People living in parts of the US may need to re-think their outdoor activity plans this weekend as forecasters are calling for severe weather. There is a powerful weather pattern starting to take shape that will affect millions of people from the Plains eastward into parts of the Mississippi Valley, Ohio Valley and South. Forecasters are warning that the upcoming severe weather may be “significant” as it could bring with it heavy rainfall that could cause flash flooding, damaging hail and winds, severe thunderstorms and the possibility of tornadoes. Those conditions will prevail from Saturday through Tuesday across much of the country.
Thus far, it’s been an unusually quiet spring as far as severe weather goes in the United States. In fact, the Storm Prediction Center says that this is the quietest spring as far as tornadoes are concerned since detailed record-keeping began back in the ’50s. If forecasters are correct, some of the tornadoes that may take shape over the upcoming few days could be as strong as EF-2 or higher as conditions will likely be “just right” for the formation of powerful tornadoes.
Forecasters are saying that the dangerous, multiple-day severe weather outbreak will include the potential for night-time tornadoes in portions of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. Historically, tornadoes that strike at night are the most dangerous as most people are asleep and not prepared to quickly take shelter. That’s why people in those high risk areas are being told to be alert as it is very likely that tornadoes will develop. Large cities at highest risk for severe weather this weekend include Dallas, Oklahoma City, Wichita, Omaha and Kansas City.
As the severe weather marches east, it will begin affecting people living in the Mississippi Valley and Deep South by Monday and portions of the East by the middle of next week. By this time, the main threat will be large hail, strong gusting winds and heavy rainfall that could trigger flash flooding.
What is most concerning about this new weather system that is going to strike much of the country this weekend into next week is that tornadoes have been all but non-existent thus far and people tend to forget how to protect themselves from season to season. This is the perfect time for families to sit down and discuss their severe weather plans in case conditions become dangerous and tornadoes may break out.