Severe Weather in the South Today, but a Bigger Threat Looms for Friday

Severe weather is likely across portions of the Gulf Coast and Mississippi Valley today, but another, perhaps more widespread, outbreak is possible at the end of the week. While that is happening, a snowstorm might also be brewing in the Rockies. Spring can feature a little bit of everything across the nation.

Severe weather is expected across portions of the Mississippi Valley today. Image provided by NOAA.

A strong cold front is moving into the Mississippi Valley and Texas this afternoon, and it is helping to trigger strong to severe thunderstorms across portions of the region. Ahead of the front, temperatures are into the 70s and lower 80s, with dewpoints in the upper 60s and 70s, so there’s plenty of warm, moist air in place. Behind the front, temperatures quickly drop into the 40s and 50s. Thunderstorms will continue to develop in the unstable airmass ahead of the front, with some of the storms containing large hail, heavy downpours, damaging winds, and possibly some tornadoes. Earlier this morning, some storms produced baseball-sized hail and wind gusts in excess of 70 mph in portions of Missouri, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. The threat should start to diminish across the region as we head into the overnight hours.


A more significant severe weather outbreak is possible later Friday into Saturday from the Southern Plains and Texas into portions of the Mississippi and Tennessee Valleys. Low pressure will move out of Texas and head northeastward, drawing warm, moist air northward from the Gulf of Mexico once again. North and west of the system, much cooler air will be in place (more on that in a moment).

Lifted index values of -10 and lower across Texas and the Lower Mississippi Valley show that the airmass will be very unstable on Friday. Image provided by Pivotal Weather.
CAPE values of 4000 J/kg and higher across Texas and the Lower Mississippi Valley show that the airmass will be very unstable on Friday. Image provided by Pivotal Weather.

As low pressure rides along the boundary between the two airmasses, it will help to trigger strong to severe thunderstorms across the region. The threat will continue into the overnight hours Friday night, shifting into the Mississippi and Tennessee Valleys on Saturday as the system continues to progress northeastward. Some of the storms may produce torrential downpours that could trigger flash flooding, large hail, damaging winds, and tornadoes.

The GFS model shows the potential for 5-10 inches of rain (or more) in parts of the Mississippi Valley through Sunday. Flooding is likely. Image provided by WeatherBell.

Behind the storm, as colder air settles into the region, a different threat is evolving – heavy snow. While it’s getting late in the season, heavy snow is not uncommon in the Central and Southern Rockies at this time of year. Some of the higher elevations in Colorado and New Mexico could receive 1-2 feet of snow Friday into Saturday. East of the Continental Divide, especially in the High Plains, snow is also possible, especially from eastern Colorado and western Kansas into portions of the Oklahoma and Texas Panhandles. In Denver, there is still a big question as to whether to precipitation falls mainly as rain, snow, or a wintry mix. Some snow accumulation seems likely at this point, but it’s still a little too early to tell whether there will be heavy snow in the city itself. The heavy snow threat will expand into the portions of the Upper Midwest and southern Canada Sunday into Monday as the storm moves into that region.

GFS model forecast for snowfall in the Rockies and High Plains through Sunday. Winter is definitely not over there. Image provided by WeatherBell.

Severe weather outbreaks are not uncommon at this time of year. In fact, from late March into early May is when they are most likely. The largest tornado outbreak on record occurred 6 years ago this week. Between April 25 and 28, 2011, a total of 362 tornadoes were observed from Texas to New York and portions of southern Canada, resulting in 324 fatalities, 317 of them on April 27, the most active day.

Map showing tracks of all 362 tornadoes from the April 2011 “Super Outbreak”. Image provided by Encyclopedia Brittanica.

As for our part of the country – the clouds and rain and cool temperatures will eventually move out. Things will start to improve on Thursday with some sunny breaks possible and temperatures into the 60s. By Friday, there will be more sunshine and temperatures getting into the 70s. Saturday looks like the best day, as temperatures could get into the lower 80s in some spots. We will have to watch out for some late-day showers and maybe a thunderstorm. Sunday looks to be significantly cooler thanks to a northeast wind off of the still-chilly Atlantic.

Weekly Outlook: April 24-May 1, 2017

Once again, we’ve got good news and bad news for the week ahead. The bad news is that the middle of the week will feature one, possibly two, absolutely miserable days. The good news? The end of the week will feature some fantastic weather. That makes us think of a certain move theme.

The week starts off with high pressure in control, giving us a fairly nice Monday, but things go downhill for Tuesday and Wednesday. Low pressure that is bringing very heavy rainfall to the Carolinas today will slowly move up the coastline. This will result in rain, gusty winds, and cool temperatures for Tuesday, likely lingering into Wednesday. In other words, typical springtime weather in New England. The system will depart on Thursday, then a south to southwesterly flow will develop across the area. This means warmer conditions are likely for Thursday and Friday. How warm? How does highs into the 70s, possibly 80s on Friday, sound? Yeah, we thought you might like that. A cold front approaches late Friday with some showers, but it may not move through until sometime on Saturday, resulting in another warm day. Much cooler conditions are expected on Sunday with more rain possible as a frontal system will be stalled out just south of the region.

Many locations could receive 1-2 inches of rain or more Tuesday into Wednesday. Image provided by Pivotal Weather.

Monday: Sunshine and some high clouds. High 57-64 along the coast, 65-72 inland.

Monday night: Becoming mostly cloudy, showers may develop towards daybreak. Low 39-46.

Tuesday: Breezy and cool with showers likely. High 44-51.

Tuesday night: Windy with showers becoming a steady rain, possibly heavy. Low 41-48 in the evening, then temperatures hold steady or rise a bit overnight.

Wednesday: Windy with showers gradually tapering off. High 55-62.

Thursday: Maybe a lingering shower early, otherwise clouds give way to some afternoon sunny breaks. High 65-72, cooler along the coast.

Friday: A mix of sun and clouds, chance for showers and maybe a thunderstorm late in the day. High 73-80, cooler along the coast.

Saturday: Sunshine fades behind increasing late-day clouds. Showers may develop at night. High 70-77.

Sunday:  Mostly cloudy with scattered showers possible. High 52-59 along the coast, 60-67 inland.

Friday is looking like a fantastic day temperature-wise. Image provided by WeatherBell.

While we’re looking at some nice weather for the end of the week, a storm system will likely be making plenty of headlines in the nation’s midsection Friday and into next weekend. Severe weather may be fairly widespread ahead of the system from the Southern Plains and Texas into the Mississippi Valley, Gulf Coast, and Southeast. Behind the system, a late-season snowstorm is possible from the Rockies into the Northern Plains. It’s still several days away, but the mountains could pick up substantial amounts of snow from this storm, with heavy snow possible in places like Denver and Rapid City.

Weekly Outlook: April 17-23, 2017

We’ve made it to Patriots Day, a true “Boston Holiday”, and usually the final sign that winter is over and Spring has arrived. So, does that hold true this year? Probably.

Patriots Day is probably our favorite day of the year here at Storm HQ. Image provided by Boston Athletic Association.


As for the upcoming week, we’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is that Monday will be another fantastic day with partial sunshine and temperatures in the 60s to lower 70s. The bad news? Much of the rest of the week won’t be so nice. Let’s get to the details.

Sunday was quite toasty across the region. Don’t expect a repeat this week, or for a while. Image provided by WeatherBell.

Monday starts off with low pressure head into the Atlantic Canada and high pressure starting to build in from the west and northwest. This will result in sunshine and gusty westerly winds.  Temperatures will still be on the warm side, but about 15-20 degrees cooler than they were on Sunday. By Tuesday, high pressure moves into Atlantic Canada, meaning we still have sunshine, but northeast to east winds off of the 45-degree Atlantic Ocean mean that temperatures will drop another 10-15 degrees or so. By Wednesday, winds shift back to the southwest. This is good, because we’ll turn warmer, right? Well, yes, it will be a little milder, but also a lot cloudier and probably wetter as some rain moves in. Another cold front will move through very slowly on Thursday, possibly stalling out across the region as another storm starts to move out of the Great Lakes. This means more rain for Thursday into Friday. Temperatures on Friday are a big question mark, especially south of the Mass Pike. It all depends on where the low pressure area actually tracks. If it stays south of New England as one models shows, temperatures may stay in the 40s all day. If it tracks along and/or north of the Mass Pike, as another model showers, temperatures could spike into the 60s and lower 70s south of the Pike while areas to the north stay in the upper 40s and 50s. For now, we’ll split the difference and go in the middle, but there is a large bust potential for that forecast. As the system moves offshore early Saturday, cooler air will settle in behind it. If the cooler air moves in overnight before the rain ends, we could see some wet snowflakes mix in, especially across central and northern NH, as well as in the Monadnocks. Saturday will be a windy and cool day with plenty of clouds, and maybe even a lingering shower or two. High pressure returns for Sunday.

Monday: Sunshine dimmed by some high clouds at times in the afternoon, breezy at times. High 66-73.

Monday night: Clear to partly cloudy. Low 36-43.

Tuesday: Low clouds, fog, and drizzle may move in along the coast, well inland skies should be partly to mostly sunny. High 45-52, coolest along the coast.

Tuesday night: Partly to mostly cloudy.  Low 32-39.

Wednesday: Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers. High 47-54.

Thursday: Cloudy with occasional showers. High 50-57.

Friday: Breezy with periods of rain and showers likely. High 50-57.

Saturday: Mostly cloudy and windy with lingering showers. High 48-55.

Sunday:  A mix of sun and clouds. High 54-61.

Marathon/Red Sox Forecast: Sunshine and some high clouds. West to west-northwest winds 10-15 mph may gusts to 25 mph at times (that’s a nice tail wind for the runners, and blowing out to right-center field at Fenway). Temperatures in the middle 60s at the start, upper 60s for the 1st pitch at Fenway, and near or just over 70 when the 1st runners cross the finish line. Expect the Marathon to be won by someone from Kenya (usually a safe bet) and we’re predicting for a Sox win as well. Hopefully, the winning ways will continue on Causeway Street in the evening when the Bruins take on the Senators.

It’s a great time to be a Boston Sports fan, and we haven’t even mentioned the defending Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots. Image provided by

Weekly Outlook: April 10-16, 2017

Blizzards. Arctic Outbreaks. Freezing Rain. Scraping your windshield. Getting stuck behind a conga line of plows on the highway. Common occurrences in winter, and you’ve been dealing with them for several months while dreaming of sunshine and warmer days. You can stop dreaming now, because those days have arrived. They may not last long though, so you’d better enjoy them while they are here.

High pressure will move offshore today, with southwesterly winds bringing warm air into the region today into Tuesday. If you live along the South Coast or especially the Cape, it won’t be quite as warm, as southwest winds will be a seabreeze coming off the still fairly cool ocean. Away from the South Coast, we’re looking at highs well into the 70s, with some places possibly getting into the 80s on Tuesday. Yes, we’re serious, April Fool’s Day was over a week ago. Wednesday is the tricky day. Low pressure will pass by to the north, dragging a cold front across the region, likely producing scattered showers and maybe some thunder. It will still be warm ahead of the front, though the cloud cover and showers will prevent it from getting as warm as Tuesday. However, if we can get some sunshine to develop, temperatures could get into the 70s one more time. We snap back to reality on Thursday as high pressure builds in with much more seasonable conditions lasting into Friday. We’ll start to warm up again for the weekend, but another system will approach from the west, with some more showers possible on Sunday.

Temperatures should be well into the 70s away from the South Coast on Tuesday. Image provided by Pivotal Weather.

We’re not quite ready to say that it’s OK to put away all of your winter gear just yet, this is New England after all, and we’ve had measurable snow into mid-May before. However, we’re getting close. One of the longer-range models shows the potential for at least some wet snow to mix in with some rain across parts of the region towards the middle of next week. That’s still a long ways off, and has plenty of time to change. This same model also shows the potential for the latter half of April to be very wet, which could result in a lot of flooding around here. We’ll worry about that later on though. For now, enjoy the warm weather.

The GFS model thinks that the latter half of April could be quite damp around here. Image provided by WeatherBell.

Monday: Sunshine dimmed by some high clouds, breezy. High 69-76, except 61-68 along the South Coast, even cooler on the Cape and Islands.

Monday night: Clear to partly cloudy. Low 48-55.

Tuesday: Mostly sunny through some high clouds once again. High 75-82, except 67-74 along the South Coast, even cooler on the Cape and Islands.

Tuesday night: Thickening clouds. Low 49-56.

Wednesday: Partly to mostly cloudy with scattered showers developing, maybe even a few rumbles of thunder. High 65-72 by midday, cooler across the Cape and Islands. Temperatures will likely drop sharply in the afternoon, especially north and west of Boston.

Thursday: A mix of sun and clouds. High 53-60, coolest along the coast.

Friday: Plenty of sunshine. High 51-58, coolest along coast.

Saturday:  Mostly sunny to start, clouds start to move in during the afternoon. High 56-63, coolest along coast.

Sunday: Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers. High 66-73, except 58-65 along the South Coast, even cooler on the Cape and Islands.

We’re just a week away from another of the traditional signs that winter has ended. Image provided by the Boston Athletic Association.

Marathon Monday Outlook: A mix of sunshine and clouds. Temperatures in the lower to middle 50s for the start of the race in Hopkinton, rising to the lower to middle 60s for the end of the race and start of the Red Sox traditional 11:05am Patriots Day game.


Weekly Outlook: April 3-9, 2017

Good news! We’ve flipped the calendar to April and now we’ve got the surest sign yet that Spring has arrived:

Opening Day should be a National Holiday. Image provided by

The sun is shining and the Yankees are already in last place. Can things get better? Unfortunately, in terms of the weather, the answer is: “not this week”. Monday is definitely the pick of the week.

We start with high pressure bringing us sunshine and seasonably cool temperatures. However, by the time we get to the final out at Fenway today, clouds should already be streaming into the region. The storm system that brought all the severe weather to Texas and the Gulf Coast on Sunday will head into the Great Lakes by Tuesday, sending some rain into our area. The rain may start as a little freezing rain or sleet in southern NH Tuesday morning, but otherwise, this storm will be mainly liquid until it ends Wednesday morning. Wednesday looks mostly dry, but after that, we’ve got another slow-moving system heading our way from the Great Lakes. This one will bring in more rain for Thursday into Friday. Clouds and showers may linger into Saturday as an upper-level system moves through, but things should start to improve by Sunday as high pressure starts to build back in.

The potential exists for 1-3 inches of rain across the region this week. That could cause some flooding problems by late in the week. Image provided by WeatherBell.

There are some models that are showing the potential for warmer weather to finally move in early next week for at least a couple of days. That’s still a long ways off though, so don’t count on it just yet. We wouldn’t put away the snowbrush either, just in case. We have had measurable snow around here in May before.

The GFS is trying to bring some really nice weather into the region next week. Will it actually happen? We’ll see. Image provided by Pivotal Weather.

Monday: Morning sunshine fades behind increasing afternoon clouds. High 51-58, cooler right along the coast.

Monday night: Cloudy with showers developing, possibly starting as some sleet or freezing rain in southern NH. Low 31-38.

Tuesday: Breezy with rain likely. High 39-46.

Tuesday night: Showers taper off and end. Low 33-40.

Wednesday: More clouds than sunshine, chance for a shower or two, mainly in the morning.  High 46-53.

Thursday: Windy with rain likely.  High 44-51.

Friday: Mostly cloudy with scattered showers. High 49-56.

Saturday: Mostly cloudy with more showers possible. High 47-54.

Sunday:  A mix of sun and clouds. High 48-55.

First Pitch Forecast: Sunshine dimmed by high clouds, winds blowing in from CF, and a game-time temperature around 48 degrees. Go Sox! #WinDanceRepeat