Another multi-day severe weather outbreak – the fourth in four weeks – is targeting the Plains, Midwest, and South, where thunderstorms will be capable of spawning several tornadoes, damaging winds, and large hail.
This latest outbreak kicked off late Monday when baseball- to softball-sized hail pelted parts of Arkansas. A hailstone of 4.5 inches in diameter was reported Monday evening in New Blaine, Arkansas, which was the largest hail in the state since May 4, 2020, according to the Storm Events Database compiled by NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information.
There were also six reports of tornadoes in Arkansas on Monday evening, including at least one twister that was confirmed by the weather observer at Little Rock Air Force Base, which triggered the National Weather Service to issue a rare Tornado Emergency.
Showers and storms are ongoing Tuesday morning in parts of the central U.S., but they have mostly stayed below severe limits so far. That will eventually change as the atmosphere becomes more unstable by late Tuesday afternoon.
Scattered severe thunderstorms are expected to fire up beginning late Tuesday afternoon and continuing through Tuesday night across a broad area from the Central and Southern Plains to the Mississippi Valley.
The greatest threat of severe weather will be in portions of western and northern Iowa, where wind shear – the change in wind speed and/or direction with height – will be favorable for the development of supercells capable of EF-2 or stronger tornadoes and hail larger than 2 inches in diameter.
Very large hail, damaging wind gusts and tornadoes are all threats in the other areas at risk for severe storms as well.
Numerous severe thunderstorms are likely on Wednesday across a large area from the lower and mid-Mississippi Valley to the Midwest, Ohio Valley and Southeast.
Destructive winds, including some gusts over 75 mph, several tornadoes and large to very large hail are all significant threats. Some of the tornadoes could be EF-2 or stronger.
The severe weather threat will diminish on Thursday as the low-pressure system responsible for this outbreak reaches the East Coast.
However, isolated severe thunderstorms might linger from parts of the Southeast to the mid-Atlantic and southern New England. Damaging wind gusts are the main concern.
Heavy rain, flash flooding threats
Rainfall totals between 1 and 3 inches are predicted from the lower and mid-Mississippi Valley to the Ohio Valley through Thursday. Locally higher amounts over 3 inches are possible where the heaviest rain sets up.
Flash flooding could develop in some areas because soils are saturated across this region after the recent siege of severe storms and heavy rainfall across the South and Ohio Valley.
If your town faces the threat of severe weather or flash flooding this week, make sure you are prepared by following these steps.
That includes having multiple ways of receiving watches and warnings from the National Weather Service and knowing where to take shelter in the event a Tornado Warning is issued.
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