Monday, December 24, 2012

Dangerous Severe Weather Outbreak Likely Tonight through Christmas Day in the South...

I've been posting for several days now about the potential for a significant outbreak of severe weather, including tornadoes, across portions of the South from tonight through Christmas Day.  I wish I had better news to report on this Christmas Eve, but conditions continue to look very favorable for a significant outbreak of severe weather, including the possibility of strong and/or violent tornadoes and/or tornadoes with long tracks.

The most important take away from this post is that if you live or have travel plans in the areas that are presented in the information below, please make sure that you have a way to receive severe weather warnings no matter what your exact location or time of day.  Also be sure to identify your best sheltering option, particularly if you will be in an unfamiliar place, that way you can move there quickly if threatening weather is observed or a warning is issued.

Little has really changed since my post yesterday.  The latest severe weather outlooks from the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) are shown below.  The first is valid for today, Christmas Eve:

...and the second is valid for tomorrow, Christmas Day:

In each case, severe thunderstorms are forecast within the brown and yellow shaded areas on the images.  For today, Christmas Eve, the primary threat will take place after sunset and especially during the nighttime hours tonight.   For tomorrow, Christmas Day, the black hatched and red and lavender shaded areas indicate a threat for "significant" severe weather.  By definition, "significant" severe weather includes hailstones of 2 inches in diameter or larger, wind gusts in excess of 70 mph, and strong and/or long track tornadoes.

In yesterday's post I presented detailed maps outlining the primary severe weather threat areas in 6 or 12 hour increments for today and tomorrow.  This particular portion of the forecast has not changed, so I am presenting those images again below, that way if you are (or will be) in the threat areas, you'll have an idea as to the most important times to pay attention to the weather over the next 2 days.  Please see the label at the top of each image for the specific day and time period that is outlined in the accompanying graphic:

Again, I can't emphasize enough that this is a potentially dangerous and life threatening situation for the indicated areas.  Please pay attention to the weather if you will be in these areas tonight through Christmas Day.

The threat of severe weather will shift into the southeastern U.S. on Wednesday.  The primary severe threat on that day will exist within the brown and yellow shaded areas on the image below:

An elevated threat of "significant" severe weather is forecast again on Wednesday, within the red shaded and black hatched area on the image above.

As forecast conditions are not likely to change, I do not anticipate publishing another detailed update as to what is forecast for tonight and tomorrow.  Rather, stay tuned for updates as the situation actually begins to unfold later today through Christmas Day.  I also post shorter, more frequent updates on twitter, facebook and Google+ in these situations, so please follow me there if you aren't already...

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