SEVERE STORMS POSSIBLE SATURDAY… Isolated strong to severe thunderstorms capable of producing a few tornadoes and damaging straight line winds will become possible tomorrow (Saturday, December 1) across much of Alabama and northwest Florida. The forecast for our local area remains on track with very little in the way of significant changes to pass along. The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) continues to include the entirety of south Alabama and northwest Florida in their Level 2 (out of 5) “slight risk” zone to potentially see isolated strong to severe thunderstorms on Saturday, particularly in the late morning hours. Isolated tornadoes and damaging straight line winds in the stronger storms will be the main concerns.
SATURDAY RISK ZONES
SPC continues to include the southern half of Alabama, southeast Mississippi, eastern Louisiana, all of northwest Florida and the Florida Panhandle, and much of southwest Georgia in their Level 2 (out of 5) “slight risk” zone. This zone is basically unchanged since yesterday. Areas included in the slight risk zone will have the highest chance of experiencing severe weather on Saturday. ALL of our local counties are included in this zone.
NEXT FEW HOURS
At the time this update is being produced as of 11:26AM, we have partly to mostly cloudy skies in place across south Alabama and northwest Florida. I expect cloud coverage to increase over the next several hours. There are already a few sprinkles happening across portions of Choctaw, Marengo, and Washington counties in west Alabama. Showers will steadily increase in number across west Alabama through the evening hours.
Most of the high-resolution, short-term models show a complex of rain and thunderstorms developing late this evening into early Saturday morning over the northern Gulf of Mexico. This area of rain and storms will move from southwest to northeast across our area through the early morning hours of Saturday. The big question mark is just how much this area of rain/storms stabalizes the atmosphere. IF significant stabalization occurs, our severe weather risk on Saturday morning/afternoon may be limited. On the contrary, there is a chance that significant stabalization may not occur. This would promote a potential environment for supercell thunderstorm development late on Saturday morning.
SEVERE STORM TIMING
The 12 hour window for when severe weather is most likely across our region will be from 4AM to 4PM on Saturday. The core risk will happen late morning into the early afternoon (9AM to 2PM) hours when we have the greatest setup of the “multiple atmospheric ingredients” needed for strong storm formation. The severe weather risk will end from west to east on Saturday. We note most of the storms should be well east of our area by 3PM when many folks will be watching the SEC Championship.
Isolated tornadoes and damaging straight line winds will be the main concerns in the stronger storms. Some weather models are depicting the potential for a few supercell thunderstorms late Saturday morning. Any supercells that become discrete and isolated will have the greatest tornado potential. Definitely something to monitor as we get closer to this potential event. The risk of large hail is low, but not zero. The hail risk will happen in any supercells that can become isolated. Isolated instances of flash flooding may happen, but the overall flash flooding risk remains low.
FINAL RZW EXEC UPDATE
This will be the final RZW Exec update for this particular severe weather event as our focus will now shift to communicating hazards to the general public. If you have any weather-related decision support questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. Have a great weekend!