The weather should remain fairly quiet during the overnight hours. Most of us may be able to avoid any active weather in the morning. Wes and Mickey will be monitoring the weather overnight.
The Storm Prediction Center has the Northwest corner of Alabama outlooked in a slight risk. But, I'm not sure if we'll see storms materialize based on radar trends. Forecast models also suggest a calm night for us. You can already feel the moisture returning this evening. A stiff southerly wind is doing a good job transporting warm and humid air from the Gulf of Mexico. This will provide the instability (or fuel) needed for severe weather tomorrow afternoon and evening.
Our thinking still has not changed concerning the timing. I think we'll see thunderstorms begin to impact our western counties as early as 2pm. This includes Marion, Lamar, and Pickens counties with the threat shifting eastward throughout the evening.
The model data is still very concerning with instability and wind shear both very high through the evening. I was running the 4km NAM data from this evening into the Bufkit and the severe indices are alarming.
This Birmingham snapshot is for 9pm tomorrow evening. The CAPE or instability is over 1,500 and the helicity is over 700. The energy helicity index or EHI reaches over 7. The instability is actually higher during the afternoon, but the low level jet really kicks up the shear during the evening. This is classic setup for tornadoes. With these ingredients - it's possible we could see a few long track tornadoes resulting from supercell development.
As I have indicated in previous posts, this is not an April 27th setup where I expect 60 plus tornadoes. However, the setup is concerning. We have had extensive damage alread in parts of Oklahoma and Arkansas. I would be surprised not to see damage here tomorrow afternoon or evening.
My advice is to be prepared and have multiple sources of reliable weather information. I can assure you we will see a tornado watch tomorrow and numerous warning. In addition to tornadoes, I am also concerned about a significant flooding and straight-line wind damage threat.
We started beating the drum concerning severe weather last week. It's not often we talk about severe weather so far in advance, but certain situations stick out a bit more than others and this system continues to get our attention. Could it change for the better? Certainly and we hope that happens. But, at this point - the science indicates a very active severe weather day across much of Alabama. It's possible we could see another round on Tuesday afternoon/evening just ahead of the main cool front.
Stay with Fox6. We'll keep you updated.
Fox6 Chief Meteorologist
We've been talking for days about the chance for severe storms Monday and Tuesday. Our thinking has not changed. It still looks very likely we will see possibly several rounds of severe storms between Monday and Tuesday. This still looks like a significant severe weather event for our state.
This is NOT April 27th, 2011: If you've been following the weather over the last several days online, you've probably seen comparison between this event and the April 27th, 2011 Outbreak. We need to be careful with that comparison. The parameters between this event and that outbreak are considerably different. The chances of a similar outcome with massive widespread damage is very remote. However, it only takes one strong tornado to be significant. We all remember the Center Point tornado in 2012, the Oak Grove tornado in 1998, and a host of others throughout the years. This setup is the most significant weather threat since March, 2012.
What to Expect? Based on model data, today, tonight, and overnight should be fairly quiet. We can expect showers, widespread cloud cover, and even a few thunderstorms. The more active weather will remain to our west. It's possible we could see a few isolated severe or near-severe thunderstorms early tomorrow morning mainly in Marion, Lamar, and Pickens Counties. The primary threat will be high winds. Monday morning should be fairly quiet with mostly cloudy skies and an occasional peak of sunshine. I would prepare for severe storms at 3pm Monday and possibly lasting through daybreak Tuesday. Threats will include damaging winds, hail, flooding, and tornadoes. It's possible we could see a few strong tornadoes during this timeframe. I would not discount the possibility of 4-5" of rainfall and some significant flooding. Flooding is often more dangerous and deadly than tornadoes. If you live in an area that typically floods, it's likely you could see some flooding again.
What about another round of severe storms Tuesday afternoon? It's possible, but still not sure. Models will have trouble resolving this because Monday's severe weather will influence what happens on Tuesday. At this point, I would be prepared for another round of storms Tuesday afternoon/evening. We're not completely out of the woods until the front clears.
Where? It would be impossible to tell you where a tornado will touchdown. Initially, the greatest risk for severe storms will occur in West Alabama and move eastward across the state. If we see redevelopment on Tuesday, the greatest risk for severe storms will shift east of I-65.
How to prepare? Since it's fairly quiet today I would make sure I have multiple ways to receive weather warnings. The Fox6 weather app, NOAA Weather Radio App, or SAFE-T-Net are all fantastic apps for smartphones. You should also make sure your NOAA weather radio is working. Simply - press the weather button and if you hear the automated voice then you are receiving a signal. If you're radio is making a non-stop tone (it's a Midland), it will need to be replaced.
If you live in a mobile home, I would make alternative plans to stay in a more sturdy structure. You might call a friend, relative, or neighbor today. Don't wait until the last minute.
I would also pick up any loose items around the house that could blow around and become missiles. If you can make sure your vehicle is parked in a garage tomorrow afternoon or night. I would especially avoid parking under trees.
Reliable Weather Information: Make sure you stick with reliable weather information. This typically comes from TV stations, the weather service, or familar online weather sites. You will likely see a bunch of non-sense floating around from people spreading drama on social media. Be careful with that and let's stick to the facts. Billy Bob's Armchair forecasting service might be fantastic, but it might not and you can't risk your family's safety on an untrusted source of information. Here at Fox6, we will continue to provide updated information and share any information we receive from the Storm Prediction Center, our meteorologists, and the National Weather Service.
Stay safe and we'll keep you updated.
Fox6 Chief Meteorologist
If your looking for another way to receive weather alerts, check out some of the apps we have listed at http://myfoxal.com/apps. If your device is compatible and you are having trouble with the install, please let us know. Also, if you plan on attending WeatherFest tomorrow be sure to stop by our digital teams tent for help with your install.
Fox6 Meteorologist Wes Wyatt
One of the many instruments you will have a chance to learn about at WeatherFest 2014 is the Mobile Integrated Profiling System or MIPS from the University of Alabama Huntsville. This is a platform that houses multiple remote sensing tools aimed in the vertical to gather data. These data include wind speeds and direction within various layers of the atmosphere. The MIPS platform houses a 915 MHZ Doppler Profiler, a Doppler SODAR that utilizes sound waves, and a LIDAR ceilometer.
You will be able to get a first hand look at MIPS and learn more about its mission at McWane on Saturday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Fox6 Meteorologist Wes Wyatt
The big story tonight has been the wind. Strong winds have been responsible for a number of power outages across the state. I’ve seen wind gusts over 50mph at Galleria Fox6 SkyVision sensor.
I’m keeping a close watch on our weekend weather. It looks like rain chances will be increasing Saturday. The best chance for rain will likely be during the afternoon and evening based on current model runs. I’m expecting widespread clouds on Saturday with highs in the mid 60s. Both the NAM and GFS are fairly wet. No severe weather is expected.
Have a great evening and I hope you can join us on Fox6 News.
Fox6 Chief Meteorologist
Rain is moving into the area as expected tonight. We will continue to see widespread rain through the overnight. We're watching some thunderstorm development this evening in Mississippi that will eventually make its way into Alabama. No severe weather is in the forecast, but we will have some rumbles of thunder mainly south of Birmingham. Rain could be heavy at times south of I-20.
Here are a few snapshots of the rain and temperatures through Wednesday afternoon. These images are based on our RPM model here at Fox6.
By Wednesday evening, temperatures will be falling into the upper 40s across the area. We can expect overnight lows to dip into the upper 20s by Thursday morning. Clearing skies are expected by Thursday with highs in the lower 50s. We'll have another day of mostly sunny skies on Friday with highs reaching the mid 60s.
Weekend Forecast: We're still trying to get a good handle on the weekend forecast and the rain chances. At this point, it looks like the best chance for rainfall will be Saturday with mostly cloudy skies. Highs on Saturday will reach the upper 60s. Overnight lows will fall into the upper 40s. We'll see some additional rain on Sunday, but it should not be widespread. Highs on Sunday will reach the upper 60s.
Pollen Forecast: Pollen continues to be a big issue this week. Hopefully, the rain will reduce the pollen levels just a bit. The primary pollens right now are juniper, elm, and maple.
Fox6 Chief Meteorologist
Sign up to have our daily weather forecast sent to you by text message!
Text WBRCFORECAST to 20566 or visit www.myfoxal.com/alerts to sign up.*
*Message and data rates may apply. You will receive1 msg/day. You can text STOP at any time to cancel your subscription, text HELP for more information, call 877.571.0774 for support.