Monday, February 9, 2009

Latest severe weather threat for Memphis metro

Not a whole lot has changed since my previous blog on the possibility of severe weather for the Mid-South on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. As we have moved 24 hours closer, a couple of things are a little more clear - timing and severe weather mode. More on those in a bit. The maps below show the Storm Prediction Center's delineation of the areas where severe weather could occur before and after 6am Wednesday.

Though thunderstorms will be possible Tuesday afternoon and possibly some Tuesday evening, I believe the greatest threat will be with a line of storms along the cold front which will likely cross the river shortly after daybreak or around the morning rush Wednesday morning. Think Hurricane Elvis timing... (though I am not predicting Hurricane Elvis intensity!)

As far as the severe weather mode, with a strong squall line and high wind ahead of and behind the line, straight line wind damage seems to be the greatest threat. Non-convective wind could reach 50 mph early Wednesday, so convectively-generated wind above severe limits (58 mph) is entirely conceivable. I've also read several commentaries on the tornado threat and believe that while there is a minimal tornado threat, that threat is somewhat low right now. The possibility of hail also exists within the squall line.

I encourage you to review severe weather safety tips, make sure your NOAA Weather Radio has fresh batteries, and be prepared for the possibility of severe thunderstorms Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. This is the first potential severe weather event of 2009 and it is only a week removed from the anniversary of the Super Tuesday Outbreak, so it should be no surprise that severe thunderstorms can and do occur at this time of year. Stay abreast of changing conditions with and this blog.

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