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Mardi Gras – Fat Tuesday – MODERATE Severe Risk

8 Mar 2011, 12:02 pm

Hello and happy Tuesday everyone – hope all is well. Unfortunately, the severe weather threat today/tonight is even higher than previously thought earlier this week across the deep south. The Storm Prediction Center out of Norman, OK has issued a MODERATE risk of severe weather for parts of Louisiana. Large hail, damaging winds and isolated tornadoes cannot be ruled out as the vigorous low pressure system, lifting out of the Great Basin, continues to intensify today.


From Bad to Worse?

Recall the strong/severe storms that occurred over the weekend through parts of Louisiana, which proved to be fatal after several tornadoes ripped through central and southern part of the state. Today the risk for severe weather remains high in similar locations that are still cleaning up for the mess that was created only a few short days ago. Keep in mind that Mardi Gras celebrations are underway in New Orleans, which is just outside the MODERATE RISK area. New Orleans is in the SLIGHT RISK area, which still too close for comfort. If your plans have you celebrating into the evening hours, be mindful of the weather later today and tonight. This is a potentially hazardous situation setting up – many folks could be caught unaware of potentially threatening weather later today.


STORM THREATS: Large Hail – Damaging Winds – Isolated Tornadoes


Mature Storm Systems Resemble Comma Clouds

It’s very interesting to look a large storm systems in their mature stage – they resemble “Comma clouds” as the strong upper level winds race in on the southwest side of the low pressure and wrap all the way around the northwest side of the low pressure.  This is what a storm looks like on the water vapor satellite in its developmental stage, growing into what will be the mature “comma cloud”


Watches & Warnings

The two big threats showing up on the watches and warnings map today are the heavy snow potential from the Front Range of the Rockies to the central Great Lakes Region. Snow amounts in these regions could be up to 5″ or 8″ – but 3″ to 6″ looks more likely. The heavy rain potential looks a little more impressive – some locations in the green areas could pick up as much as 3″ of rain.

How Much Snow?

Good grief – with the high confidence forecasts last weekend and yesterday about the heavy snow potential moving through the Midwest… this snowfall forecast is turning out to be a meteorological nightmare – A BUST! There will still be a few spots that get a good drop, but it is looking more and more likely that the heavy snow swath is dissolving right before our eyes – POOF! One thing that may be attributing to the lower snow amounts may be due to the strong shower and thunderstorm activity that is developing to the south. Convective feed back can and will intercept low/mid level moisture from reaching its northernmost latitude that was forecast in previous time frames.


Another Round of Heavy Rain – How Much?

No wonder why the flood headlines have been posted, take a look at the HPC QPF (Hydrological Prediction Center Quantitative Precipitation Forecast) – note the maximums of near 4″ to 5″ through Friday – YIKES! Flash flooding is also a concern here for locations that see heavy rains in a short amount of time. Flooding, may not initially be thought of as a serious thunderstorm or severe thunderstorm risk claims the lives of many nationwide each year. It is important to review those flood safety tips, so that you do not become a victim of flood waters. FLOOD SAFETY TIPS HERE:

Alrighty then – that’s all for today. Stay safe out there and check back again tomorrow for more weather updates.

Meteorologist Todd Nelson – WeatherNation LLC

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