ALG Connect: Rare ‘high risk’ storm alert issued for parts of Midwest and Mid-South including potential for violent, long-track tornadoes

Rare ‘high risk’ storm alert issued for parts of Midwest and Mid-South including potential for violent, long-track tornadoes.

A rare “high risk” Level 5 out of 5 alert has been issued for parts of the Midwest and Mid-South, impacting nearly 3 million people, the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center said Friday.

High risk areas include portions of southeastern Iowa, northwestern Illinois, and northeastern Missouri, and includes places like Davenport, Iowa, and Iowa City. The second area is farther south and includes portions of eastern Arkansas, northern Mississippi, and southwestern Tennessee. Memphis, Tennessee, is included in the high-risk area.

“Environmental conditions are quickly becoming favorable to support the potential for numerous strong to potentially violent and long-track tornadoes,” the center said.

High risk days are exceedingly rare and are “reserved for when high confidence exists in widespread coverage of severe weather with embedded instances of extreme severe” weather such as violent tornadoes or extreme damaging winds, according to the storm center.

The last Level 5 high risk day occurred on March 25, 2021, when numerous tornadoes were reported across the Southeast.

Additionally, severe storms are expected to sweep across some central and southern states beginning Friday afternoon, bringing the threat of several strong tornadoes, large hail and damaging winds to nearly 90 million people across 21 states.

Tornado watches have been issued for 13 million people, stretching from southern Arkansas to northern Iowa until 8 p.m CDT. These tornado watches have been labeled a “particularly dangerous situation” by the Storm Prediction Center.

“Parameters are favorable for the potential for strong/violent tornadoes and very large hail,” the storm center said.

A moderate, Level 4 of 5, risk of severe storms stretches from northern Mississippi to Iowa, including Indianapolis, Indiana, Little Rock, Arkansas, Des Moines, Iowa, and St. Louis, Missouri.

“Residents are advised to remain weather-aware and have multiple ways to receive weather alerts,” the Weather Prediction Center said. “Along with the severe weather threat, storms may also contain intense rainfall rates that could last long enough to produce isolated-to-scattered areas of flash flooding.”

The severe weather outbreak is expected to begin Friday afternoon and go into the evening, forecasters said. Tornadoes or severe storms occurring at night have the greatest potential to be dangerous because people are less likely to be notified in time if they’re asleep.

We recognize the severe impact that current conditions are having on our customers, and we are committed to restoring service levels as quickly as possible. As a result of these weather issues, the ALG Client Service Team will send daily updates as we monitor the progress and track job level impact.