[Photo Credit: The Weather Channel]
By In Homeland Security Staff
Winter has officially arrived, but instead of blizzard conditions hampering seasonal travel, severe weather conditions with tornadoes are expected Wednesday in Southern U.S. states and Ohio Valley according to the experts at The Weather Channel. The most likely region for possible Christmas tornadoes is south of Michigan, from Illinois and Indiana south to the Gulf Coast; extremely gusty winds of up to 70 mph and large hail are a strong possibility.
“The first day of astronomical winter and what are we talking about? Severe weather and warmer than average temperatures,” reports meteorologist Danielle Banks. “But the threat gets even bigger when we go into Wednesday … 70% chance of tornadoes developing.”
From the Weather Channel: See the Tornado Threat in Your State
As the holiday season ramps up with unseasonably warm temperatures throughout the Midwest and Northeast (it’s forecast to be in the 70s on Christmas Eve in Washington, D.C.), the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently covered the record-breaking 2015 hurricane season, which included 21 hurricanes. Read FEMA’s Bananas, Blue Shells, and the 2015 Hurricane Season.
According to The Weather Channel, the Christmas heatwave severe weather threat is due to an area of low pressure set to develop in Oklahoma before heading to the Great Lakes area, pulling warm and moist air northward from the Gulf of Mexico. That moist air is then forecast to join a powerful upper-level disturbance moving east out of the Rockies — and that all spells nasty thunderstorms usually seen in the summer months.
Memphis, Nashville, Little Rock, and Huntsville — an area comprised of around 9 million people — are the largest cities in the tornado and thunderstorm watch areas.
“Part of the problem is that some of this will occur overnight, so it’s not just a daytime event,” Greg Carbin, a meteorologist at the national Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma. told the Washington Times. “This is not a one-shot, late afternoon Wednesday, boom, you’re done. The threat right now will be kind of this extended period of time.”