By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
March 22,2017, 12:35:45PM,EDT
A stormy pattern extending from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean will set the stage for multiple rounds of severe weather over the south-central part of the nation well into April.
In addition to the threat to lives and property, the pattern has the potential to be disruptive in terms of outdoor events and travel.
"Approximately every two to four days, people from the southern and central Plains to a large part of the Mississippi Valley and parts of the Tennessee and Ohio valleys can expect a round of thunderstorms that could escalate into a severe thunderstorm and/or tornado event," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Henry Margusity.
The area at greatest risk of severe weather in the overall pattern will extend from just east of the Rockies to just west of the Appalachians and south of the Great Lakes. Some communities in this zone could be hit by nearly every round of severe thunderstorms.
The extent of the severe weather and the risk of tornadoes will be assessed ahead of each event.
Following a severe weather outbreak that spans late Thursday to Saturday, the next storm will likely trigger a new round of severe weather with the possibility of a few tornadoes from parts of central and northeastern Texas to portions of eastern Kansas and western Missouri beginning on Sunday.
Yet another round of severe weather may be spawned over the central and southern Plains from the middle to latter part of next week.
People with outdoor plans or traveling through the South Central states into April will want to monitor the forecast for changes in timing of the storms and severe weather bulletins once severe weather is imminent.
The difference between tornado watches and warnings
6 life-threatening tornado myths debunked
5 essential safety steps to take before severe weather hits
What is Tornado Alley?
AccuWeather Severe Weather Center
Since the start of 2017, there has been an above-average number of severe weather incidents, including tornadoes, according to the Storm Prediction Center.
Through at least the next couple of weeks, this above-average trend is likely to continue, which will put lives and property at risk.
"Arctic air will retreat to Canada, which will allow a swath of mild Pacific air to settle over the nation," according to AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams.
"However, surges of warm and humid air are likely to penetrate into at least the southern half of the nation regularly," Abrams said.
The surges of warm, humid air will give thunderstorms a boost.
Farther to the east and north, cooler air will offer some protection against severe weather. While thunderstorms and severe weather can extend to the northern tier and East Coast, thunderstorms are expected to be much less frequent in these areas, when compared to the South-Central states.
"Areas from the northern Plains to the Upper Midwest and much of the Northeast can expect frequent rounds of rain in the pattern into the first part of April," Abrams said.