Masters student in tropical meteorology at FSU. Raised in Alaskan blizzards, but drawn toward tropical cyclones by their superior PGF.
By: Levi32 , 4:25 PM GMT on February 24, 2007
Update 7pm eastern:
7 tornadoes have been reported so far today, with 22 total reports of severe weather. Not the largest outbreak we've ever seen, but not the weakest either. Everything from 2 feet of snow in Wisconsin to hurricane force winds in Kansas to tornadoes and severe weather in the southern states is with this storm. The cold front and associated squall line has moved for the most part out of Arkansas, leaving behind 5 reported tornadoes in the state. The squall line now extends from NE Louisiana to NW Mississippi, and will continue to progress eastward tonight. The tornado threat in Kansas has ended with the upper low now over the eastern part of the state, and instability has moved off the the south and east. By the time the surface low makes it to Missouri it will have begun to weaken as it loses upper-level support. T-storms will diminish in intensity the further east they go, and the areas of Georgia, Florida panhandle, and southern Alabama shouldn't see too much severe weather with this. Northern Florida could still get some severe storms, but right now it doesn't look like conditions will favor more than an isolated severe storm here and there. Tonight the worst impacted area will be NE Louisiana and the state of Mississippi. Southern Louisiana could see some severe storms pop up later tonight with the arrival of a jet streak over the northern Gulf of Mexico. Instability will still be fairly favorable, and residents in that area should watch the skies. The worst tornado threat will be tonight for central and northern MS, but will diminish greatly by tomorrow morning as the storms lose support from the LLJ. Stay safe everyone!
We shall see what happens!
Update 1:45pm eastern:
Severe t-storms continue to intensify over northern Louisiana and Arkansas. An impressive return flow from the GOM is bringing very warm moist air northward to feed these storms. The surface low over Kansas continues to deepen, and the upper trough is beginning to really enhance instability throughout these areas. New storms with tornado warnings have also popped up in central Kansas. These t-storms are located in the dry slot of the low. Temperatures and Dewpoints are quite low, but there is enough instability and upper-level vorticity to spawn some low-top supercells. All these areas will see increased storm coverage and intensity during the next several hours, with the storms in LA and AR moving eastward with time, eventually affecting Mississippi later tonight.
Saturday morning severe weather update:
Model-wise little has changed this morning. The surface low has made it into the plains, and will quickly deepen during the day today to about 985mb. The low will move across Kansas and then move ENE through Missouri and Illinois, where it will begin to fill as it loses upper-level support tomorrow. A strong jet is accompanying the upper trough associated with this low. The trough is now moving across the plains, and will serve as the main kick-starter for supercells this afternoon. Late tonight another jet streak will develop over the western Gulf of Mexico and head east along the gulf coast. On Sunday this jet streak combined with the tail-end of the cold front from the low over northern Illinois will produce a marginal threat for severe storms over southern Alabama, Georgia, and northern Florida. As we have seen with the last couple storms it doesn't take much beyond a low-level jet and that jet streak to make severe storms pop up. Right now it is very uncertain what Florida will get, but we'll have a better idea late tonight.
Ok, so what's happening today? Well the dryline is over eastern Texas, and the cold front is over western Texas. The warm front is over NE Texas, and is responsible for the current storms firing over Arkansas. Both these fronts will trigger severe storms throughout the afternoon. Lots of mid-level dry air is invading Texas and Arkansas, and you can already see some high cloud tops blowing up on satellite imagery. The main focus of worst weather today will be over eastern Texas, northern Louisiana, southern Arkansas, and parts of Mississippi. A strong jet will be moving over the area during the course of this afternoon, which will enhance the already strong shear profiles. As the day progresses colder temperatures aloft will be advecting into the area from the upper-level trough. This will increase instability further. Daytime temperatures will once again be somewhat hindered by clouds and existing storms, but the areas of Texas and Louisiana should see highs in the lower-mid 70s, with low 70s even extending up into parts of Arkansas. The return flow from the Gulf of Mexico is very strong, and is bringing 60+ degree dewpoints all the way into Arkansas. The gulf coasts of Louisiana and Mississippi may get in on some bad storms tonight as the jet streak forms over the northern gulf. Mid-level lapse rates are quite high over the entire affected area, and instability will continue to increase throughout the day. The conditions are setting up for potential strong and severe tornadoes, along with 2+ inch hail. Everyone should be very careful today. Stay safe!
We shall see what happens!
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