs. Hail reaching two inches in size cracked the windshield of a trained spotter.
Wind gusts that reached 70 mph were reported in Oldham County and Hutchinson County, Texas. Around 12:00 a.m. Saturday, the NWS in Amarillo, Texas, reported that the thunderstorms were winding down in the area, but strong winds and hail could still linger but were not expected.
Throughout the day on Saturday, wind gusts surpassing 60 mph and some hail were reported in Texas and New Mexico. Golf ball-sized hail was reported in southwestern Texas, and damaging winds were reported in Texas, Kansas and New Mexico.
A stronger system is forecast to pass into a similar location on Sunday, causing intense thunderstorms.
This storms will be capable of generating hail and high wind gusts with an AccuWeather Local StormMaxTM of 80 mph.
Residents from Dodge City, Kan., to Amarillo and San Angelo, Texas, should be on the lookout for any quickly forming intense thunderstorms. Motorists on Interstates 20 and 40 should also be cautious, as heavy rains could cause ponding on the roads as well as rapidly reduced visibility.
As the weekend comes to a close, a dip in the jet stream will usher several more storms into the region, allowing wet weather to repeatedly hit the region through the early part of this week. The unrelenting nature of the downpours will increase dangers across the South Central states.
“The combination of warm and increasingly humid conditions pushing into the southern Plains will extend the potential for flash flooding through Wednesday night, especially where heavy downpours repeatedly move over the same areas,” said AccuWeather Meteorologist Nicole LoBiondo.
An AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 12 inches of rainfall is possible in areas impacted by several rounds of rain through early this week.
It is also not out of the question that a round or two of thunderstorms could turn severe in the area this week. This includes Monday, where some thunderstorms in a very similar area from eastern Colorado to central Texas, could again produce damaging winds and hail.
At the midway point of May, severe weather had already been more prolific this month than during all of April. There were just 73 tornadoes reported across the United States in April, well short of the three-year average for the month of 224, according to the Storm Prediction Center. May has already produced more than 110 preliminary tornado reports.
Late Tuesday night into early Wednesday morning, violent thunderstorms battered parts of southern Louisiana, knocking down trees and power lines through most of New Orleans’ uptown area. The National Weather Service reported that the destruction was caused by an EF0 tornado with predicted peak winds of 85 mph. Flooding and high winds wreaked havoc on eastern Texas, with a wind gust of 48 mph reported in Huntsville, Texas, about 70 miles north of Houston.