South Severe Weather through Thursday

By , Senior Meteorologist
December 19, 2012; 4:00 PM ET
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As a blizzard affects part of the Midwest, severe thunderstorms will continue to rumble through the South Thursday.

According to Severe Weather Meteorologist Eddie Walker of Enterprise Solutions, "The greatest risk from the storms will be damaging wind gusts and brief urban flooding. However, there is a slight possibility that a few storms can be intense enough to produce a tornado."

A cold front caused thunderstorms to erupt Wednesday evening in Oklahoma and Texas and then race eastward, crossing the Mississippi River before daybreak Thursday.

From there, the front will reach the northeastern Gulf Coast to the Carolinas later Thursday.

"We expect the pattern to evolve into a solid line of strong storms moving along at a fast pace," Walker said. "At peak, gusts can reach 70 mph in some instances."

As the zone of thunderstorms moves through metro areas, there can be delays at the major airports including Cincinnati, Atlanta and Charlotte.

The line of storms can bring frequent lightning to some locations for a brief time. However, not all of the damaging wind incidents may be accompanied by lightning in this case. ( image)

The rainfall combined with strong gusts of wind can also blind some motorists traveling along I-10, I-20, I-30 and other major highways in the region.

People in the path of the storms are urged to keep an eye on the situation.

While there is much more to severe weather than the approach of a cold front, this is a strengthening storm situation over the Midwest. The thunderstorms will be fed by a strong flow of moisture and warm air from the Gulf of Mexico, while a strong wind aloft adds extra power to the storms.

The storms will pass off the Atlantic coast Thursday night.

Strong wind gusts in the wake of the front and storms can lead to additional flight delays from the Midwest to the East coast Friday into Saturday. High winds will hit Chicago and St. Louis during the day Thursday into Friday. New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. will be hit with gusty wind and rain for a time starting Thursday night.

Unfortunately this storm and another that follows next week has the potential to continue the pattern of severe weather outbreaks during December.


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