Category: Severe Weather
The NWS has cleared Pickens County from the tornado watch.
The tornado watch continues for Greene, Hale, Marengo and Sumter Counties till 9:00 AM CST.
The main line of storms extends from Moulton to just west of Jasper to northeastern Tuscaloosa County.
South and east of that, showers and storms have become more separated and discrete. THere are storms over western Jefferson County from Bessemer northeast to the Graysville area.
They are more intense from Eutaw to Livingston into Southwest Alabama. These storms have lots of lightning in them and are in the tornado watch area.
A line of thunderstorms and heavy rain ahead of a cold front has pushed into western Alabama early this morning. The leading edge extends from Russellville to Winfield to Belk to Gordo to Union to Gainesville.
There is lots of heavy rain, some gusty winds and a significant amount of lightning with the storms. The heaviest lightning is over northern Lamar and Marion Counties, associated with a mesoscale convective vortex. This comma head shaped feature will move northeast across Lamar, Fayette, Marion and into Winston Counties over the next couple of hours. There is a chance of damaging winds and even an isolated small spin up tornado with this feature.
The line of storms is pushing east at 15 mph and will affect Marion, Lamar, Pickens and Sumter Counties over the next hour.
Several hours of rain continues behind the leading edge storms. Already well over 2.25 inches of rain in Starkville from the system and there is flooding in the City of Meridian. Here in Alabama, the amount of rain that it would take to cause flash flooding is fairly high so we should escape widespread flooding problems. But that doesn’t mean we won’t see some flooding today as 2-4 inches of rain falls.
There is an amazing amount of Gulf moisture being pulled northward into the Southeast by the powerful upper level system, which is centered over Oklahoma and Texas this morning and a weakening surface low, which is over Iowa.
A tornado watch remains in effect until 9 a.m. CST for southern portion of West Alabama, as far north as Pickens, Sumter, Greene and Hale Counties.
The line of storms is into West Alabama’s Marion, Lamar, Pickens and Sumter Counties.
The system has a comma head near Tupelo MS indicating some type of mesoscale convective vortex. The storms associated with this feature produced a tornado warning for Monroe County MS earlier. No reports of damage were received.
There is also a kink in the line northwest of Aliceville. This kink is strongly indicative of damaging winds. An isolated spinup tornado is not out of the question as well.
This part of the line is moving north northeast into an area characterized by extremely high low level shear. Helicity, or spin, inthe atmosphere in the surface to 1 km layer is up to 650 m2/s2 over Marion and Lamar Counties. Followers of the blog will know that those values are about as high as we see in Alabama severe weather.
Fortunately, it is just at the very apex of a small sliver of instability, but any thunderstorm updrafts that tap it will have a tremendous amount of spin to draw from. There is a good bit of lightning associated with the storms from Marion down through Pickens Counties, so we know there are decent updrafts there that can do just that.
Aliceville, Carrollton and Reform are in the path of the feature.
Be in a safe place as these dangerous storms approach.
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BIRMINGHAM HAS ISSUED A
* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR…
PICKENS COUNTY IN WEST CENTRAL ALABAMA…
NORTH CENTRAL SUMTER COUNTY IN WEST CENTRAL ALABAMA…
* UNTIL 515 AM CST
* AT 427 AM CST…A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WAS LOCATED OVER
COOKSVILLE…OR 13 MILES SOUTHWEST OF ALICEVILLE…MOVING NORTHEAST
AT 50 MPH.
HAZARD…60-65 MPH WIND GUSTS.
IMPACT…EXPECT DAMAGE TO ROOFS…SIDING AND TREES.
* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE…
MCMULLEN…BEVILL LOCK AND DAM…JOHNSTON LAKE…GARDEN…PANOLA…
GAINESVILLE LAKE CAMPGROUND…GEORGE DOWNER AIRPORT…PINE GROVE…
NORTH PICKENS AIRPORT…COCHRANE…MCSHAN…FOREST…SHAW…
DILLBURG AND OWENS.
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HAS ISSUED TORNADO WATCH 551 IN
EFFECT UNTIL 9 AM CST THIS MORNING FOR THE FOLLOWING AREAS
IN WEST CENTRAL ALABAMA
GREENE HALE MARENGO
THIS INCLUDES THE CITIES OF…ALICEVILLE…CARROLLTON…
MOUNDVILLE AND YORK.
The line of storms continues to push east at a snail’s pace this morning, it’s forward speed having slowed to 15 mph.
The leading edge of the line is just east of Boonville to west of Amory to West Point to Starkville and on to between Louisville and Macon at 2:25 a.m.
Areas south and east of New Orleans are under a tornado warning, but that is the only severe thunderstorm or tornado warning nationally.
Still waiting on word about whether a tornado watch is on the way for parts of Alabama, but the recent weakening trends are encouraging.
The intensity of the line continues to slowly decrease, which is great news. It will reach Lamar and Marion Counties just after 3 a.m. and is about 6-7 hours away from Birmingham, so an ETA tentatively is 8-9 a.m.
Hopefully, the event is transitioning into a non-severe weather event, although heavy rain remains a real threat. Once rain begins at your location later this morning, you will likely see 5-6 hours of steady rain. Flooding is not out of the question, as up to five inches of rain could fall before it is all said and done in some spots.
There are several reports of possible damage from the potential tornado that moved from near Carthage to Louisville and has us very concerned for time about Lamar and Marion Counties here in Alabama. It looks like the NWS in Jackson will be busy with damage surveys later today.
The good news is that our line of storms has weakened in the past 15 minutes and there are now no severe thunderstorm or tornado warnings. The only severe weather warnings are two flash flood watches and one severe thunderstorm warning over Mississippi/Louisiana.
The lightning output on the storms has dramatically lessened over the past hour, indicating they may be running out of fuel.
But having said that, wind shear is still extremely strong and the double s-shaped orientation of the line between Corinth and Tupelo and Starkville indicates that the line is capable of producing damaging winds and spin up tornadoes, like we have seen in Mississippi tonight.
No word on whether the folks at the NWS will extend the tornado watch into Alabama. If current trends continue, perhaps it won’t be needed for North Central Alabama.
Further southwest, storms are quite intense still over southern Louisiana, and these should be able to ride a narrow tongue of unstable air into Southwest Alabama and a watch will probably be required for that part of the area.