The threat of tornadoes in the South increases as the West is blanketed with the necessary snow

The threat of tornadoes in the South increases as the West is blanketed with the necessary snow


The clash of the two seasons will lead to an early winter blast and record autumn warmth over the next few days – and that meeting will lead to a powerful storm system with heavy mountain snow in the west and strong storms in the south.

“An active end to the (workweek) is expected across much of the country as a highly enhanced upper-level trough swings eastward and produces numerous weather hazards for areas west of the Mississippi River,” the Weather Forecast Center said.

Just as that system spreads east, another system will push into the Pacific Northwest bringing heavy rain, snow and strong winds.

Winter weather warnings remain in effect for much of the Rockies where heavy snow will continue into Thursday and temperatures will drop.

“Strong and gusty northerly winds will also add to the wintry feel in these areas in stark contrast to the warm and dry weather of recent days,” the forecast center said.

Salt Lake City soared to nearly 70 degrees on Tuesday, but by Wednesday night temperatures had dropped below freezing as the first snow of the season arrived. Snow is expected to continue in Utah, Arizona and Nevada on Thursday, and begin falling in Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, Nebraska and South Dakota.

Freeze measures and warnings are also in effect in Utah and California as temperatures are expected to drop significantly overnight Thursday into Friday, dropping into the mid-20s.

By Friday morning, Denver is forecast to be more than 50 degrees cooler than Nov. 1 – with at least 1 to 2 inches of fresh powder.

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Cold air from the west will interact with record warmth across the central Plains and Midwest, allowing for strong storms to develop Thursday into Friday morning.

The Storm Prediction Center has issued a slight risk (level 2 out of 5) of severe storms for parts of Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas, with a marginal risk (level 1 out of 5) surrounding the area. “Damaging gusts, isolated large hail and a marginal tornado threat will be possible,” the forecast center warned.

Many of these storms will develop overnight, increasing the risk. Nighttime tornadoes are usually more deadly than those that occur during the day because people are asleep and less aware of the weather.

Bad weather will be possible in the south on Thursday and Friday.

Storms could continue into Friday morning, with additional severe activity picking up in the afternoon.

An increased risk (level 3 out of 5) of severe storms has been issued for 9 million people in parts of Texas (including Dallas and Fort Worth), Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.

Tornadoes, some of which could be significant (EF2 or greater), damaging winds and large hail will threaten the region on Friday.

Another 27 million people surrounding this elevated risk area are also at risk (Level 1 or 2) from Friday’s severe storms. This area includes the Texas cities of Houston, San Antonio, and Austin, as well as Oklahoma City, Kansas City, Kansas, and Wichita, Kansas.

Heavy rain will accompany the threat of severe weather.

Most areas will see up to 2 inches of rain. There could be isolated amounts that are even higher if storms linger or persist in the same areas for longer.

While a large part the central US is also suffering from drought and if rain is needed, excessive rainfall can flood hard, dry ground, especially throughout the Ark-La-Tex regionaccording to data from the Center for Weather Forecasts.

A series of winter storms will continue with a flurry of precipitation beginning late Thursday through the weekend, creating a blanket of snow across many drought-stricken western states.

As much as 15 to 30 inches of fresh snow is possible in the higher elevations of the Cascades, Rockies and Sierras through Sunday, while highs in cities including Seattle, Salt Lake City and Portland, Oregon will be 10 to 15 degrees below seasonal averages.

Maximum temperatures in several major Northwest cities will be in line with temperatures typically seen in early January rather than early November.

As much as 5 to 10 inches of new precipitation is forecast in the Pacific Northwest over the next seven days.

The increase in moisture is welcome as nearly 75% of the western US is under some level of drought and one-third of the Pacific Northwest is experiencing severe drought conditions.

November is the second wettest month of the year in cities including Seattle and Portland. Rainfall potential will also increase as far south as Southern California starting late this weekend and into next week.

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