Rare Severe Weather Threat in the South
Severe weather season in Texas, is usually March and April. However, a fairly strong front will create a marginal risk for a few strong to severe thunderstorms on Friday. The primary threat will be straight line winds over 60 mph. However, an isolated tornado or two is certainly possible. Small hail could also develop. The marginal risk is outlined in the dark green shading below. Waco, Austin, College Station, and the northern and western suburbs of Houston are included in the marginal risk area. All thunderstorms contain lightning. So that will also be a threat, even outside of the marginal risk area. Brief heavy downpours are also possible with some of the storm cells.
The front will approach eastern Texas very early Friday morning. The threat for severe weather will be very low then. However, thunderstorms and heavy rain will still be possible.
The greatest threat for severe weather appears to be in the late morning or early afternoon. That’s when the front makes it’s way through the marginal risk area. By late afternoon, the front will be to the east, and the dynamics for severe weather won’t be as strong. But a lot depends on the speed of the front, which can always change. So stay tuned!
After the front moves through Texas, it moves into the southeast. Right now, severe weather is not in the forecast. However, thunderstorms will be possible, and very heavy rain is likely in many spots.
Check out some of the rainfall projections below. Many areas in a line between eastern Texas and Kentucky will receive 1 to 3 inches of rain. However, a tiny sliver of Tennessee could see between 3 and 6 inches of rain. This could lead to localized flooding. Areas to the south of this line will generally receive less than an inch of rain.
Flash Flood Watches have already been issued. They are in effect through Saturday morning.
Heavy rain could lead to travel delays and flooding on one of the busiest holiday weekends of the year. But there’s also a big positive that cannot be overlooked. Many areas in the southeast need rain. Look at central Arkansas. That area is suffering from extreme drought conditions. So there may be a silver lining to this weather after all.
For WeatherNation: Meteorologist Matt Monroe