“The risk today is from Iowa to the Gulf Coast. Storms in the north have a higher risk of wind damage and storms further south will have a higher threat of tornadoes. All of them will have lightning. dangerous and even potential flooding, “said CNN’s meteorologist in Chad. Myers.
The Storm Prediction Center has issued a level 3 of 5 “increased risk” warning for inclement weather until tonight for northern Louisiana, eastern Arkansas, west-central Mississippi and southern -West of Tennessee. This level of risk means “many severe storms (are) possible,” according to the center.
Environmental conditions could “lead to rapid, high-end growth in a shattered band of storms and integrated supercells as the afternoon progresses,” the National Weather Service in Little Rock said. This type of storm – supercells – is best known for producing tornadoes, but not all of them.
The depression above the central plains will contain a cold front draped to the south and east. This cold front will be the main instigator of storms as it moves east.
The middle and late afternoon will become more active and dangerous.
A tornado watch is in effect until 8 p.m. CDT for more than 4 million people in parts of southeastern Oklahoma, northeastern Texas, northwestern Louisiana and a much of Arkansas. This includes Little Rock and Fort Smith in Arkansas and Shreveport in Louisiana.
By Wednesday evening, storms will move into the lower Mississippi River region, still containing the potential for all modes of severe weather. Intense storms could be possible as far north as Iowa and as far south as the southeastern coasts of Texas and southern Louisiana.
Storms will work eastward through early Thursday southeasterly, but much of the severe weather threat is expected to abate by then.
Flash flooding is also a concern, with extended rainfall of 1 to 2 inches expected – but localized amounts could be closer to 2 to 4 inches.
“Soil saturation and flow rates have dropped significantly from what they were a week ago, but still looking for above average soil saturation,” the Weather Prediction Center said about current conditions in parts of Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi where flooding is possible. storms until tonight.
Some of these storms, particularly over the southern extent of the line through parts of Arkansas and Kansas, could be forming. Storms that train mean they move in the same places for an extended period of time, which increases the risk of flooding.
Heavy storms remain in the forecast until the end of this week. The forecasting center warns that isolated severe storms could be possible from central Tennessee to southeast Louisiana and west to the Florida Panhandle on Thursday.
A new storm system will then move across the country, and another severe weather threat could be possible in the south from Friday to Saturday.
These storms could produce tornadoes as well as damaging winds and hail, but forecasts remain uncertain in terms of timing and which areas are most prone to these storms.
CNN meteorologist Taylor Ward contributed to this report.