Growing concerns of a tornado outbreak this week

Firsthand Weather is monitoring the potential for a multi-day severe weather event from Tuesday through Thursday ranging from the Southern Plains to the Mid-Atlantic. There’s increased concern for a potential severe & tornado outbreak on Wednesday for the Deep South & Mid-South. All the ingredients are coming together to support numerous thunderstorms that could be discrete in nature producing several tornadoes throughout the day Wednesday into the evening hours. While there are still some questions and the event is a few days out, it appears strong, violent tornadoes are possible from eastern Louisiana, southeastern Arkansas, Mississippi & western Alabama

Because of the appreciable severe threat on Wednesday, the Storm Prediction Center has already outlined parts of the South within a slight (yellow – level 2/5) & enhanced (orange – level 3/5) severe risk. It’s likely additional areas will be included & an upgrade to at least a moderate (level 4/5) severe risk will be issued over the coming days.

Wednesday’s severe risk

If you live in or near the severe risk area, please go ahead and begin planning for potentially significant severe weather on Wednesday. Have a plan in place a warning is issued for your area, know what to do if a warning is issued, and have reliable weather sources to receive these warnings & forecast updates from. Stay tuned!

Late-season cold snap & snow this weekend

A late-season cold snap will bring freezing temperatures and even some snow to parts of the Southeast this weekend. The snow will be confined to the higher elevations of eastern Tennessee, western North Carolina, and farther north into Virginia and West Virginia overnight Friday into Saturday. Light accumulations are possible above 4,000 feet where 1-3 inches of snow is possible. Above 5,000 feet, up to half a foot is possible in eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina.

Snow accumulation forecast Friday night through Saturday

While snow is not expected farther south and at lower elevations, cold temperatures are expected. Temperatures will be below average this weekend with a push of chilly air but the coldest temperatures will occur during the overnight hours on Saturday & Sunday. Radiational cooling will allow temperatures to dip to or below freezing for most of Tennessee, northern Alabama, northern Georgia, Upstate South Carolina, and much of North Carolina by Sunday morning & Monday morning. If you have planted gardens or flowers, make sure you protect them from the freeze and bring the pets inside. Even a frost is possible as far south as central Alabama, central Georgia, and central South Carolina.

Sunday morning low temperature forecast
Monday morning low temperature low forecast

The cold snap will be short-lived. Temperatures will climb to and above average after this weekend. In fact, spring-like severe storms are possible next week.

Strong tornadoes are possible for the South today

Monday was a very active severe weather and tornado day for parts of the Southern Plains and the severe threat continues today (Tuesday). There have already been numerous Severe Thunderstorm Warnings and Tornado Warnings today for parts of the South and that is expected to continue this afternoon & evening with an uptick in the number & intensity of severe storms. The atmosphere will also become primed for tornadoes today some of which could become strong tornadoes (EF3-EF5). In fact, there’s already a Tornado Watch in effect for areas of the South. This Tornado Watch includes parts of southeastern Louisiana and much of Mississippi until 7 PM CDT. Additional Tornado Watches could be issued today.

Because of the severe threat, the Storm Prediction Center has outlined a severe risk area for today. There is a moderate (red – level 4/5), enhanced (orange – level 3/5), slight (yellow level 2/5), and marginal (dark green – 1/5) severe risk for parts of the South. The moderate severe risk includes southern Louisiana, central and southern Mississippi, and west-central Alabama; while the enhanced severe risk surrounds the moderate severe risk, including northern Mississippi and western Alabama. The severe risk will slowly shift from west to east across the risk area this afternoon & evening. A few severe storms & tornadoes could continue into the nighttime hours.

Today’s (Tuesday) severe risk

Within the severe risk areas, all modes of severe weather are possible. This includes tornadoes, hail, and wind. A few strong tornadoes cannot be ruled out. The favored areas to see strong tornadoes are the areas within and near the moderate and enhanced severe risk areas. If you live in or near the severe risk areas, please keep aware of the weather throughout the day, have reliable sources to receive updated warnings from, and have a plan in place to immediately act if a warning is issued.

The severe threat shifts to the Southeast, Carolinas, & Mid-Atlantic tomorrow (Wednesday).

Tomorrow’s (Wednesday) severe risk

A severe thunderstorm & tornado outbreak is possible this week

Today is the first day of spring and spring-like thunderstorms are possible this week. The first outbreak of severe thunderstorms is possible Monday (3/21) and Tuesday (3/22) for parts of the Southern Plains & South. The severe risks include tornadoes, large hail, and damaging winds. A few of the tornadoes could be strong both Monday and Tuesday along with very large hail on Monday.

The Storm Prediction Center has highlighted an area on Monday for severe storms which includes southern Oklahoma, most of the heart of Texas, southwestern Arkansas, and western Louisiana for severe thunderstorms Monday afternoon, evening, and into the overnight hours (severe risk shifting from west to east). There’s an enhanced (orange) severe risk (level 3/5) for central and southeastern Texas.

Monday’s severe risk

The severe risk shifts east and continues on Tuesday. The Storm Prediction Center has highlighted an area on Tuesday for severe storms which includes southeastern Texas, southeastern Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle for severe thunderstorms throughout the day on Tuesday. The severe risk will shift from west to east from the morning hours (west of the Mississippi) into the afternoon & evening hours (east of the Mississippi) on Tuesday. There’s an enhanced (orange) severe risk (level 3/5) for central, southern & eastern Louisiana, central & southern Mississippi, and western Alabama with a moderate (red) severe risk (level 4/5) for southeastern Louisiana and central Mississipi.

Tuesday’s severe risk

Again, all modes of severe storms are possible including strong, violent tornadoes. Please keep aware of the weather over the coming days, have a plan in place in case a watch/warning is issued for your area, and have reliable weather sources to receive watch/warning information from.

Snowfall forecast Friday night through Saturday; some areas could see over half a foot

A winter storm will unfold across parts of the Mid-South, South, and Tennesse Valley tonight into Saturday morning. The winter storm will allow for snow to fall as south as I-20 in some areas with moderate to heavy snow accumulations for parts of central Arkansas, northern Mississippi, northern Alabama, northern Georgia, Tennessee, and western North Carolina. These areas could see a widespread 2-4 inches of snow with some areas seeing closer to 8 inches. Snow amounts this high will cause some travel issues especially with the snow falling overnight into the early morning hours before the higher sun angle has a chance to help melt the snow.

Because of the moderate to heavy snow accumulations and travel impacts possible, winter weather alerts have been issued for many areas. Winter Storm Warnings and Winter Weather Advisories are in effect for all the aforementioned areas tonight into Saturday morning.

Stay warm, be safe, and enjoy the snow!

Winter Storm Watches & Winter Weather Advisories go up for the South

A winter storm will impact parts of the South late Friday into Saturday. This storm system will deliver accumulating snow as far south as I-20 in parts of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Ahead of the winter storm, winter weather alerts have gone up.

Within the Winter Storm Watch and Winter Weather Advisory, accumulating snow is possible. A general 1-3 inches of snow can be expected with isolated higher amounts possible for some areas. See more details on the winter storm here.

Severe weather and tornadoes are also possible Friday & Saturday for parts of the Southeast.

Severe storms & tornadoes possible for the Southeast Friday & Saturday

Firsthand Weather has talked about the wintry threat for parts of the South over the past few days but there’s also a severe thunderstorm and tornado risk Friday & Saturday for parts of the Southeast. Read more about the winter storm.

The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has outlined an area of a marginal (level 1 of 5 – dark green), slight (level 2 of 5 – yellow), and enhanced (level 3 of 5 – orange) severe risk on Friday for parts of the Southeast. The area extends from Louisiana east to the Carolinas. Friday will be quite active for this region with several rounds of thunderstorms throughout the day. Severe weather is possible at any point Friday with an increasingly severe risk Friday evening into the overnight hours. All modes of severe weather are possible including tornadoes, damaging winds, and large hail. The tornado risk will be highest Friday night.

Friday’s severe risk area

All areas within the risk areas will see a tornado potential but the highest potential for tornadoes will exist from the Florida Panhandle, southeastern Alabama, southern Georgia, northern Florida, and south-central South Carolina.

Friday’s tornado probability

The severe risk will shift east overnight Friday into Saturday, thus, the SPC has outlined an area of a marginal (level 1 of 5 – dark green) and slight (level 2 of 5 – yellow) severe risk on Saturday for coastal parts of the Southeast. The area extends from Florida north to the Carolinas. Again, similar to Friday, all modes of severe weather are possible including tornadoes, damaging winds, and large hail.

Saturday’s severe risk area

If you live within the severe risk area, please keep a close eye on the forecast, have reliable sources to receive weather warnings from, and have a plan in place in case a warning is issued for your area.

Southern winter storm on the way

Firsthand Weather continues to monitor the potential for a winter storm late Friday into Saturday for parts of the South. The winter storm will bring a late-season chance for snow from Texas & Oklahoma east into Arkansas, northern Louisiana, northern & central Mississippi, northern Alabama, northern Georgia, Tennesee, and western North Carolina. Enough snow is possible to allow for light to potentially moderate accumulations for some of the aforementioned areas.

The favored areas to see light to moderate accumulations exist for western Arkansas, northern Mississippi, far northern Alabama, far northern Georgia, central Tennesee & the higher terrain of far eastern Tennesee, and the higher terrain of far western North Carolina. Some minor travel impacts are possible from the snow.

Snow map for Friday-Saturday

An accumulation forecast will be produced later today by Firsthand Weather. Join the Firsthand Weather Supporter Group for an early look at the preliminary accumulation forecast.

Confidence increasing parts of the South will see snow this weekend

Firsthand Weather continues to monitor the potential for wintry precipitation for parts of the South later this week into the upcoming weekend. See the detailed article on the snow & severe weather potential on Friday & Saturday.

The latest guidance today continues to show this potential for a quick-hitting rain/snow mixture chance Friday into Saturday (spreading west to east) from northern Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, southern Missouri, far northern Louisiana, Kentucky, Tennesee, northern & central Mississippi, northern & central Alabama, northern Georgia, Upstate South Carolina, and North Carolina. There are still many questions but confidence has increased from low confidence to moderate confidence in the potential for snow for parts of these aforementioned areas late week into the weekend.

The European model over the past several runs has consistently shown this possibility of snow for parts of the Southern Plains, Mid-South, Tennesee Valley, and South late Friday into early Saturday, spreading into the Mid-Atlantic & Northeast over the weekend. The image below shows the latest animated run of the model from Friday through Saturday. The blue depicts snow while the green depicts rain. The darker the color, the heavier the precipitation.

The American model, like the European model, over the past several runs has also consistently shown this possibility of snow for parts of the Southern Plains, Mid-South, Tennesee Valley, and South late Friday into early Saturday, spreading into the Mid-Atlantic & Northeast over the weekend. The image below shows the latest animated run of the model from Friday through Saturday. The blue depicts snow while the green depicts rain. The darker the color, the heavier the precipitation. Join the Firsthand Weather Supporter Group for more details.

Again, while this forecast is not set in stone, confidence continues to increase that parts of the South will see snow Friday night into Saturday morning. The favored areas (for our followers in the South) will be Tennessee, northern & central Mississippi, northern & central Alabama, northern Georgia, and western North Carolina.

It’s too early to dive into the accumulation potential at this point. We do feel comfortable saying it’s possible there could be light accumulations, but this doesn’t appear to be a major winter storm. Warm temperatures leading up to the event, a short duration of wintry precipitation, marginal surface temperatures, and the snow possibly mixing with rain should mitigate how much snow potentially accumulates. Stay tuned for updates & join the Firsthand Weather Supporter Group for more details!

A high-impact system to bring the potential of severe weather and snow to parts of the South & Southeast late week into the weekend

Firsthand Weather is monitoring the potential for severe thunderstorms and wintry weather for parts of the South & Southeast this Friday and Saturday as an upper-level system sends a batch of Arctic air south into the lower-48. Ahead of this Arctic air mass, a warm, moist, unstable air mass will build across the South & Southeast later this week. As this cold front clashes with the unstable spring-like air mass, it will trigger a line of thunderstorms on Friday across the South. While early and with still some questions to be ironed out, it appears favorable wind shear and a developing surface area of low pressure could allow for thunderstorms to become strong, possibly severe on Friday including the possibility of isolated tornadoes.

The favored areas appear to be from eastern Texas, southern Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi Friday afternoon and spreading east into Alabama, Georgia, and north Florida during the evening and overnight hours. It’s possible the severe threat continues on Saturday for eastern parts of Georgia, northern Florida, and the Carolinas. Currently, there is no severe risk area outlined by the Storm Prediction Center but this could change over the coming days. If you live in the aforementioned area, make sure you keep a close eye on the forecast and have a plan in place in case a warning is issued on Friday.

Favored areas for thunderstorms are within the blue, green, and yellow shaded areas across the South & Southeast late Friday (this image is from the European model courtesy weathermodels.com)

The next concern is the cold, Arctic air rushing into the South & Southeast late Friday into Saturday. This air will be quite chilly and subfreezing. This is important because it appears the developing surface area of low pressure could help pull in enough moisture into the colder, subfreezing air for a quick changeover to wet snow for parts of the South & Southeast late Friday into Saturday. It needs to be mentioned that there are a lot of questions with this set up and this is a low confidence forecast but the guidance does support the cold air and moisture to overlap long enough for wet snow for some areas during this timeframe. The favored areas are Oklahoma, northern Texas, Arkansas, and central & southern Missouri Friday; eventually spreading into northern Mississippi & western Tennessee overnight Friday; and eventually into the rest of central & eastern Tennesee, northern Alabama, northern Georgia, Kentucky, the mountains of North Carolina, and potentially Upstate South Carolina on Saturday morning. Join the Firsthand Weather Supporter Group.

Future radar late Friday into Saturday. Green and dark green show rain & storms while blue shows snow (this GIF is from the European model courtesy weathermodels.com)

It needs to reiterated that there are a lot of questions with this forecast, it’s low confidence, and snow is not a guarantee for the aforementioned areas, but models are suggesting this is a possibility and while confidence is low at this time, confidence is increasing some areas will see snow late Friday and Saturday. It’s too far out for accumulation forecasts but this will be monitored over the coming days.

Behind the cold front, quite chilly air will stick around for a couple of days with a widespread freeze for the South & Southeast this weekend so bring the pets inside and protect the plants.

Temperature departures from average. The blue, green, and purple shaded areas across the eastern half of the country depict below-average temperatures while the orange and red colors depict above-average temperatures this weekend (this image is from the European model courtesy weathermodels.com)