Chance of severe weather on Sunday

Although we don’t typically think of August as a time when Omaha experiences severe weather, it can happen in the past.

Our active weather pattern continues over the next few days with two possible rounds of strong to severe storms. The first round is isolated storms south of I-80 tonight, and the second round is a more widespread chance for storms with a few strong on Sunday. Read on for details below!

Why all the storms lately?

You’ve probably been asking yourselves this question since July when we seemingly flipped the switch to go from one of our driest periods in modern history to a fairly wet one. The answer lies in the general upper air pattern. This spring, we were stuck in what is known as the “Omega Block” for most of May. This blocking pattern brought high pressure to control the central part of the country, leaving us somewhat dry. There was one exception in western Nebraska, where nearly daily storms brought to some locations the wettest weather on record in some time.


Jet Stream On May 24, notice how the jet stream resembles the Greek letter Omega?

By late June, this pattern began to change. A large dome of high pressure has formed over the southwestern United States and has not moved for the past months. This is common in the summer, and meteorologists sometimes call it the “chain of death.”

This “string of death” usually expands northward into Nebraska and Iowa during July and August, which typically reduces storm chances and keeps us fairly hot. This year high pressure did not expand northward at all, keeping our area in the northern ring of high pressure. This continues a storm pattern known as the “Ring of Fire” where storm complexes develop over western Nebraska, roll through our area, and continue on to Iowa or Missouri. This also brought the secondary benefit of keeping summer temperatures somewhat under control, except for one week in mid-July.

Severe weather Sunday

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Storm Prediction Center (SPC) forecast for Sunday

Sunday is the day we pay more attention to, but there are still questions about it. The weather on Sunday will be much like today with a cold front making its way east through the KMTV viewing area on Sunday. Although we may see some showers and storms on Sunday morning, they are not expected to be severe and will move away by lunchtime.

Our severe weather chances on Sunday depend on how quickly the cold front moves through the area, which is uncertain at this time. There appear to be two possible solutions: 1.) Our cold front is faster, confining the severe threat to areas southeast of Omaha, and perhaps outside of our region entirely. 2.) The cold front is slower, bringing the severe weather threat closer to Omaha and the rest of the viewing area. We’ll know more tomorrow when we measure how fast this cold front is moving.

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The most favorable scenario for Omaha and the rest of our viewing area
Scenario 2.PNG


The most negative scenario for Omaha and the KMTV viewing area

Regardless, wherever storms blow up on Sunday, they will likely become severe with an initial risk of large hail, damaging winds, and even an isolated tornado. Once these storms move east, they should form into a line with mainly threatening winds as they move into Missouri.

Watch the sky on Sunday if you have any outside plans, as they could be affected. As of now, the timing looks to be Sunday afternoon and evening, but that depends on the speed of the cold front.

The storm train leaves the station

After Sunday, it looks like our pattern will change somewhat going into next week. We’re looking at a drier week with a slight chance of storms on Wednesday. However, temperatures should remain under control with highs in the mid to upper 80s. This will change, so stay updated on our weather page or on TV to get the latest forecast!

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Current 7-day forecast as of 12 noon on Friday 11 August 2023. This will be subject to change.

(tags translatable) KMTV Weather

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