Happy Thursday! The day started on a great note with sunshine and comfortably cool temperatures. The day took a turn after lunch though with the first salvo of the upcoming storm moving across the area with rain and lightning.

A widespread, steadier rain will move in this evening. Heavy rain will be possible, and flooding will be an issue by Friday morning south of I-44.

With this system, a widespread round of severe weather is anticipated across the Deep South with a few stronger storms possible as far north as Southern Missouri. A hail risk may come with some of the stronger storms tonight into Friday morning.

The storm will also produce heavy precipitation and strong winds. Rain amounts of 1 to 3″ will be common south of the interstate with amounts of an inch or less to the north. A Flood Watch has been posted for locations along and south of I-44 through Friday morning. The heavy rainfall will likely push creek and stream levels higher and could generate flooding of bottom land. This could also lead to low water crossings covered by water.

The storm will deepen as it moves across the Ozarks Friday morning, causing winds to crank up. Winds will become strong by Friday morning with gusts of 35 to 45 mph possible near and south of I-44. The winds will ease Friday afternoon as the storm pulls away.

The other question this week was whether would we see snow. It’s now looking like the atmosphere will remain a little too warm to support much risk for snow.

Temperatures will be much colder Friday, falling into the upper 30s Friday morning. Clouds will try to clear out near and north of the interstate by late afternoon with temperatures warming back into the 40s.

Temperatures will once again head higher over the weekend with highs back up near 70° by Sunday. Showers and cooler temperatures will return Tuesday into Wednesday.

An early spring cold snap with below-normal temperatures may develop late next week through the following weekend.