NOAA Predicting Significant Weather, Thursday

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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is calling for a significant weather event for most of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida panhandle, Thursday. 

According to NOAA:

   Severe thunderstorms capable of tornadoes and extensive wind damage
   are possible across parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama on
   Thursday. Scattered severe storms are also possible as far east as
   the Florida Panhandle, and as far north as western Tennessee.

 NOAA and current weather models predict these thunderstorms will begin entering north-west Louisiana around 7 am, ramping up to full strength by 5 pm. NOAA expects weather conditions to be favorable to produce large super-cell thunderstorms, capable of hail, lightning, damaging winds and tornadoes. The areas effected by this severe weather include a population over 7.7 million people, across 4 states. The current chance these areas could see a tornado is 10% which is a severe, enhanced risk, 15% for hail and 30% for damaging winds. 

It is advised that you and your family develop an emergency plan, now, in the event of a tornado. See our tornado safety tips for more advise.

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NOAA's current full report states:

   An upper trough will amplify as it approaches the lower MS Valley
   with mid to upper winds increasing to 60-80 kts. At the surface, a
   cold front/outflow composite boundary will extend from eastern TX
   into AR in the morning, and will shift east through the period.
   Ahead of this early activity will be a deepening surface trough.
   Preceding the front and early storms, southwesterly low-level winds
   will create a surge of theta-e across LA, MS, and AL during the day,
   with mean boundary layer dewpoints increasing to 68-70 F. 

   Very strong large-scale lift will develop over the lower MS Valley
   during the day, with intense deep-layer differential divergence.
   Cooling aloft will also accompany the cold front, further aiding
   destabilization. The result will be widespread thunderstorms, with
   corridors of damaging wind and tornadoes. 

   ....LA...MS...AL...Western FL Panhandle...
   Storms are expected to be ongoing Thursday morning along the cold
   front/outflow, from southern AR into eastern TX. Some of these
   storms could produce strong wind gusts or marginal hail.

   Later in the day, a strong surge of deeper low-level moisture will
   spread across LA and MS, coincident with 850 mb winds increasing to
   over 50 kt. Both instability and shear will increase, and conditions
   will become favorable for supercells and tornadoes. Forecast
   soundings indicate effective SRH on the order of 300-400 m2/s2
   across the entire area. Thus these midday storms may be severe with
   a few tornadoes possible should they remain cellular.

   Meanwhile, the activity along the cold front is expected to
   intensify as it encounters this stronger instability into central
   and eastern LA, and continuing across central and eastern MS during
   the day. By late afternoon, an intense QLCS is forecast, likely
   absorbing the earlier activity and producing corridors of
   destructive winds and tornadoes. The most intense activity may also
   spread into western Alabama, with a gradual decrease in overall
   intensity overnight across eastern AL and into FL.

   Early convection due to warm advection in the 15-18Z period lends
   some uncertainty as to air mass quality for latter-day convection
   with the front. If the rain is too widespread across LA and southern
   MS, it could temper instability for the expected QLCS. On the other
   hand, if the midday activity remains more cellular, several
   tornadoes could occur. As such, will defer possible upgrade to
   Moderate Risk to upcoming Day 1 updates.

   Shear profiles and large scale lift will increase across this region
   as well, ahead of a strong cold front. Forecast soundings indicate
   only a few hundred J/kg MUCAPE will be present, with generally cool 
   conditions. However, very strong lift may allow northern portions of
   the QLCS to become severe into TN, especially southern into middle
   into late afternoon. Damaging winds will be the main threat.

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