This is the probabilistic tornado and severe thunderstorm (latter defined as hail ≥ 1" in diameter and/or winds ≥ 58 mph) outlook valid from 6am Friday until 6am Saturday as forecast by the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center.
Two things ratchet up my concern when tornadoes and severe storms are contemplated:
- Out of Season
While very early March is technically "in season," a number of these areas haven't had any severe weather in 2012. Plus, the dynamics (jet stream strength, etc.) of this event may keep it going during the overnight hours with fast-moving (potentially less "lead time") storms.
Breaking it down: the hatched area (in this case) means tornadoes ≥F-2 intensity and/or thunderstorm-generated winds ≥ 75 mph. This far (more than 24 hours) out, those are very high probabilities (45%), as well.
So, if you live in these areas, I urge you to make sure you to conduct the following reviews:
- Tornado Safety Rules for Homes.
- School Safety Rules
- Fresh batteries for your flashlight, weather radio, etc.
- Charged cell and cordless phone batteries
AccuWeather has more on this subject.
Considering we just lost twelve precious lives in the severe weather event that ended last night, please prepare if you live in these regions.