Sunday, May 12, 2019

A Heads Up for the Central Third of the United States

It has been nearly six years since the last EF-5 tornado in the United States (Moore Tornado, May 20, 2013). We may be getting into a weather pattern that can spawn violent tornadoes and I want to bring it to your attention. 

I often preach against meteorologists attempting to make forecasts of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes days in advance. However, I am both ill (pneumonia) and dealing with an out-of-town family crisis at the moment so I don't know how much forecasting I'll get to do this week. So, I wish to provide this update while I have a chance.

We have a number of blog articles already in the archive for this week. I hope you'll enjoy reading them.

The Forecast
Beginning this Friday, May 17, and into the Memorial Weekend, there is a higher than average risk of tornadoes and severe thunderstorms than we have had the last few months of May. The areas in red are at a relative higher risk with the darker reds = higher risk.
In addition, the Southern Plains and Lower Mississippi Valley there is a good chance that heavy rains could reignite flooding through the region.

What good is it to know of this risk at this point?
  • You have plenty of time to check and, if needed, get new batteries for your weather radio.
  • Install the AccuWeather app for location-specific GPS storm warnings with no unnecessary false alarms. 
  • Clear out your storm shelter if you have not done so already. Make sure there is a flash flood with fresh batteries and two bottles of water. If you have a young child(ren), a couple of diapers for each. 
  • Put it on the calendar to make sure you begin checking the forecast starting Thursday evening. 
Here is where the flooding is occurring now.
There is a low pressure center that is going to affect Texas and the South before the main storm arrives late in the week. 
The primary effect of this storm will be to keep the ground saturated -- I don't think it is going to significantly impact the ongoing flooding. 

The big storms will begin the end of this week. Hopefully, my situation will have cleared up and I can resume routine forecasting if the weather conditions require. 

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