Second round of storms approaches coast

Second round of storms approaches coast
Storms are heading toward the coast and may arrive before noon.

SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - Storms are heading toward the coast and may arrive before noon. If they don't fall apart first, these could bring impacts to the morning drive across South Mississippi.

For Friday, the wettest part of the day could be this morning. With fewer showers this afternoon and evening.

"By the way, if the storms fall apart before they get here on Friday morning, that means it will be much stormier on Friday afternoon," said WLOX First Alert Meteorologist Wesley Williams.

Scattered thunderstorms may provide some relief from the heat on Friday, perhaps keeping things a tad cooler thanks to cloud cover and rain. The best chance for rain appears to be during Friday morning with only isolated storms on Friday afternoon and evening.

A few strong to marginally severe thunderstorms will be possible today. The main threats will be gusty winds, frequent lightning and locally heavy rainfall.

Those that don't get any rain today will be hot and humid with afternoon max heat index approaching 108 degrees in a few locations. Highs in the lower 90s at the very best.

This storm pattern is a continuation of a "ring of fire" weather pattern that began on Thursday.

What is a ring of fire weather pattern? It's got plenty to do with heat and storms. And almost nothing to do with Johnny Cash.

Put simply, it's when summer high pressure develops east of the Rockies. And storms circulate clockwise around the edge of that high pressure system, somewhat forming a ring shape.

Late this week, strong high pressure aloft developed over the Plains, centered near Kansas. High pressure causes sinking air. As air sinks, it heats. This sinking air associated with the high pressure caused triple-digit heat for areas near Kansas next to the center of the high pressure. And several storm complexes formed around the edge of it: one near Iowa, one near Missouri, and one near Tennessee. All the storms were aiming toward the Gulf Coast as they moved clockwise around the center of the Kansas high pressure.

"It's not an official meteorology term," Williams said. "But, meteorologists across the country have been using it for decades. I learned about it in meteorology college courses, actually."

The original use of the term 'ring of fire' is reserved for geology -- the science of earth's physical structure. You've probably heard this type of ring of fire when people talk about earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur in the basin of the Pacific Ocean. These are roughly shaped like a ring surrounding the Pacific Ocean and have plenty of "fire-like" activity due to the volcanoes.