A severe weather outbreak is likely across a large chunk of the Eastern US between now and Friday. Tornadoes, damaging winds, and large, destructive hail will all be possible from these storms.

This Wednesday evening into the overnight hours, the severe weather will begin. The beginning of this outbreak will especially be dangerous since it will begin tonight when it’s dark out. After 6pm tonight and by midnight, the explosive formation of thunderstorms will take place with two distinct lines developing. One of those lines will span from the Texas Panhandle through northern Missouri. That line will move very slowly to the east, so flooding will be a concern. Due to this slow movement, it should actually allow for the storms to weaken over the region by the wee hours of Thursday morning. That may not be a case with the southern line of storms. This line should form a bit later — after 9pm — across central Texas. Unlike the northern line, this one will have more forward movement, therefore allowing it to maintain its strength. As the night progresses, it will move east, affecting eastern Texas before weakening around sunrise. There will be one last area to watch for severe storms Wednesday night. That will be in the upper Midwest as a few stronger cells develop over Iowa, southern Minnesota, and southern Wisconsin.

As we get into Thursday and Thursday night, we’ll watch the severe weather threat zone shift to the east, becoming centered on the Lower Mississippi and Tennessee River Valleys. Again, the same threats of tornadoes, strong winds, and large hail will be in place. At the start of the day, there will be a large shield of rain and embedded thunderstorms, most of which will be sub-severe from southern Great Lakes through eastern Texas. Now as the day progresses and the atmospheric instability increases, a strong line of thunderstorms will develop at the front edge of this shield of rain. This line will move through the area at risk for severe weather, and will be the main culprit for the threat we’ll be dealing with. It is worth noting that the most favorable environmental conditions for strong storms will be near the Gulf Coast states, so that’s why we’ll need to especially monitor Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama Thursday evening.

By Friday, the storm system will reach the East Coast. Its cold front triggering these storms will usher in a drier and cooler air mass for the Central US while the East Coast will have to wait until Saturday. Millions of people will be at risk for severe storms on Friday, spanning from the Mason-Dixon Line through South Florida. While rain, some of which will be heavy, impacts the Northeast Friday into Friday night, a line of strong storms will roar through the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast. Since this is still about 48 hours out in time, the timing of these storms is still to be determined, but the highest risk for storms will likely be Friday afternoon.

Stay with WeatherOptics for up-to-date information on this pending severe weather outbreak.


Jackson is Head of Content and Social Media at WeatherOptics. He is currently a student at the University of Miami, studying Meteorology and Broadcast Journalism. Dill produces forecast articles for the website and helps to manage the content schedule. He has also led the growth of WeatherOptics’ social media accounts, working to keep them aligned with the company’s evolving vision.

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