MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The WMC Action News 5 First Alert Weather team is tracking the potential for strong to severe storms across the Mid-South this Wednesday evening into the early morning hours Thursday.
We have declared a First Alert Weather Day. Here’s what that means for you:
SET UP: A potent cold front will slide across the Mid-South later today and push south of the region by tomorrow morning. Ahead of this front, afternoon highs will soar into the middle 80s thanks to south winds pushing moist, Gulf air into the region. As the warm and cold collides, that will be the culprit of our storm chances over the next 24 hours.
OUTLOOK: The Storm Prediction Center has increased our severe weather threat for tonight to an Enhanced (3 out of 5) Risk for strong storms, the area shaded in orange covers Northeast Arkansas, West Tennessee and the North Mississippi Counties hugging the Tennessee Border. This stronger threat for storms also extends into Middle Tennessee and the Ohio River Vally.
The remainder of the Mid-South, mainly along Highway 278 corridor in Mississippi and points South are under a Slight (2 out of 5) Risk for stronger storms or area shaded in yellow. Nevertheless, everyone across the Mid-South should stay weather alert through the day today and into tomorrow morning.
THREATS: As this line pushes into the region, our primary threats with this system will be gusty winds in excess of 40+ mph. Large, damaging hail will also be possible up to quarter sized and higher as severe storms form across the area. Secondary impacts include, a few tornadoes and localized heavy rainfall.
TIMING: Areas north of I-40 will get the brunt of this storm system first as it rolls across the region from the Northwest. Expect storms from Northeast Arkansas through the Missouri Bootheel and then into far Northwest Tennessee from around 9 pm tonight through 1 am.
That threat of strong storms shifts to areas along and south of I-40, including Memphis and Shelby County, around 11 p.m. and lasting through 2 am for areas along the Highway 278 corridor.
As this system evolves, the timing could speed up and slow down. That’s why it’s important to stay with the WMC Action News 5 First Alert Weather team all day for the latest, updated timing and threats for the potential for severe weather as we progress through tonight into tomorrow morning.
ACTION: With this event moving through during the evening and overnight hours, make sure you have a plan in place in case storms strike your area. Have your weather radio handy with fresh batteries in place. Also, have your cell phone charged and ready to go in case you lose power.
Finally, have the WMC Action News 5 First Alert Weather App download onto your smartphone or tablet. That way you can see First Alert Doppler 5 in the palm of your hand, and you can live stream any severe weather coverage from the First Alert Weather team in case you lose power or TV signal.