West Alabama has now been upgraded to a moderate risk for severe storms including a tornado threat. If you live in the Shoals, Marion, Lamar, and Pickens Counties - please remain weather alert early on.
The 1km satellite picture is showing the line of storms moving into Tennessee and Mississippi. The storms are moving east and will impact Alabama this evening. We have two issues we're watching - the threat for supercell thunderstorm development ahead of the primary line and also the main squall line or QLCS that is expected later tonight.
The High Resolution Rapid Refresh Model is indicating some supercell development between 4pm and 8pm for West Alabama. This is concerning since these storms could produce dangerous tornadoes ahead of the primary line.
The instability (based on the models) tend to drop off rather quickly overnight with the focus for the worst severe weather (damaging winds and isolated tornadoes) west of I-65. While severe storms are still possible east of I-65, there is a lower risk for widespread damage.
The SREF paints a "bullseye" for CAPE or Convectively Available Potential Energy in West Alabama during the early evening. This map is showing the probability of CAPE values over 1,000j/kg at 7pm.
You can clearly see the models indicate the CAPE values to fall off considerably overnight.
The Supercell Composite from the NAM is also indicating the highest risk for severe storms west of I-65 during the evening hours.
What you need to know: We will likely have two rounds of severe weather. Supercell thunderstorms in West Alabama will be capable of producing tornadoes. You need to stay weather aware. The next threat will come later this evening after 8pm. This is when the main line of storms will impact West Alabama. Storms will move West to East through the evening and overnight.
You need to have multiple ways to receive severe weather tonight. This includes NOAA weather radio and mobile apps.
We will have updates throughout the afternoon here on Fox6.
Fox6 Chief Meteorologist
We're watching the line of storms off to the west very carefully. Regional radar data this morning shows it already approaching the Mississippi River just before 11:30 am. The latest data from our high-resolution models are also keying in on this and have the line approaching our area a little earlier this evening than maybe the last data set or two has shown.
By 5:00 pm, or possibly a little before, we may see a few individual strong thunderstorms develop over parts of the area. This will especially be the case over portions of western and central Alabama... generally along and west of I-65. A few of these could possibly become severe, and these individual thunderstorms would be what we would have to watch most carefully for the risk of a few tornadoes.
By 8:00 pm, the RPM model has the main line of thunderstorms approaching the Alabama state line from the west. We will still have to watch for a few lone supercell thunderstorms out ahead of it though. With the line itself, the potential for damaging winds... possibly as high as 60 to 75 mph... will increase, but there still may be a couple of spin-up tornadoes with bowing segments and embedded supercell-like structures near breaks in the line.
By 11:00 pm, our high resolution model has the main line moving into places like Double Springs, Jasper, Tuscaloosa, and Eutaw. With this line, we will continue to see the risk of damaging straight-line winds in excess of 60-70 mph and the potential for a few spin-up tornadoes. Out ahead of this, we will still need to monitor the situation carefully for the risk of a few individual storms continuing ahead of the main line, with the risk for a few tornadoes.
We will continue to monitor the situation, and we will have updates on air and online through the day as needed.
Fred Gossage with Mickey Ferguson
FOX6 WBRC Weather
THIS AFTERNOON: Watching the radar today - we'll continue to see some spotty showers and thunderstorms develop. The best chances for rain again today will be areas north of I-20. While we could see rain develop anywhere in our viewing area, the most organized and stronger storms will develop near a front we've been watching all week. We can expect highs this afternoon to reach the mid 80s with temperatures tonight falling into the upper 60s.
WATCHING SEVERE THREAT: Our focus is on a deep trough that will result in some severe weather across the Southeast tomorrow. For us, the biggest threat will come after 8pm Monday. The Storm Prediction Center has the state in a Slight Risk for severe storms. The main threat will be west of I-65 and including damaging straight-line winds. Power outages and damage is likely with this system. While it's possible we could see an isolated tornado, severe weather parameters really continue to point to a more linear system. Tornadoes that do develop would likely be the small and quick spin-up. Storms could linger into early Tuesday morning. Forecast models continue to slow this system down which isn't a bad thing. It means a little less instability or energy for the storms to develop.
Tomorrow's forecast looks warms with partly sunny skies and highs in the lower to mid 80s. We'll see lingering showers though Tuesday morning and even a few thunderstorms early Tuesday. After that, expect much cooler and drier weather through the week and weekend. The weather is looking perfect for the races at Talladega next weekend.
Stay with Fox6 for any changes in the forecast and remain weather aware especially tomorrow night.
Fox6 Chief Meteorologist
Greg Carbin is in Tuscaloosa today. He's the Warning Coordination Meteorologist for the Storm Prediction Center. Fox6 Meteorologist Wes Wyatt caught up with Carbin today on the University of Alabama campus to talk about the changes to the severe weather outlooks.
These changes take effect on Wednesday, October 22. You can read more about how these severe weather outlooks will impact you http://www.spc.noaa.gov/exper/dy1-3example/.
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