TORNADO/DAMAGING WINDS LIKELY SATURDAY EVENING… This update is being produced as of 2:04PM Friday. Be sure to check back this evening around 8:15PM for the latest info. Strong to severe thunderstorms associated with a squall line will move across Alabama and northwest Florida on Saturday in the afternoon/evening hours. Potential impacts remain the same: Tornadoes and damaging straight line winds will be the main concerns with localized flooding issues and hail being additional concerns. Here are a few quick afternoon notes…
CONCERNING NOTE FROM SPC… This text appears in the latest Day 2 Convective Outlook highlighting the risk we’ve been talking about. Note the ‘strong tornado’ possibility/mention for west Alabama. “Given the strength of the southerly low-level jet (50-60 kt) and low-level shear, strong/damaging winds (some significant) and a strong tornado or two will be possible from southeast LA through eastern MS and western AL Saturday afternoon into the evening.”
TIMING OF STORMS… The timing of when these storms will arrive on Saturday has been quite the sticking point in the forecast over the last 48 hours. The latest model guidance continues to suggest Saturday afternoon into the evening hours will be when this main line of storms will approach south Alabama and northwest Florida. Please see the attached map to see the respective time windows for when storms will arrive in your neighborhood.
LEVEL 3 RISK CONTINUES FOR MOST… If you’re west of Greenville, Brooklyn, Munson, and Navarre, you remain involved in the Level 3 (out of 5) “enhanced” risk zone. The line of strong to severe storms will likely be at its peak strength on Saturday in southeast Mississippi and southwest Alabama. Locally, this means Brewton, Atmore, Poarch, Evergreen, Pensacola, Century, Flomaton, Robertsdale, Foley, Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Monroeville, Thomasville, Grove Hill, Jackson, Chatom, Gilbertown, Wilmer, and surrounding areas remain involved in the Level 3 risk.
LEVEL 2 RISK FOR SOUTHEAST ALABAMA… All of Covington, Okaloosa, Crenshaw, Geneva, Pike, Dale, Houston counties are now in the Level 2 risk zone. Storms will likely be slightly weaker once they reach these areas late Saturday evening/early Sunday morning. Please understand that severe weather/tornadoes can still happen in this slightly lower risk area, but the atmosphere will likely not be AS conducive for major issues in these counties.
RISK ZONE REMINDER… I talk a lot about the different severe weather risk zones but I want to remind everyone… These are forecast risk zones. These aren’t concrete. Storms can overperform or underperform. The ENTIRE state of Alabama and northwest Florida has at least some risk of seeing strong to severe storms on Saturday into early Sunday. Please BE READY, regardless of which color/risk zone you’re involved in.
MUST HAVE WAYS TO GET WARNINGS… Now is the time to ensure you have multiple ways to receive urgent weather warnings. Don’t wait until the last minute to figure out where you’re going or what you’re going to be doing if a tornado/severe thunderstorm warning is issued for your area. Plan and prepare TODAY while the weather is calm and beautiful. Again, we advise no one should be in a mobile home or car during a tornado warning. Helmets are fantastic tools that can help save your life by insulating your head from flying debris in a severe storm.
APP… Be sure to visit the Alerts tab in the lower right corner of the RZWeather app if you haven’t already, and tap the big, yellow “Alert Settings” button to configure which counties/levels of alerts you want to receive from us. This is how we communicate during times of severe weather.
COVERAGE… Join me on Saturday if we have tornado warnings for any portion of our 12 county primary coverage area (redzoneweather.com/coverage has a good outline of this). We will stream live, uninterrupted coverage in the RZWeather app and here on Facebook Live.
Let me know if you have specific questions… My next update will be posted on Facebook this evening around 8:15PM. In the meantime, join me on Twitter @rzweather and in the RZWeather app for more updates. Have a wonderful evening!