7:38PM October 29, 2018

STRONG/SEVERE STORMS POSSIBLE THURSDAY… Secondary severe weather season is set to kick off November 1st with a chance of strong to severe thunderstorms, perhaps featuring a few tornadoes. The good news is that most trick-or-treating events on Wednesday night should be dry locally. I expect the Storm Prediction Center to introduce a Level 1 or Level 2 (out of 5) severe weather risk for our local area valid for Thursday. Damaging straight line winds will be the number one concern, as this will likely shape up to be a quasi-linear convective system (QLCS), better known as a squall line. There could be a few, brief, embedded tornadoes as well. Let’s talk details…

DRY TUESDAY; MAINLY DRY WEDNESDAY… No weather issues are expected on Tuesday other than some areas of patchy dense fog early in the morning. Full sunshine is expected Tuesday with clouds increasing on Wednesday. Other than a few small, isolated showers in Mobile, Washington, and Choctaw counties in far western parts of Alabama, I expect vast majority of our local area to be DRY Wednesday evening. This means that most municipalities that are conducting Halloween trick-or-treating should be dry. Wednesday evening is when a squall line will be setting up near the Mississippi River moving to the east.

SEVERE STORMS POSSIBLE THURSDAY… This will be the first squall line/QLCS event our area has had in quite some time. At this point, it seems logical that the Storm Prediction Center will introduce a Level 2 (standard, slight) risk valid for Thursday for south Alabama, northwest Florida, and much of the Florida Panhandle. This will likely be a situation featuring isolated instances of downed trees due to straight line winds. There also could be a few embedded tornadoes in the main line of storms. Flash flooding will likely be limited by the fact that this will be a narrow, fast-moving line of storms.

COMPARED TO LAST WEEK… I don’t like getting into the comparison business, as each severe weather potential is unique. This is a similar weather pattern setup to our severe weather potential that happened last week, but I do think that this system has a high chance to be a bit more potent and produce more thunderstorms, comparatively, as parameters off the model data seem a bit more robust and supportive of a few stronger storms. The ECMWF/Euro model is particularly bullish with the chance of severe thunderstorms capable of producing damaging winds and a few tornadoes. We note the Euro model is a bit slower compared to the GFS model, meaning storms would likely have a bit more energy/CAPE to work with in the middle of the day on Thursday across our region.

TIMING OF STORMS… Still some uncertainty with timing, so we’ll definitely have to refine this in the days ahead. The highest chance of severe weather in southwest Alabama and northwest Florida will be from 5AM to 5PM Thursday. Storms will move eastward into southeast Alabama and the Florida Panhandle, with the 12 hour window being 10AM to 10PM on Thursday. Keep close tabs on this severe weather setup, particularly if you have outdoor plans Thursday afternoon/evening. There is a high chance that there will be heavy rain and potentially a few strong to severe storms in progress.

‘TIS THE SEASON… Right on cue, secondary severe weather season is kicking off November 1 and will last through December. Our primary severe weather season is in March and April. Those are the two months when tornado warnings are most likely in our local area. November and December are ranked 3rd and 4th, respectively. Don’t be surprised to hear more tornado risks in the weeks ahead. It’s a part of life around our local area in the spring and fall months.

HAVE A PLAN… Now is the time to review your tornado safety plan that we preach constantly throughout the year to school kids, civic clubs, and pretty much anyone that will listen. When a tornado warning is issued, we encourage you to get to the lowest floor of a well-built, site-built structure in a small, interior room near the center of the structure. This typically means a hallway, closet, or bathroom with no windows. Mobile homes and vehicles are generally not safe during tornadoes. Those are two of the places you absolutely should NOT be during a tornado warning. Everyone should have a helmet or something sturdy to protect your head from flying debris. It looks funny, yes, but they truly are LIFE-saving! Have a way to get the warnings and then DO SOMETHING about it when the warning is issued. So many people get the warnings these days and don’t take any action. That’s a problem. TAKE ACTION when the warning is issued.

APP ALERTS… Thank you so much to the thousands of people who have downloaded and regularly use our free RedZone Weather app. redzoneweather.com/app is the link for the free download. Once you have the RZW app downloaded, be sure to visit the Alerts tab (bottom right corner of the app) and tap the large, yellow “Alert Settings” button to customize the alerts you want to receive straight from me.

Be sure to check back with me throughout the week as this is an evolving severe weather setup. Further forecast refinements are likely. Let me know if you have specific questions. Have a great evening!

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