Severe Weather & Tornado Outbreak Likely Tomorrow

March 1, 2012

Good morning everyone! Enjoy the calm before the storm as we are expecting a major severe weather and tornado outbreak tomorrow from portions of the Ohio Valley all the way to the Gulf Coast. 

Let’s take a look at the set-up and why a widespread severe weather outbreak is likely:

A strong low pressure system will develop over the Southern Plains and move into portions of Northern Illinois by late Friday Evening. A strong southerly flow will help advect very warm and moist air into the Ohio and Tennesssee Valleys ahead of the low pressure system.

As the low pressure strengthens, a strong jet stream will interact with the system and create what we call directional wind shear. This wind shear is what helps storms form, sustain themselves and eventually begin rotating. Here’s a look at the wind shear tomorrow evening. The red and purple values are VERY high.

A strong southerly flow will usher in very warm and moist air into the Ohio Valley. Temperatures will climb into the 60’s as far North as North Central Indiana and Ohio. Here’s a look at what one of our forecast models is showing temperature wise tomorrow evening at 8:00 PM. 

Storms should begin to fire across portions of Illinois down into Eastern Missouri and Arkansas by the mid afternoon hours. These storms will quickly move into the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys and portions of Northern Mississippi and Northern Alabama. All of the ingredients are in place for a very violent day of severe weather with the potential for very strong and long lived tornadoes.

Here’s a look at what one of our forecast models is forecasting radar reflectivity for tomorrow afternoon:

The Storm Prediction Center has issued a rare Day 2 Moderate Risk from Indiana and Ohio down to portions of Northern Mississippi and Northern Alabama. Here is a look at the Storm Prediction Center’s Outlook for tomorrow:

The storm prediction center is forecasting a severe weather event in the moderate risk area with widespread damaging winds and potential for strong and violent tornadoes.

Here’s our outlook for tomorrow which is very similar. The areas we outline as numerous and outbreak likely should be prepared for a very rocky day of weather.

We encourage everyone to have their severe weather plans ready and to purchase a NOAA weather radio! Stay tuned to SWAT & IndianaWeatherOnline for the latest information.