After Tuesday and Wednesday were extremely active with numerous reports of tornadoes and damaging winds, it appears the chance for severe weather will return for Friday. This isn't expected to affect the D.C. area, but it will have a big impact to regions that experienced the severe storms over the past two days. The bullseye for tomorrow's severe weather will again lie over the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys from Southern Ohio to northern Alabama.
- Friday's Outlook for severe weather from the Storm Prediction Center
In those areas, strong long-track tornadoes will be possible. I was looking at the set up with Meteorologist Adam Caskey and we both agreed this looks like a very serious and dangerous situation. The set up shows all of the ingredients will be in place. This includes the necessary moisture, lift and shear to produce tornadoes. It's one of those times that if you know people in the area such as friends or relatives, give them a call and a heads up.
As you can see in the Outlook, the risk also extends east into the D.C. area west of the Blue Ridge. We think the potential for storms will be after midnight probably between 3am and 11am. As far as severe weather is concerned, it would rely on the on-going storms from the west and would most likely be in the form of damaging winds but even more so in some flooding concerns.
There will be a few factors that can act to limit the severe potential this far east. First of all will be the timing, as it moves through overnight when lower levels of instability are available. Also, a warm front will move through Friday night into Saturday morning. If this front doesn't move far enough to the north, clouds and precipitation may hang around and further act to limit instability across the region. The atmosphere will be nothing like it will be over the TN and OH Valleys tomorrow. While we'll have the shear and lift from the front, we will have little instability which will limit the growth of these storms.
We think the front will push east of the D.C. Metro by Saturday early afternoon and by then all rain will be exiting the region. Thunderstorms will be possible through the late morning hours but we don't think they will be severe at this time. As we get closer to this event (tomorrow) we will update you with any additional information. At this time, the main focus is to our west as a potentially big severe event may unfold tomorrow.