Friday, March 2, 2012

Major Tornado and Severe Weather Outbreak Today OH/TN Valley and Deep South...

Conditions continue to indicate that a major outbreak of severe thunderstorms, including tornadoes, is likely across the Ohio and Tennessee Valley and parts of the Deep South this afternoon and tonight.

The latest severe weather outlook from the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) indicates that severe storms are likely within the yellow shaded areas on the image below:

The highest risk of severe storms, including potentially damaging tornadoes and very strong, damaging straight line winds, is within the red and lavender shaded areas on the same image.  This enhanced risk of severe storms and tornadoes includes the cities of Louisville, Evansville, Bowling Green, Nashville, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Columbus, Charleston (WV), Chattanooga, Atlanta, Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Huntsville and Tupelo.

As expected, thunderstorms are already underway across portions of the Midwest and Tennessee Valley this morning:

A Severe Thunderstorm Watch is in effect for the following areas (shaded in blue) until 11am CST:

This activity will continue to move and develop East/Northeastward along and ahead of a surface warm front through midday.  This is only "round 1" of the activity, and will be the least severe of the day, with large hail the primary threat during the morning hours.

By midday, new thunderstorm activity is expected to develop along and ahead of a cold front from central Illinois back into Arkansas, near the Western edge of the severe weather outlook area.  The activity forming along the warm front extending Eastward from Illinois into Indiana and western Ohio may also reorganize and/or intensify at that time.

By afternoon, widespread severe weather will be underway across the enhanced severe weather outlook area (red and lavender shaded areas on the original image), with large hail, strong, potentially long track tornadoes, and damaging straight line winds likely.

The highest risk of tornadoes, some of which are likely to be strong and/or long track, is within the red, lavender and black hatched areas on the image below:

The highest threat of damaging winds is within the lavender and black hatched areas on the following image:

This is a very dangerous and potentially life threatening situation for the indicated areas

Folks living across the above mentioned areas should be on a high state of awareness when it comes to the weather today and tonight.  Listen to local media or another trusted source for the latest weather information and possible warnings.

Take a few moments to review severe weather safety and preparedness tips, that way you'll be sure to have the right tools on hand and react quickly if threatening weather approaches your area.  This process should include taking the time to identify the best sheltering option (whether at home or work) and have a plan in place to get there quickly.

Folks further to the East within the severe weather outlook area should prepare for activity tonight.  In addition to reviewing the above, make sure that you have a way to receive weather warnings at night.

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