Temperatures Tuesday afternoon climbed to 76 at Key Field, 77 at NAS Meridian, with dew points solidly in the lower 60s. This very unseasonably warm January air is going to provide fuel for storms that will work through overnight and into Wednesday morning.
OVERVIEW: Jeff has provided very detailed discussions about the set up, most of which still applies, so I won't rehash those here and do injustice to his work. I will say that the squall line has materialized back in east central Oklahoma and central Texas. Storms have fired ahead of the main line. As of 2pm, there were no reports of tornadoes but plenty of wind reports.
THREATS: The main threat for us is winds up to 80mph, which is the equivalent of an EF-0 tornado or category 1 hurricane. Wind speeds that strong will be capable of doing some damage around the area. Along with the wind threat, if we get breaks in the line or storms ahead of the main line, we could see tornadoes develop. Our atmosphere is actually very primed for tornadoes with plenty of speed and directional wind shear with height. The question is will storms be capable of utilizing the environment to drop a tornado.
TIMING: The timing has stayed fairly consistent today with an expected arrival along and west of Highway 35 (Carthage to Raleigh) by 2am, Highway 15 (Louisville to Bay Springs) by 4am, Highway 45 (Macon to Waynesboro, including Meridian) by 6am, Highway 17 (Livingston to Silas) by 7am, and Highway 43 (Greensboro to Grove Hill) by 8am. We should see the squall line through the entire area by about 9am (10am at the latest) with current timing.
WHAT TO DO: As of 2:30pm, no one is under a watch or even in the thoughts of a watch anytime soon. I expect us all to see at least a Severe Thunderstorm Watch probably by about midnight or so (with the potential of it being a tornado watch based on conditions at that time). The line itself will probably be severe thunderstorm warned the entire time with any areas of rotation being instantly tornado warned. Any tornadoes in the main line will be very quick to develop and therefore expect little to no advance warning. By the time we hit the air, a tornado may already be on the ground.
With that being the case, and as is true for all nighttime events, now is the time to prepare. Secure any loose outside furniture you may have. Also, now is the time also to make sure your NOAA Weather Radio is working properly and programmed properly. Also, you will want to stay with us online, on Facebook, and on the air as we update you with what you need to know.