Severe Storms Likely For Alabama Today

| April 11, 2013 @ 6:08 am

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RADAR CHECK: A band of rain and storms is over West Tennessee and Northwest Mississippi this morning, and is moving only very slowly to the east. Storm intensities overnight have weakened, and only a few flash flood warnings are up within the band of storms. There is no rain over Alabama at daybreak other than a few isolated showers over the Tennessee Valley.

TODAY’S SEVERE WEATHER THREAT: Here are the important points for you to know…

*The primary window for severe weather in Alabama remains from 11:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. The core threat will come during the afternoon and evening hours.

*The Storm Prediction Center has ALL 67 Alabama counties in the standard “slight risk” of severe weather today. Doesn’t matter where you live, there is a risk of severe weather.

*With the potential for isolated severe thunderstorms to form ahead of the main line, it is just about impossible to give you specific arrival times since the discrete cells will be rather random.

But, for the main squall line, we project it to be near Decatur/Smith Lake/Jasper/Tuscaloosa/Demopolis around 2:00… Huntsville/Cullman/Birmingham/Centreville/Marion around 4:00… Gadsden/Anniston/Sylacauga/Clanton around 6:00. Once the main line passes the severe weather threat will end. And, please understand these are approximate times, and could change. The mesoscale models are not in very good agreement on the timing, but this is a general idea.

*Damaging straight line winds are possible along the line of storms; please pay attention to severe thunderstorm warnings today, and the words used in the text of the warning. Remember, damaging straight line winds can create damage similar in magnitude to a tornado. Each severe thunderstorm warning will clearly let you know the biggest threat is high wind, hail, or both. And, there is a clear “call to action” statement.

*We believe the greatest threat of tornadoes will be along and south of I-20, and along and east of I-65 from about 2:00 until 7:00 p.m. This is where the air becomes pretty unstable this afternoon (the HRRR shows surface based CAPE values over 2,000 j/kg in this region during the peak of the daytime heating process), and it is also where cellular thunderstorms should form ahead of the main line. But, understand we can’t rule out an isolated tornado in other areas as well.

*Rain amounts of 1.5 to 2 inches are likely, and there could be a few flooding issues before the day is over, especially in low lying and flood prone areas. On the positive side, this rain will knock down the pollen levels on a temporary basis.

*Be sure you are in a position to hear severe weather watches and warnings tomorrow as they are issued… this should NEVER be an outdoor warning siren… a NOAA Weather Radio is the baseline, and it is a great idea to have a good smart phone app like MyWarn, or iMap WeatherRadio so you can get warnings on the go. You can also watch ABC 33/40 severe weather coverage on these apps if we have tornado warnings.

*Will this be like April 27, 2011? I have stopped answering that question. If there is only one tornado in the entire state that just happens to come through your neighborhood, then that day becomes YOUR April 27. We have to take every threat seriously… we all know days like April 27, 2011 are very, very rare.

*Please take a few minutes to watch the Weather Xtreme video for all of the maps, graphics, and additional details that go along with this discussion.

The storms will end tonight as drier air moves into the state.

TOMORROW/SATURDAY: These two days will be delightful, with a sunny sky along with cool mornings. The high tomorrow will be near 70, followed by low to mid 70s Saturday.

Sunday will partly sunny; the 00Z GFS shows showers over the southern counties of the state by afternoon, but we still believe the northern half of the state will remain dry. We warm into the upper 70s Sunday afternoon.

NEXT WEEK: Moist air moves up into Alabama, and the pattern looks more like summer Monday through Wednesday. Warm, humid days, with some risk of “scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers”. The high will be at or just over 80 degrees each afternoon. Then, on Thursday, showers and storms will increase ahead of the next weather system approaching from the Great Plains, and it will be monitored for signs of severe weather potential. For now the risk looks relatively low, but that event is 7 days out.

WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly 90 minute netcast anytime on the web, or on iTunes. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists here at ABC 33/40.

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I have a weather program this morning at West Blocton Elementary School… we will have frequent updates on the blog as the event unfolds today, so stay tuned…


Category: Alabama's Weather

About the Author ()

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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