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Multi-Day Severe Threat for Plains, Mississippi Valley, and Parts of the Southeast

Figure 1. Severe weather outlook for today.

Strong to severe storms are likely in the Southern Plains this evening and overnight. Tomorrow and Thursday, the threat will shift east, to the Mississippi Valley and Southeast.

Overview/Setup

Cyclone genesis is going to take place over the Central Plains tonight. Rapid deepening will take place tomorrow, leading to a significantly strong and potent storm, which will eject into the Great Lakes by late tomorrow.

Blizzard conditions are expected for parts of the central and northern Plains. Meanwhile, another wave of storms — some strong to severe — is in store for the South with a trailing front.

Today

An extensive squall line will move into west Texas late this evening ahead of a front. There could also be some isolated supercells to deal with ahead of the main line.

Placement: The greatest threat for severe weather will be in the enhanced (level 3) risk area (see figure 1).

Hazards: With the main convective mode being linear, damaging wind gusts will be the primary threat. However, considering high bulk shear and storm relative helicity values, all modes of severe weather will be possible (particularly with any discrete cells).

Timing: The line should be moving into extreme west Texas 10 PM CDT. It will work east during the overnight hours, reaching the I-35 corridor by early morning.

Tomorrow

Instability will be on the decrease by tomorrow morning. This will cause the main band of storms to weaken and break apart as it enters east Texas and west Louisiana.

Mesoscale guidance indicates that instability will increase some again tomorrow and Thursday. But with CAPE predicted to only range from ~ 250 – 1000 j/Kg, this will be a high shear low instability setup.

Based on this, we should see a narrow band of storms should form across east Texas tomorrow afternoon.

Figure 2. Severe weather outlook for tomorrow.

Placement: The Storm Prediction Center has hatched a slight (level 2) risk zone (see figure 3), which is where the best potential for severe weather will be.

Hazards: This is not going to be a widespread severe weather event/outbreak. The main threats will be locally damaging wind gusts and a brief, isolated tornado or two.

Timing: The band of storms will advance east tomorrow afternoon into tomorrow night.

Thursday

The narrow/broken squall will continue to advance east with the cold front, eventually spreading into the Southeast Thursday.

Figure 3. Severe weather outlook for Thursday.

Impressive shear will continue across the warm sector. However, CAPE will remain low.

Placement: The Storm Prediction Center has once again delineated a level 2 risk area, this time extending from south-central Mississippi north into Tennessee. But note that this outlook is subject to change being 3 days out.

Hazards: Damaging winds and brief tornadoes will remain the primary concern.

Timing: It is still a bit too early to discus timing.

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