Heavy Rain and Severe Weather

December 21, 2009

A powerful upper level storm will slowly plod across the U.S bringing heavy rain and severe weather to the deep south. I think we have two more dry days before things start to go downhill here in Central Louisiana. We’re likely looking at scattered thunderstorms late Tuesday night. I’m thinking after midnight for most areas. This will kind of be the “teaser” before the main event. As this very powerful system swings out across Texas and Oklahoma we will find ourselves in the warm sector. The warm sector of a storm this strong almost always sees some severe weather. I think all modes of severe weather will be possible. Early on, it looks like hail will be more of a threat. As we work late into Wednesday night and early Thursday morning I think we’ll see more of a gusty wind and tornado threat. The tornados will remain isolated, but the gusty wind could become a widespread problem due to the strength of the upper and lower level wind fields.

There’s still plenty of time to watch this storm system develop as it hasn’t even fully moved inland over the Pacific Northwest. As details become clearer over the next couple of days, I’ll keep you posted. This could be a significant system with 1-3 inches of rain and numerous severe storms. The severe threat will be mitigated slightly by low instability values, though the shear strength of the upper level system should help overcome this. If you have Christmas travel plans on the 23rd or 24th you should really monitor the forecast for where you are, where you’re going, and all points in between. Any accumulating snow looks to stay well to our northwest from Oklahoma through Kansas, northern Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

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