Storms to target lower Mississippi, Ohio valleys into Thursday night
By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
February 06, 2019, 10:53:33 AM EST
Heavy and gusty thunderstorms with isolated tornadoes are forecast to erupt in the warm zone just south and east of the track of a storm from the Plains to the Mississippi Valley from late Wednesday to Thursday night.
The combination of surging warmth, humid air and a potent storm with a strong jet stream overhead may provide the atmosphere the right conditions for strong and possibly locally severe thunderstorms in part of the central United States.
The greatest risk from the storms will be blinding downpours for motorists that can also cause flash flooding.
During Wednesday, heavy and gusty thunderstorms will extend from north-central Texas to southern Ohio and western West Virginia.
In some cases, wind gusts may be strong enough to break large tree limbs and knock over poorly-rooted trees. Where this occurs, sporadic power outages can occur.
While an outbreak of tornadoes is not foreseen at this time, there is the potential for a few tornadoes to be spawned over parts of the southern Plains, especially during the night time hours on Wednesday.
Video: dense fog enveloping Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport, SC this morning reducing visibility. I am in-route to a southern OK into western AR target to chase nocturnal tornadoes tonight @breakingweather @accuweather #scwx pic.twitter.com/sToityedXz— Reed Timmer (@ReedTimmerAccu) February 6, 2019
Tornadoes can be especially dangerous at night because the approaching funnel cloud often cannot be seen unless it is briefly illuminated by lightning.
The difference between tornado watches and warnings
How text-to-911 may help to save lives during severe weather
Key items to stock in your storm shelter
How to stay safe when severe weather strikes at night
10 tornado facts you might not know about
There is the likelihood of severe storms starting late Wednesday into Thursday from parts of north-central Texas and southeastern Oklahoma into western and northern Arkansas and southern Missouri.
In this zone, a few isolated tornadoes are possible.
A severe thunderstorm may also extend across the Mississippi River into parts of western Kentucky and Tennessee Wednesday night.
"The most likely time period for heavy, gusty thunderstorms on a regional basis and the greatest potential for damaging winds and flash flooding will be on Wednesday night," Anderson said.
A line of heavy, gusty thunderstorms may then continue to march eastward across Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, northern Alabama, Kentucky, central and southern Ohio, West Virginia and western Pennsylvania during Thursday night.
However, since the parent storm for the activity will be moving across central Ontario and northern Quebec and away from the U.S., storms are likely to diminish in intensity from Thursday into Thursday night as they approach coastal areas of the Northeast and cross the southern Appalachians.
Download the free AccuWeather app to receive the latest forecast and any severe weather bulletins that may be issued for your location.
The risk of strong thunderstorms will end as much colder and drier air sweeps eastward at the end of the week.
Comments that don't add to the conversation may be automatically or manually removed by Facebook or AccuWeather. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.
More Weather News
Weather News - February 18, 2019, 12:03:39 PM EST
The recent period of stormy weather from India to Afghanistan will continue this week as a potent storm brings widespread impacts to the region.
Weather News - February 18, 2019, 1:37:35 PM EST
Yosemite is one of the most beautiful and well-known national parks in the United States, and visitors in mid-February may be treated to a spectacle not seen during any other time of the year.
Weather News - February 18, 2019, 11:46:48 AM EST
Weather News - February 18, 2019, 11:09:35 AM EST
Through this weekend, the risk of flooding rainfall will extend from the lower Mississippi Valley to the Tennessee and Ohio valleys as well as the southern Appalachians.
Weather News - February 18, 2019, 11:04:58 AM EST
After battering parts of Vanuatu with heavy rain and gusty winds last week, Tropical Cyclone Oma will unleash dangerous weather on New Caledonia into Wednesday.
Weather News - February 18, 2019, 8:39:53 AM EST
The tropics in the western Pacific Ocean may activate this week with potential impacts on Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands this weekend.
Weather News - February 18, 2019, 11:44:58 AM EST
A late-week storm with a reinforcing shot of cold air will bring snow to both the high and low elevations of the western United States, with the potential for a significant snowfall in the Southwest.
Weather News - February 18, 2019, 12:50:47 PM EST
A major storm is poised to roll up the Eastern Seaboard, bringing snow, ice and difficult travel to the Midwest and Northeast at midweek.