6:50AM April 17, 2019

STRONG TORNADOES POSSIBLE THURSDAY

UPGRADE TO LEVEL 3 SEVERE WEATHER RISK ZONE… Tornadoes and damaging winds will be possible Thursday P.M. into the early part of Friday. The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has upgraded nearly all of southwest Alabama and northwest Florida into their Level 3 (out of 5) enhanced risk zone. SPC notes that a few strong (EF2+) tornadoes may become possible Thursday evening into early Friday morning as this system moves by. Timing with this severe weather potential has changed a bit and will be a bit later than initially suggested. After the storms tomorrow evening, we’ve got a cool Friday ahead of a fantastic Easter weekend. That’s your forecast summary, here are all of the details…

LEVEL 3 RISK ZONE FOR THURSDAY… Vast majority of our local area is now involved in the Level 3 (out of 5) enhanced severe weather risk zone on Thursday, including the following areas: Brewton, Flomaton, Atmore, Poarch, Evergreen, Castleberry, Lenox, Repton, Monroeville, Uriah, Beatrice, Grove Hill, Thomasville, Jackson, Coffeeville, Silas, Toxey, Chatom, Millry, Wagerville, Leroy, Fruitdale, Calvert, Mt. Vernon, Citronelle, Mobile, Axis, Prichard, Dauphin Island, Theodore, Saraland, Daphne, Fairhope, Spanish Fort, Bay Minette, Stockton, Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Foley, Pensacola, Gulf Breeze, Molino, Century, Walnut Hill, Bratt, Jay, Berrydale, Milton, Navarre, Allentown, Chumuckla, Red Level, Greenville, and Georgiana. Areas just to our north are also included in this Level 3 risk zone: Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Clanton, Selma, Demopolis, Jasper, Hamilton, Prattville, Livingston, Camden, Hayneville, and Butler.

LEVEL 2 RISK TO THE EAST – THURSDAY… Several communities on the eastern side of our local area remain involved in the Level 2 (out of 5) slightly lower risk area, including places like Andalusia, Opp, Florala, Luverne, Destin, Crestview, and Fort Walton Beach. Many communities across the eastern half of Alabama and the Florida Panhandle are also involved in this Level 2 risk zone: Auburn, Montgomery, Troy, Dothan, Enterprise, Elba, Geneva, Abbeville, Ozark, Alexander City, Talladega, Gadsden, Huntsville, Panama City, Seaside, Marianna, Mexico Beach, and Port St. Joe.

PARTLY CLOUDY & NICE ON THIS WEDNESDAY… Locally, across south Alabama and northwest Florida, we will be dry and warm on this Wednesday. You’ll notice some puffy, white cumulus clouds in the sky this afternoon that will likely increase in coverage throughout the day. High temperatures peak in the mid-80s by 3PM.

SEVERE WEATHER RISK TO THE WEST TODAY… The Storm Prediction Center is outlining much of southwest Arkansas, southern Oklahoma, and a big chunk of Texas in their Level 3 (out of 5) enhanced risk zone for severe weather today (Wednesday). If you’re traveling west toward Dallas or Waco in Texas, be aware of a risk of a few tornadoes and very large hail.

NO ISSUES ON THURSDAY MORNING… Besides some patchy areas of dense fog, no major weather issues are expected before the lunch hour on Thursday. Cloud coverage will continue to increase.

SHOWERS & STORMS ON THURSDAY AFTERNOON… Severe weather issues are likely to be in progress to our west on Thursday afternoon. SPC maintains a Level 3 risk zone for much of the southern half of Mississippi and eastern Louisiana where there is a chance of a few strong tornadoes happening. We could have a few spotty showers and storms around our region during the afternoon hours of Thursday. These showers and storms will likely be well under severe limits. We’ll call it a 30% chance of rain during the afternoon hours with rain chances rising after 8PM as the line of storms moves in late Thursday.

UPDATED: TIMING OF SEVERE WEATHER THURSDAY… This has changed somewhat since yesterday. The severe weather risk window will be from 6PM Thursday to 3AM on Friday, with the core risk being from 9PM to 1AM. It looks like we will be up late monitoring storms, meaning we all will need a way to get warnings before we go to sleep!

SEVERE WEATHER HAZARDS THURSDAY EVENING… The latest model indications point to a strong to potentially severe line of thunderstorms moving through Thursday evening into Friday morning with the risk of a few supercell storms firing up out ahead of the main line. Tornadoes, damaging winds, and large hail will all be concerns as this batch of storms moves by. If supercells can become more discrete and isolated, we will have to adjust the tornado risk even higher than what it is right now. Be sure to check back with me later today and tonight for the latest information!

SET UP APP ALERTS… Be sure to download the RedZone Weather app if you haven’t already. redzoneweather.com/app is the link for the free download. Once you have the app downloaded to your iOS or Android device, be sure to visit the Alerts tab (lower right corner of app) then tap the large, yellow “Alert Settings” button to customize the alerts you want to get straight from me.

TORNADO WARNING COVERAGE POLICY… Be sure to join me on Facebook Live and in the Live video tab of the RedZone Weather app if/when we have tornado warnings late Thursday into Friday morning. redzoneweather.com/coverage outlines our coverage commitment to southwest Alabama and northwest Florida. If any of our 12 local counties go under a tornado warning at any point, we provide uninterrupted live video coverage across our platforms.

MUCH COOLER FRIDAY… After the severe weather risk on Thursday, we could have rain showers Friday morning that linger into the afternoon hours. Most spots should be dry by Friday evening as cooler, dry, stable air continues to filter in from the northwest. Temperatures on Friday will be borderline chilly with high temperatures struggling to reach the upper-60s.

FANTASTIC EASTER WEEKEND UPCOMING… It doesn’t get much better for a late April weekend in the Deep South. High temperatures will be in the mid- to upper-70s on both Saturday and Sunday. Overnight lows will be in the upper-40s. We will have full sunshine each day. It will be a bit chilly (temperatures around 47°) for Easter sunrise services across the region, but the good news is no rain is expected. If you’re having an Easter egg hunt or another outdoor activity this weekend, the forecast looks fantastic!

DRY, WARM START TO EARLY NEXT WEEK… Monday and Tuesday of the upcoming week look nice, dry, and quite warm. High temperatures will reach the mid-80s each day with morning lows near 60°. We are increasingly having more 80 degree days as of late. It looks like the chance of a late season freeze are now near zero for most spots. Very early model data suggests our next “weathermaker” will move through around Thursday of next week. Far too early to know whether severe weather will be an issue, but obviously it’s the heart of severe weather season around here. Something to watch. We’ll keep you posted.

See all the details, including a graphical look at the next 7 days and in-depth coverage of the Thursday evening severe weather potential, in your Wednesday #rzw forecast video… Enjoy your day!

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