Southeast set for a soaking to end the week
After several dry and seasonably cool days at the start of the week, weather conditions across the southern Plains and Southeast will deteriorate just in time to force families to possibly re-think their holiday plans.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Thanksgiving will look different for a majority of the United States this year. Those looking to hold an outdoor, socially distanced feast will likely be closely monitoring the weather forecast leading up to the holiday itself.
Unfortunately for some residents across the Southeast, Mother Nature may have something to say about their holiday plans. A storm system developing in the central Plains this week will act to bring periods of rain and even a few thunderstorms to the southern Plains and Southeast Wednesday morning. However, rain and storms will lose intensity through Wednesday night and into Thanksgiving itself.
“The storm system may still keep a few lingering showers for some across the Southeast on Thanksgiving, potentially hindering outdoor plans,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Brandon Buckingham said.
The next system, and what may ultimately become a more widespread threat for wet weather will develop quickly in the wake of Thursday’s exiting system.
A cold front will dive into the southern Plains early Friday and cause soaking rain and thunderstorms to develop and stretch into the Southeast. Rain and storms will first develop across eastern Texas on Friday and expand eastward into Mississippi and Alabama by the time the sun sets.
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Rain can fall heavily at times throughout the day Friday, especially for areas that find themselves caught under the heaviest downpours or thunderstorms.
“Higher rainfall totals and a greater risk for localized flash flooding will be likely along the Interstate-10 corridor and closer to the Gulf Coast, where warmer air and greater moisture can be sufficient for wetter atmospheric ingredients,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Adam Sadvary said.
Given the availability of warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico, it is also not out of the question that this potent cold front can lead to an explosive clashing of cold air from the north and warm air from the south. Even in late autumn, it is not unlikely to have feisty thunderstorms develop when two such air masses collide.
Any stronger thunderstorm that develops on Friday will have the potential to unleash locally damaging winds and hail.
“Folks who may be traveling after Thanksgiving or masking-up to venture out for socially distanced Black Friday deals should pay close attention to the forecast and potentially plan for travel delays,” Sadvary added.
Friday’s soaking weather may even have ramifications for a few post-holiday college football games, notably the matchup between the #15 Iowa State Cyclones and the #20 Texas Longhorns.
This early afternoon game at Darrel K Royal — Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas, may have to contend with Mother Nature. Rain is likely to be ongoing across central and eastern Texas at kickoff. During the game, initiation of heavier thunderstorms will be possible just to the east of the Austin area, so players and limited spectators will need to remain on guard for rapidly changing conditions.
The threat for heavy rain and thunderstorms will expand farther east on Saturday as the front that triggered Friday’s event slows and becomes stationary from the southern Plains to the Southeast. Sloppy weather will reach portions of Georgia by Saturday morning and expand into Florida and South Carolina by day’s end, all while persisting from Texas to Alabama.
Saturday, the threat for any heavier thunderstorms will likely be confined to the Gulf Coast, where the necessary atmospheric ingredients will remain in place. However, a big question hangs in the balance weather-wise after Saturday and into Sunday.
There are essentially two scenarios that could come to fruition. The first scenario is that the system responsible for soaking the South through the end of the week can catch a wave of atmospheric energy that is set to dive across the Great Lakes by Sunday. If this southern system is able to join forces with this atmospheric energy, it could strengthen into a very powerful system and bring widespread adverse weather to the eastern half of the country. Severe thunderstorms could impact the Southeast, while snow blankets the Northeast, if this scenario were to pan out.
However, if the timing of the wave of atmospheric energy is off by even a few hours, the southern system could miss out on the boost it would need to become more potent. If this scenario were to pan out, rain would persist across the Southeast, but widespread severe weather would be unlikely.
AccuWeather meteorologists will be monitoring this situation closely in the days to come.
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