Severe Thunderstorms, then Snow this Weekend for the Southeast!

A wild weather weekend is in store for the Southeast from Friday through Sunday.

On Friday, the stage is set for a severe weather episode across central Mississippi into central Alabama.  Hail and damagaing winds look to be the biggest threats, but there will also be the threat for some tornadoes as well.  If dewpoints reach the 63-67 degree F. range, then even a strong tornado or two will be possible along and just north of I-20 in MS and AL on Friday afternoon and evening.  By early evening the threat for strong to severe storms will extend into parts of western and northern Georgia.

On Saturday, the main threat for severe storms will extend from central and south Georgia into the upstate of South Carolina and central and eastern North Carolina.  Instability will decrease, while upper level dynamics increase.  Overall, the threat on Saturday does not look as great as that on Friday, but nonethelesss, damaging severe thunderstorms will be possible, especially across central GA, and an isolated tornado or two cannot be ruled out.  I may be streaming severe weather video at http://www.severestudios.com/livechase.  If I do, I’ll be sure and let everyone know.

Saturday night through Sunday and even into Monday morning is looking VERY interesting in terms of significant snowfall.  Yes, it does snow in March in the Southeast, in fact, some of our biggest snowfalls happen in March.  this will be a fairly long duration upper level low snow event IF it pans out.  These are notoriously hard to forecast and pin down the areas of greatest snowfall accumulation until the event is actually unfolding.  These events are also notorious for “jackpot snows”, where someone in a small area or narrow swath gets absolutely crushed by heavy snow.  We had one of these early in the season across southern Louisiana into southern and central Mississippi.  I won’t get specific yet, I’ll just say that significant amounts of wet, gloppy snow will be possible across northern and central MS, AL and GA, southern TN, much of SC and central and eastern NC.  Could this threat fizzle like so many have this winter?  It sure could, so it will be important to keep an eye on the forecast and not get too carried away just yet with this threat in any direction.  We’ll know much more about the potential snow threat and more specific details by Friday night and Saturday morning.

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6 Responses to “Severe Thunderstorms, then Snow this Weekend for the Southeast!”

  1. How many inches of snow looks likely in Birmingham, Al & Atlanta, Ga in your opinion?

    • stormstream Says:

      Right now Calvin, I’d say anywhere from a trace to as much as three inches for Birmingham. For Atlanta, the chances are better, especially for the east side of town. I’d say a trace to 3 inches on the west side, and 1 to 5 inches on the east side. Still a lot of uncertainty, so I really can’t narrow those totals down more specifically with much confidence yet, but I should by Saturday morning.

  2. why are the snow chances and amounts higher for Atlanta vs Birmingham?

    • stormstream Says:

      Whe the upper level low pases by Birmingham it will just have the moisture it brought with it to work with. By the time it gets east it will begin to grab some Atlantic moisture and this will up the snowfall totals for locations to the east. Still too early to make an official call, but parts of SC and NC as well as parts of eastern and northeast GA could get nailed by some heavy snow with this system.

  3. Channel 2 just called for 2-4 inches for Metro Atlanta on their website. Accuweather has called for 5-10 inches for places like Atlanta in their weather blog a short while ago.

    • stormstream Says:

      That is a bold call at this juncture, but it is certainly warranted. No one can feel fully confident in any snowfall forecast at this point, but it is looking increasingly likely that many of us are going to see amounts of at least two inches, and that is significant for the Southeast. I still think there is going to be some “jackpot snow” somewhere that could total a foot or more, but it is impossible to pin down where that will be at this point. Severe weather and snow. What an exciting weather weekend!

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