We've already had one nasty tornado outbreak this week, with fatalities and a lot of damage. Unfortunately, the next outbreak is likely to be larger and potentially much more dangerous. Several ingredients are coming together to threaten areas in the Southern Mississippi River Valley east and northeastward, from later Friday afternoon through early Saturday morning.
1. Lots of warmth and moisture from the Gulf of Mexico
2. Colder and drier air punching eastward from the Rockies
2. Strong upper level storm system moving through the Great Plains, to make the atmosphere unstable
3. Extremely powerful jet stream adding spin and energy to the atmosphere
4. A strong cold front to focus storm development
Those four ingredients are very important for the larger outbreaks. Take away one or two of those ingredients and you probably just have a good day of storms. The fact that these ingredients are coming together late Friday afternoon and into the night, makes it especially dangerous. As of right now, the Storm Prediction Center has highlighted the area with the greatest severe potential:
That yellow shaded area was highlighted last night, and will be updated just after midnight tonight. I would expect a Moderate Risk to be issued for basically the same area, with possibly a little farther south/west extension. All modes of severe weather will be possible on Friday afternoon and night, along with the potential for long track and damaging tornadoes. If you have friends of family in this area, keep in touch with them and make sure they are aware of the threat. I will post another update on this situation later tonight.
Chief Meteorologist Brian Bledsoe
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