First Alert Weather Blog: March Begins With Severe Storms

Damaging winds are considered to be the main threat.

It’s no coincidence that record warmth in February has led to unusually early-in-the-season severe weather. We had some storm damage in the Philadelphia area Saturday, and there were even tornadoes reported in Pennsylvania and Maryland. The latest round of severe thunderstorms is even more widespread.

Tuesday evening featured Tornado Watches from Chicago through nearly all of Missouri and Arkansas (outlined in red).

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File

The general area of severe thunderstorms will shift eastward for Wednesday. March 1 is pretty early in the year to get severe weather this far north, but it’s also pretty early in the year to get temperatures well into the 70s. If you get May-like weather conditions, you can get May-like severe weather.

Here is the general outlook for severe storms Wednesday from the Storm Prediction Center:

The severe storms are most likely in the orange area from Ohio to Alabama. But all of our area is in the “Slight Risk” region. As I’ve said before, I don’t like the term ‘slight risk”. That sounds pretty trivial compared to the actual threat SPC means when they use that term.

Damaging winds are considered to be the main threat. Very strong winds are blowing just a few thousand feet above the ground, and any thunderstorm that moves through can bring some of those strong winds down to the surface.

As for timing, here is a high-resolution computer model, valid at 4pm Wednesday. A clear line of thunderstorms is moving through the Philadelphia area:

NBC 5 News

We’ve issued a FIRST ALERT for this severe storm threat. And warnings are likely for at least part of our area. It will be a day when you should find a way to keep up-to-date on the rapidly changing weather. Our APP is one way, of course.

Stay with the NBC10 First Alert Weather team for the latest updates, alerts and videos.

First Alert Weather Wednesday as Severe Storms Threaten

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