The setup and aftermath on Friday for the Ohio and Tennessee valleys could be similar to the weather pattern during and following the 1974 Super Outbreak.
Spanning April 3-4, 1974, a swarm of tornadoes tore through areas from Illinois and southern Michigan to northern Alabama and Georgia.
The outbreak produced 148 confirmed tornadoes, six of which were F-5 intensity. The most powerful of these storms slammed into Xenia, Ohio.
Every weather pattern no matter how similar always has its differences, and this outbreak will have its own characteristics.
However, according to Severe Weather Expert Henry Margusity, "In the case of the end of this week and back in early April of 1974, it appears strong upper-level winds and cool air approaching from the west could hit a zone of advancing warm, moist air in just the right manner to produce monsters of thunderstorms."
This is not to say communities that were hit by the tornadoes in 1974 will be hit again, as the atmosphere is much more random than this.
A tornado killed 25 people in Guin, Ala., on April 3, 1974, during the deadliest tornado outbreak in U.S. history. A community shelter built a few years ago to provide a safe haven to residents of a housing project that lacks basements in Guin, Ala., is shown. (AP Photo/Jay Reeves)
"There will be a strengthening storm system tracking to the northeast from the southern Plains to the Great Lakes," Margusity said.
Former West Lafayette, Ind., resident Senior Meteorologist Jim Andrews recalls that outbreak.
"Having one of the super cell thunderstorms pass right over my town was the scariest moment of my life," Andrews said.
Fortunately, Andrews' town was spared any major damage.
This outbreak is not likely to extend as far north into the Great Lakes region as that of 1974.
We pray the storms are far less intense and hope they avoid places where people live.
We do urge that people take this threat seriously, as there is a risk of violent storms sweeping through population centers and rural communities.
Also similar to 1974, a sweep of cold air in the wake of the tornado outbreak will yield areas of snow.
Snow blanketed Xenia only hours after the devastating tornado swept through in early April of 1974.
Most of any snow that falls this weekend immediately in the wake of severe weather will tend to be focused near the Great Lakes into the central Appalachians.
A disturbance dropping southeastward from the northern Plains could bring spotty snow into portions of the Appalachians and the Tennessee and Ohio valleys late in the weekend.
The pattern could add to the misery of cleanup operations from the midweek event and, woefully, from Friday into Saturday.
It is possible some snow showers dip as far south and west as portions of the Ohio and Tennessee valleys by early Monday.
According to Severe Weather Expert Dan Kottlowski, "At least the weather pattern in the wake of the storms Friday into Saturday will be much less volatile in these areas and others for many days."
Drier, more stable air will settle over the region through much of next week.
The tropics may become active this weekend and into early next week.
The risk of drenching and locally gusty thunderstorms has expanded to parts of Southern California, Arizona and Nevada.
The Northwest is dealing with yet another record-challenging heat wave to close out July. While relief will come next week, this heat wave will not be the last of the summer.
Flooding monsoon rain will continue this week in India and southeast Pakistan, but a drier pattern is expected to set in during August.
Volcanic ash was sent 19,812 meters (65,000 feet) into the air as a result of the eruption, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology reported in an volcanic ash advisory.
A cold front will press southward bringing relief from the heat to Spain, Italy and southeast Europe late this week.
Baker, FL (1949)
(East of Crestview, FL) Lightning struck a baseball diamond, digging a ditch 20 feet long in the infield, killing the shortstop, third baseman and injuring 50 people in a crowd of 300.
Estes Park, CO (1976)
Big Thompson River flood disaster; up to 10" of thunderstorm rains funneled into narrow canyon near Estes Park. 139 drowned, 5 missing, $35.5 million estimated damage.
1,178 "reported" tornadoes with 120 killed so far this year. Number of "actual" tornadoes probably less, but this is still one of the most active years ever (nearly half of the fatalities occurred in the Carolina outbreak of March 28th).