Major Severe Weather Threat Ahead

| March 26, 2009 @ 3:39 pm | 22 Replies

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LULL IN THE ACTION: Nice to have a little time to catch our breath this afternoon with a partly sunny sky across the northern half of Alabama. Temperatures have warmed into the 70s with very little rain around our part of the state.

TONIGHT: We note a tongue of instability moving up into this part of Alabama thanks to the breaks in the overcast this afternoon, with surface based CAPE values over 500 now over West-Central Alabama. This could lead to a few scattered showers and storms later tonight, aided by yet another wave in the upper flow.

TOMORROW/SATURDAY: The models are coming in wetter tomorrow, with rain and storms likely during the day. If this is correct, it will limit the daytime heating available, and hopefully keep instability values from getting out of hand tomorrow night into Saturday. The original thought was that our surface boundary would move north of here, allowing for sunshine and temperatures soaring into the low 80s. Looks like we will need to increase the rain tomorrow and drop afternoon highs back down into the 70s.

SPC has issued a moderate risk of severe weather for the Mississippi Delta region for tomorrow and tomorrow night, and it is very possible that will be expanded into Alabama at some point as we still see many major parameters very favorable for severe weather. I think we will to focus on the 18 hour window from 6:00 p.m. tomorrow through 12:00 noon Saturday as the prime severe weather risk period; during this time a few long track tornadoes will be possible from discrete supercell storms that form in the volatile airmass over Alabama.

We note there will be some risk that severe storms could linger over far East Alabama through Saturday afternoon.

Once again, we encourage everyone to review their severe weather safety plan, and be sure their NOAA Weather Radio receiver is working properly and programmed for the county where you live. There is a good chance we will have tornado warnings during the pre-dawn hours Saturday.

FLOODING: The NAM is printing an additional 1.21″ for Birmingham through Saturday, while the GFS is wetter with an additional 2.29″, and is probably closer to the truth. Flash flooding problems could develop tomorrow night into Saturday morning, followed by river flooding problems on the state’s major rivers, which should last into next week. People in flood prone areas, and along rivers, should be ready for rising water levels in coming days.

Drier air returns Saturday night, and Sunday will be mostly sunny and cooler.

NEXT WEEK: Watch the Weather Xtreme video for details… a cold front brings another chance of showers and storms on Tuesday; that front stalls near the Gulf Coast, lifts northward by Wednesday night as a warm front, and is followed by a strong system with another severe weather risk on Thursday. Very hard to nail down the timing in this extremely active pattern. Looks like it might be a spring tornado season to remember for parts of the Deep South.

SPECIAL ABC 33/40 NOAA WEATHER RADIO OFFER: You can purchase the WR-100 Midland NOAA Weather Radio, the best selling model in the nation, at any Publix or Handy TV location in this part of Alabama for only $29.95. These receivers have the new digital technology that allows you to choose the counties for which the alarm sounds. Every Alabama home and business needs one!

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I had a great time today visiting Pinson Elementary, Deer Valley Elementary, and the senior adults at Hunter Street Baptist Church. Be looking for the kids on the Pepsi KIDCAM today at 5:00 and 6:00 on ABC 33/40 News!

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James Spann is one of the most recognized and trusted television meteorologists in the industry. He holds the AMS CCM designation and television seals from the AMS and NWA. He is a past winner of the Broadcast Meteorologist of the Year from both professional organizations.

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