LEXINGTON — The outbreak of severe weather across portions of Nebraska Friday afternoon into evening is looking more likely as conditions develop.
The Storm Prediction Center in Oklahoma has issued a moderate risk for severe weather for an area reaching from southwestern areas of the state to northeast on Friday, May 17. The periphery areas of the state lie under a slight risk or marginal risk.
National Weather Service Hastings forecaster Ryan Pfannkuch said a moderate risk is a three out of five on the risk scale for severe weather. “It is pretty serious, but not unusual for late May,” he said, “a strong upper level system will move into the area Friday.”
Pfannkuch said Dawson County is on the far western edge of the storm threat for the afternoon, the rest of the NWS Hastings warning area looks to be impacted by weather after dark. “The North Platte office warning area is more under the gun, but we will be watching this closely.”
Storms are believed to take more of a south to north route rather than an east to west motion thanks to the flow aloft, Pfannkuch said. There are questions as to how far east the threat for storms will extend.
The threat for severe weather will begin after 4 p.m. Friday afternoon. Areas impacted could see hail up to three inches, baseball sized, 60 mph winds and a possible tornado threat.
“We want people to be weather aware, this is not a huge outbreak with high risk,” said Pfannkuch, “Not everyone will see severe weather Friday, but those who do need to be ready, we don’t want to cause a panic but we want people to take this seriously.”
The threat is still a couple days away and conditions in the atmosphere are liable to change. Pfannkuch said there is a possibility a moderate risk, a four out of five, outlook could be issued tomorrow or Friday.
People are encouraged to keep an eye on the forecast and have a plan in place in case storms impact their area.