So far today, things have been quiet as a few showers and a rumble of thunder rolled through earlier this morning. It has been warm, muggy, and windy through our Monday so far, but things are preparing to change. Clouds are clearing to our southwest, and we should see some clearing as we head through the first part of the afternoon. Any clearing we see will allow temperatures to warm rapidly and set the stage for a significant severe weather event through the late afternoon into Tuesday morning.
A large upper level low responsible for the severe weather yesterday continues to wobble in southern Nebraska. Stretching from this upper level low is a cold front that drapes down into central Arkansas and Louisiana. This front has already produced some storms ahead of it today in the Mississippi Delta, but those have barely made it to severe criteria.
As we work through the afternoon, a piece of energy from this upper level low will swing nearby, exciting uplift of air in our warm, moist, and unstable environment, Storms will be able to rotate from the beginning, meaning they will live for a long time with the capability to produce tornadoes. Large hail of golf ball size and larger is also possible from these storms.
Our surface winds will be a big player this afternoon in regards of our tornado threat. For now, they have mostly been from the south to southwest. If they turn more southeasterly, as some models are indicating around sunset tonight, it will enhance our threat for tornadoes.
Storms look to begin to develop around 3pm this afternoon and continue through the evening as the best uplift and ingredients look to align around sunset. Storms will be moving generally from southwest to northeast throughout the night.
The Storm Prediction center has everyone along and north of Interstate 20 in a moderate risk of severe weather, which a portion of this area could be upgraded to a high risk by 3pm. The main threats are large hail and violent, long-track tornadoes that could be on the ground for miles. Flooding is not looking to be as big a concern, but if storms keep moving over the same area, we could see flooding problems. Damaging winds in excess of 70mph are also possible.
What to Do
We are running out of time before severe weather strikes. Now is the time to make sure you have a NOAA Weather Radio and that it is working properly. Also, have multiple ways of getting warnings such as TV, mobile apps, etc. Be sure you know where to go and what to do in the event you go under a tornado warning.
Please take all warnings very seriously this afternoon and evening. Even straight-line winds of 70mph can cause damage like a tornado. When a warning is issued, take shelter.
Stay with Newscenter 11 for the latest weather updates. Myself, Aaron Morrison, and Will Harkins will be tracking storms through the night to keep you safe.
Once we get through these storms tonight, we could see one more round of severe storms tomorrow afternoon. While these do not look to be quite as potent as what we could see today, a tornado, wind, and hail threat look present tomorrow afternoon as well.