A storm riding a surge of springlike warmth will bring a round of severe weather including the risk of a few tornadoes this weekend in the South as Thanksgiving travel begins.
According to Severe Weather Expert Henry Margusity, "The storm system will draw warm, moist air northward from the Gulf of Mexico and allow thunderstorms to develop, while at the same time strong winds above the ground will allow the storms to become severe."
The first storms will fire up over parts of western and central Texas to Oklahoma during Friday. While a few of these storms can bring hail and strong wind gusts, the greatest risk on Friday will be for flash and urban flooding.
The severe weather threat will expand farther east over the Southern states, along the Interstate 10 and I-20 corridors as the weekend progresses.
"During Saturday afternoon and evening, storms are likely to become severe from central Texas and the upper Texas coast to western and southern Louisiana," Margusity said.
The severe risk on Saturday includes the cities of Dallas, Houston, New Orleans and Shreveport, Louisiana, where the storms could lead to airline delays.
According to AccuWeather SkyGuard® Meteorologist Brian Knopick, "High winds, large hail, flash flooding and tornadoes will all be possible, especially along the Gulf coast."
During the overnight hours, the storms will center on the lower Mississippi Valley, and particularly the Alabama coast and the western part of the Florida Panhandle.
On Sunday, there is a chance the storms remain severe as they continue to push toward Georgia, north-central Florida and the Carolinas.
"The storms on Sunday in parts of the South have the potential to bring some strong wind gusts, but most likely heavy rain and the risk of flooding," Knopick said.
Weather-related airline delays are possible in Atlanta and Charlotte on Sunday.
Heavy rain will swing through the St. Louis, Chicago and Cincinnati areas during the day Sunday. Where the rain falls on areas with deep snow on the ground around the Great Lakes, there will be a risk of urban and poor drainage area flooding, as well as a risk of roof collapses.
In the South, motorists and people staying at home should be prepared for rapidly changing weather conditions. Never drive through a flooded roadway. As storms approach, seek an interior room of your home or the basement.