Severe weather will likely return to millions across the South by Thursday, impacting places that experienced long-track tornadoes weather last week.
Be prepared for severe weather and tornadoes
The latest forecast shows a level 4 “moderate risk” for severe storms across northern Mississippi, southwestern Tennessee and northwestern Alabama. This level 4 out of 5 risk category means “widespread severe storms are likely,” according to the SPC, with large hail, damaging winds and tornadoes all possible.
“The ingredients will combine on Thursday for another severe weather outbreak in the South,” said CNN meteorologist Chad Myers. “Very humid Gulf of Mexico air combined with strong rising motion will create multiple rounds of severe weather including rotating storms that could produce tornadoes.”
Just last week, states including Mississippi and Alabama, took the brunt of intense storms. National Weather Service offices confirmed 49 tornadoes Wednesday and Thursday that cut a combined path length of nearly 210 miles through the South.
Tornado chance appears first Wednesday night
Another active weather pattern setting up across the country is introducing storm systems that will instigate more storms.
On Tuesday, a system located over the central Plains will track toward the Midwest. That could make for a few isolated severe storms in northern Missouri as well as southern Louisiana and Mississippi, a region that saw tornado warnings issued Tuesday morning; those have expired.
A new storm system located over the southwestern US will eject into the Plains by Wednesday night. This will be the main driver for this new severe weather event.
During the day, scattered thunderstorms could break out across portions of central Texas, with a more widespread rain near the Texas Panhandle.
Wednesday night will become more active as a line of storms forms, bringing the risk mainly for strong winds and hail, but also the chance for tornadoes further east.
With these storms will come an onslaught of heavy rain that could lead to flooding across parts of the South.
Flash Flood Watches are currently in effect for locations near the central Gulf Coast, including New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Gulfport, Mississippi.
Severe storm threat will be highest Thursday
Wednesday’s storms will move east, centering Thursday across the Deep South as the severe storm risk area likely expands and becomes more significant. Strong storms will be possible from the Gulf Coast through as far north as Ohio.
Some of these storms could pack “damaging winds,” and “tornadoes, perhaps strong, appear to be (a) legitimate possibility” for parts of the South, said the National Weather Service office in Birmingham.
The forecast shows that the atmospheric conditions will be ripe and “will support supercells with low-level mesocyclones capable of producing strong tornadoes and large hail,” the SPC said.
By Friday, most of the South should dry out except for parts of Georgia and the Carolinas, where weakening showers and isolated thunderstorms could linger.