STRONG TO SEVERE STORMS POSSIBLE THIS AFTERNOON & THIS EVENING… The entirety of south Alabama and northwest Florida remains included in the Level 2 (out of 5) slight risk to potentially see a few strong to severe thunderstorms this afternoon. The tornado risk has increased slightly over the last several hours. Storms this afternoon into this evening could produce isolated tornadoes, damaging straight line wind gusts capable of knocking down a few trees or tree limbs, and perhaps small hail. These hazards will exist in addition to the risk of very heavy rain at times. Let’s look at a few details…
TORNADO WATCH MAY BE ISSUED SOON… The Storm Prediction Center issued a mesoscale discussion about an hour ago stating there is a 60% chance that a Tornado Watch will be needed for parts of southwest Alabama, northwest Florida, southeast Mississippi, and eastern Louisiana in the next few hours. Regardless of if a tornado watch is issued, please have a way to receive urgent weather warnings this afternoon into this evening.
RADAR CHECK AS OF 1PM CDT… A large complex of rain and storms continues to drench Mississippi and Louisiana with heavy rain and occasional strong to severe thunderstorms. Heavy rain is also happening in parts of west Alabama near Tuscaloosa, Butler, Demopolis, Livingston, and Eutaw. We also note that several small, discrete showers and storms have developed this afternoon across parts of Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, eastern Escambia (AL) counties. Storms have also developed south of Destin and Fort Walton Beach offshore. We will need to keep an eye on any of these storms that form out ahead of the main complex of rain/storms to our west. While the tornado risk with these cells is currently low, environmental conditions may become slightly more favorable for potential tornadoes in the hours ahead.
TORNADO WARNING COVERAGE REMINDER… I will be in studio until this severe weather event is over. Anytime there is an active tornado warning for any part of southwest Alabama or northwest Florida, we provide uninterrupted LIVE video coverage in the RedZone Weather app and on Facebook Live. Please join us if your specific area goes under a tornado warning this afternoon. redzoneweather.com/coverage is the link where you can read our specific coverage policy and see our primary coverage area.
The following is review from the morning post. All of this information remains accurate and on target.
LEVEL 2 RISK FOR SOUTH ALABAMA & NW FLORIDA… All of our local area is included in the slight, Level 2 (out of 5) risk zone valid for today (Monday, October 21) into tonight. This means that isolated severe storms are expected. This includes Mobile, Pensacola, Daphne, Spanish Fort, Fairhope, Foley, Orange Beach, Thomasville, Jackson, Chatom, Millry, McIntosh, Monroeville, Beatrice, Uriah, Brewton, Atmore, Flomaton, Evergreen, Castleberry, Greenville, Georgiana, Andalusia, Opp, Florala, Century, Molino, Jay, Milton, Pace, Navarre, Crestview, Baker, Destin, and Fort Walton Beach. We also note that Troy, Geneva, Elba, Enterprise, Camden, Selma, Demopolis, Hayneville, Livingston, Eutaw, and Butler are included in the Level 2 risk zone.
LEVEL 2 RISK TO OUR WEST… SPC has included much of Mississippi and parts of Louisiana, eastern Arkansas, and southwestern Tennessee in their Level 2 (out of 5) slight risk zone as well. This is where the greatest combination of “severe weather ingredients” will be in place today into tonight. We note that New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Lake Charles, Jackson (MS), Memphis (TN), Shreveport (LA), and Monroe (LA) are included in this Level 2 risk zone.
LEVEL 1 RISK FOR NORTH ALABAMA… The northern half of Alabama and much of east Alabama is included in the Level 1, marginal, low-end severe weather risk zone. This includes places like Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Auburn, Alex City, Montgomery, Dothan, Talladega, Gadsden, Anniston, Huntsville, Decatur, Florence, Muscle Shoals, Russellville, Fayette, Jasper, Oneonta, Boaz, Clanton, Tuskegee, Prattville, and Wetumpka.
MAIN CONCERN LOCALLY: SQUALL LINE… We’ll be closely monitoring a developing QLCS/squall line that will set up to our west today across parts of Louisiana and Mississippi. This line of strong to potentially severe storms will move eastward across our region starting this afternoon into this evening. There could be a few showers or storms around before the line arrives, but widespread development of discrete cells out ahead of the line is unlikely as of now.
SEVERE WEATHER TIMING TODAY… The greatest concern for strong to severe storms across our local area will happen in the afternoon and evening hours. This is valid for south Alabama and northwest Florida: The greatest chance of a strong or severe storm happening will be from 1PM Monday to 1AM Tuesday, with the core window being from 4PM to 11PM.
RAIN TIMING TODAY… There could be a few isolated showers around this morning into this afternoon, but clearly the greatest rain chance will happen when the squall line of storms moves by this afternoon into this evening. Keep the rain jacket close by throughout the day.
DRIER FOR TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY… There could be a few showers around early Tuesday morning, but I expect rain to clear out by midday. Dry conditions will prevail from Tuesday afternoon through Thursday morning, including all of Wednesday when mostly sunny skies are expected. High temperatures will be in the mid-70s on Tuesday and Wednesday with overnight lows around 48 on Wednesday morning.
SHOWERS POSSIBLE LATE ON THURSDAY… After the event today into tonight, the next significant chance of rain will happen Thursday night into Friday. Rain coverage will probably increase after sunset on Thursday.
ANOTHER ROUND OF STORMS ON FRIDAY… There is good agreement among the weather models we regularly review that Friday will feature another round of showers and thunderstorms. There is a chance some of the storms on Friday may be on the strong or severe side. Let’s get through the low-end severe weather potential today and I’ll start getting more specific about Friday over the course of the next few days.
EARLY LOOK AT THE WEEKEND… Early model guidance points to a few showers being possible this weekend with temperatures in the 70s for afternoon highs. We’ll be able to get more specific about your weekend forecast in the days ahead.
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See all the graphics and details in your Monday #rzw forecast video. Have a good afternoon and have a way to get the warnings!