As of 4:00 PM CT... strong thunderstorms were ongoing across the Plains into the Midwest, with severe weather warnings beginning to be issued as the storms move into a more favorable environment. Special noontime sounding from southern Missouri shows differing wind speeds at different levels, consistent with observed strong wind shearing in the same areas. Analog comparisons to similar soundings reveal at least one tornado did occur in a similar situation. Surface helicity observed to be quite strong, would expect an increasing tornado threat as the night goes on. However, an already-established linear severe weather event will make it hard for stronger tornadoes to evolve, hence the extreme damaging wind concern. Current lower level wind forecast indicates strong winds of over 50 knots. I anticipate these winds to increase dramatically as the evening wears on in response to the nocturnal lower level jet stream mixing with these thunderstorms and really firing them up. By that time, the damaging wind threat will take center stage, enabling many n the moderate risk area to achieve warning-criteria wind speeds.
Today is indeed a Critical Storm Action Day. All resources are now devoted to the severe weather situation, and no posts unrelated to the severe weather situation will be published.
Next update will be at approx. 5:30 PM CT