Charles E. Roop giving his own forecasts, weather discussions, photos and adventures for the Starkville, MS area, Florida, and beyond.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Quick Update: Severe Weather Threat in Northern MS Today

Good morning, everybody. My schedule is pretty tight today, but I'm going to try to quickly explain what could go down today. The Storm Prediction Center has highlighted parts of Arkansas, northern Mississippi, and Tennessee under a moderate threat of severe weather. This categorical threat isn't issued too often.

Currently at the surface, a strengthening low is centered over northern Texas. Winds are primarily out of the south over Mississippi with dewpoints climbing into the 60s in the southern and western parts of the state. The dewpoint at KGTR is 55 degrees. Aloft, a shortwave trough is located over New Mexico. At 850 mb, a decent south-to-north low-level jet of up to 45 knots is over eastern Texas. This could be a key player in enhancing moisture and warm air advection.

The trough to our west is expected to progress east throughout the day and, along with it, the surface low over Texas and Oklahoma. This will provide uplift for the development for showers and thunderstorms. However, there are other key elements that make this severe threat possible. The shifting of the winds with height could produce enough shear to give way for a tornado risk and some strong winds. The next key ingredient is instability. Will there be enough moisture and warm air over the Golden Triangle area to give way to severe weather? If there are any breaks in the cloudcover to heat things up, I'd say "look out." I am not seeing any signs of that on the visible satellite imagery so far this morning.

Regardless, people need to be tuned into the weather throughout the day. The timing of a possible Starkville impact of this weather seems to be later this evening and tonight. Keep an eye on my Twitter feed (twitter.com/daweathaman) for the latest.

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