Tuesday was the first rough weather day, in terms of widespread severe weather, in the Plains for 2018. There was a streak of severe reports through central Kansas, as well as four different super cells that appear to have produced tornadoes, two northwest of Salina in Kansas, another along the Nebraska border and a fourth south of Kearney, Nebraska. To this point, it doesn’t sound like there was much structural damage, nor any injuries or fatalities, which is obviously excellent news.
Within these storms, however, there were reports of hail reaching up to 4 inches in diameter and damaging straight line winds, suggesting the intensity and organization of this feature. Unfortunately, the set up isn’t really changing, aside from a slight shift to the southeast, bringing with it the same threat for long track, if isolated tornadoes, large hail and strong winds. The greatest threat is highlighted by the SPC in red.
The red, moderate risk contains towns like St. Joseph, Missouri, and the northern metro of Kansas City, and closely correlates to the center of low pressure for this system. Expect more general thunderstorms in the arm extended towards Michigan, but the cold front southwest through the Big Bend is more likely to produce widespread severe weather, by my estimation.
Unfortunately, the conditions that occurred on Tuesday in Kansas and Nebraska are very dangerous, and are likely to be repeated on Wednesday. On Tuesday, they occurred in sparsely populated locations, but it seems less likely that we will be so lucky on Wednesday.