Severe Thunderstorm Threat, Including Tornadoes, Sweeps Into Lower Mississippi Valley Friday, Saturday

Jonathan Belles
Published: March 23, 2017

Severe thunderstorms, including the threat of tornadoes, will rumble across portions of the Plains tonight and slide east into parts of the South through Saturday.

Current Radar with Watches, Warnings

The ingredients for this multi-day severe threat are beginning to come together as an energetic upper-level system swings from the Southwest into the Plains states.

Winds at jet stream level are expected to be strong out of the southwest, which will contribute to the strong wind shear – change in wind speed and direction with height – needed to help sustain supercell thunderstorms. 

(MORE: Tornado Central)

At the surface, a strong area of low pressure is expected rumble eastward in the central Plains, which will then slide into the Midwest by Saturday.

Moisture will surge northward into the Plains, creating a buoyant environment for storms to take root in and grow vertically. Dew points in the 50s and 60s should be supportive of severe storm development, especially on Friday.

(MORE: Where to Expect Tornadoes in March)

Check back with for the latest.



  • The best chance for severe storms will be from east Texas, eastern Oklahoma and southeastern Kansas into much of southern Missouri, Arkansas and Louisiana.
  • Isolated strong to marginally severe storms may also reach as far north as southeastern Nebraska and as far east as western portions of Tennessee and Mississippi.
  • Damaging wind gusts and large hail will be possible, along with the threat of at least a few tornadoes.
  • These severe storms should persist Friday night, pushing east toward the lower Mississippi Valley region.
  • Locally heavy rain and flash flooding may also be concerns, although these appear to be low-end threats. 

Thunderstorm Forecast For Friday


  • The cold front will slide across the Mississippi River into the Ohio Valley and South with showers and thunderstorms.
  • Severe storms are possible in parts of the lower and mid-Mississippi Valley into parts of the Deep South and possibly portions of the Ohio Valley and Tennessee Valley.
  • Damaging winds, hail, heavy rain and perhaps a tornado are the primary threats.

Thunderstorm Forecast For Saturday

Another round of severe storms is possible on Sunday and Monday in parts of the Plains and South. For more on that story, see the link below.

(MORE: Numerous Severe Weather Threats Likely to End March Like a Lion)

MORE: Tornadoes in the Midwest, March 6, 2017

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.

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