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 weather.com for the latest.

Timing

Friday

  • 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

Saturday

  • 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.

Ad Blocker Enabled

Featured Blogs

Iconic American Destination Virtually Isolated for Rest of Year

By Christopher C. Burt
March 24, 2017

Half of the village of Big Sur, on the coast of central California, has lost its only access to the north following the demolition of the flood-damaged Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge along State Route 1 (also Rt. 1 or SR 1) on March 19. Although Rt. 1 to the south of Big Sur has reopened to traffic (after mud and rock slides were cleared) it is a long 70-mile journey along the windy but spectacular highway to Cambria, the next town of any significance where supplies can be had. CalTrans (California Department of Transportation) estimates it will take 6-9 months to rebuild a new bridge over the canyon.

A Prolonged Series of Severe Threats—But How Severe?

By Dr. Jeff Masters
March 23, 2017

As storm systems sweep across the country over the next week in classic late-March fashion, we can expect near-daily doses of severe weather over parts of the south-central and southeast United States. Most of the severe weather will plow through the regions most favored for stormy conditions in early spring, from Texas and Oklahoma across the Mississippi Valley into the Southeast states.

An extraordinary meteorological event; was one of its results a 1000-year flood?

By Stu Ostro
October 5, 2015

The confluence of meteorological ingredients the first weekend in October 2015 resulted in an extraordinary weather event with severe impacts. Was one of them a 1000-year flood?

Why the Arrest of a Science-Loving 14-year-old Matters

By Shaun Tanner
September 16, 2015

By now, many of you have heard or read about the arrest of Ahmed Mohamed, a 14-year-old high school student from Irving, Texas. Ahmed was arrested because school officials called the police after he showed one of his teachers his homemade clock. Mistaken for a bomb, Ahmed was taken into custody, interrogated, shamed, suspended (still on suspension today, Wednesday), and reprimanded. All of this after it has been found that the "device" he brought to school was indeed, a homemade clock.