A major storm is taking shape over the central U.S. and will bring a tornado and severe weather to parts of the south.
This same system will bring a widespread risk for flash flooding in parts of the Tennessee Valley, a risk for more widespread tornadoes along parts the east coast on Monday and a significant high impact wind event to the Northeast.
As of early Sunday morning, there were over 60 reports of severe weather from Texas to Kansas including softball-sized hail reports in western Texas.
This morning, a large part of the U.S. is under some type of alert from this developing storm system including Winter Alerts across the upper Midwest for the colder part of the storm and wind alerts that cover an area from the Great Plains to the Northeast.
The most immediate threatening weather though is in the southern U.S. where a Tornado Watch is in effect this morning for parts of Texas, including Austin, Waco and San Antonio.
The High Resolution Rapid Refresh model this morning is showing a cluster of thunderstorms blowing through Dallas, Waco, Austin and San Antonio this morning and then the action moving off towards Arkansas and Louisiana by later in the morning. Strong thunderstorms and tornadoes will be possible this morning in parts of this region.
By early afternoon the first round of storms will push into Arkansas and Tennessee where very strong winds will be possible. As the system moves off to the east, numerous discrete supercells will begin developing from Louisiana to Alabama and western Georgia. These discrete supercells will be capable of producing strong, long track tornadoes. Additionally, lines of storms will be moving through Tennessee and Kentucky where very powerful destructive straight-lined winds will be possible.
Later in the evening, the High Resolution Rapid Refresh model is still showing numerous storm cells moving through Mississippi and Georgia. Therefore, the tornado risk in this region will extend well into the overnight hours.
The storm prediction center has issued a rather large moderate risk area from Louisiana to Alabama. Additionally, there is a very real concern for destructive straight-lined winds, especially across parts of Arkansas, Tennessee and Kentucky.
The current forecast guidance indicates that there will be enough time between waves of storms that will allow enough heating to significantly destabilize the atmosphere and cause tornadic supercells.
Unfortunately, this situation will persist into Monday morning with tornadic storms expected to move into Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia overnight and into Early Monday morning. Strong winds, and large hail will be possible.
There is general agreement in the models that wind gusts on Monday in the Northeast will exceed 50 mph and reach as high as 70 mph.
Regardless of the exact wind speed, power outages and downed trees are likely in the Northeast on Monday. Travel should already be limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, but any essential travel could become dangerous.
Finally, locally, 3 to 4 inches of rain is expected in parts of the South stretching into the Appalachians through Tuesday. Therefore, flash flooding will be possible, especially in the hillier terrain of the southern Appalachians and Southern Tennessee Valley.
It will be possible that some regions will deal with flash flooding and ongoing tornadic storms at the same time on Easter Sunday.