Texas, Oklahoma, and Western Kansas are on the hook for some upcoming severe weather as a storm system barrels down on the Southern Plains. Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi are shortly thereafter, followed by the remainder of the Eastern United States. A fast-moving cold front, which will bring snow to the Inter mountain West (Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming, Colorado...) will begin to push through the Texas/Oklahoma Panhandle near sunset Monday evening, bringing severe thunderstorms followed by near-freezing temperatures. By sunrise, the cold front will have blasted through Texas Hill Country and Central Oklahoma/Kansas and will bear down on East Texas, bringing Severe Thunderstorms and potentially heavy rain to much of South-Eastern Texas (Houston Metroplex) and Coastal Louisiana. This will continue through the day on Tuesday, with rain and thunderstorms occurring through the Mississippi River Valley from New Orleans to St Louis. By sunrise Wednesday, expect the cold front ans associated weather to stretch from the Mississippi Gulf to Lake Michigan (wow!)...becoming slightly negatively titled (which is conducive for very bad weather) through the Ohio River Valley. By early morning Thursday, it will hit the Appalachians. At the same time, an additional cold push of air will enter northern Texas, bringing sub-freezing temperatures.
I've attached the Storm Prediction Center's outlook valid from 6am Monday-6am Tuesday. Thunderstorms will occur outside of the shaded areas...this is only their assessment of SEVERE THUNDERSTORM potential. Additionally, this does not account for heavy rain and flooding potential.
***Severe Thunderstorms (as issued by the National Weather Service) include quarter-sized (1-inch diameter) hail and/or wind speeds 58 mph or greater (50 knots). Tornadoes are often a possibility with severe thunderstorms, but the likelihood of a tornado is significantly less than the likelihood of a severe thunderstorm. On average, only about 20-30% of severe thunderstorms are capable of creating a funnel cloud, and even less will create an actual tornado reaching the ground. Nonetheless, the threat exists.
Dan Schreiber is a freelance meteorologist with experience