Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Severe Weather Outbreak Across Southern U.S. Today Through Friday

A wide area, in dark green yellow, and especially orange,
is under the gun for severe weather and possible
tornadoes today.  
What promises to be among the more extensive severe weather outbreaks of the year so far is set to unfold today and tomorrow.

It is spring, so widespread severe weather outbreaks like this aren't as unusual as that big one back in February, but still, it's something everybody in the affected region should keep a serious eye on.

All severe thunderstorm hazards are going to be at play with this one: Tornadoes, damaging winds, very large hail, flash flooding and lightning are all things that will attack a zone from Texas to Georgia over the next few days.  

This particular severe outbreak is part of a weather pattern change that will bring mid-winter style weather this weekend and early next week to the Great Lakes and Northeast.

Actually, the first signs of this severe outbreak started yesterday, with reports of large hail in Nebraska.

According to NOAA's Storm Prediction Center, things will really ramp up today in a broad zone in and near the Mississippi Valley from Iowa to the Gulf Coast. The area at the greatest threat is in an area from northeastern Texas, Arkansas, parts of Missouri and northern Louisiana.

Tornadoes will be a threat from Iowa to Texas, but in northeastern Texas and southeastern Oklahoma, conditions are especially favorable for large hail. That's not good news for Texas, which had problems with giant hailstones causing hundreds of millions of dollars in damage to cars and buildings last week.

Since many of these storms will produce heavy rain, flash flood watches are up for big areas of southern Arkansas, northern Louisiana, northern Mississippi and western Tennessee.

These areas had severe flooding earlier this month, and they're still swamps from all that previous rain, so it won't take much of a downpour to set off new flooding.

Thursday the threat of severe weather, again including tornadoes, high winds, big hail and flooding, extends from Indiana, through the Tennessee Valley and down to the Gulf Coast.

Right now it looks like Mississippi and western Tennessee are under the greatest threat, but tornadoes can occur anywhere tomorrow from Indiana to Alabama.

Friday, the risk shifts more to the Southeast, with a zone from the Florida Panhandle, through Georgia into South Carolina at the greatest risk of rough weather.

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