Friday, June 12, 2009

Possibility of severe weather later today

The Storm Prediction Center has upgraded the area into a MODERATE RISK for severe weather, as seen in the graphic above, and issued a Severe Thunderstorm Watch until 7pm for the metro counties except Fayette and Marshall, until 7pm. A cold front has effectively stalled over the region (as evidenced by upper 70s temps and lower humidity over northeast AR and northwest TN and much warmer, moister air over the metro area and points south). In addition, an upper-level trough is moving in from the west and has sparked a convective system to form in northeast OK. This system will propagate east-southeast into an environment that is very unstable, causing it to likely become stronger. The system has already produced wind over 80 mph in parts of northeast OK, taking on characteristics of a derecho (think Hurricane Elvis...).

In addition, due to the front and unstable airmass, scattered thunderstorms will likely form ahead of this convective system over the Mid-South as we near 90 degrees by mid-afternoon. Any of these storms could produce large hail and high wind. I expect that the derecho will move into the area by rush hour to early evening. Whether it passes directly through the city remains to be seen, but the potential track is close enough that Mid-South residents should prepare for the possibility of damaging straight-line wind wherever it passes. Secure loose items outdoors and be prepared for possible power outages. will have complete severe weather coverage, including the latest watches, warnings, and interactive StormView Radar.

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