Thursday, April 22, 2010

Severe Weather Outbreak Likely

For the past couple of months, Mother Nature has been rather tame in regards to spring thunderstorms. We are in the middle of severe weather season, and have yet to see any severe weather outbreaks.

That will be changing over the next 24 to 36 hours as a strong, spring storm churns through the Southern Plain states.

The Storm Predicition Center (SPC) out of Norman, OK, is the main government branch that issues Severe Thunderstorm and Tornado Watches. They also issue outlooks based on the risk for severe weather in a given part of the country. The graphic above shows a slight risk for severe thunderstorms on Friday as indicated by the shade of green. Notice, however, the shade of orange. That represents a moderate, or higher threat area for seeing severe thunderstorms on Friday afternoon and Friday night.

We have yet to see a moderate risk issued for our area so far this year. This means that the likelihood of seeing tornadoes, high winds, and hail will be higher than normal.

I have highlighted the main risk assessments we can expect as the storms roll in during the overnight hours. The risk for tornadoes and large hail is moderate, while the risk for damaging winds is high.

With the wind energy and all the dynamics in place, any storm that develops will rotate, possibly producing a tornado.

Here is one of our in house computer models. It suggests the main round of intense weather to roll in by daybreak on Saturday morning. Due to the fact many of us will be sleeping, you may be awakened by the rumbles of thunder and high winds.

Since these storms could roll in during the pre-dawn hours, it is very important you sign up for ThunderCall. ThunderCall is a free service we provide that alerts you when a Severe Thunderstorm or Tornado Warning is issued "Where You Live."

Since the storms could be moving in overnight, getting a phone call alerting you of severe weather in your area could be a life saver. I highly encourage you to take advantage of this service since many of you will be away from your television and radio.

I will keep you updated on the forecast and encourage you to tune in to your East Texas News for updates on our spring severe weather outbreak.