A very active weekend is ahead of us as a low pressure center develops today in TX, bringing dangerous weather conditions across the country. There’s a risk for severe weather near and north of the Gulf coast as this cyclone forms and strengthens. Through Sunday night, blizzard conditions can be expected due to heavy snow and high winds over the Northern and Central Plains. Finally, as we close out the weekend and enter next week, the Northeast will see the remaining piece of this powerful storm system, bringing heavy rain and possible flooding threats to the region.

This is the Friday edition of your Morning Briefing. Let’s dive right in.



Enhanced Severe Weather Threat Today for ArkLaTex Region:

  1. An enhanced risk for severe weather exists today for the ArkLaTex region, just north of the Gulf coast. This risk will last until late this evening.
  2. Small and disorganized storms will likely begin late this afternoon, lasting into the early evening. Later into the night, a weak line of convection is expected, as well as some discrete supercells.
  3. These supercells could produce large hail, heavy rain, and strong tornadoes. Tornadoes could reach EF2+ ratings within the strongest discrete cells.
  4. Mississippi River Delta flooding is likely, as well as localized and road flooding in areas of enhanced precipitation. Rain within this severe storms will be heavy, increasing the risk for flooding and flash flooding.

More late season tornadoes are possible today within an area of enhanced risk for severe weather. A handful of factors combine today to create this area of intense convection. This afternoon into early evening, storms will begin as smaller, pop-up storms near eastern central TX. As low-level warm air and moisture advection continue, lifting condensation levels (LCLs) will lower significantly. This simply means that air particles will become fully saturated (100% relative humidity) at much lower levels. This lends itself to increased convection and upward motion, making formation of thunderstorms and severe weather much more likely. Into the evening, supercell storms are likely, and tornado formation within those supercells is highly possible. Large hail is also possible within this region of enhanced risk, which could be damaging to life and property. Within strong cells, heavy rain is also likely, increasing flooding risk along the lower Mississippi River Delta. Local and road flooding is also likely with these severe storms. Moving into tomorrow, the risk should pass, leaving cooler temperatures behind.



Blizzard Conditions for the Northern and Central Plains Through Sunday:

  1. Snow will begin tonight over the Northern and Central Plains, lasting until Sunday evening. Snowfall during this time will vary from light to heavy, mixing with freezing rain.
  2. Snowfall is expected to be heaviest mid-day Saturday to Saturday night. At this time, blizzard and whiteout conditions are likely. High winds and heavy snowfall can drastically decrease visibility and wind chill.
  3. Totals in parts of NE and WY are expected to reach up to 12″, although most parts of the region will receive up to 6″. In warmer regions, freezing rain is also likely, accumulating up to a quarter of an inch of ice. Any ice accumulation will greatly exacerbate dangerous driving conditions.

Beginning tonight, precipitation will develop over the Northern and Central Plains from the same upper level low pressure system that is bringing severe weather to the Southeast. Due to much colder temperatures in this region, precipitation will be mostly snow, with an added threat of freezing rain. For much of the region, blizzard and whiteout conditions can be expected. Heavy snowfall and high winds will decrease visibility and wind chill greatly. Over parts of NE and WY, snowfall totals could reach up to 12″, with most other areas only expected to see up to 6″. Light snowfall will begin late tonight, lasting until early Sunday evening. The heaviest snowfall for the region is expected mid-day Saturday through Saturday night. Freezing rain is also a main concern for many places, especially further east in slightly warmer sectors. Especially mixed with other frozen precipitation, freezing rain is a big hazard, making roads and walkways very slippery. Doors and car doors can easily get iced shut. Freezing rain on top of already fallen snow will help to pack slippery snow. By Sunday evening, precipitation will have mostly moved out of the area, leaving many to cope with the loss of their weekend.



Storms Move in as Rain for Northeast on Sunday:

  1. The same system will finally make its way into the Northeast on Sunday after causing havoc for the rest of the eastern half of the country.
  2. Precipitation in the Northeast will be mostly rain, as temperatures are too warm to support any frozen precipitation.
  3. Rainfall totals will be around 0.5-1″ across the region, but locally higher amounts could lead to minor road and river flooding.

As this system continues to make its way across the country, it will finally end up in the Northeast, as most storm systems this time of year do. Luckily, the heavy snowfall that models were suggesting earlier in the week won’t come to fruition as precipitation will likely be mostly rain as it enters the region. Temperatures aloft are not low enough to support frozen precipitation types this weekend. Rain will likely begin early Sunday, and be out of the region by Monday morning. With this storm having lost most of its energy, rain isn’t expected to be particularly heavy, although local and river flooding is not ruled out. Only 0.5-1″ is expected over most of the region, making for a slightly dreary end of the weekend. However, we have to be on alert for next week, as multiple snow threats are possible for the region.

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Also remember to lookout for The Sunday Storm this upcoming Sunday evening as well as Five Things to Watch This Week next Monday.



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