2/8 – Brittany’s “Severe Potential” Wednesday Evening Forecast
The biggest concern in the short term is the potential for severe through the remainder of this afternoon and overnight tonight ahead of an approaching cold front.
Already seeing scattered to numerous showers and storms across portions of the area, especially west of I-55. Still looks like the main threat from any storms that do become severe will be damaging wind gusts, but as usual with severe threats along the Gulf Coast, we cannot rule out a tornado or two either, especially if any discrete supercells develop ahead of the main line. Still looks like the greatest local threat of severe weather, especially tornadoes, will be across southwestern Mississippi and the adjacent portions of southeast Louisiana. Model soundings continue to indicate PW values of 1.5-1.6 inches by this evening which is above the 90th percentile for this time of year and nearing the daily maximum PW. That being said, efficient rainfall rates are expected from some of the stronger storms and if any one area sees multiple storms in a short period, these higher rainfall rates could easily lead to ponding of water in low lying and poor drainage areas. Still not enough confidence in specific areas to go ahead with a flood watch, but certainly there is at least some threat of isolated flash flooding and the marginal risk highlighted by WPC seems warranted.
Going into this evening and overnight, the upper trough becomes negatively tilted and lifts northeastward toward the Great Lakes. In response, the cold front will push into our local area. However, deeper layer flow will become more parallel to the front at the same time as forcing lifts northeastward. This will cause the front to slow down or stall somewhere near the coast. Where exactly the front stalls will have a fairly significant effect on what can be expected, especially across portions of far southeastern Louisiana and coastal Mississippi. Currently, it looks like the surface boundary should have enough push to make it through the local area by daybreak, with all land-based locations having north/northwesterly winds by about midday Thursday.