|This storm damage from Wednesday in Arkansas is a small|
foretaste of what is to come to Arkansas and a wide area
in the middle of the country over the next few days. Tornadoes
and severe flooding are the biggest threats.
Photo by Taylor Kendrick.
There was flooding in Missouri, severe weather in the Midwest, snow in the Rockies, and wildfires in the Desert Southwest.
As I mentioned the other day, this extreme weather situation is about to ramp up, and there could be a lot of death and destruction, especially in the middle of the country Friday and through the weekend.
A wide area of the country from Oklahoma to Indiana is in for a severe weather outbreak Friday. This includes strong winds, giant hail and tornadoes.
On Saturday, the risk of tornadoes and hail and damaging winds remains strong, especially in east Texas, Arkansas and surrounding areas.
We're entering the peak of tornado season, so it's not surprising that such an outbreak of severe weather is coming. We get something like this almost every year.
However, the predicted tornadoes and severe storms might not be the worst part of this weekend storminess.
Extreme rains - up to 10 inches of it - is predicted in eastern Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri. This will be falling on saturated groud from previous heavy rains, so that area can expect some very dangerous floods.
The National Weather Service office in Tulsa, Oklahoma is already saying this is a particularly dangerous situation. Several rivers might experience major flooding. This is not your typical severe weather event. The floods look like they could end up being pretty bad., to say the least.
Not as dangerous but still not good is the snowstorm forecast in Colorado, Wyoming and nearby areas.
Like most bad storm episodes, the basic cause of this one is wild temperature contrasts combined with an intense moisture feed.
Record high temperatures are forecast in the southeastern United States over the next few days. Unusual cold for this time of year covers the west. In between, there's a strong, strong moisture feed from the Gulf of Mexico.
It's a toxic weather setup, so you can see why forecasters are nervous.