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Quiet in the tropics; major severe weather outbreak in the U.S.

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 1:11 PM GMT on October 17, 2007

A low pressure system (99L) over the Gulf of Mexico has moved ashore this morning near the Texas/Louisiana border. Lake Charles, LA long-range radar shows some heavy rain showers are moving ashore, but flooding problems are not expected.

A low pressure system has developed along the coast of Southeast Florida this morning. Long range radar out of Melbourne shows a little bit of organized banding of the associated rain showers. However, this system is headed northeastward out to sea. Wind shear is 20-30 knots over the low, and will increase, so development into a tropical depression is not expected.

Severe weather outbreak today and Thursday
A major severe weather outbreak is likely today over the Midwestern U.S., due to an intensifying low pressure system that is drawing in plenty of tropical moisture from the Gulf of Mexico (thanks in part to tropical disturbance 99L). Tornado and Severe Thunderstorm Watches have already been posted, and today's severe weather has the potential to generate strong, long-track tornadoes. The activity shifts to Chicago and the Great Lakes region tomorrow. Follow the action on our new interactive tornado map, which will post the tornado damage reports as they are received. The new feature also allows one to plot all the historical tornado activity back to 1950 for any region in the U.S.

Jeff Masters


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