Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Tornado Watch Issued: Severe Thunderstorms, Including Large Hail, Damaging Winds and Tornadoes, Possible Through Thursday in the Plains, South

March 28,2017
Severe thunderstorms with large hail, damaging winds and tornadoes will continue to be a threat in parts of the Plains and South much of this week, possibly into the weekend.
(MORE: Tornado Central)
NOAA's Storm Prediction Center has issued the following severe weather watches:
  • A tornado watch valid until 11 p.m. CDT for portions of southwest and south-central Oklahoma and western north Texas. This watch area includes Abilene and Wichita Falls, Texas.
  • A severe thunderstorm watch until 4 a.m. CDT for much of north-central, central and south-central Texas. This watch area includes Dallas, Waco, Austin and San Antonio.
  • A severe thunderstorm watch valid until 10 p.m. CDT for parts of west-central and southwest Texas. This watch area includes San Angelo and Del Rio.

Current Radar, Watches and Warnings
(MORE: View National Interactive Radar Map | Difference Between a Watch and a Warning)
The first weather system of the week sparked severe weather in the Plains states, Mississippi Valley and lower Ohio Valley Sunday into Monday.
Two more jet stream disturbances will sweep from the Rockies eastward into the nation's midsection through this weekend, triggering additional rounds of thunderstorms that could be severe at times.
As of early Tuesday evening, there have been at least 13 reports of tornadoes in western north Texas, mainly in low-population rural areas.
There have also been over two dozen reports of large hail along with wind gusts as high as 67 mph in Marfa, Texas.
Below, we step through the timing and impacts for the rounds of stormy weather expected into this weekend.
(MORE: 7-Day Severe Weather Outlook)

Round 2: Continues through Friday

Into Tuesday Night

  • Another round of severe weather will kick off in the southern Plains Tuesday evening ahead of a new jet stream disturbance.

  • Portions of west Texas and southwest Oklahoma will have the greatest chance of damaging thunderstorms.

  • Large hail, damaging wind gusts and tornadoes are all possible threats.

  • Heavy rain could contribute to some flash flooding.
  • Cities: Abilene, Texas | Wichita Falls, Texas | Oklahoma City
(MORE: The Future of Tornado Warnings)

Tuesday Night's Thunderstorm Forecast


  • Wednesday's greatest severe weather potential will be from east Texas and southeast Oklahoma to parts of Arkansas and Louisiana.
  • Damaging winds, large hail and a few tornadoes are possible on Wednesday.
  • Cities: Houston | Shreveport, LouisianaLittle Rock 

Wednesday's Thunderstorm Forecast


  • Severe storms could flare up again on Thursday ahead of the same weather system in the middle and lower Mississippi Valley, Ohio Valley, Tennessee Valley and along the Gulf Coast.
  • Damaging winds, large hail and a few tornadoes are possible.
  • Cities: New OrleansJackson, Mississippi | Memphis 
(MORE: Tornadoes in the Southeast May Be Influenced by Mountainous Terrain)

Thursday's Thunderstorm Forecast


  • Friday's greatest risk for severe thunderstorms will be in the Southeast, from southeastern Kentucky and east Tennessee into western and southern North Carolina, much of South Carolina and eastern Georgia.
  • Damaging winds and large hail are the main threats, but a couple of tornadoes can't be completely ruled out.
  • Cities: Knoxville, Tennessee | Charlotte, North Carolina | Columbia, South Carolina
(MORE: April's Tornadic, Dangerous Reputation)

Friday's Thunderstorm Forecast

Round 3: This Weekend Into Early Next Week?

  • Yet another round of stormy weather could fire up this weekend into early next week as a potent jet stream disturbance pivots into the Plains from the Rockies.
  • It is too soon to go into details, but parts of the south-central states are the most likely area to see strong to severe storms.
  • Heavy rainfall and flash flooding could also be a concern.
(MAPS: 7-Day U.S. Precipitation Forecast Maps)

Drought-Helping Rainfall

The multiple waves of rain and thunderstorms through this weekend will also be beneficial to areas experiencing drought in the middle of the country.
Parts of north Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Kansas, eastern Colorado, southern Nebraska and Missouri all have abnormally dry or drought conditions, according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor released last Thursday. An inch or more of rain is possible through Thursday in portions of those states.
That said, if too much rain falls in a short period of time in a given spot, we could also see localized flooding materialize.

Rainfall Forecast Through Thursday

Recap: Active Severe Weather Pattern Began Last Thursday

This active jet stream pattern we are currently in the midst of began last Thursday as an energetic disturbance pushed through the jet stream and sparked a low-pressure system east of the central Rockies.

Monday's Severe Weather Reports

A severe thunderstorm brought damaging straight-line winds to the Nashville metro area Monday afternoon, taking down several large trees in and near the Music City. WTVF-TV in downtown Nashville measured a 60-mph wind gust.
In addition, a tornado was reported by storm spotters Monday afternoon in Fulton, Mississippi, as well as near Jackson, Tennessee. There were also dozens of 1- to 2-inch diameter hail reports from Kentucky and Tennessee into Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, including some that covered the ground northwest of Birmingham.
(LATEST NEWS: Possible Tornadoes Reported in Tennessee, Mississippi as Severe Storms Aim at the South)

Sunday's Severe Weather Reports

A tornado was reported by storm chasers in Pontotoc County, Oklahoma, Sunday evening, east of the town of Ada. No damage or injuries were reported.
Large hail up to softball size (4.25 inches in diameter) was reported in a swath of the far north Dallas-Ft. Worth metro, from near Denton to McKinney, Sunday evening. Hail from 1 to 3 inches in diameter was reported across other parts of central Oklahoma and Texas.

Above: Tennis-ball size hail pelted Lantana, Texas, on March 26, 2017. (RECAP: Texas, Oklahoma Hit With Huge Hail)

Thursday's Severe Weather Reports

The first weather system contributed to the development of a brief EF2 tornado that injured six people late Friday night in Cato, Arkansas. Localized areas of damaging wind gusts and hail were also seen in the Plains and South Thursday through Saturday.

MORE: Midwest Severe Weather Outbreak, Feb. 28-March 1

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