Discussion: Parts of the Midwest have experienced warm, windy conditions from this morning through this afternoon due to a warm from passing through the area. But, now a cold front is moving in and is about to bring about changes in the weather. This is because of the passage of these fronts that the National Weather Service predicted a moderate risk of severe weather for the area stretching from eastern Oklahoma to eastern Ohio. Furthermore, conditions have become sufficiently favorable for severe weather that the Storm Prediction Center (located in Norman, Oklahoma) has issued tornado watches for Missouri, Arkansas, and Illinois from 3:40 P.M CST until 10:00 P.M CST.
Warm sector storm development has begun over southern Missouri, with storm initiation expected to begin in parts of southern and western Missouri, northwestern Arkansas, southern Iowa, and southwest Kansas. This area of storm initiation is currently experiencing strong shearing and unstable atmospheric conditions, which should aid in the development of supercell thunderstorms capable of producing damaging winds, large hail, and tornadoes. An expanding low-level jet and warm sector in the lower Ohio Valley should also aid the currently active storms which are intensifying and developing as they move east/northeast across these areas.
These storms should move east across the Ohio Valley, with the states of Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, and Ohio possibly being affected, as these storms continue pushing eastward possibly lasting through the overnight hours. Models predict that some of the initial storm cells could remain discrete, while others could merge into lines of storms as they move across the previously mentioned areas. These lines could lead to training (areas receiving rain multiple times in a short span of time), so flooding could also become a concern. The threat will diminish once diurnal heating, instability, and the low-level jet’s influence decrease. Once the severe weather threat concludes, rain will still be possible until the cold front moves out of the area early Wednesday.
A Tornado Watch means that conditions are favorable for severe weather capable of producing damaging winds, large hail, and tornadoes. People in these watch areas are advised to monitor changing conditions, as well as listen and watch for possible issuances of severe weather and tornado warnings.
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©2017 Meteorologist Noah C. Hardy