Saturday, February 26, 2011

Significant Severe Weather Outbreak Likely Sunday

The above image shows the latest severe weather outlook for Sunday from the SPC in Norman, OK.

At this time it appears that the greatest risk of severe storms will take place across the "Moderate" risk area (red outlined region on the map above), from portions of extreme eastern Oklahoma, Eastward across southern Missouri and much of Arkansas, into western portions of Kentucky and Tennessee.  Ironically, this covers much of the same region that was battered by tornadoes and severe thunderstorms this past Thursday.

Isolated thunderstorms are expected to develop in the western portions of the slight risk area (green outlined region on the map above) by late afternoon or early evening on Sunday.  The threat will then increase and spread East/Northeastward with time, entering the Mississippi, Tennessee and lower Ohio River Valley areas during the early morning hours on Monday.

At this time it appears that the most significant severe weather threat, including the possibility of strong tornadoes, could occur after dark across portions of Missouri and Arkansas and adjacent portions of Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi (pink outlined area on the severe weather probability map below):

Residents of this region should stay alert and have a severe weather plan ready, especially should threatening conditions develop after dark or later into the night.

A NOAA Weather Radio is an excellent tool for receiving nighttime severe weather warnings.  You can program most newer models to alert you only of storms affecting your specific county.  You can also choose to be alerted to only tornado warnings, or both severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings, watches, etc.  These radios are available at most major retailers including Wal-Mart, Target and Radio Shack.

If you have a smartphone (like a Blackberry or iPhone, for example), you can download apps to alert you of a severe weather warning for your area as well. One such example is My-Cast Weather by Garmin.  Some local media outlets (newspaper, television and radio stations) also offer a free or low cost 'text alert' service to warn you of impending severe weather as well.

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