LONG, DETAILED POST: SEVERE STORMS & HEAVY RAIN POSSIBLE LATER TODAY… Flash flooding, heavy rain, a few tornadoes, and damaging wind gusts will all be potential hazards this afternoon, this evening, and into Thursday. There will be multiple rounds of heavy rain today into the overnight hours. Some of this convection may produce severe convective hazards, including tornadoes and damaging winds. Please have a way to get urgent weather warnings today! Odds are this will be a heavy rain event for MOST, but there is a CHANCE that severe weather could impact some. Round 1 of storms will happen from 11AM to 4PM as a mass of showers and potentially strong to severe storms moves in from the southwest from the Gulf of Mexico. Round 2 will happen late tonight. Round 3 will be the squall line of storms that ultimately clears out any severe weather potential on Thursday morning. Cooler air will surge in from the northwest tomorrow afternoon as rain continues into the evening hours. We get a break from the active weather starting Friday as sunny skies return for the upcoming weekend. Below is a highly detailed discussion about the upcoming forecast.
HAVE A WAY TO GET WARNINGS THIS EVENING, TONIGHT, AND THURSDAY MORNING… Let’s start the details by leading with the most important piece of messaging. Please have a way to get urgent weather warnings today, tonight, and into Thursday when this whole event is slated to be over when the squall line passes through. This event almost certainly will NOT be a major tornado outbreak or anything like that, but there could be a tornado or two through Thursday morning in addition to multiple areas of damaging straight line winds. Have a way to get warnings and TAKE ACTION if you get one. So many people receive the warnings these days and don’t do anything to protect themselves. Have the tornado helmets ready just in case your particular location goes under a warning.
FLASH FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT… The National Weather Service has opted to issue a Flash Flood Watch due to the high rain totals that are expected through Thursday evening. This Flash Flood Watch is in effect until approximately 4PM on Thursday. All parts of the following counties are included: Covington, Crenshaw, Butler, Conecuh, Monroe, Escambia (AL), Baldwin, Mobile, Escambia (FL), Santa Rosa, and Okaloosa counties. Rain totals of 3 to 5 inches of rain are LIKELY in these counties with some isolated higher amounts being possible.
LEVEL 2 RISK CONTINUES… This has not changed from previous forecast discussions. The Storm Prediction Center continues to include ALL of south Alabama and northwest Florida in their Level 2 (out of 5) risk zone where scattered severe storms may happen Wednesday into Thursday. This means scattered instances of tornadoes and damaging winds may happen across our region. Have a way to get the warnings Wednesday into Thursday. DO something about it and take action to get sheltered if your particular area goes under a tornado warning. Level 2 risk (valid for Wednesday into Thursday) as of Tuesday afternoon: Mobile, Pensacola, Birmingham, Montgomery, Andalusia, Opp, Florala, Georgiana, Greenville, McKenzie, Hayneville, Camden, Brewton, Atmore, Poarch, Huxford, Flomaton, Evergreen, Repton, Castleberry, Monroeville, Beatrice, Uriah, Thomasville, Grove Hill, Jackson, Coffeeville, Silas, Butler, Pennington, Livingston, McIntosh, Leroy, Citronelle, Bay Minette, Mount Vernon, Saraland, Satsuma, Prichard, Theodore, Bayou La Batre, Fort Morgan, Dauphin Island, Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Perdido Key, Foley, Fairhope, Daphne, Spanish Fort, Loxley, Stockton, Century, Bratt, Walnut Hill, Molino, Gulf Breeze, Warrington, Milton, Pace, Berrydale, Jay, Navarre, Crestview, Destin, Baker, Fort Walton Beach, Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Enterprise, Dothan, Troy, Geneva, Marion, Selma, and Demopolis and surrounding areas.
FEW SHOWERS THIS MORNING… This morning, we’re not expecting major issues. There will be showers around through the lunch hour, but most of the storms will hold off until after 11AM. Temperatures this morning start in the 60s, but we will quickly rise into the 70s by the time we approach Noon.
ROUND 1: HEAVY RAIN & STORMS POSSIBLE STARTING AROUND NOON… Our eyes will increasingly be focused on the Mississippi Sound and northern Gulf of Mexico where our first round of strong storms and heavy rain will develop. This complex of storms will move into our region from southwest to northeast. This is set to happen from 11AM to 4PM. Heavy rain, gusty winds, and perhaps a tornado or two will all be possible.
LULL IN THE SEVERE WEATHER THREAT THIS EVENING POSSIBLE… Scattered areas of heavy rain will continue into the evening and there may be somewhat of a calmer period of time between the first batch of storms and the secondary area of storms that will likely develop near the coast.
ROUND 2: SEVERE STORMS NEAR THE COAST TONIGHT… Some of the higher-resolution, short-term models show strong to severe storms developing near the Alabama and northwest Florida beaches tonight with those storms gradually lifting inland. This part of the event would happen from 8PM tonight to 1AM on Thursday. If you take the parameters at face value, there is some evidence to suggest this is when the overall tornado risk would be maximized. There are some potential limiting factors in this timeframe, however, like the decreasing instability from earlier hours. Regardless, the big takeaway is we could have a few tornadoes this evening into tonight under some scenarios. The “best case scenario” would be a “big ‘ole rain event” that blocks all the inflow and instability from the Gulf and keeps storms fairly weak.
RAIN AND STORMS OVERNIGHT… The overall risk of severe storms will lessen after 1AM tonight, but it won’t completely go away until the cold front passes through our region on Thursday in the late morning and early afternoon hours. We encourage everyone to have a way to get urgent weather warnings before you go to sleep tonight, aka you need something that will wake you up if your particular location happens to go under a tornado warning. Intermittent heavy rain is likely throughout the night and into the early morning hours.
ROUND 3: LINE OF STORMS… Thunderstorms will make their proverbial last stand on Thursday morning as a cold front slides by our region. The concern is that storms will fire up right along the frontal boundary and potentially be on the strong side. If any storms are severe on Thursday morning, they’re more likely to feature damaging straight line winds as opposed to widespread tornadoes.
RAIN TO LINGER INTO THURSDAY EVENING… Even though the severe weather risk will end much earlier in the day, there is a high chance that rain will continue into the afternoon and evening hours of Thursday. Heavy rain will be possible at times. Temperatures on Thursday afternoon will “go the wrong way” and be declining into the evening hours. Most spots will be in the 50s after the passage of the cold front.
BETTER WEATHER FOR FRIDAY… After the active weather throguh, we get a nice Friday and nice weekend as a consolation prize. High temperatures Friday will be in the low-60s. Clearing skies are expected in the afternoon and evening hours. There should be a good amount of sunshine in the P.M. hours of Friday.
SUNNY, MILD WEEKEND AHEAD… Sunny skies are likely for Saturday and Sunday. High temperatures will be in the mid-60s each day with morning lows in the 40s. This is exactly where we should be, climatologically speaking, for early February. There could be a few showers after dark on Saturday, but most spots should remain dry and rain amounts will be very low where rain does happen.
SHOWERS & STORMS RETURN NEXT WEEK… Early indications point to another unsettled pattern setting up for Monday and Tuesday of the upcoming week. High temperatures will again surge into the 70s by Tuesday with a chance of showers and maybe a few thunderstorms. We’ll watch this potential over the weekend and bring you the latest in the RedZone Weather app.
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.
See all the graphics, details, and extended discussion about the severe weather risk in your Wednesday #rzw forecast video. Have a great day!