Severe storms and showers are underway – WTVA

Tornado risk for Jan. 1, 2022.

Tornado risk for Jan. 1, 2022.
TORNADO WATCH: Including all MS counties under the viewing area and Franklin county AL until 8 PM.
Saturday’s forecast is warm, and all about the potential for severe weather.
TIMING: pick timing will be from 2 PM to 10 PM with some storms possible earlier and later.
IMPACTS: strong pre-storm winds, And afternoon/evening strong storms. Any storms that can develop ahead of a squall line that will move through in the evening will rotate. The strongest of those quick produce strong tornadoes if they can get fully established.
CONFIDENCE: 5 out of 10
CONTEXT: There is a significant potential for strong damaging tornadoes Saturday, but it is conditional.
What does that mean? It all comes back to whether or not truly strong, tall storms form. All of our projections show whatever forms rotating vigorously, but not all of those projections show the storms that form reaching a strong enough level to sustain that rotation and produce tornadoes. Translation: we either see strong tornadoes or not at all with the afternoon chance. By early evening, a line moves in from Northwest to Southeast that will have the potential to spin up a few somewhat weaker tornadoes, but sporadic wind damage also seems possible.
Temperatures Saturday will start in the upper 60s reaching the mid-70s by the afternoon. We will be breezy with South winds gusting in excess of 30 mph through the day.
Sunday is all about dropping temperatures. The official high will come at midnight, probably in the low 60s with temperatures dropping all day. It’s reasonable that temperatures will be in the 40s when you go to church Sunday morning and the 30s when you get out of it. It’s also very reasonable that wind chill temperatures by Sunday afternoon could be in the teens. All of this also comes with a chance for some wintry precipitation. It seems likely that some kind of sleet or snowflake mix is possible especially near the Tennessee state line Sunday midday into the afternoon and evening. Timing this is a little bit questionable, but we do not expect significant travel impacts. Why? We were 70+ degrees much of the last week and coming off of one of the warmest December’s on record, that combination means the ground temperature it’s too warm to support accumulations.
Speaking to the warm December, this one is one for the record books for sure… The warmest on record by 2.5°. Our average temperature for the month when you add to go to the highs and the lows comes up at 56.6°… A full 10.6° above normal. That beats the all-time record December warmest which previously was 54.1°. What makes this more significant, is that is the biggest gap between a #1 and #2 warmest month of any in Tupelo history. The next biggest gap is in September between the all-time record set in 2019 and the previous one in 1933. That gap is only 1.2°, so this one is more than double.
Why? Climate change. This is what it looks like. At some point in the future we will dig more into this, but I think the numbers stand for themselves.
Much of the first week of the new year will be cool, for sure. Monday only makes it into the mid-40s with eyes Tuesday and Wednesday in the 50s. Thursday brings us yet another big drop in temperatures late in the day, but I should reach the mid-50s before that. At this point it seems reasonable that by Friday of next week we might have only 30s for highs, so we really switch the script back to a more winter-like pattern over the next week plus. I can make an argument for some precipitation Wednesday and Thursday of next week, perhaps even a little bit of a wintry mix… Which, I guess we should expect in winter, even if it hasn’t been something we have experienced much this cool season.
Maggye is from Carlisle, Arkansas. She is a graduate student at Mississippi State University.
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