Strong to severe storms likely Wednesday night

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Another severe weather event is poised to affect a large area, including the Mid-South, on Wednesday. The area under a heightened risk includes much of the Ohio Valley, mid to lower Mississippi Valley, to as far west as Dallas.  Locally, the main threat window is Wednesday night between about 9pm-3am. (The event will not last that long, but models still disagree on exact timing. Expect storms to last for an hour or so, likely no more than two hours.)

But first, a chance the kids join you in bed tonight…

Prior to tomorrow night, scattered thunderstorms are again expected to fire up tonight along a frontal boundary that lingers over the area. As it lifts north as a warm front and the low level wind picks up overnight, storms will develop, and could be noisy. The well-known HD “HRRR” model thinks they could affect the area for multiple hours overnight. That could be overdoing it, but it might be one of those nights where the kids and pets crawl in bed with you. Fortunately, it appears the severe threat is not too high. We are in a level 1 risk in Memphis, with a few strong gusts or small hail the main threats.

Meg Swody1 4
A level 1 (Marginal) risk of severe weather exists tonight. (SPC)

Wednesday primes the pump for nocturnal storms

Much of Wednesday daylight hours will be dry, very muggy and warm, and windy. About what you would expect before a strong storm system in the spring! A few showers are possible, but overall the day sets the stage for the night by priming the pump with a lot of storm fuel (based on temperatures in the mid 80s and dewpoints near or above 70). The wind profile Wednesday night will also be fairly strong which will be supportive of  the maintenance of severe storms once they get going. That means high wind to 60-70 mph is possible. Also, cold air aloft will support the potential for large hail (up to 2″) in any storms that tap into the unstable air and wind shear. While tornadoes are a bigger threat well to our north, the wind shear values will be supportive of rotating storms that could spawn a spin-up tornado or twoHeavy rain is also expected, perhaps 1-2″.

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The severe weather threat for Wednesday night, likely between 9pm-3am

After the storm

By sunrise Thursday, storms will be long gone and we will actually get some sunshine. North wind will bring in drier air, though temperatures will still make it to the low 80s. Cooler air arrives Thursday night as we drop into the 50s. Friday-Sunday will see very nice springlike conditions with sunshine, morning lows in the 50s and afternoon highs in the 70s.

Prepare now!

But first, we’ll get through Wednesday night by preparing ahead of time. Garage (or carport) your vehicles tomorrow night if at all possible, secure anything outdoors that you want to keep around a while, and have multiple ways of receiving severe weather warnings while sleeping. We of course highly recommend our own StormWatch+ app, available for iOS and Android in your app store. Wake-me-up audio for Tornado and Severe Thunderstorm Warnings is included in the alert subscription.

Extreme Weather Prep

Wicked Witch Tornado Watch Warning

Nighttime Tornadoes

p.s. In case you had not heard, we are rolling out a brand spanking new website on Saturday! Be sure to check MemphisWeather.net around noon for the unveiling!

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