Southeast brace for severe storm system lasting many days

A strong low-pressure system sweeping across Intermountain West Sunday will be the catalyst for a multi-day outbreak of severe weather this week across the Southern Plains and Gulf Coast.

Starting Monday, more than 20 million people along the Gulf Coast could be affected by strong winds, very large hail and tornadoes.

A Category 3 out of 5 “enhanced” risk for severe storms has been issued by the Hurricane Forecast Center (SPC) over parts of Texas and Louisiana, including Houston, Austin, and Waco, Texas.

Level 2 “mild” risk surrounds enhanced risk and includes San Antonio and the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

For the Ark-La-Tex area, the threat of tornadoes increases into the evening. Tornadoes occur more at night double as deadly as those of the day.

When tornadoes occur during the day, people are usually awake, alert and making a conscious effort to look for weather announcements. At night, it’s a different story. It’s imperative that you have a weather radio, a weather app on your phone, or any other warning system to wake you up if you live in an area with a major overnight storm.

By Tuesday, the threat to severe weather increased as it moved farther east. The potential for strong tornadoes, hail and gusts is possible from Lafayette, Louisiana, east to Huntsville, Alabama.

A Category 4 out of 5 “moderate” risk for severe storms has been issued by the SPC over areas of Louisiana and Mississippi, and includes Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Jackson, Mississippi.

Level 3 “advanced” risk surrounds moderate risk and includes New Orleans.

Nighttime tornadoes will also be a concern Tuesday night as will areas of Alabama, southern Mississippi and western Florida.

Fourth, the focus becomes the area between Mobile, Alabama, and Columbia, South Carolina.

Warm, moist air will pour in from the Gulf of Mexico ahead of the advancing cold front, increasing the likelihood of flooding.

“Total rainfall greater than 2 inches is possible and can create rapid flooding and flow problems.” the The weather forecast center said.

While most parts of the Southeast will see 1-3 inches of rain, isolated spots could reach up to 4 inches through Wednesday.

Texas can use rain

Texas has been ravaged by fire over the past week along with drought conditions that have worsened in recent months. More than 90% of the state is currently in a dry state, according to US Drought Monitor Update released Thursday morning.

But before the much-needed rain arrives on Monday, low humidity and strong winds ahead of the frigid front will increase fire risk.

Severe and severe fire weather forecasts were issued for parts of New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and South Dakota on Sunday.

Strong sustained winds of 20-25 mph across the region are expected, with gusts as high as 45-50 mph. Minimum relative humidity will drop to 10-15 percent on Sunday afternoon.

Although rain is expected to arrive on Monday, it cannot come anytime soon. Much of the Texas capital receives no appreciable rainfall for much of the winter, largely preventing March’s normal “blossom” and leaving areas with large amounts of dry fuel, which simply means drier plants are more likely to burn.

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