6:48AM January 8, 2020

NICE WEDNESDAY; LOOKING AHEAD TO SEVERE STORM POTENTIAL ON SATURDAY… Let me start by saying we have a High-Level Alert Test scheduled for this afternoon at 1PM in the RedZone Weather app. More details about that are below. Sunshine is expected on this Wednesday as we look ahead to Saturday when we could have a round of strong to severe thunderstorms capable of producing tornadoes and damaging wind gusts move across south Alabama and northwest Florida. Much of our local area continues to be involved in the “Day 4” (Saturday, in this case) severe weather risk zone in the Level 3 (out of 5) “enhanced” risk.

DRY TODAY & THURSDAY, RAIN ON FRIDAY… Today and the daytime hours of Thursday will almost certainly be dry with no significant weather issues other than dense areas of fog in the morning hours being possible on Thursday. High temperatures will be in the mid-60s today. Rain, in the form of small showers, will become possible late Thursday evening into Friday morning. Rain coverage will increase throughout the day on Friday. There could be a few general thunderstorms as early as Friday afternoon and evening. We will be watching a developing severe weather risk to our east across parts of east Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and west Mississippi on Friday. There is a possibility of a few stronger storms on Friday evening into very early Saturday morning.

UPDATED: SATURDAY SEVERE WEATHER TIMING… The core of the severe weather risk will happen on SATURDAY across Alabama and northwest Florida. We continue to revise and adjust the projected timeframe for severe weather based on the latest model guidance. 7AM to 7PM Saturday is the 12 hour window in which severe weather seems most likely to happen. That is valid as of Wednesday morning and is highly subject to change based on more forecast data coming in over the next few days. Again, be sure to check back with me for changes and details on this in the days ahead.

POTENTIAL HAZARDS ON SATURDAY… The hazards on Saturday will be tornadoes, damaging winds, flash flooding, and hail. It looks like the tornado risk will be highest across inland areas of our local area in south Alabama, although I can’t rule out tornadoes closer to the coast at this point. Damaging winds will be a concern as a QLCS/squall line moves through and ultimately ends the severe weather threat as it moves by from west to east. In addition, flash flooding may be a concern if storms train over the same area. If storms are more discrete and isolated, perhaps in the form of supercell thunderstorms, there also would be a risk of large hail.

SPECIFIC RISK LEVEL NUMBER & COLOR… The Storm Prediction Center issues convective outlooks each day (up to 7 days out) to communicate potential hazards that may affect a given area. I have noticed that, for whatever reason, people tend to think that if you’re not involved in Level 3, 4, or 5 risk zone, you’re somehow in the clear. That is NOT the case. Just to prove this point, the Century-Flomaton EF3 tornado (considered a very strong/significant tornado!) happened on a Level 2 (out of 5) yellow/slight risk day on February 15, 2016. I encourage everyone to not get so caught up in the risk level and number that we forget about potential IMPACTS, in that we have a potentially significant, developing tornado risk. YES, the risk is higher in the higher number risk zones. NO, the risk is not zero or anywhere close to zero in the lower risk zones. The “oh I’m just in a yellow/Level 2 risk zone” comments are maddening for me. That’s still a risk. We ALL will have a risk of some sort on Saturday.

SHOWERS POSSIBLE SUNDAY… No severe weather issues are expected on Sunday, but we could have some lingering showers around our region, particularly late in the day.

MORE STORMS POSSIBLE MONDAY… Unfortunately, the cold front that pushes across our area Saturday will lift back across the region on Monday as a warm front, potentially paving the way for more showers and storms. Some of the storms MAY be on the strong side. Let’s get through the severe weather potential on Saturday and then we’ll focus on the Monday risk, if necessary.

HIGH LEVEL ALERT TEST THIS AFTERNOON… We will have a High-Level Alert Test this afternoon, (Wednesday, January 8, 2020) at 1PM CST, in the RedZone Weather app. You should receive a push notification at 1PM on Wednesday if you have the RedZone Weather app installed on your iOS or Android device AND you have allowed the app to send push notifications. We test the High-Level Alert system once per quarter at 1PM on the first Wednesday (excluding federal holidays) of January, April, July, and October. The first Wednesday of January 2020 was New Year’s Day, thus the test will be today.

APP… If you haven’t already, be sure to download the free RedZone Weather app to keep up with all the latest information on the world of weather in south Alabama and northwest Florida. 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) and tap the large, yellow Alert Settings button to customize the alerts you would like to receive straight from me.

I’ll have more details posted about the upcoming Saturday severe weather risk in the RedZone Weather app throughout the day as needed. We’ll have another longer form update tonight with the next video being posted by 7:15AM on Thursday. Let me know if you have any specific questions. Have a great Wednesday!

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