Significant severe risk Friday with the potential for strong tornadoes
The first day of spring was Monday and the spring severe weather season is coming in with a bang. Severe thunderstorms are expected to erupt Friday producing strong tornadoes, damaging winds, large hail, and even areas of flooding from the Deep South into the Ohio Valley.
A potent storm system is swinging into Plains and Great Lakes that will send a cold front clashing into a spring-like air mass situated across the south that's characterized by very warm temperatures and high dew points. This unstable air mass will help fuel storms and the potent storm system will provide directional and speed wind shear that will quickly get discrete storms rotating especially across the Deep South Friday afternoon, evening and into the nighttime hours.
Because of the significant severe risk Friday, the Storm Prediction Center issued a moderate severe risk across the lower Mississippi River Valley including northeastern Louisiana, southeastern Arkansas, and much of western and central Mississippi. A moderate risk is a level 4 out of 5. It's the red shaded color on the graphic below. Surrounding the moderate risk is an enhanced, or a level 3 out of 5, severe risk which is the orange shaded color. Within these risk areas, there are increased odds of damaging thunderstorms including the potential for strong, long-track tornadoes that could continue into the evening and nighttime hours. There's also a severe risk extending outward from the moderate and enhanced risk areas farther east into the Southeast and north into the Ohio Valley where severe storms and tornadoes are also possible.
Friday's severe thunderstorm risk (SPC)
Some of the cities included in the higher sever risk area include Jackson, MS; Memphis, TN; Little Rock, AR; and Shreveport, LA.
Friday's severe thunderstorm risk--hyper-local (SPC)
Friday's tornado risk--hyper-local (SPC)
Storms will be ongoing Friday morning across eastern Oklahoma into eastern Texas near the Louisiana state line. The initial storms could be marginally severe but the increased severe risk arrives just after midday continuing into the later afternoon and evening Friday hours as the storms move closer to the Mississippi River. The line of storms will produce widespread severe thunderstorm warnings due to damaging winds and pocket change size hail and there's the potential for embedded tornadoes. Isolated storms developing ahead of the line will have an increased risk to produce tornadoes some of which could be strong, long-track, potentially violent, tornadoes.
If you live within any of the risk areas on the graphic above, please make sure you have a plan in place to quickly seek safe shelter. Know where you, your family, kids, and pets will go. Also, have a couple reliable weather or media sources to receive quick, accurate weather warnings from. Every second maters in situations such as this.