Wednesday, March 23, 2016

EXTREME WEATHER: Severe Thunderstorms With Flash Flood Risk Expected To Hit From Texas To Missouri - Will Bring Damaging Winds, Hail, Isolated Tornadoes, And Flooding Downpours!

© AccuWeather

March 23, 2016 - UNITED STATES - Parts of the central and southern United States will face the return of severe thunderstorms. Some of the storms can cause property damage and flash flooding into Thursday.

Severe weather will erupt as a cold front slices into surging warm air.

Storms will initiate across eastern Texas to part of the central Plains and spread eastward into part of the Mississippi Valley.

A small number of severe storm will extend as far north as southeastern Nebraska and near the Iowa/Missouri border.

"Storms will be capable of producing mainly large hail and damaging winds," AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions Storm Warning Meteorologist Alex Avalos said. "However, a tornado or two cannot be ruled out."

Cities at risk for the violent thunderstorms during Wednesday night include Dallas and San Antonio, Texas; Fayetteville and Little Rock, Arkansas; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Springfield, Kansas City, and St. Louis, Missouri; and Shreveport, Louisiana.

The severe weather will wane some for early Thursday morning before becoming more numerous farther east in the afternoon after some daytime heating.

"The potential will exist for a few severe thunderstorms on Thursday across Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama and potentially even into western Georgia and Florida," Avalos said. "Large hail and damaging winds will be the main concerns."

Thunderstorms capable of producing hail may also extend northward into northern Mississippi and western Tennessee.

Thursday's threat zone includes New Orleans; Jackson, Mississippi; Memphis, Tennessee; Birmingham and Mobile, Alabama; and Pensacola, Florida.

Residents with any outdoor activities should keep an eye to the sky and seek shelter if thunderstorms develop.

John Jensenius Jr., Lightning Safety Specialist at NOAA, reported that the first lightning death of 2016 occurred on Saturday.

"A 28-year-old woman was struck [Friday night] while sheltering in a personal tent at a blues festival in Larose, Louisiana. She died on Saturday," he said.

The thunderstorms will also produce downpours that raise another concern for the flood-ravaged lower Mississippi Valley.

Flood water swamps I-10 on Louisiana border with Texas

The greatest risk from flooding will be in urban areas and along small streams.

The fast movement of the storms will limit the amount of rainfall in the hardest-hit flood areas from earlier in the month. - AccuWeather.


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