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Next Outburst Of Severe Weather To Threaten Dallas To Chicago

The most recent storm will re-energize east of the Rockies and bring severe weather, potentially dumping heavy rain.

The latest storm poised to unload heavy rain and feet of mountain snow on California will re-energize east of the Rockies and trigger severe weather across much of the Great Plains and Mississippi Valley from Thursday evening to Friday night, AccuWeather meteorologists warn.

The severe weather threat will reach well to the north over the central United States by Friday and bring the risk of tornadoes where there have been few incidents thus far in 2023, as well as renew the threat in areas that have been hit repeatedly, forecasters say.

The severe weather threat will extend further northward over the central United States, posing a possibility of tornadoes where there haven’t been many reports of them so far in 2023. ACCUWEATHER

Conditions favorable for severe thunderstorms due to rising air over the Mississippi Valley and a surge of warm and humid air from the Gulf of Mexico will be in place late this week.

The first thunderstorms associated with the system will likely erupt over portions of the central and southern Plains late Thursday afternoon and persist into the evening. Overall coverage of the storms may be sparse on Thursday.

The main threats from the storms on Thursday evening will be hail and high winds with the potential for a couple of tornadoes.

Friday will be the prime day for severe weather and is likely to encompass more than a dozen states in the middle of the nation. The current risk extends from central Texas to near the border of Illinois and Wisconsin.

“The threat of severe weather that includes the potential for some tornado activity includes the Chicago area and could extend well to the north in Wisconsin,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Matt Benz said.

So far this year, there have been no official incidents of severe weather in Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota with only three reports in Iowa, according to the Storm Prediction Center (SPC). There have been 58 severe weather incidents in Illinois, including 15 reports of tornadoes. At least one of the Illinois tornado reports, which occurred on Feb. 27, was in Dupage County, well west of downtown Chicago.

On Friday, all modes of severe weather will be possible, ranging from large hail and tornadoes to strong wind gusts, frequent lightning strikes and flash flooding.

“As the storm evolves, there may be two main areas with an elevated risk of violent thunderstorms on Friday,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Courtney Travis said. “One zone may be close to the center of low pressure from the central Plains to the Upper Midwest and the other may be farther south and close to the source of Gulf of Mexico moisture.”

The risk of severe weather on Friday includes parts of northern Mississippi that were hit by tornadoes last Friday evening.

An outbreak of severe weather on Friday included a deadly EF4 tornado that traveled nearly 60 miles and spun right through Rolling Fork, Mississippi, with winds between 166 mph and 200 mph. The tornado struck after dark and took the lives of at least 25 people.

Powerful winds associated with the storm system’s cold front could knock down trees and power lines. Not only can thunderstorms stir strong wind gusts as the front approaches, but high winds will also persist after the front has pushed through the region.

Winds will howl from the northwest over portions of the southern Plains from Friday afternoon to Friday night. Dry soil and brush conditions from Kansas to Oklahoma and northwestern Texas, combined with wind gusts approaching 70 mph, will raise the risk of wildfires and blowing dust in some locations.

From Tennessee to Michigan, winds in this area can reach speeds of around 60 mph. ACCUWEATHER

Strong winds from the west and northwest will kick up from portions of the Tennessee Valley to the Ohio Valley to the lower Great Lakes region on Saturday. Gusts in this zone from Tennessee to Michigan can approach 60 mph.

It is possible that heavy, gusty and locally severe thunderstorms could pivot across the Southeast states on Saturday and perhaps reach as far to the north as the central Appalachians and mid-Atlantic regions.

Rounds of severe weather, including tornadoes, have been terrorizing portions of the Southern states and the middle part of the nation since Jan. 12. As of March 27, there have been 2,304 preliminary reports of severe weather, of which there have been 296 preliminary reports of tornadoes, according to the SPC.

This image shows the locations of preliminary tornadoes from Jan. 1 through the morning of Mar. 27, 2023. ACCUWEATHER

The number of tornadoes thus far in 2023 is nearly double the recent three-year average. Ongoing National Weather Service investigations may cause those numbers to increase or decrease.

Produced in association with AccuWeather

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