Clouds continue to grow vertically and are developing into showers and storms that are tracking very slowly to the south southwest. There isn't any shear (wind speeds increasing with height) in the atmosphere and so activity will be slow moving and tend to pulse in nature. Due to slow movement and high water content in the air, showers and storms will be heavy rainfall producers locally.
Precipitable water values are as high as 1.8" across central Alabama.
Precipitable water is the depth of water in a column of the atmosphere if all the water in that column were precipitated as rain.
Precipitable water tends to spike during the summer and early fall so this is normal for this time of year.
So be careful when traveling today because if you get under one of these showers and storms, visibility will likely drop due to the heavy downpours. Flash flooding is also a possibility. Some of the storms across northern Alabama have produced 2-3 inches of rain already. Remember, if you approach a flooded roadway to turn around and don't drown.
Jill Gilardi Fox 6 Meteorologist
We are tracking a spin in the atmosphere called a mesoscale convective vorticity moving across northern Alabama. It continues to produce some locally heavy rainfall especially across Winston and Cullman counties where estimates are over 2". The main batch is shifting slowly to the northeast and focused along and north of a line from Winfield to Jasper to Warrior to Oneonta. South of that main zone of precipitation there are scattered showers and storms.
THREATS: Locally heavy rainfall leading to flash flooding and lightning.
SIMULATED RADAR SHOWS SEVERAL CHANCES FOR RAIN AND STORMS THROUGH THE WEEKEND:
Best chance for rain today is this morning and lingering through the late PM.
Morning showers and storms possible on Saturday with slightly lower PM chances than previous days.
Overall, several disturbances combined with heating of the day instability will result in scattered to numerous showers and storms today and tomorrow and isolated to scattered over the weekend. Temperatures will be held back a bit due to cloud cover but humidity will stay high.
Fox 6 Meteorologist
Moderate Risk: Red
Slight Risk: Yellow
If you live in the red or yellow zone expect a good chance for severe storms today and into tonight. Know anyone that lives in that zone? Call them and tell them to pay attention to the weather today and to have multiple ways of getting warnings.
10% tornado risk in yellow, some could be strong. Strong possibility of a tornado or tornadoes today in Nebraska.
1. Widespread winds in excess of 70 mph
2. Very large hail
4. Flash flooding
OMAHA: Greatest threat between 6pm-11pm
LINCOLN: Greatest threat between 5pm-10pm
KNOW THE DIFFERENCE
Tornado Watch - Tornadoes are possible in and near the watch area. Review and discuss your emergency plans, and check supplies and your safe room. Be ready to act quickly if a warning is issued or you suspect a tornado is approaching. Acting early helps to save lives!
Tornado Warning - A tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. Tornado warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property. Go immediately under ground to a basement, storm cellar or an interior room (closet, hallway or bathroom).
̶ Mobile homes are not safe during tornadoes or other severe winds.
̶ Do not seek shelter in a hallway or bathroom of a mobile home.
̶ Stay in the car with the seat belt on. Put your head down below the windows, covering with your hands and a blanket if possible.
̶ If you can safely get noticeably lower than the level of the roadway, exit your car and lie in that area, covering your head with your hands.
Thinking of my old stopping grounds today and praying everyone is safe. I'll be keeping an eye on the weather and will post social media updates later when things get stormy.
-Jill Gilardi Fox 6 Meteorologist
Look for updates:
We’ve been monitoring the historic flooding event along the Gulf Coast. Pensacola was one of the areas hardest with radar estimating up to 2ft of rain! The major flooding has produced sink holes and damaged roadways, which is making it more difficult for first responders to conduct rescues. According to the NWS Mobile, the Fish River at Silver Hill in Baldwin County crested at 23.18’. This topped the historical record of 22.78’. Between 9 p.m. last night and 10 p.m. there was an astonishing 5.68” of rain at the Pensacola Regional Airport! According to the NWS, this is a 1 in 200 to 1 in 500 year hourly amount. Many are comparing this event to Hurricane Danny from 1997.
Fox6 Meteorologist Wes Wyatt
Not much change with the forecast! Timing of the storms remains a bit uncertain and that's the only piece of the forecast that continues to evolve and show subtle fluctuations.
Storms will be weakening as they track across Mississippi late tonight and across northwest Alabama by Monday morning. There is a low end severe threat for damaging winds and perhaps a brief tornado.
WHAT THE RADAR MIGHT LOOK LIKE ON MONDAY MORNING
MODERATE RISK FOR SEVERE STORMS
Widespread severe weather looks likely for Monday afternoon and through the overnight hours. Tornadoes, some strong along with damaging winds, large hail and heavy rainfall that could lead to flash flooding are the main threats, all of which are elevated. Timing across west Alabama could be as early as 3 or 4pm or as late as 6 or 7pm. The models keep flip flopping on timing and will continue to struggle with the mesoscale solution.
THE LATEST HOUR-BY-HOUR STORM TIME-LINE
Don't fixate too much on location of the strongest cells... The simulated radar just gives you a generic idea as to timing and placement. Overall, widespread and rounds of strong to severe storms will impact the state over a long duration.
SLIGHT RISK FOR SEVERE STORMS ON TUESDAY
This round is conditional on what happens with round #2 that will be exiting in the morning hours. A 3rd round of severe storms is possible along the cold front on Tuesday afternoon and evening. Once again, if this materialized then all modes of severe weather will be possible.
FOX 6 IS WATCHING AND WILL CONTINUE TO KEEP YOU UPDATED!
BE WEATHER READY!
Jill Gilardi Fox 6 Meteorologist
A dangerous severe weather outbreak likely today across parts of the Central Plains and Mississippi and Tennessee River Valley. The powerful storm system will make a slow progression eastward over the next few days and cause rounds of severe storms to develop and impact Alabama at times.
The Storm Prediction Center has included a small portion of northwest Alabama in a slight risk for severe storms late tonight into Monday morning. Storms to the west will be tracking northeastward overnight and may clip the state. Storms will be in the weakening phase as they arrive but still could be severe especially across Marion and Lamar counties. Be sure to turn your weather radio on before bed and keep your cell phone on too so that you can receive and hear text alerts. Overall, round #1 appears to be the weaker of the 3.
Is the most concerning of the 3. All of the Fox 6 viewing area will need to be on guard and ready to take action as early as Monday afternoon. The Storm Prediction Center has included a larger portion of Alabama under a moderate risk for severe storms in red. Our local model shows rounds of strong to severe storms from Monday afternoon through Tuesday morning. All of the ripe ingredients will be in place for the development of supercell thunderstorms and bowing storm structures. Be ready for storms capable of producing tornadoes, some of which could be strong, damaging winds in excess of 70 mph, hail greater than 1" in diameter and heavy rainfall leading to flash flooding. Some of the worst weather will likely take place when most are trying to sleep. Again, have a loud enough way to get weather alerts.
HOUR-BY-HOUR STORM FORECAST:
Is conditional at this point and dependent on what round #2 does to the atmosphere. If recovery takes place, redevelopment along the main cold front across Mississippi could spell another round of all modes of severe weather on Tuesday afternoon and evening. The Storm Prediction Center has the entire state under a slight risk for severe storms.
HOUR-BY-HOUR ROUND #3 FORECAST
A lot can still change between now and then regarding the timing and strength of the rounds of storms. Please check back for multiple updates today on the blog and myfoxal.com. Don't be scared, just be prepared. Fox 6 is on your side and will be with you every step of the way. You can count on us to keep you up to date as we get new data.
Fox6 Meteorologist Jill Gilardi
Warm and dry today with highs in the lower to middle 80s. The weather is going to be perfect for enjoying the outdoors and making last minute preparations for severe storms on Monday and Tuesday.
A few more clouds on Sunday and a 30% chance for showers and storms. Any storm that develops is not expected to be severe on Sunday at this time. If that changes, we'll let you know. Highs in the lower 80s and a bit breezier.
The system that will be responsible for the likely severe weather here on Monday and Tuesday is just a swirling low pressure area over the West Coast right now. Forecast models continue to show an evolution over the weekend that will bring severe weather to the Plains and the Mid-South. Eventually, those storms will march eastward and impact Alabama.
SEVERE THREAT ZONE TODAY:
SEVERE THREAT ZONE SUNDAY:
SEVERE THREAT ZONE MONDAY:
SEVERE THREAT ZONE TUESDAY:
The first round arrives late Sunday night into Monday morning and the greatest threat for severe storms is going to be west of I-65 and north of I-20. The storms will be in the weakening process with round #1.
Round #2 impacts the entire state from west to east during the late afternoon and especially the evening and overnight hours. All types of severe weather will be possible with this round including tornadoes, large hail, damaging winds and flash flooding.
Round #2 will be ongoing on Tuesday morning and depending on how much we destabilize after that, round #3 could spell another and potentially stronger round of severe storms on Tuesday afternoon and evening.
This weekend is really the calm before the storm. It's a good idea to make your severe weather preps this weekend just in case storms become severe. Make sure you have several reliable ways to receive weather warnings. Fox6 will continue to follow this developing weather over the next few days.
By the way, if you need a weather radio programmed or want to know what is the best app for severe weather updates - please visit us at WeatherFest from 10am until 2pm tomorrow at the McWane Science Center.
The trouble maker is moving in across the far western United States. You see the dip in the clouds along the West Coast? That's the jet stream diving southward otherwise known as a trough. The forecast model of the jet stream is in line with what's actually occurring.
By Monday, the trough transitions into a closed low that eventually cuts off from the main flow and will be slow to shift eastward and that spells trouble for the Midwest and Southeast and will result in rounds of severe storms.
TRACKING THE SEVERE THREAT ZONE...
The areas that need to be alert for severe weather from Saturday through Tuesday are highlighted in red. Prepare now while the weather is quiet. Have multiple ways of getting weather warnings via a NOAA weather radio and apps.
Northwest Alabama could see a strong to severe storm on Monday morning so just be ready as round #1 moves in. Round #1 looks to impact only the western or northwestern portion of the state as of now.
Round #2 moves in on Monday, especially after 4pm and lasts through the night. The heaviest and strongest storms could come barrelling through on Tuesday morning. All modes of severe weather will be possible including tornadoes, large hail, damaging winds and flash flooding.
Severe storms will be ongoing on Tuesday morning and into the afternoon from west to east. Additional rounds are possible on Tuesday, but there is still some model disagreement with an evening round. We are still trying to iron out the details but should have a better idea by tomorrow because the system will be over land and models will get a better sample of it. Overall, be ready for several rounds of strong to severe storms any time from Sunday night through Wednesday morning.
Remember, WeatherFest is tomorrow from 10AM-2PM outside the McWane Science Center. It's a perfect opportunity to bring your weather radio by to be programmed, to meet the Fox 6 Weather Team and ask us questions about the upcoming severe weather event. Details about the event can be found here: http://www.myfoxal.com/story/25312694/meet-the-fox6-stormwarn-team-at-fox6-weatherfest-2014
Just so you know, this doesn't not look like an April 27, 2011 event but we are still seeing parameters that signal all modes of severe weather will be possible and perhaps several rounds.
Jill Gilardi Fox 6 Meteorologist
Severe weather is forecast to erupt across the Central and Southern Plains on Sunday. All modes of severe weather will be possible in the highlighted zone.
The culprit is an upper level low that is forecast to track eastward across the United States this weekend and early next week. The weather ahead of the trough of low pressure will be ripe for the development of severe storms. If you have friends or family members in the highlighted area, be sure to advise them to continue to monitor updated forecasts and have multiple ways of receiving weather warnings.
Storms will be ongoing late Saturday night and Sunday morning across central Nebraska and points southward. Storms will strengthen during the day and progress eastward with time. The magic hour across the Heartland could be as early as noon and folks across the Ozarks will see some of the strongest storms during the afternoon hours before the activity shifts across the eastern part of Missouri and central Arkansas by the evening.
Energy Helicity Index or EHI 0-1km is forecast to be as high as 4 or 5 across southern Arkansas and northern Louisiana by 7pm Sunday. Values will be slightly lower to the north but still high enough for supercells to potentially produce strong tornadoes.
The long range models are in agreement regarding the evolution of the upper low as it progresses across the Plains on Sunday and then into the Mississippi Valley on Monday. It's still too far out to forecast with much detail and especially on a mesoscale or small scale level.
On Monday, the system shifts eastward and so does the threat for severe storms. Once again, computer models indicate another round or rounds of severe storms forming across the lower Mississippi Valley and into western Tennessee. It looks like a potential volatile set-up with the synoptic pattern on Monday across Mississippi and strong tornadoes will be possible.
While severe storms will be possible during the late afternoon hours across west Alabama on Monday the greatest threat for severe storms is on Monday night into Tuesday morning. The models differ on the speed of the storms as you can see below. We should get a better idea regarding timing and strength once the storm system is sampled better in the coming days.
The GFS model is much slower regarding the progression of the low and could produce another round of severe weather on Tuesday PM if this model solution pans out. This is something we'll have to track closely. Upper lows that become cut off from the main flow can be tricky to time and speed and timing can mean the difference between low instability and high instability.
As Dr. Tim Coleman said in a previous blog post, "We'll see thunderstorms Sunday night all the way through Tuesday. We still need a couple more days to get more details on the wind shear for rotating storms and possible tornadoes."
Now is the time to prepare for potential severe weather and be sure to have a plan in place. Have multiple ways of receiving weather info Sunday night and Monday. NOAA weather radio may be back online in Birmingham by Monday, but we don't know yet, so have a backup plan (phone apps, text messages, etc.)
This is the first real active set up this year and hopefully every one is prepared for potential severe storms. There are things you might want to do ahead of time to prepare for strong winds, etc.
1. Make a list of items to bring inside in the event of a severe thunderstorms.
2. Make trees and shrubbery more wind resistant by keeping them trimmed and removing damaged branches.
3. Protect your animals by ensuring that any outside buildings that house them are protected the same way as your home.
4. Have an emergency preparedness kit put together.
For item details click here: http://www.redcross.org/prepare/location/home-family/get-kit
If you have any questions feel free to contact us,
Jill Gilardi Fox 6 Meteorologist
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