Strong to Severe Storms Possible Wednesday

AM Headlines:
  • Showers creeping into the region this AM
  • Rain & Storms through the AM
  • Isolated Severe Threat this afternoon
  • Rain tapers off early Thursday
  • Cool and dry weekend
Discussion:
A strong cold front continues to track across the south. This is the same system that produced dozens of tornadoes across the southern plains and deep south over the last 48 hours. The storm prediction center has kept us in a slight risk today (level 2 out of 5) with scattered severe storms possible through the afternoon. The initial wave of rain and storms will produce heavy downpours and an isolated severe storm capable of producing damaging wind. If the cloud cover stays in place, the rain should this morning should help to keep the atmosphere relatively stable this afternoon — limiting the severe threat. However, with a warm front lifting across the area over the next few hours ahead of the the cold front, we will have plenty of moisture with dew points creeping into the low to mid 60s this afternoon. Shear will also be strong (although directional shear is relatively weak) any added instability could bring on a greater severe threat south and east of I-85. Damaging wind will still be the biggest threat, however, a brief tornado or two cannot be ruled out. These storms will produce heavy rain and we also need to watch for localized flooding. Any severe threat will taper off after near sunset at the latest.
Rain and storms will taper off tomorrow morning. Highs will reach the upper 60s Thursday. A secondary cold front will arrive Friday bringing cooler air this weekend. The mountains could end up with a quick dusting of snow Saturday morning with lows across the rest of the region falling into the mid 30s and highs struggling to break out of the 60s. Rain chances will hold off until the middle of next week.