Tuesday, April 9, 2013

For first time this year ... on watch for storms

The late arrival of spring weather this year means the South didn't have to endure the outbreaks of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes which have become so painfully familiar in recent years.

Of course, all that is changing now.

Warm weather has finally won out, pushing into all regions of the South. And as a strong cold front moves to the east this week, we're looking at the likelihood of our first significant severe weather outbreak of the season.

It begins today and tonight, in a corridor from Texas northward across Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and even southern Iowa.  The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., has a portion of Oklahoma in the "moderate" risk area, which usually means trouble.  Cities like Austin, Dallas, Oklahoma City, Little Rock and Kansas City will be at risk today and tonight.

On Wednesday, the area of storms pushes eastward into Louisiana, western Tennessee, western Kentucky, the southern two-thirds of Illinois, and western Indiana.

From today into Wednesday evening, damaging wind gusts, large hail and tornadoes will be the big threats.

By Thursday, some of the energy from the storm system along the cold front will push north. That means the storms could be more in the form of squall lines. Those typically don't produce widespread tornado outbreaks and are more likely to trigger damaging wind gusts.

That is likely to happen from Kentucky southward across Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama.

The Charlotte region is included in the "slight risk" area later Thursday from the Storm Prediction Center, but the real threat will depend a lot on timing.

If the cold front charges through our region late Thursday afternoon or in the evening, the threat of severe weather will be considerably greater than if the front arrives overnight.

I've seen a couple of forecasts recently that indicated the greatest threat of severe weather in April will be to our west -- from Texas across to Kentucky, Tennessee and Georgia.  Our turn, along with Virginia and northern Florida, is expected later in April and in May. But that is just a forecast trend, so take it with a grain of salt.

Looking ahead: The first hurricane forecast of the season from the Colorado State University team formerly headed by Dr. William Gray is due out Wednesday.  We'll report on that.


Anonymous said...

Now that "blizzards" are out of season, the time has come now to hype up "storms."

Anonymous said...

Here we go. Let's all panic for the next six months.

Anonymous said...

None this time

Anonymous said...

no comment

The Storms Are Coming!! said...

What do you buy for "storms," bread and milk, or something a little more spring-like, such as beer and Little Debbie cakes? Anyone have suggestions?