Sunday, February 17, 2013

Severe weather awareness week brings two rounds of storms

A progressive pattern is emerging over the Mid-South for at least the next week, promising multiple cold fronts and at least one potential chance for severe weather.  Just in time for Severe Weather Awareness Week!

As a huge trough shifts east and takes the cold weather of the past couple of days with it, southerly wind is returning to the area and will set the atmosphere up for our next cold front, which arrives Monday evening. Warm air ahead of it, moisture from the Gulf of Mexico, and lifting provided by the front will bring showers and thunderstorms to the area on Monday afternoon and evening. However, due to the recent cool spell, it does not appear that the atmosphere will have enough time to "recover" to fuel severe thunderstorms. In general, we expect periods of heavy rain and some thunder and lightning from late afternoon through the evening hours, and gusty south wind throughout the day Monday ahead of the front.

A cold front approaching at 6pm Monday night provides the lift for thunderstorms across the region.
A couple of dry days are expected Tuesday and Wednesday as high pressure builds in behind the front, then moves east and once again starts bringing in moisture and warmth on southerly wind.  The second round of storms expected this week will be on Thursday.

While details are still sketchy, the timing of this system could be similar to Monday's and the potential for severe weather looks higher than Monday. The dynamics of the system look stronger as the low pressure center dragging the cold front through will be much closer to the Mid-South than Monday. The Storm Prediction Center has been monitoring this system for a few days and highlights a portion of the Lower Mississippi River Valley, south of the metro, for the possibility of a squall line of storms preceded by supercells with possible tornadoes.  We'll be sure to provide updated information as the date draws closer.

SPC is monitoring the Lower MS Valley for the potential of severe weather Thursday. The highlighted area can and will change by then. All Mid-Southerners need to remain alert to possible changes.

However, with the possibility of strong storms later in the week, please be paying attention to the severe weather safety tips we provide throughout this Severe Weather Awareness Week.  A tornado drill is scheduled for Wednesday and we'll host a Google+ Hangout training session on Tuesday night on #mSpotter - our Twitter-based severe weather spotting program that we partner with the NWS on.  Be sure to join us! All the details on the week's activities, including some awesome giveaways, are posted on our  Severe Weather Awareness Week page, as well as posts on FacebookTwitter, and Google+.

We also want to provide you the opportunity to have the technology available to keep you safe during severe weather. So, to honor awareness week, we have discounted our StormWatch+ service by 33%! Check it out in the MWN mobile apps for iPhone and Android devices (links below).

Follow MWN on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+
Visit on the web or on your mobile phone.
Download our iPhone or Android apps, featuring a fresh new interface and StormWatch+ severe weather alerts!

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