UPGRADE TO LEVEL 2 RISK TODAY: SEVERE STORMS POSSIBLE; COOLER TEMPS RETURN TUESDAY… The Storm Prediction Center has upgraded all of south Alabama and northwest Florida into their Level 2 (out of 5) severe weather risk zone on this Monday. Damaging wind gusts and perhaps a brief tornado or two will be the main concerns as a strong to severe line of thunderstorms approaches our area from the west. While the greater combination of “severe weather ingredients” will come together over parts of central and northern Mississippi, eastern Arkansas, and northern Louisiana, there is a chance that some of the storms locally may produce damaging wind gusts or a brief tornado or two. One of the reasons we have a chance of strong storms today is because of a cold front pushing southeastward. This front will usher in cooler, drier, much more stable air for Tuesday into Wednesday. High temperatures today will be in the low-80s, but after the front passage, Tuesday’s highs are set to be in the mid-70s. We’re also looking ahead to our next chance of rain and storms on Friday. Let’s look at specifics.
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.
TROPICS ARE QUIET… The Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea, and the Atlantic Ocean are all quiet with no tropical storm formation expected in the next 5 days. There is a growing chance that we may be done with the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season, but it’s obviously a bit too soon for an “all clear” just yet. Hurricane season officially comes to a close on November 30, 2019.
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I’ll have your full forecast video posted around midday as we assess the severe weather potential ahead for this afternoon and this evening. Have a nice start to your week!