Strong Tornadoes Will Continue to Impact The South This Week

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!

SPC's Highest Risk Areas for Tomorrow

SPC’s Highest Risk Areas for Tomorrow

Major Tornado Outbreak Shaping Up For Today

We are beginning day two of what will end up being a multi-day severe weather outbreak across the United States. After analyzing the latest forecast model runs and today’s soundings, environmental conditions will become favorable for the development of strong, violent, and long-track tornadoes. We have a strong upper-level system that is moving across the United States, and it is in no hurry to get out of here as it slowly moves east. As early-day convection continues to move out of the lower Mississippi River Valley, surface temperatures will continue to increase, and given the strength of the system that will be moving overhead, wind shear will be plenty sufficient to sustain and allow for rapid tornado development.

After looking at today’s soundings, I noticed a very evident dry layer just above the surface in the mid-levels of the atmosphere. This is referred to as an elevated mixed layer (EML), and it is often present prior and during a major severe weather event. This is quite common in the Plains, but once these systems move east, this dry layer is typically not as evident. This dry layer will prevent the very moist air at the surface from mixing with the mid-levels, and as a result, instability will build up throughout the day, which will eventually lead to rapid storm development. This will also keep the storms more discrete, which will give these storms more available energy to work with, and once they develop, deep-layer wind shear will immediately start rotating these storms.

For those of you that follow my forecasts on a consistent basis know that I always choose my wording carefully when I release my forecasts to the Firsthand Weather readers. Please hear me when I say that today is going to be very dangerous and could be deadly. After looking over everything, I see an environment that will be very capable of producing strong and long-lived tornadoes.

Let me detail where the highest threat will be for tornadoes today going into tonight. Areas from northeastern Louisiana, central and northern Mississippi, northwestern and northern Alabama, and into Tennessee will see the highest threat of strong tornadoes. Please note that the tornado threat is not limited to just those areas. As I have been writing this article, the Storm Prediction Center has put out a particularly dangerous situation (PDS) tornado watch until 9 pm CDT for the areas that I just mentioned. The SPC only issues PDS watches for the most severe of events. The tornado threat will continue into the evening and overnight hours.

SPC has issued a PDS tornado watch until 9 pm CDT.

SPC has issued a PDS tornado watch until 9 pm CDT.

Again, please have a plan in place now! This will be an event that will produce strong tornadoes and does not need to be taken lightly. Please share this with your friends and family that live in the area and tell them to get prepared now. Please follow me on the Firsthand Weather Facebook page as I will continue to post updates throughout the day.

SPC's Tornado Outlook for Today

SPC’s Tornado Outlook for Today