AccuWeather reports a portion of the southern United States will face the return of severe thunderstorms and flooding downpours at midweek.
Severe weather will erupt as a cold front slices into the surge of warmth set to bring a dramatic temperature upswing during the first half of this week.
“Storms will initiate ahead of a cold front late Wednesday afternoon across eastern Texas and spread northeastward into the Ozark Mountains and central Mississippi Valley into early Thursday morning,” AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions Storm Warning Meteorologist Alex Avalos said.
“Storms will be capable of producing mainly large hail and damaging winds,” Avalos said, “but a tornado or two cannot be ruled out.”
Cities at risk for the violent thunderstorms late Wednesday afternoon and Wednesday night include Dallas; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Fayetteville and Little Rock, Arkansas; Springfield, Missouri; and Shreveport, Louisiana.
These storms could follow the typical storm pattern flowing up I-44 from Oklahoma City to Tulsa and beyond. Meteorologist Avalois suggests severe storms will miss OKC then hit the cusp of the Great Plains as it rises to become the Ozark Plateau.
The key for the magnitude of the severe weather will be if the prime heating of the day will coincide with ideal conditions aloft, according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.
“If the strongest winds aloft wait until after dark to move over the region, then a major outbreak of severe weather could be avoided,” Sosnowski said.
The severe weather will wane some for early Thursday morning before becoming more numerous farther to the east in the afternoon after some daytime heating.
“With continued flooding problems from heavy rains over the past couple of weeks across the Mississippi Valley, these storms will only act to further exacerbate flooding potential in these areas,” Avalos said.
Even in the absence of flooding, the downpours will create hazards for motorists by reducing visibility and heightening the risk of vehicles traveling at highway speeds.
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 while sheltering in a personal tent as a blues festival in Larose, Louisiana. She died on Saturday.”
The passage of the cold front will erase the severe weather danger and the midweek warmth. The cooler air that will follow the front, however, should not drop temperatures as low as what will have the region shivering early Monday morning.