Monday, January 31, 2011

Low threat of severe weather with tomorrow's storm

While the Plains, Midwest, and Northeast will be dealing with potentially historic snow and ice from the storm system crossing the country over the next 36 hours, here in the Mid-South, we will have a chance, albeit low, of severe weather.  An overview of the lower Mississippi River Valley and southern Plains during the late afternoon hours Tuesday is shown below.

You can see that the low pressure responsible for the brutal weather to our north will pass very nearly over the metropolitan area.  Heavy rain will surround the low, so I expect we'll see widespread rain totals of an inch of rain or more here.  Thunderstorms will also be likely ahead of the cold front that will move through late tomorrow afternoon, though the greatest threat will be in the areas in the SLIGHT RISK region defined by the Storm Prediction Center in the map below.

Day 2 (Tuesday) Severe Weather Outlook from SPC
Thunder will still be a decent possibility in the metro area however, particularly from noon until the front passes through, which should be by 6pm.  The primary threat from any thunderstorms will be damaging straight line wind, especially along a potential squall line that will accompany the front.  Winds at about 5,000' above the surface will be screaming at 80-90 mph, so any downward momentum generated by thunderstorms could bring high winds to the surface.  Even without storms, the wind will be howling at 25-35 mph with gusts to 40+ during the afternoon and evening Tuesday.

Behind the front, look for a very rapid temperature change, thanks to strong Arctic high pressure building in behind the front.  Temperatures could drop 20-25 degrees in a couple of hours, from the 60s head of the front to the 30s behind it.  In fact, any lingering precipitation could change to flurries or a light snow shower after 9pm, though no accumulation is expected. By Wednesday morning, low temperatures will be in the mid 20s and Wednesday's high in the mid 30s will be nearly 30 degrees colder than Tuesday's high.

Stay up to date on the latest weather conditions and forecast by checking out on Facebook and Twitter!

No comments: