Severe Weather Threat Possible, Including Tornadoes, Over Southeast


Friday and Saturday will likely see numerous, intense thunderstorms over the Southeast, making travel dangerous and delaying events throughout the weekend. Tornadoes are also expected as a result of the severe weather outbreak, as high and low pressure systems encounter one another over the region.

Jet Stream Brings Severe Weather and Rain

A sharp southward dive by  the polar jet stream will bring the powerful weather outbreak to the Southeast, from East Texas to Coast, and as far north as southern Missouri in the west and Virginia in the east.

The southerly winds plunging toward the Gulf of Mexico will pull a large amount of moisture and warmth into the cooler air over the Midwest. This, in turn, is likely to lead to very destabilized air, high wind shear and lots of rainfall. The high wind shear, especially, can lead to thunderstorm development, and tornadoes are also likely due to the massive clash of differently-heated air.

What to Watch Out For

Severe thunderstorm watches are in effect in eastern Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas for Friday. Eastern Louisiana could also be under threat of severe rainfall on Friday. The region will likely be experiencing storms in the form of a squall line, or a long, advancing procession of thunderstorms that has formed along the fault between two weather fronts.

Squall lines can be very dangerous, as their massive size and fast-moving winds can cause serious damage to buildings. They can also be home to growing tornadoes as they advance through a region. Additionally, these storms are expected to bring significant rainfall and potentially cause flash flooding in low-lying areas near rivers.

Storms Advance Through Saturday

The storm line is likely to continue to advance through Saturday, marching into the Deep South as it moves towards the ocean. This could bring massive rainfall, tornadoes and thunderstorms to the region as the squall line proceeds.

Flood watches are in effect through much of the Southeast going into the weekend due to the likelihood of this storm front to further stress already over-full rivers and water tables. Just last week, parts of Northern Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama saw flash-flooding, so it won’t take much to cause further flooding in the region.