Brief break from the warmth in the Southeast; overnight freeze possible

Parts of the Southeast have been quite warm over the past several days but a brief break from the warmth is expected as a cold front continues to slowly move south. The cold front will lose some of its punch but will still bring a cooldown to many areas over the next few days. While high temperatures won’t be abnormally cold, it’ll feel colder because it’s been so warm, and there is the possibility of some areas falling to freezing Sunday night through Tuesday night.

Tennessee, most of Mississippi, central & northern Alabama, central & northern Georgia, and most of the Carolinas have the chance to see temperatures either fall to or below freezing and/or have the possibility of a frost Sunday night through Tuesday night. While this doesn’t pipe burst nor is it record cold, it’s cold enough to hurt or kill sensitive vegetation. With temperatures so warm last week, it’s possible some people have planted gardens or flowers, so if this is you, make sure you protect the vegetation with this brief cool snap.

Monday morning temperatures
Tuesday morning temperatures
Wednesday morning temperatures

Temperatures warm by the middle of next week!

Tornado Watch issued for parts of Alabama and Mississippi

A Tornado Watch has been issued for parts of Alabama and Mississippi until 12 AM CST. Conditions have become favorable for the development of nocturnal tornadoes in and around the watch area. The watch includes Jackson, MS; Tupelo, MS; Huntsville, AL; and Tuscaloosa, AL. The University of Alabama, Mississippi State University, and the University of Mississippi are also included in the watch area.

If you live in or near the watch, please have a way to receive warnings tonight from a reliable source, and have a plan in place for your family and you in case a warning is issued.

Severe storms and flooding are possible this week

An active workweek is shaping up for southern parts of the county. Thunderstorms will have the capability to produce severe weather and flash flooding. The thunderstorm chances get going quickly to start the workweek. On Monday, there is a chance for severe thunderstorms extending from the Southern Plains into the Mid-South for Monday afternoon, evening, and into the nighttime hours.

The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has highlighted an area in this region from northern Texas north and east into western Kentucky for the potential of severe thunderstorms. There is a Level 1 [also known as a marginal risk] severe risk (dark green) and a Level 2 [also known as a slight risk] severe risk (yellow) across the region on Monday.

Monday’s thunderstorm outlook from the SPC

All modes of severe weather are possible late-in-the-day Monday. This includes damaging winds, large hail, and tornadoes. The greatest tornado probability exists from northern Texas, southeastern Oklahoma, Arkansas, northern Louisiana, northwestern Mississippi, western Tennessee, southern Missouri, southern Illinois, and western Kentucky.

Monday’s tornado probability forecast from the SPC

The severe thunderstorm chances continue into Tuesday but the storm chances shift farther south and east. Severe thunderstorms will be possible throughout the day on Tuesday for the Deep South into the Tennessee Valley.

The SPC has highlighted parts of this region from southeastern Texas north and east into southern Kentucky for the potential of severe thunderstorms. There is a Level 1 [also known as a marginal risk] severe risk (dark green) and a Level 2 [also known as a slight risk] severe risk (yellow) across the region on Tuesday.

All modes of severe weather are possible Tuesday. This includes damaging winds, large hail, and tornadoes. The greatest tornado threat appears to be from northeastern Louisiana into Mississippi, south-central Tennessee, and northwestern Alabama within the Level 2 severe risk.

Tuesday’s thunderstorm outlook from the SPC

Not are severe thunderstorms a concern but so is heavy rainfall. Heavy rain is expected across the region this workweek in which a widespread 1-3 inches of rain is in the forecast with a bullseye of 3-6 inches over northern Mississippi, northern Alabama, northern Georgia, western North Carolina, Tennesee, Kentucky, and West Virginia. This is where there is a low-end flood risk on Monday & Tuesday with another heavy rain (possibly some freezing rain & wintry precipitation) Thursday into Friday for parts of Arkansas, northwestern Tennesee, Kentucky, and West Virginia.

Precipitation forecast from the WPC

If you live within or near a severe risk area outlined on the maps above or near or within the heavy rain zone, please make sure you’re aware of your surroundings. Have reliable sources to receive weather information and warnings from, and know what to do if a warning is issued for your area.

Eyeing the potential for thunderstorms & flooding next week for parts of the South

The drought continues to worsen across parts of the South with abnormally dry conditions for parts of the Southeast & Carolinas. The hardest-hit areas are currently Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas. Looking ahead to next week, it appears a wet weather pattern will develop across the aforementioned areas with the possibility of areas of heavy rainfall that could increase the flooding concerns.

Latest drought monitor (2/17/22) for the South
Latest drought monitor (2/17/22) for the Southeast

A weather pattern that will favor thunderstorm development is expected from early to mid-week across parts of the South, Mid-South, Tennessee Valley, and parts of the Carolinas & Southeast. This wetter weather pattern is good given the increased dry conditions and numerous fires across the region, but there could be too much rain too fast.

Numerical guidance is suggesting a widespread 2-4 inches of rain with amounts over 6 inches may fall across parts of Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, and the Carolinas that could lead to flooding the majority of the upcoming week. The WPC agrees with the numerical guidance and has a forecast painting a wet picture next week for parts of the South, Mid-South, and Tennessee Valley.

Rainfall forecast through next week
Rainfall forecast through next week

This forecast is still several days out so some changes will be needed but keep checking back as the finer details become clearer over the coming days. It’s a good reminder if you live in a flood-prone area to just go ahead and start keeping an eye on the forecast and know what to do given a heavy rain scenario for your area.

Second Tornado Watch issued

A new, second Tornado Watch (here’s the first Tornado Watch) has been issued for parts of Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee until 8 PM CST. Conditions are coming together for the possibility of storms to produce tornadoes this afternoon and evening in and around the watch area. Additional watches may be needed throughout the day. See more details on this severe weather event.

Please have a plan in place in case a warning is issued, and have reliable sources to get the latest warnings from.

Tornado Watch issued

A Tornado Watch has been issued for parts of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee until 6 PM CST. Conditions are coming together for the possibility of storms to produce tornadoes this afternoon and evening in and around the watch area. Additional watches may be needed throughout the day. See more details on this severe weather event.

Please have a plan in place in case a warning is issued, and have reliable sources to get the latest warnings from.

Severe storms & tornadoes are likely today with strong tornadoes possible

Today will be an active severe weather tornado for parts of the South, Mid-South, Tennessee Valley, Ohio Valley, Southeast, Carolinas, and Mid-Atlantic. Thunderstorms have already developed this morning west of the Mississippi River. These storms are expected to become severe and advance east throughout the late morning and into the afternoon & evening hours. There is the possibility for thunderstorms to produce tornadoes, damaging winds, and large hail. Watch a video on this severe event.

Because of the thunderstorm potential, risk areas have been included for the aforementioned areas by the Storm Prediction Center. The risk area extends from eastern Texas/Oklahoma east to the Carolinas/Virginia. There’s a low risk (dark green), medium risk (yellow), and high risk (orange). If you live in a risk area, you need to take the thunderstorm risk seriously, even if you’re “just” in a low-risk area–severe storms will still be possible, possibly just in more of an isolated nature.

Thursday’s severe risk area

All modes of severe weather are possible including tornadoes, damaging winds, and large hail. It’s possible a couple of strong tornadoes will occur too. The greatest concern for tornadoes, including strong tornadoes, will be within the high-risk area extending into the medium-risk area. The severe risk will start early in the day west of the Mississippi River and advance east throughout the day into the afternoon and evening hours.

Tornado probability

If you live in a risk area, please have a plan in place in case a warning is issued. Know what to do and where to go in your home. Don’t forget about the pets!

Severe storms & tornadoes are possible Thursday; strong tornadoes possible

Thursday will be an active severe weather tornado for parts of the South, Mid-South, Tennessee Valley, Ohio Valley, Southeast, Carolinas, and Mid-Atlantic. A thunderstorm event is expected to develop early in the day west of the Mississippi River and advance east throughout the day, continuing into the evening and nighttime hours. There will be the possibility for thunderstorms to produce tornadoes, damaging winds, and large hail. Watch a video on this severe event.

Because of the thunderstorm potential, risk areas have been included for the aforementioned areas by the Storm Prediction Center. The risk area extends from eastern Texas/Oklahoma east to the Carolinas/Virginia. There’s a low risk (yellow), medium risk (orange), and high risk (red). If you live in a risk area, you need to take the thunderstorm risk seriously, even if you’re “just” in a low-risk area–severe storms will still be possible, possibly just in more of an isolated nature.

Thursday’s thunderstorm outlook (GRAPHIC COURTESY WCNC TV: wcnc.com)

All modes of severe weather are possible including tornadoes, damaging winds, and large hail. It’s possible a couple of strong tornadoes will occur too. The greatest concern for tornadoes, including strong tornadoes, will be within the high-risk area extending into the medium-risk area. The severe risk will start early in the day west of the Mississippi River and advance east throughout the day into the afternoon and evening hours.

If you live in a risk area, please have a plan in place in case a warning is issued. Know what to do and where to go in your home. Don’t forget about the pets!

Snow for the South & Southeast Saturday & Sunday?

A strong cold front will blast into the South & Southeast on Saturday. Behind the cold front, significantly colder air will rush into the region. Once the cold front moves through, the parent mid/upper-level system will move overhead across the South & Southeast late-Saturday into early-Sunday. This upper-air system will be rigorous, which will create strong lift over the region; however, moisture will be minimal and the upper-air system will traverse across the area in a position that won’t optimize precipitation development. With that said, there’s the possibility enough lift & moisture will lead to a band of quick-hitting post-frontal precipitation to develop across parts of the South & Southeast late-Saturday into early-Sunday, especially if the upper-air system traverses across the region in a more favorable position.

Recent hi-res, short-range models are showing the possibility of a narrow band of snow developing across the region so we must keep a close eye on this evolving forecast over the coming hours.

Hi-res, short-range model future radar late-Saturday into Sunday

The areas that have the best chance to see wintry precipitation development will be across eastern Mississippi, Alabama, northern Georgia, eastern Tennessee, Upstate South Carolina, and North Carolina. It should be noted: there’s a higher probability for snow across North Carolina on Sunday as this system becomes in a more favorable position to enhance lift & moisture. Also, a narrow band of snow cannot be ruled out in western & central Tennessee, eastern Arkansas, and northern Mississippi earlier in the afternoon hours on Saturday (before the second area of snow potentially develops).

I want to point out, this is an outside chance but something to monitor. I’m not necessarily comfortable talking accumulations because of the uncertainty but I will include an accumulation map from the latest hi-res model. If this band of snow develops, a light coating cannot be ruled out on elevated surfaces but most areas won’t see accumulations or snow. There’s a better chance for light accumulations across the higher terrain of eastern Tennesee and western North Carolina.

Hi-res, short-range model snow accumulation forecast

Keep checking back for updates!

Severe storms are possible next week

There’s a growing concern for severe storms next week from Texas to Alabama on Wednesday & Thursday. This is a storm risk we have been monitoring & discussing in the Firsthand Weather Supporter Group. The Storm Prediction Center has now issued a slight risk for severe storms both Wednesday & Thursday as an upper-level system tracks across the region. Ahead of the upper-level system, a spring-like air mass will return across these regions after this weekend’s cold front. This spring-like air mass will allow for thunderstorms, some of which may become severe Wednesday afternoon in Texas & Oklahoma, spreading east into Arkansas & Louisiana overnight, and eventually into southeastern Missouri, southern Illinois, southern Indiana, western Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama on Thursday.

There are still some questions on the specifics and a lot of changes will be needed over the coming days but it does appear all modes of severe weather could occur, including tornadoes. This is a good reminder that severe weather can and does occur in February. Stay tuned!