1/23 – The Chief’s “Cold Start” Monday Morning Forecast

Bottom line up front…main concern for this forecast package will be with the storm system expected to impact the Gulf Coast Tuesday into Wednesday morning, with the potential for multiple hazardous weather threats.

Concerns are…1) Severe weather, 2) Excessive rainfall, 3) Wind related issues, and 4) Potential coastal flooding.

Dry air is currently in place, with a pretty nice late January day ahead, albeit a little cool, as the center of the high pressure slides east of the area to the Smoky Mountains by Tuesday morning. High temperatures might make it to 60 degrees, but not much past that. By midday Tuesday, low pressure will be developing over east Texas ahead of the upper system, with the pressure gradient tightening significantly. This will shift our winds east, then southeast as the day goes on. Moisture will return rapidly with surface winds likely to increase to 20-25 mph or even higher Tuesday afternoon, and Wind Advisories will likely be necessary for some or all of the area for Tuesday afternoon and Tuesday night.

Main questions regarding the severe weather threat are track and timing of the surface low and low level moisture return and resulting instability. Either case means an overnight Tuesday night event for our area, primarily during the evening and early overnight hours. The bigger issue is a bit of a southward trend in the track of the low, which may put less of the area into the warm sector, where the main severe weather threat is expected. Certainly, potential exists for significant severe weather, with the Storm Prediction Center forecasting an Enhanced Risk of severe weather for Tuesday night for much of the area. Much of the area, particularly from the Interstate 10-12 corridors northward, could see a 3-6 hour window where 2 inches or more of rain will fall. With the strong east and southeast winds Tuesday and Tuesday night, that’ll be pushing water into some of our usually vulnerable coastal exposures for about a 12 hour period.

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