Hazardous Weather Outlook for Tuesday, February 2, 2016
by WeatherOps, on Feb 1, 2016 8:01:20 AM
Significant severe weather is possible on Tuesday for the Mid South and Lower Ohio River Valley. Severe thunderstorms are possible across the south, Ohio Valley, and Lower Midwest. Heavy snow and blizzard conditions are likely across the Northern Great Plains and Upper Midwest.
Mid-South/Lower Ohio Valley: Thunderstorms are expected to develop throughout the Mississippi Valley Tuesday afternoon ahead of an approaching cold front. Ahead of this cold front, temperatures will be in the upper 60s, with dewpoints in the mid 60s. This combination will result in a moderately unstable air mass in place across the region. Meanwhile, strong winds aloft will lead to very strong wind shear. The combination of strong forcing from the approaching cold front, rich Gulf moisture, instability, and wind shear will allow for thunderstorms to become severe. Initially, the primary threat will be for tornadoes while thunderstorms remain discrete in nature. A few strong, long-track tornadoes will be possible. By Tuesday evening, thunderstorms will merge into a large squall line, shifting the main severe weather hazard to damaging winds, though a few tornadoes will remain possible. The most likely time for severe weather will be during the afternoon and evening hours when wind shear and instability are at their maximum.
South/Ohio Valley/Lower Midwest: While the greatest severe weather threat is expected to be across the Mid-South and Lower Ohio Valley, severe weather will also be possible across much of the rest of the Deep South, eastern Tennessee, central Kentucky, and into southern portions of Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. The primary severe weather threat in this area will be damaging wind gusts, though a few tornadoes will also be possible. The most likely time for severe weather across the Mississippi Valley will be during the early afternoon hours, with the severe weather threat shifting east with time. The severe weather threat will diminish for the most part by midnight as storms continue into the Southeast.
Northern Great Plains/Upper Midwest: The winter storm that will bring heavy snow to portions of Colorado, Kansas, and Nebraska on Monday will continue northeast on Tuesday, with snow spreading into portions of eastern Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. Widespread snowfall accumulations of 6-10 inches are expected, with locally higher amounts in excess of 16 inches possible in some locations. In addition to this heavy snowfall, strong winds of 25-35 MPH will lead to blizzard conditions at times, resulting in treacherous travel conditions, with conditions unlikely to begin improving until Wednesday.