Severe thunderstorms Friday produced considerable wind damage and isolated tornadoes from Mississippi north to Indiana and Ohio. Storms resulted in injuries in Mantchee and in Starkville, Mississippi.

A strong low pressure system imoved from Arkansas to Ohio during the day. Louisville KY set an all-time lowest air pressure reading this Fri. afternoon.

Storm Reports from Friday March 2

There were four reported tornadoes and 233 reports of wind damage. A 98 mph gust was recorded at Wears Valley in eastern Tennessee. That’s about 7 miles southwest of Dollywood/Pigeon Forge. Camp Creek TN and Mooresville AL both had peak gusts of 77 mph and Breckenridge KY hit 75 mph.

Here’s Michigan weather observations, a Michigan surface weather map, any severe thunderstorm or tornado watches from SPC, any meso-discussions in effect.

Severe Weather Reports from Thursday, March 2

Thursday. we had 5 tornadoes in Texas and one in Shreveport LA that skipped by on the edge of the LSU campus. There were 29 reports of large hail up to golfball-size and 80 reports of wind damage. Gusts as high as 97 mph at Grand Prairie TX, an 80 mph gust were recorded near Dallas. Dallas (Love Field) had a peak gust of 76 mph and the DFW airport hit 67 mph. Damage was mainly to trees and power lines. Several trucks were blown over and there was some isolated building damage.

Here’s Severe Weather Reports for Wednesday March 1st

Here’s storm reports from Wednesday, March 1. Hail up to 4″ in diameter was reported near Dilley, Texas. The hail went right through roofs and truck windshields.

Strong thunderstorm winds near Hazel Green AL “threw” roofs, front porches and a truck. And look at the blue dots (wind damage) near Los Angeles CA. One person was injured near Downey CA. Trees and wires were knocked down a sign was blown down and there was roof damage.

There was also a swatch of 1-inch to golfball-sized hail along the Ohio River between Indiana and Kentucky.

I’ve said many times that if there is a good time to be in a colder than average pattern here in Lower Michigan, it’s March to early May. First, a cool pattern will keep the blossoms and flowers from coming out too soon, leaving them susceptible to a frost or freeze. Second, it keeps the warm, humid Gulf of Mexico air south of us and this means the threat of severe weather on most days will be south of Michigan.

Keep in mind that a relatively brief surge of warm, humid air can bring the tornado threat into Lower Michigan for a few spring days. In 1965, March was a cold month in Michigan. Most days had high temperatures in the 30s…but…then it got warm and we had the big Palm Sunday Tornado Outbreak on April 11.

Sea Surface Temperature difference from average (anomaly)

The map above shows the difference of sea-surface water temperatures from average (anomaly). Yellow, orange and red indicate areas that have warmer than average water temperatures and blue areas indicate where the water is cooler than average for the start of March.

First…bye bye La Nina. We’ve been in the third year of La Nina, which is characterized by cooler than average water temperatures along the Equator in the Pacific Ocean west of South America. There is still some blue in the Central Pacific along the Equator, but the relatively warmer water si expanding west of South America.

You can see the colder than average water off North American from SE Alaska to NW Mexico. Warmer than average water covers much of the Gulf of Mexico and North Atlantic. This pattern tends to keep a mean trough along the West Coast and a ridge over the southeast U.S. The pattern is conducive to a relatively active severe weather season. I expect an above average number of tornadoes and severe storms from the Southern Plains to the Ohio Valley and south to the Gulf of Mexico.

8-14 Day Temperature Outlook for March 10 – 16

Shiverin’ Snowman! Look at all that blue on the map above. The only place expecting warmer than average temperatures (and those aren’t very warm) is northwest Alaska! Pretty much everyone is expected to be cooler than average for the 2nd/3rd week of March. I’ve written before on the blog that we should expect a cool pattern for the middle of March.