The weather could take a dangerous turn on Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service.
Experts are warning area residents, who may think the dangerous storms typical of spring are past us, to be vigilant.
“That’s definitely a concern,” National Weather Service meteorologist Mark Britt said. “People believe in the fall and winter they don’t have to worry about the possibility of tornadoes because that’s a spring and summer thing. But our area has a history of strong weather in the fall and winter time.”
According to the weather record books, eight of the 10 deadliest tornadoes in metro-east history happened during the fall and winter months for October through February.
According to weather underground, there have been an average of 54 November tornadoes in the Midwest and Gulf Coast states over the past 20 years.
In 2013, a series of tornadoes ripped through Washington County on Nov. 17, killing three people and damaging more than 1,000 homes.
Clouds will start to move into the area Wednesday morning, when there is a slight chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms. By the afternoon, the chance of rain will increase to 80 percent with high winds of up to 30 mph likely.
The most intense storms are expected to arrive about the time of rush hour Wednesday afternoon. Heavy rain is likely with a chance of tornadoes in the area.
“People need to be prepared and to think about where they’re going to go ahead of time,” Britt said. “Don’t wait until the last minute. Know what you’ll do in case of a storm happening while you’re at home, work, school or anyplace else you might be.”
The severe storm system is expected to pass through quickly with the chance of storms and showers decreasing to 50 percent by Wednesday evening. But strong winds will remain.
The low will drop to 46 with winds from the south at up to 31 mph overnight Wednesday.
On Thursday, sunny skies will return but it will be much cooler with a high of only 58. Winds of up to 29 mph will make the temperature seem much cooler.
Thursday night, skies will be clear with a low of 37.