Severe storms threaten the Gulf Coast Plains during busy Thanksgiving travel
A storm system set to emerge from the Desert Southwest is set to create a severe weather threat for several days along the Southern Plains and Gulf Coast as the first stages of Thanksgiving travel begin this week.
The storm first moves into the Plains on Sunday and has the potential to produce a few strong to severe thunderstorms.
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NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center (SPC) highlighted communities surrounding Oklahoma City and Tulsa as having the highest risk of experiencing severe thunderstorms that could produce large hail and gusty winds. But there is some uncertainty about how strong the storms will be.
Widespread instability, which is usually an important component of severe weather outbreaks, appears to be out of the question. However, computer forecast models indicate abundant moisture, which is another trigger for rain and thunderstorm activity.
Fall is the second severe weather season
Monday: The risk of severe weather increases in the lower Mississippi Valley
Instability appears to be growing in Monday’s severe weather threat area that extends along the Gulf Coast.
Severe thunderstorms will be possible Monday afternoon and into Monday night from East Texas into parts of the Lower Mississippi Valley and Southeast, according to the FOX Forecast Center.
Damaging wind gusts and some tornadoes are expected to be the main concerns, although hail is also possible. Communities such as Jackson, Mississippi, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, may be in the highest threat area.
A cross-country storm could cause travel problems for Thanksgiving
One of the biggest impacts could be heavy rainfall on roads such as Interstate 55, I-20 and I-10, which could impact anyone traveling on the roads, as well as some major airport hubs.
Tuesday: The threat of severe weather continues along the Gulf Coast
The SPC highlighted an area of the Southeast at marginal risk (1 in 5) for severe weather on Tuesday, across parts of Alabama and the Florida Panhandle.
Thunderstorms capable of producing damaging winds and possibly a tornado will increase across Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and southwest Georgia Tuesday morning.
Strong thunderstorms are possible in Mobile, Montgomery and Panama City.
Overall, the FOX Forecast Center is calling Tuesday to be the worst day for Thanksgiving week travel for most of the country.
Widespread rain is expected across much of the eastern United States as a widespread storm system moves into the Ohio Valley, then a secondary system dives south from Canada, providing an additional boost to the ongoing storm.
Behind the cold front responsible for the severe storms, cold air will prevail most of the Thanksgiving holiday.