Published March 20, 2013
As a major storm tracks across the Central states, there is the risk of a severe weather outbreak from part of Texas to Florida that could reach as far north as Arkansas and Tennessee.
Blinding downpours and flooding could disrupt travel and foil outdoor activities during the Palm Sunday weekend. However, there is the potential for more violent weather conditions that could threaten lives and property from Houston, northeastward to Memphis and eastward to Tallahassee.
A surge of warmth and humidity from the Gulf could hit at the wrong time. A storm system will travel from west to east across the central Plains to the Ohio Valley. A batch of strong winds high in the atmosphere will also move from west to east, but a bit farther south, from northeastern Texas to Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, northern Florida and part of Georgia, during the surge of warm, moist air.
The first thunderstorms could fire in the western areas aforementioned as early as Thursday and Friday but would likely not become severe until Saturday. The storms are likely to be at peak late Saturday into Saturday night while centered over the lower Mississippi Valley. These severe storms are likely to move quickly and would finish up Sunday along part of the southern Atlantic coast.
According to Severe Weather Expert Henry Margusity, "The greatest risks from the storms are large hail, damaging winds and flash flooding. However, provided the right conditions develop, isolated mature storms could yield a few tornadoes."
This is the type of situation where such storms could form or linger after dark, adding to the danger.
Major cities that could be in the path of the storms include Houston, Little Rock, New Orleans, Memphis, Montgomery, Tallahassee, Columbus, Ga., and Jackson, Miss.
Early indications are that a wedge of chilly air from the Ohio Valley to the Appalachians and along the central Atlantic coast will deter severe thunderstorms, but that chilly air could bring heavy rain and wintry precipitation to part of the area.
Additional information and updates will be made available as soon as possible on AccuWeather.com through the weekend, as far as the timing, areal coverage and nature of the event.