Severe Weather Back on Deck for Southern Plains, Gulf Coast, and Ohio Valley

Posted: February 6, 2023 1:11 pm

After a week of decidedly winter weather unleashed across the south-central U.S., the first full week of February is ushering in more springlike conditions for the region. While the warmer temperatures will certainly be welcome after last week’s ice storm, this next weather pattern will bring the risk of flooding and severe thunderstorms. Here is what you need to know heading into the new week.

Severe Weather Back in the Forecast

Life came to a standstill last week for much of Texas and beyond as an ice storm gripped the region. Cities such as Dallas, Austin, and Little Rock were hit particularly hard with thousands of customers left without power and over 600 vehicle accidents attributed to the weather.

Now that the ice is all gone, the area is bracing for a completely different set of weather impacts. This winter has brought in a number of severe weather situations across the Gulf Coast and the southern Plains. In fact, January of 2023 has landed at third on the list for the most tornadoes in the first month of the year. This severe weather machine is expected to fire up again in the coming days.

Timing of Storms

The region will begin to experience the severe weather outbreak late Monday and into Tuesday. Because the air is forecast to be warmer, the storms will not produce ice or snow. However, the combination of the warm air from the Gulf of Mexico clashing with the cold air behind the front could set the stage for thunderstorm development.

These storms may develop by early Tuesday in the eastern fringes of Texas. They are forecast to become more intense as the day goes on with the worst of the impacts happening in the afternoon and evening hours. The threat will last through the overnight hours as the cells move across the Louisiana border. Cities that may see the storms pop up include Austin, Houston, and Waco.

Forecasters are warning of a variety of impacts with these storms, including lighting, heavy rain, and wind gusts measuring 50 – 60 mph. Do not rule out the potential of an isolated tornado or two.

Wednesday’s Severe Weather Forecast

The line of storms will move to the east on Wednesday with the same possibility of severe impacts. The strong winds are expected to be more widespread on Wednesday, impacting a greater area than Tuesday’s more localized threat.


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The area most likely to see Wednesday’s severe weather includes the major cities across Interstate 10 such as New Orleans, Biloxi, and Mobile. The zone of impact will expand to the north to include cities such as Little Rock and Memphis.

Flash flooding will be a risk for an area stretching from eastern Texas through the southern portion of Arkansas and into Louisiana and Mississippi. Significant rain over the last few weeks has left this region more susceptible to flooding.

The weather maker is forecast to continue its track to the northeast through the week. This movement will pull up the warm and moist air from the Gulf of Mexico, bringing the threat of torrential rain as far north as the Ohio Valley. This includes the cities of Louisville, Nashville, and Indianapolis. Like the Gulf Coast region, overly saturated grounds will lay the groundwork for flooding potential.

The rain is predicted to continue through the early morning hours on Thursday. Another round of cold air is forecast to move through the southern Plains and into the Ohio Valley by the end of the week. The drop in temperatures will increase the risk of wintry precipitation just in time for the weekend.

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