More tornadoes for Mississippi, Alabama

Waynesboro, MS Tornado courtesty Devon Polansky
Waynesboro, MS Tornado courtesty Devon Polansky

St. Patrick’s Day brought destructive tornadoes to the deep South and Thursday will be another day of severe weather, especially from Jackson, Mississippi, to Birmingham, Alabama.

Here’s the convective outlook for Thursday and you’ll notice we are on the edge of the severe storm chance, so we’ll watch for that Thursday morning. The RED bull’s-eye indicates the most likely spot for dangerous storms:

You can see the American model futurecast for Thursday showing orange and red over the area:

The National Weather Service is warning for long-track tornadoes (the kind that touch the ground and stay on the ground for miles), winds to 80 mph, golf-ball-sized hail and up to 3 inches of flooding rain:

La Niña to blame?

An excellent article on the super-charged storm season and how La Niña relates to that can be found right here, but the long and short of it is that La Niña causes a wavy jet stream (as opposed to a zonal flow). In other words, big dips in the jet stream bring in cold, polar air smashing into warmer Pacific and Gulf air. You can see the jet stream for Thursday has that big dip and I circled the most dangerous area:

Jet Stream

While we may see a few strong storms Thursday, the big show is for the Southeast U.S. If you have family or friends there, make sure they know what’s coming. Learn from this because our turn will come. We’re just fortunate to get a near miss for now!


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About the Authors:

KPRC 2's chief meteorologist with three decades of experience forecasting Houston's weather.

Aaron Barker has been a senior digital editor at KPRC 2 since 2016. As a meteorologist, he specializes in stories about the weather. He has covered Hurricane Harvey, the Astros first World Series win, the Santa Fe High School shooting, the ITC fire and Tropical Storm Imelda.