Thursday, March 1, 2012

Widespread Severe Thunderstorm and Tornado Outbreak Likely Friday...

Above is the midday update of the Storm Prediction Center's severe weather outlook for tomorrow. Overall, there is very little change to the outlook as originally posted.  Please see the original post (below) for full details...

Original post from 7:56 am this morning:

I'm afraid that what we witnessed Tuesday night and Wednesday was only a preview of what's to come tomorrow. Another very strong middle and upper-level disturbance will combine with a strong area of low pressure and cold front at the surface to create a widespread tornado and severe thunderstorm outbreak.

The outbreak on Friday will likely affect an even larger geographic area than yesterday's... extending from the lower Mississippi and Tennessee Valley into the Ohio Valley.  The latest severe weather outlook for Friday from the Storm Prediction Center is shown below:

Severe thunderstorms are possible anywhere within the yellow shaded areas on the image.  The highest risk of severe weather, which includes a threat of significant wind damage as well as strong, potentially long track tornadoes, is located within the lavender and black hatched area.

The area with a significant risk of wind damage and/or tornadoes includes the cities of Tupelo, Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, Huntsville, Nashville, Evansville, Louisville, Bowling Green, Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Columbus.

Strong to severe storms may develop as early as tonight in the Ozarks of Missouri and Arkansas.  This activity will continue Eastward into the middle Mississippi Valley by dawn on Friday, and will reorganize and/or intensify during the day as it moves further East into the Tennessee Valley region.

In addition, widespread thunderstorm development will take place by midday or early afternoon on Friday along and ahead of a surface cold front, near the Western edge of the red shaded area on the image above.  This activity will continue to move and/or develop East/Northeastward across the primary severe weather outlook area during the afternoon and evening Friday.

Large hail, widespread damaging winds and strong, potentially long track tornadoes are all possible in these areas.

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

Take the time today 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 on Friday.  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.

I'll be monitoring this situation closely and will post any updates to the forecast as conditions warrant... but this is a pretty clear cut event, and I don't see any major changes coming forth...

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