A system set to develop across the central United States will trigger damaging thunderstorms and flooding downpours across the lower Mississippi Valley on the first day of March.
“The same storm that is raising concerns for winter weather across the Great Lakes and interior Northeast will bring a severe weather threat to the Deep South,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Evan Duffey said.
Thunderstorms are expected to initiate over the southern Plains, centered on Oklahoma during Monday night before developing into a squall line on Tuesday.
A squall line is a continuous band of thunderstorms that can produce damaging wind gusts, flooding downpours and hail. Brief tornadoes are also possible along the leading edge of this line.
“As is typical with many of these winter storms, the push of cold air clashing with the warm air in place will lead to a line of thunderstorms along the system’s cold front,” Duffey explained.
Strong winds aloft can give the storms extra strength.
He added that localized damaging winds and brief flooding downpours would be the primary threats from these storms.
Cities that will likely be impacted by the squall line on Tuesday include Little Rock, Arkansas; Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee; and Shreveport, Louisiana. By Tuesday night, the line will shift into New Orleans, Knoxville, Tennessee, and Birmingham, Alabama.
While these storms will move through areas that were devastated by severe thunderstorms last week, it is highly unlikely that they will match the same intensity and magnitude. However, it only takes one tornado or damaging burst of wind to devastate a family and/or community.
Motorists should be aware of rapidly changing weather conditions should they encounter the squall line. Torrential downpours will lead to reduced visibility and excess water on roadways, which could disrupt the Tuesday evening commute.
It is possible that a few locally heavy, gusty thunderstorms will reach as far to the northeast as parts of Kentucky, West Virginia and southern Ohio during early Tuesday night.
As Tuesday night progresses, the storms will likely lose some of their punch once they reach Atlanta and the Appalachian Mountains.
Regardless, flash flooding and gusty winds will remain a concern until the storms exit the Southeast coast on Wednesday morning.
Behind this front, a brief spell of quieter and cooler weather is expected across the region before another round of rain and thunderstorms at late week.