Severe Weather, Including the Threat for Tornadoes, On Tap for the Weekend
Winter weather has been dominating the headlines this week, but a resurgence of warm, moist air and an approaching mid-level low could put severe weather front and center this weekend. The main threat from these weekend storms appears to be hail and high winds, but a few isolated tornadoes can’t be totally ruled out, either.
Below is a day-by-day forecast of what you can expect over the weekend.
A mid-level low will continue to spin out of northern Mexico, into the Big Bend region of Texas — pulling Gulf moisture and enhancing lift over much of central and eastern Texas. The effects of the mid-level low will also be seen across parts of Louisiana as the low tracks west-northwest.
A weak trough, associated with the low, will begin to push through parts of Texas and will aid in the initiation of storms in the afternoon. Most of these storms will be clustered areas of cells, which means they’re less likely to produce tornadoes. That said, a few stronger, discreet cells could develop in more highly-sheared environment and could produce rotating updrafts. Those updrafts could produce brief tornadoes.
As the day progresses into the evening and night hours, the severe threat will shift further east — into parts of western Louisiana and eventually into Mississippi. With the loss of daytime heating and a reduction in shear, the threat for tornadoes drops precipitously. But, residents in these areas should still remain weather-aware though the overnight hours, as the storms could make the transition to a large mass of cells called an “MCS.”
Sunday, the threat for severe weather will generally be relegated to the Gulf and southern East Coast — from Lake Charles, La. to Kill Devil Hills, N.C. Much like Saturday, the main threat for severe weather on Sunday will be hail and high winds. But, once again, an isolated tornado or two can’t be totally ruled out.
As mentioned above, an MCS might be ongoing in the early morning hours of Sunday — affecting places like New Orleans and Biloxi. With rich Gulf moisture in place, rising temperatures and sunshine to aid in the destabilization of the atmosphere a few supercells are possible by Sunday afternoon. This is the most likely time for tornadic development and people in southern Alabama, southern Georgia and northern Florida should remain weather-aware though the late evening hours. Severe stright line wind damage will also be a concern through that time frame as well.
The souther East Coast could also be dealing with some severe weather Sunday afternoon, evening and overnight into Monday. The mostly likely mode of thunderstorms will be a line or organized cluster, which is less likely to lend itself to tornadic events. Neverthless, keep a watchful eye on the weather though Monday morning.
The forecast is likely to change, so stay with WeatherNation on-air and online for the latest on the severe weather.
Meteorologist Alan Raymond