A very active spring severe weather season will continue on May 13 in Tornado Alley, a part of the central U.S. known for severe storms
Tornado Alley—which spans Texas to the Dakotas—typically sees a large number of tornadoes each year.
The Storm Prediction Center has placed an “enhanced” risk level of 3 out of 5 for a portion of Tornado Alley in the Texas Panhandle, Oklahoma and southern Kansas in the afternoon.
Potentially affected cities include Wichita Falls and Vernon in Texas and Lawton and Altus in Oklahoma.
There’s also a risk level of 2 out of 5 for severe storms in Oklahoma City and Kansas City.
The main threats will be very large hail and strong winds, as well as the possibility of tornadoes.
A strong, southerly wind will set up ahead of the dry line—which is a boundary that separates warm, humid air from cooler, drier air. Those southerly winds will create a very moist environment.
As the dry line moves east throughout the day, the contrast of very warm, moist air and much cooler, drier air will fuel the development of intense storms in the risk area.
Tornadoes typically occur in this region in the late spring or early fall. Storms in Tornado Alley draw storm chasers from all over the world because of the flat terrain; the tornadoes often can be seen for miles.
Along with the severe weather threat, a change of heavy rain will impact the country’s midsection.
“Widespread 2-4″ rainfall totals are forecast from Texas to Michigan, with locally heavier amounts that could trigger flash flooding,” CNN meteorologist Dave Hennen says.