This is an impressive storm system that is currently moving across the United States, and what has impressed me more than anything is just how slowly this system is moving east. With many of these types of systems, they usually move in and then move out fairly quickly. Areas that are in the high tornado threat zone today will also be in a high tornado threat zone tomorrow. In other words, there will be areas across the South that will have multiple chances at being impacted by tornadic storms over the next couple of days, and typically, you just don’t have that happen.
Right now, we have several tornado-warned storms across portions of Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee. That is pretty much the area that I was most concerned about for today, and that threat will shift east tonight. For those of you that follow me on my personal Facebook page, you may have seen me mention that I was concerned for the regions out ahead of the main area of storms for tonight. I was looking over some model guidance and noticed that conditions may be favorable for supercells to develop across northern Georgia, Upstate SC, and into North Carolina. I mentioned it more as a precautionary thing, but the potential is there. It’s dark now, and if anything decides to fire, it could become tornadic. I’ll monitor that throughout the night just in case supercell development does occur.
The storms that developed over Mississippi and Alabama today are now currently moving into Tennessee and western Georgia. People living in these areas need to keep a close watch on the weather tonight as many of these storms will likely continue to show signs of rotation. I do expect tornadoes into the evening and nighttime hours for many of these areas so if you have a tornado watch currently out for your area, please don’t take the situation lightly.
Tomorrow, we will be faced with another day of severe storms capable of producing strong and long-track tornadoes. Many of the same regions that were impacted earlier today and are currently being impacted will be in the tornado threat zone again tomorrow. For tomorrow, I have my eye on eastern Mississippi, most of Alabama, a large area of Georgia, Upstate South Carolina, and portions of North Carolina and maybe Tennessee. While tornadoes may not be limited to just these areas, these are the regions where tornado development will most likely occur. Some of the mentioned regions could be impacted by strong tornadoes, particularly in the western portion of this tornado risk zone. It’s important to note that the tornado threat will likely continue tomorrow night!
Wednesday will be no different as this will be another day that tornadoes will likely occur. Although the threat may be further east, tornadoes, some strong, will likely impact parts of Georgia, the Carolinas, Tennessee, and into Virginia. I may have to make some changes to the location of highest tornado risk on Wednesday, which will depend on how far east this upper-level system decides to move.
Please have a plan in place now just in case you are impacted by severe weather. We have a busy few days ahead of us, and this event needs to be taken seriously. Please give the Firsthand Weather Facebook page a like to get my continuous coverage of this event!
Matthew Holliday is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, where he completed a B.S. in Meteorology and a B.S. in Geographic Information Science. He is currently pursing his master's degree in meteorology and climatology at Mississippi State University. Matthew founded Firsthand Weather in 2010 as a senior in high school and maintained the site through his undergraduate career. Research that was conducted by Matthew while at OU involved determining the synoptic environment in which various types of wave clouds (including vertically propagating waves and trapped waves) develop in Boulder, Colorado and Norman, OK. Matthew also did research on spatial changes in tornado activity across the United States . The goal of this study was to determine if spatial changes in tornado activity had occurred and if those changes could be linked to changes in average surface dew point temperature. Matthew has completed coursework in dynamics, thermodynamics, cloud physics, calculus and differential equations, statistics, remote sensing, GIS, synoptic meteorology, and mesoscale meteorology. His goal is to provide his audience with a deeper understanding of what drives our weather and climate, while making it easy and enjoyable to learn.