This weekend and into the first part of next week could see the largest severe weather outbreak of 2014 so far for the U.S. Large hail, destructive winds, and tornadoes are an expected possibility the next few days. This chance for hazardous weather ranges from Alabama and Texas all the way up to South Dakota and over into areas of the Midwest.
There is a pocket of low pressure building in the upper region of the atmosphere along with a deep channel of cold air are both moving to the east and will be running straight into warm, humid air that is exactly set for the development of severe thunderstorms.
On Saturday it is possible that severe weather could develop in the late afternoon and in evening from Texas to Minnesota, Kansas, Nebraska and South Dakota. The chief threats this day will be large hail and strong winds with a minor chance of tornadoes.
The strong weather system is believed will move to east into the Mississippi and Ohio Valleys and also the Deep South on Sunday and Monday.
On Sunday the destructive weather threat moves more toward the east. Huge hail and destructive winds become a concern once more, but the chance of tornadoes increase greatly today. The greatest chance for such storms is in the states of Arkansas along with parts of Louisiana, Texas, Missouri and Oklahoma.
On Monday the system continues to hold together and moves even further eastward and so does any possibilities for devastating weather. Strong wings, large hail and tornadoes continue to be dangerous risks. The greatest chance for the weather now is located around the majority of Mississippi and the western region of Tennessee.
On Tuesday even though that is a far ways out, weather reports show that there could be a fourth day of potential destructive weather in a region that reaches from Alabama and Mississippi and Alabama all the way up to parts of Kentucky.
If it does happen, this outbreak will happen exactly three years to the date of the largest tornado outbreak the nation ever had. That tornado outbreak went on for four days which would be similar to this one, and spawned the infamous Tuscaloosa tornado which went all the way into suburban Birmingham, Alabama on April 27, 2011.
By putting the word out, meteorologists are hoping that news releases might help to keep the counties residents from being caught off guard. They also want to remind individuals to keep their NOAA emergency radios handy and listen to them throughout the weekend.
One of the main reasons for extra concern this weekend is that tornadoes have been basically nearly non-existent this year as of yet and people can forget what they learn from one year to the next.
Just because the tornado season for 2014 has been fairly silent so far does not mean that could not turn on a dime. In 2013 55 tornado-related fatalities happened in the states of Mississippi, Texas, Georgia, Oklahoma, Illinois and Arkansas. In 2011 there were 553 people killed by tornadoes in what was considered the most deadly tornado season since 1936.
Tornado outbreaks most often happen during a sequence of severe weather over several days. The fatal EF5 tornado which hit Moore, Oklahoma on May 20, 2013, harshly destroying two elementary schools and killing 24 people, happened during the third and last day of such an outburst.
Anyone who lives in areas that are prone to tornadoes are recommended to review tornado escape plans and always pay very close attention to swift changes that happen with the weather. Some signs that a tornado could be getting close include green or dark colored skies; huge, dark, low hanging clouds; large falling hail and a loud roar that may sound like a freight train. These are all according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Repeating: this weekend and into the first part of next week could see the largest severe weather outbreak of 2014 so far for the U.S. Large hail, destructive winds, and tornadoes are an expected possibility the next few days. This chance for hazardous weather ranges from Alabama and Texas all the way up to South Dakota and over into areas of the Midwest.
By Kimberly Ruble