Thursday, June 5, 2014

Severe thunderstorms expected this afternoon in the metro

The first in possibly a series of mesoscale convective systems (MCS, or "macho thunderstorm complex") will move through the Mid-South this afternoon. This system is currently in the Ozarks and moving east-southeast towards the region at 50-60 mph.

Radar image at 10:20am. Green square icons in and behind the line are damaging wind reports. Yellow boxes are Severe T'storm Warnings.
The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Watch for the entire metro until 5pm.  They provide probabilities of various severe weather events within the watch box. For this one, there is a 70% chance of 10 or more wind events of 60+ mph, a 50% chance of a 75 mph wind report, a 30% chance of 10 or more 1" hail reports, and only a 10% chance of 2 tornadoes. Thus, the main threat with these storms will be straight-line damaging wind of 50-60 mph.

Severe Thunderstorm Watch in pink. A Flash Flood Watch is also in effect.

SPC has also placed AR and points along the river in west TN under a Moderate Risk for severe weather today. I expect this to be extended eastward a bit later this morning.

A Moderate Risk zone extends from the Ozarks to the Mid-South at mid-morning. This could be extended east by late morning.

The estimated time of arrival for this complex of storms is between 2-4 pm in the metro with rain continuing for a few hours behind the line. The worst of the severe storms will hopefully be done by the time rush hour kicks into full gear, but expect wet streets, including residual ponding or minor flash flooding, and some traffic light failures due to power outages from high wind. If your car windows are rolled down at work, roll them up at lunch time. If you're attending the FESJC golf tournament, find suitable shelter WELL BEFORE the line arrives this afternoon. It will hit quickly and pack a significant punch when it gets here.

With any luck, most of the rain will be done by 7-8 pm tonight, but I make no promises on that. If you have outdoor plans tonight (such as a concert at Snowden Grove or an outdoor party), be prepared for possible rain and some thunder through at least mid-evening.  If you have outdoor objects that are not tied down and you have the ability to move them in or secure them prior to 2pm, we recommend doing that.

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Erik Proseus
MWN Meteorologist

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