Moderate severe risk Friday: severe outbreak with tornadoes likely
March will go out like a lion with another round of widespread severe thunderstorms and tornadoes Friday.
The storms system that brought flooding rain, heavy mountain snow, and damaging wind to California early this week is now moving across the Intermountain West. This system will continue to move east towards the Plains helping trigger intense thunderstorms to end the week.
Out ahead of this storm system, rich, Gulf moisture continues to surge north acting as fuel for thunderstorms. This warm, moist air mass will set the stage for spring storms and the potent storm system will provide strong speed and directional wind shear. All these ingredients will allow for rotating, severe thunderstorms that could produce tornadoes, large hail, and damaging winds from the Midwest into the Deep South Friday afternoon, Friday evening, and Friday night.
Friday is expected to be a widespread, high-impact severe day with storms producing tornadoes, large hail, and damaging winds from Illinois/Iowa south into Mississippi. This places millions at risk for tornadoes, including parts of Mississippi that were hit last Friday by violent tornadoes.
Friday's severe risk
The Storm Prediction Center upgraded parts of the risk area to a moderate (level 4 of 5) severe risk [red] in two areas from northwestern Mississippi, northeastern Arkansas, western Tennessee, southeastern Missouri and southwestern Kentucky, and farther north across eastern Iowa, northwestern Illinois, and northeastern Missouri.
Surrounding the moderate risk, there's a widespread enhanced (level 3 of 5) severe risk [orange] from central Iowa to central Mississippi, a slight (level 2 of 5) severe risk [yellow] from northeastern Texas to northwestern Georgia, north to Wisconsin, and marginal (level 1 of 5) severe risk [dark green] extending outward from the slight risk area.
Friday's severe hazards probabilities
All modes of severe weather are possible within all risk areas. It does appear the most widespread severe weather risk along with the highest probabilities for tornadoes and large hail will occur within the moderate risk. A couple strong tornadoes cannot be ruled out Friday afternoon and Friday evening.
Have a plan Friday
If you live anywhere in or near the severe risk areas, please have a plan in place. Know where you will shelter if a warning is issued for your area. Also, have a few reliable weather sources to receive accurate, timely severe weather warnings from.