Only a few days of calm fell between our last severe weather event and this one. Starting this afternoon, a long-lasting severe weather outbreak will slowly inch eastward across the country until Friday. Until then, all modes of severe weather can be expected over the next three days, with flooding and flash flooding posing a high threat as well. As these convective storms rage on, the rest of the country will remain quiet through the weekend.

Welcome to the Wednesday edition of your Morning Briefing, where we’ll give you a quick rundown on everything you need to know weather-wise, every weekday morning. Let’s dive right in.

Days of High Impact Severe Weather:

  1. As wildly contrasting air masses collide, there will be enough lift, instability, and moisture for serious severe weather. Over the next three days, we can expect widespread severe storms to march across the eastern half of the country, from the Plains to the East Coast.
  2. Storms will likely first stir up this afternoon. Daytime heating and a cold frontal passage will help severe storms pop up in the afternoon across eastern TX and OK before they slowly develop into a line and march across the Mid-Mississippi Valley. Slightly to the south, storms will be slightly more suppressed, but the threat of large hail, damaging winds, and tornadoes exists in both regions.
  3. Early Thursday morning, a weakened convective line will have likely lasted the night. As daytime heating takes effect, this line will either restrengthen or aid in the development of a new squall line that will march across LA and lower MS. Isolated tornadoes are possible within these storms, but it’s more likely that hail and high winds pose a greater threat.
  4. Our same convective line is expected to continue even into Friday, making it extremely long-lasting. Friday this line will likely extend up to Western NC from the FL Panhandle. Strong wind gusts will likely be the main threat as this messy convective line continues to move eastward, but a tornado or two is definitely still possible.

Flash Flooding Likely Thursday:

  1. Within all of our severe storms through the end of the week, heavy downpours and flooding remains a massive risk. The highest risk of flash flooding will be Thursday, when heavy rain will be centered over the Lower Mississippi Valley.
  2. Even in our weakened convective line, rain will still be going steady. Downpours with rainfall rates of 1-2″/hour will be likely within developing cells and at some points along our line of storms. This is due to the continuous moisture coming right from the Gulf of Mexico. This warm, moist air is also part of the reason this convective line has the energy to live so long.
  3. Flash flooding will be most likely just near the Lower Mississippi and localized low-lying and urban areas. Rainfall is likely to accumulate up to 3″ by the end of the day Thursday, meaning prolonged flooding for parts of the Mississippi that are already in Major Flood Stage.

Calmer Weather Elsewhere:

  1. Our entire atmosphere is driven by heat and energy, and it takes a lot of both to fuel such long lasting, widespread severe storms. For the rest of the country, thus, weather will be much calmer. The only significant change that we’ll see is some dropping temperatures following these storms.
  2. Most of the country will wake up today to settled weather before our storms begin to develop this afternoon. This is due to the two areas of high pressure aloft on each coast that sandwich our trough. This means that ahead and behind our unsettled weather, there will be less energy and less vorticity to spin up any mesoscale storms.
  3. Mainly warm temperatures dominate the country currently, with many being able to enjoy some warm spring weather. Through Friday, the only exception to this will be immediately following the incoming cold front that sweeps eastward with our storms.

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Kathleen is a Meteorologist at WeatherOptics, where she works writing content for the website, providing accurate and detailed forecasts to clients, and consulting on various meteorological projects. Kathleen earned her B.S. in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences in 2018 from Stony Brook University. Kathleen has also done research into our changing climate by investigating theRole of Atmospheric Rivers on Arctic Amplification in 2017.

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