2 ROUNDS OF STORMS!
The first arrives from west to east after 4am and primary threats with the first round in the morning will be strong wind gusts and heavy rainfall. Storms will be strongest across Mississippi and tend to weaken as they move across Alabama where the atmosphere is fairly stable.
The second round takes place during the afternoon and evening hours. Upper level support for strong to severe storms will be present but instability is the big question. The atmosphere will need to be monitored closely on Monday afternoon and storm severity potential will be dependent on the first wave of storm affects on the atmosphere. If severe storms develop the primary threats will be heavy rainfall and damaging winds. Secondary threats will be large hail and tornadoes.
Models continue to increase the amount of rainfall potential across Alabama. Widespread amounts will range from 1" to 3" but locally up to 4-6" can't be ruled out. The RPM model shows a bulls-eye near Tuscaloosa. We'll have to wait and see if the National Weather Service issues a Flash Flood Watch. Overall, the rivers still under flood warnings will be prolonged through much of the upcoming week due to the expected heavy rainfall.
The wintry side...
Much colder air filters in from northwest to southeast on Tuesday causing temperatures to dip into the 40s during the morning hours and rebounding only into the 50s during the afternoon. On top of that, strong northwesterly winds will make it feel even colder. Showers linger through Tuesday morning before exiting eastward.
The coldest air settles in on Wednesday morning and the area will be flirting with freezing conditions. Heads up along and north of I-20 for lows in the lower 30s which could harm some sensitive outdoor plants.
LATE WEEK AND EASTER WEEKEND:
Dry and below normal on Wednesday and Thursday.
Showers return on Friday.
Dry and pleasant over Easter weekend!
We'll continue to keep you posted on the active weather ahead!
Jill Gilardi Fox 6 Meteorologist
Tornado watch continues for all of the counties shaded in yellow, basically from I-20 and points southward. The area of greatest concern is concentrated along and especially south of the warm front. In that zone, storms could quickly rotate and potentially produce tornadoes. The atmosphere is ripe for it in that vicinity but we have yet to see tornado warnings in Alabama.
You can clearly see where the warm front is located by looking at the temperature and dew point maps below. The counties we are most concerned for potential spin ups is from Greene to Bibb to Clanton to Coosa to Chambers and points southward. If the warm front were to move further northward then the threat level increases as well.
The biggest threat so far with this storm system has been heavy rainfall leading to flash flooding. There are numerous counties under flash flood warnings. Already we have seen rainfall estimates ranging from 2-6" with several more inches expected before all is said and done. Flash flooding is occurring or imminent in those areas. Heard of impassible roadways and water rescues going on at times. PLEASE DON'T DRIVE THROUGH A FLOODED ROADWAY!
We will continue to monitor storms closely and keep you updated if any warnings are issued. Allow extra travel time this morning due to heavy rainfall and flooding.
Jill Gilardi Fox 6 Meteorologist
Low pressure centered across Louisiana continues to track northeastward and shifting a warm front northward. The storms to the north of the front have been mainly elevated in nature and have been mainly strong wind and heavy rainfall producers.
What develops south of the warm front has the best chance of being tornadic tonight. There is currently a tornado watch across southern Mississippi and Alabama. The Storm Prediction Center may issue a watch further northward depending on the evolution of the warm front.
In the short term, the biggest weather threat is flash flooding. Already 2-3" has fallen across Tuscaloosa, Pickens, Greene and Sumter county and an additional 2-3" is likely over the next few hours. Remember, turn around and don't drown if you approach a flooded roadway. Walker, Jefferson, Lamar and Fayette counties now under a flash flood warning.
We'll continue to update you as warranted!
Jill Gilardi Fox 6 Meteorologist and Wes Wyatt Fox 6 Meteorologist
Look for updates on social media as well....
Have weather radio on before bed!!!
A new tornado watch has been issued for areas just southwest of the Fox 6 coverage area. This is the result of the more severe prone environment lifting further northeast. This watch will be in effect through 3AM and there is a good chance another watch could be issued further northeast to include parts of our area later this evening. We’re continuing to deal with a few storms over southern areas and some of these will be capable of producing high winds and hail. One storm has already produced some wind related damage in Marengo County. Current radar is showing an increase in storm activity west and southwest of Montgomery. These storms are non-severe at the moment but they could bring heavy rain and thunder to Chilton & Coosa counties within the hour. We will keep you posted!
Fox6 Meteorologist Wes Wyatt
Tornado probability increased up to 10% across Sumter, southern Greene, southern Hale and Perry counties. 5% probability remains across the same area according to the most recent severe storm outlook.
This isn't a classic severe weather event we are expecting. The classic events are ones with high instability and high shear, like back in April of 2011. This type of event is more like what occurred on the night of November, 30 2006, which is a low instability and high shear event.
Forecasting nocturnal/low CAPE/high shear events are tricky. Sometimes you get a lot of severe weather and sometimes you don't. Warm front position is critical with this event. The heavy rain may prevent the warm front from lifting as far north as it could otherwise. So we are confident there will be enough spin in the atmosphere for rotating storms but if there isn't any CAPE for updrafts to form then severe weather may not be realized. Models have been back in forth with CAPE values and instability. The GFS has backed off, while the NAM has CAPE as high as 250 j/kg as far north as I-20 which would be enough for severe weather.
Short term models continue to show the strongest cells tracking eastward along and south of highway 80 with the strongest storms west of highway 43 in southwest Alabama.
We'll continue to update you on this developing situation...
Jill Gilardi Fox 6 Meteorologist
Low pressure continues to develop and strengthen across southeast Texas near the coast. The low is forecast to track northeastward and cause the warm front poised along the Gulf Coast to slowly shift northward today. Elevated storms and showers are ongoing to the north of the front and this activity will move from Mississippi and across Alabama this afternoon. Severe weather is not expected with this round or rounds.
Tonight, as cyclogenesis occurs which means low pressure strengthening, winds increase with height and the low level jet pushes the warm front and unstable air northward. There is a SLIGHT RISK for severe storms along and southwest of a line from Hamilton to Double Springs to Bremen to Hayden to Pine Mountain to Branchville to Riverside to Smiths Mill to Talladega to Chambers Springs to Pinkneyville to Dadeville. See the image below to know if the part of the county you live in is included in the slight risk. The slight risk includes a 5% tornado probability and a 15% damaging wind probability. The risk for tornado probability has been increased to 10% towards Demopolis. Both directional and speed shear will be present overnight which means the atmosphere will be ripe for rotating thunderstorms.
Flash flooding is also a heightened concern. A FLASH FLOOD WATCH is in effect until Monday afternoon. The heaviest precipitation is expected to fall between 7PM Sunday and 10AM Monday. Widespread amounts of 2-4 inches likely with locally higher amounts possible. Flooding is the number one weather killer in the United States and should be taken seriously. Never try and cross a flooded roadway, no matter what kind of vehicle you have. All it takes is 2 feet of fast flowing water to carry away a vehicle and 6 inches of flowing water to knock you off your feet.
SEVERE STORM THREAT increases to the southwest after 7PM, which includes Pickens, Greene, Hale and Sumter counties. The strongest of the storms appear to arrive as far east as Tuscaloosa to Eutaw by 8:30pm according to the RPM computer model. Strong to severe storms could be lined up along the I-20/I-59 corridor by 9:30pm, which includes Birmingham. Strong storms then continue moving eastward and will set up from Centreville to Columbiana to Gadsden. The strongest of the storms will still be ongoing through 2AM to the south of I-20. Again, all modes of severe weather possible, especially damaging winds, isolated tornadoes and flash flooding. Timing could change so please don't get hung up on the exact time frame because storms could arrive sooner or slightly later than models predict.
OVERALL it looks like we need to be on guard for potential severe storms tonight into early Monday morning. There is no guarantee but with such high wind shear expected, all it's going to take is a little instability to potentially cause big problems. Many factors come into play when forecasting severe potential. We'll be tracking the warm front closely because how far north it ends up could mean the difference between no severe weather or severe weather. We will also need to keep track of the storm mode and if supercells develop then the tornado threat increases. I still think some of the worst weather will stay focused across the southern part of Mississippi to Alabama where the air isn't as worked over from morning convection. The storms may not be as strong to the north but it's better off being safe than sorry and be prepared for possible severe weather.
Thanks and be weather ready!
-Jill Gilardi Fox 6 Meteorologist
After a short break from stormy weather, we are tracking yet again another storm system that may bring a round of severe weather to the Fox 6 viewing area late Sunday into Monday morning. The greatest risk right now is across the slight risk zone that includes southern Tuscaloosa, Pickens, Bibb and Greene counties. Strong storms are still possible even across the general risk area to the north. Damaging winds is the primary threat though there is also a tornado threat, especially across southern Alabama and points westward. Flooding is also going to be a concern with this system as models predict 2-5" in some spots.
SLIGHT RISK FOR SEVERE STORMS IN YELLOW
TRACKING PRECIPITATION HOUR-BY-HOUR ON SUNDAY INTO MONDAY
The heaviest and strongest storms impact areas south of I-20 on Sunday evening and night and then points northward on Monday morning.
BUFKIT MODEL ANALYSIS:
00Z NAM 5AM MONDAY:
Look at the right hand side and notice the winds at the surface flow from the southeast and then veer with height and increase with speed. That's some strong directional and speed shear.
00Z NAM 5AM MONDAY HODOGRAPH:
The hodograph is long and curvy with helicity values as high as 619 which is very high and indicate the high possibility of rotating thunderstorms.
00z NAM OVERVIEW OF ELEVATED AND SURFACE CAPE:
The instability isn't that impressive though may be enough still for severe weather in Birmingham on Monday morning. The CAPE spikes to about 800 j/kg on Monday late AM.
CAPE: Greatest instability south of I-20 on Monday morning.
Dewpoint axis is greatest across west and southern Alabama on Monday morning.
Here's a look at the same time frame but according to the GFS Computer Models: Notice shear is high but the CAPE is much lower than compared to the NAM model.
The EUROPEAN MODEL is similar to the NAM and still focuses some of the greatest instability across slight risk zone.
FINAL FORECAST DISCUSSION:
We will be tracking the position of the warm front closely because it is critical as to what areas see the greatest chance for severe storms, including tornadoes. As of now, the greatest threat is south of I-20 towards I-85. Severe weather is not expected tonight with any activity that moves through. Strong to severe storms along the Gulf Coast tomorrow afternoon. Monitoring severe threat northward towards I-20 on Sunday night into Monday morning. Damaging winds appear more likely because storms will have no trouble transporting 60-70knot winds aloft down to the surface. Tornadoes are possible because of the shear profiles but due to limited instability the threat is not as great than compared to the Gulf Coast.
We'll continue to update you on this developing weather situation!
In the meantime, get out and enjoy the dry weather today!!!
Jill Gilardi Fox 6 Meteorologist
We have a line of storms producing high winds approaching Alabama. The most impressive cell is moving toward Tupelo right now. These storms are likely producing winds over 70mph and will impact Marion, Lamar, and Pickens Counties by 5am. The storms are still expected to weaken as they track eastward. Radar signatures are showing a very impressive bowing line of storms.
The Storm Prediction Center has issued a tornado watch for parts of the state in effect until 10am. The tornado risk is still a small one. The main threat will continue to be high winds through the early morning hours.
Stay with Fox6 for updates on this developing weather. Good Day Alabama begins at 4:30am.
Fox6 Chief Meteorologist
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