Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Severe weather potential for Friday...

But before I get to that, let's touch briefly on the forecast for the next 48. Looks like we are in a pattern of dry days and rainy nights, beginning last night as a potent system brought over 2" of rain to much of the metro area. I enjoyed sitting out on my screened patio after dark and listening to it hit the roof. It really came down in buckets at times! My reading provided to CoCoRaHS from an NWS certified rain gauge was 2.25". Fortunately, the thunder diminished significantly before arriving in our area.

Another round of rain is likely tonight, with a good deal of north and central MS under a Flood Watch. The heaviest rain will stay south of the state line, though everyone in the metro area will get something from it. Another dry day Thursday, with more rain and scattered t'storms poised to arrive Thursday night and early Friday as a warm front moves through and sets the region up for a possible "Big Kahuna" event Friday night. I'm thinking a good part of Friday (mid-morning to mid-afternoon probably) should actually be dry. That's up for debate though...

Friday night poses the most serious risk yet this spring. A very strong weather system, with a rapidly-developing surface low pressure that will move just to our north, will traverse the region. By afternoon, we'll be firmly in the grips of the system's warm sector, which means high humidity, incerasing wind, and unstable air. As the jet stream moves over the Mid-South late Friday, thunderstorms will break out and could rapidly become severe by late Friday afternoon. Due to expected wind shear and very buoyant air, some of these storms could become supercellular and produce tornadoes and large hail. As the strong cold front moves through overnight, a squall line will likely form along or just ahead of it, bringing the threat of damaging wind as well. The map below highlights the area that the Storm Prediction Center thinks at this time has the potential for severe weather. The hatched area reflects the greatest likelihood.

We'll continue to monitor the situation at and provide updates throughout, via this blog and the MWN Forecast. Now would be a good time to sign up to receive FREE email messages to your PDA or email account if and when severe weather strikes. And you're in luck - MWN has just such a service - it's fast, it's accurate, and it's free! Sign up here.

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