Editor’s note: A version of this article originally appeared in the Weekly Weather Report, which is published every Monday. You can sign up here to receive them weekly and during major storms.
It’s been less than a week since killer storms hit the Deep South, and once again we’re looking at the potential for the same areas to have stronger storms.
Last Monday, tornadoes swept through towns just north of Austin and killed a woman north of Dallas when her home was destroyed. The next day, a deadly EF-3 tornado swept through the New Orleans area.
With the threat of tornadoes returning, the thought makes us shake our heads. Not yet.
More heavy storms expected for the South
We are looking at another week of severe weather lasting several days. Tuesday and Wednesday will bring the possibility of severe storms and tornadoes. However, I want to start with Wednesday, because I think it will be our biggest day, and then I will come back to the threat of Tuesday.
The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has placed an “enhanced” severe weather risk level 3 out of 5 for Wednesday for parts of the lower Mississippi Valley. Jackson, Memphis, Birmingham, Baton Rouge and New Orleans could all see strong storms and even tornadoes.
“The line is expected to enter the area shortly after noon arriving in the Baton Rouge area around 4 p.m., New Orleans 7 p.m., Gulfport 9 p.m. and out of the area around midnight Wednesday evening through Thursday morning,” a said the office of the National Weather Service (NWS). in New Orleans.
The SPC said the main threat with the storm line will be gusty winds, sometimes exceeding hurricane strength, above 74 mph. And they pointed out that tornadoes will be possible. The NWS office in New Orleans echoed the same message in its discussion of the forecast.
“Even if the line [of storms] remains intact, a tornadic QLCS environment will exist and if this line is able to penetrate any discrete cell, this would further increase the possibility of tornadic development.
QLCS (quasi-linear convective system) tornadoes form very quickly with little warning along a line of storms. These are exactly the types of tornadoes we talked about last week, which our friend Chris Weiss and other scientists are trying to study in the field. In fact, Weiss emailed me, saying they were going out this week to put their lives on the line again to study storms.
You never want to hear more storms heading your way if you’re in an area that’s just been devastated by a tornado. Lauren Nash, NWS meteorologist in New Orleans, told me on the phone that they were trying to get the message out to the public to be ready.
“So what we’re just trying to do is tell everyone that every event is different and every event needs to stay up to date. But those who were affected, not only by the tornado last week, but also by Ida, they are all in substandard housing. So there needs to be a bit more emphasis on making sure they stay informed about the weather and know where to go if a watch or warning is issued.
To be honest, we’re still thinking about what happened in the New Orleans area last week. The images were breathtaking. A school bus was lifted and transported, we saw entire houses lifted from their foundations, homes and businesses destroyed. It was total destruction for some neighborhoods in the hard-hit St. Bernard parish.
Flying debris is a real threat this week in places where the strongest storms have crossed over the past week.
Where the tornado passed through St. Bernard Parish, there is still debris lining some roads. Nash told me much of it has been cleared, but what’s still lying around could pose a potential threat if wind gusts exceed 60 mph, as expected on Wednesday.
“Anytime you have 60 to 70 mile per hour winds, it’s going to pick up a lot of that debris. So it’s important to stay indoors when we have a wind advisory and if we have any warnings just go to an inside room.
If you find yourself in one of the areas where severe weather is expected this week, here is a quick reminder of how to stay safe in the event of severe weather.
We will have to watch the forecast closely over the next few days to see if the SPC increases the threat level for the storms.
Bad weather will affect the Plains
I mentioned earlier that there will also be a threat of severe weather on Tuesday. This is where the greatest threat of storms will be, according to the SPC.
Parts of Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas are all included in a level 2 out of 5 severe weather risk.
Dallas, Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Kansas City, Missouri should be on the lookout for heavy storms on Tuesday. Gusty winds, large hail and the possibility of tornadoes will be the main threats.