Severe Thunderstorms with Potential Tornadoes Forecasted for South US, Critical Fire Weather Conditions for Southwest Texas

Severe thunderstorms and fire weather conditions are in store for different parts of the southern United States, according to a recent weather forecast by the National Weather Service (NWS) on Tuesday, April 9. The severe weather is expected to spawn multiple weather hazards, including tornadoes, across most parts of Texas and its adjacent areas. Meanwhile, Southwest Texas could experience an increased risk of wildfires.

The forecasted stormy weather may also produce not only twisters but also large hail and damaging winds from Texas towards the lower Mississippi Valley and the Gulf Coast regions through Wednesday, April 10. In addition, severe storms can result in heavy to excessive rainfall, leading to urban flooding and flash flooding, as well as the overflow of rivers and small streams, the weather service warns.

Severe Thunderstorm and Fire Weather

Severe Thunderstorms with Potential Tornadoes Forecasted for South US, Critical Fire Weather Conditions for Southwest Texas
(Photo : Photo by Dave Hoefler on Unsplash)

In its South US forecast, the NWS’ Weather Prediction Center (WPC) at 4:00 a.m. EDT (local time) on Tuesday issued a weather alert that severe weather, flash flooding, and heavy rain will expand across the southern Plains into the lower Mississippi Valley through midweek. These weather hazards will then reach the Midwest, Ohio Valley, Tennessee Valley, and the Southeast US by Thursday morning, April 11.

Meanwhile, elevated to critical fire weather conditions will shift into the “Texas Big Bend and Rio Grande Valley.” Following the 2024 Great American Eclipse on Monday, April 8, the WPC mentions a developing low-pressure system over the southern Plains, which will likely persist across the region in the coming days. The system is also likely responsible for the looming severe thunderstorm and fire weather conditions across the South.

The NWS explains that an upper-level trough exiting the southern Rocky Mountains or northern Mexico will continue to interact with moisture-filled air returning from the Gulf of Mexico. This interaction will pave the way for the occurrence of heavy rain and severe thunderstorms from eastern Texas into the Ark-La-Tex region, before expanding into the Texas Panhandle at least on Tuesday evening. These hazards could continue throughout the week.

Also Read: US Weather Forecast: Early Spring, Extended Winter Season Expected in Some Parts of the Country

Texas Wildfire Threat

Amid the forecasted fire weather conditions, Texas could face another wildfire threat, more than a month after the state’s largest wildfire in history, called the Smokehouse Creek Fire, erupted in late February 2024. The massive wildland fire burnt more than 1 million acres of land amid dry, warm, and windy conditions, which are considered to be some of the conditions of fire weather, along with humidity.

As the 2024 US spring season arrives in March, the occurrence of frequent thunderstorms and wildfires are expected, even ahead of the scorching summer season. In 2023, the country’s National Interagency Fire Center reported that 56,580 wildfires burnt a total area of 2.7 million acres across the US. In general, the North American wildfire season spans from the spring season to the fall season.

Related Article: Weather in Southern US for April 8 Eclipse: Severe Thunderstorms to Affect Viewing Conditions

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