A bi-seasonal clash is underway as an early winter blast meets record autumn warmth, spawning a strong storm system in the South and the biggest tornado threat the US has seen in nearly 5 months.
“Several tornadoes are possible across southeast Oklahoma and east Texas,” the Storm Prediction Center warned in Friday’s severe weather forecast, with “one or two strong tornadoes possible during the afternoon through sunset.”
The Storm Prediction Center has highlighted an enhanced risk – Category 3 out of 5 – area of severe thunderstorms Friday for eastern Texas, southeastern Oklahoma, southwestern Arkansas and northwestern Louisiana. Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, and Arlington, Texas are included in this threat zone.
“The safest area for strong tornadoes [EF2 or higher] It will be from far southeast Oklahoma to south east Texas, east of the I-35 corridor,” the forecast center said.
The primary threat will shift from tornadoes Friday afternoon and evening to damaging winds overnight as thunderstorms line up and move into Arkansas and Louisiana.
This storm system will move quickly from west to east, which will reduce the chance of flooding in the Ark-La-Tex region. Further north, one to four inches of precipitation is expected through Saturday from Kansas to Wisconsin.
Precipitation is much needed in this region, as recent droughts have reduced the Mississippi River to low levels, affecting shipping and the supply chain.
A total of 37 million people from Missouri and Kansas south to Texas and Louisiana are at risk of severe storms on Friday. Houston, San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Little Rock, Kansas City and Wichita are also included in the danger zones.
The greater Dallas-Fort Worth area was at greater or greater risk on May 24.
Although tornadoes can occur in the United States any month of the year, they are most common in the spring due to the collision of cold and warm air as the seasons change. The same confluence of temperatures also occurs in the fall, which is why you’ll often see a secondary “severe season” later in the year.
“You see, while the spring months are climatologically our busiest times, there is a secondary increase in tornado activity in November,” said the National Weather Service in New Orleans.
Texas sees the most tornadoes (7) in November on average, followed by Alabama (6), Louisiana (5) and Mississippi (5).
The time of day a tornado occurs makes a big difference in the death rate. Tornadoes at night are more dangerous because many people are asleep and don’t know to seek a safe location. While the greatest tornado threat for this particular event is during the daytime hours, there is still a chance for some rotating storms during the evening hours.
Make sure you have a bad weather safety plan ready before bad weather hits. Know where you will go if the weather is severe, and make sure your flashlights work and your cell phones are fully charged in case you lose power.
“One of the most important features of your severe weather safety plans is to have a reliable means of receiving severe weather warnings,” the New Orleans weather service said.