MULTIPLE ROUNDS OF SEVERE STORMS POSSIBLE; HEAVY RAIN LIKELY MIDWEEK… Strong to severe thunderstorms will be possible Wednesday into Thursday morning across south Alabama and northwest Florida as a big dip in the jet stream flings multiple shortwave troughs into our region. The main hazard concerns will be damaging wind gusts, tornadoes, and flash flooding. Confidence has increased somewhat, although the timing of the system is still a bit uncertain. Our best estimate as of Monday night is that we will have two distinct rounds of active weather. The first will be Wednesday during the P.M. hours and the second will be Thursday morning as a squall line develops and moves east of our area. We encourage everyone to have a way to receive urgent weather warnings starting Wednesday late morning. That is the summary, below are the details.
RAIN ON TUESDAY; SEVERE WEATHER ISSUES BEGIN WEDNESDAY… Rain will be possible on Tuesday across the region. Showers will begin tomorrow (Tuesday) morning across west Alabama primarily in areas west of the Alabama River. Rain coverage will steadily increase throughout the day. I am not expecting severe weather issues on Tuesday due to the lack of atmospheric instability across our area. There will be showers around at times though. Keep the rain gear handy! High temperatures on Tuesday will remain above our climatological norms for early February. Most spots will peak in the mid-70s.
MULTIPLE ROUNDS OF SEVERE WEATHER POSSIBLE WEDNESDAY INTO THURSDAY… The big takeaway from our latest forecast is that we have multiple times when strong to severe thunderstorms may happen. Basically in the 24 hour period from 11AM Wednesday to 11AM Thursday, we need everyone to have a way to get urgent weather warnings. There is not a guarantee warnings will be needed, but that is a growing possibility at this point.
ROUND 1 OF 2: “MESSY STORM MODE” WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON… We will likely have quite a bit of rain and embedded thunderstorms happening across coastal Alabama and northwest Florida in the early afternoon hours of Wednesday. The better dynamics and thermodynamics for severe storms will set up during the evening hours, likely between 2PM and 7PM. This could manifest as clusters of storms or a line of storms. There even could be a big mass of rain and storms with a few supercells closer to the coast. We simply do not have a good grasp of the exact setup of how storms will develop just yet, but there is high confidence that heavy rain will happen at times on Wednesday with a few convective hazards (tornadoes and damaging winds) being possible. After this round of storms, we will probably have a lull in storm action late Wednesday evening into the early morning hours.
ROUND 2 OF 2: STRONG LINE OF STORMS ON THURSDAY MORNING… Cold air will be nudging up against warm, humid air along the advancing cold front on Thursday morning. This front will be slowly moving across our region likely around sunrise on Thursday. While timing remains a bit uncertain, a QLCS/squall line of storms is expected to develop along the cold front. This line of storms will be capable of producing damaging wind gusts and a few embedded tornadoes. Once this line of storms moves through your particular locale, you’ll get an all clear and the severe weather risk will come to an end. This will likely happen in many spots from 6AM to 11AM on Thursday.
LEVEL 2 RISK IN PLACE FOR LOCAL AREA… The Storm Prediction Center maintains a Level 2 (out of 5) slight severe weather risk zone for nearly all of the local area. The only areas NOT included in this risk zone are in northern parts of Clarke and Washington counties near Thomasville, Coffeeville, and Millry. Everyone else locally IS included. This means all parts of the following counties are included in the Level 2 risk zone: Monroe, Butler, Covington, Conecuh, Escambia (AL), Baldwin, Mobile, Okaloosa, Escambia (FL), and Santa Rosa counties. A Level 2 risk simply means scattered instances of severe storms will be possible, including a few tornadoes and damaging wind gusts.
LEVEL 1 RISK FOR CENTRAL ALABAMA… Much of the central part of Alabama is involved in the low-end, Level 1 (out of 5) marginal risk zone where severe storms may happen, but are less likely. This includes places like Montgomery, Auburn, Demopolis, Selma, Butler, Livingston, Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, Clanton, Oneonta, Jasper, Alex City, Wetumpka, Prattville, and surrounding areas.
FLASH FLOOD WATCH MAY BE REQUIRED… Regardless of if tornadoes or damaging wind gusts happen, I am increasingly concerned about the potential for flash flooding. 2 to 4 inches of rain is the forecast for most spots across the region with isolated higher amounts. The National Weather Service in Mobile has indicated a Flash Flood Watch may be issued because of this potential. Keep in mind, if you encounter a water-covered roadway, please “turn around, don’t drown.” We lose entirely too many people across America because they drive over a water-covered roadway and get swept away.
APP… Many, MANY updates will be posted throughout the day in the RedZone Weather app. redzoneweather.com/app is the link for the free download. Be sure to visit the Alerts tab (bottom right corner) and tap the large, yellow “Alert Settings” button to customize the alerts you’d like to receive from me. If you like a lot of info, be sure to toggle ON Low-Level Alerts.
I will have your next detailed forecast video posted by 7:15AM tomorrow (Tuesday) morning. Let me know if you have any questions. Have a nice evening!