6:50AM December 31, 2020

SEVERE STORMS POSSIBLE LATER TODAY INTO THE OVERNIGHT HOURS… Severe storms will become possible later today as a squall line approaches south Alabama and northwest Florida from the west. There could be isolated, discrete storms that form out ahead of the main line of storms that could be potentially severe. Showers will be possible at times this morning into the early afternoon hours. Isolated severe storms could start as early as 2PM. Most of the severe weather issues, however, will happen from 8PM this evening to 8AM on New Year’s Day Friday. There is a high probability that some, if not most, New Year’s Eve celebrations across our region will be wet this evening with quite a bit of rain around. Please have a way to hear warnings tonight and take action to protect yourself and your loved ones if a warning is required for your specific location. If tornado warnings are needed locally, we will go into our nonstop live video coverage to bring you the latest information. More Thursday morning forecast details are below.

SHOWERS POSSIBLE THROUGH EARLY AFTERNOON… Areas of light to moderate rain will increase in coverage over the next several hours across the region. Rain chances will gradually increase throughout the day. High temperatures this afternoon will be way too warm for late December with most spots peaking in the mid-70s.

LOW-END RISK OF STRONG STORMS FROM 2PM TO 8PM… Isolated thunderstorms may happen this afternoon, especially closer to the Alabama and northwest Florida beaches. Some of these storms may briefly become strong or even marginally severe. The overall tornado risk ramps up tonight after sunset, but I cannot completely rule out the possibility of a tornado or gusty winds this afternoon. I expect most spots to just have intermittent showers this afternoon, however.

MAIN SEVERE WEATHER RISK – 8PM TONIGHT TO 8AM FRIDAY… Severe weather hazards are most likely to happen tonight when we have the “greatest mixture” of surface-based instability, atmospheric shear, and moisture in place across the region. We’ll be watching a developing squall line/QLCS develop to our west today. This line of storms will cross our region in the overnight hours. The concern is that some of the storms out ahead of this line of storms could be severe. Tornadoes will be possible. In addition, damaging “straight line” winds are also possible in the stronger storms that fire up and of course in the main line of storms. Rain could be quite heavy at times, and flash flooding is a possibility if storms begin training over the same areas.

TORNADO RISK GREATEST TO OUR WEST TODAY… Before we get to our main severe weather time frame later this evening, we will be watching storms firing to our west. The Storm Prediction Center continues to include much of Louisiana and southwestern Mississippi in their Level 3 (out of 5) enhanced severe weather risk zone. This risk zone is driven by a higher tornado probability. This Level 3 risk zone includes places like New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Alexandria, Lake Charles, Fort Polk, Cameron, Hammond, New Iberia, and Houma in Louisiana.

LEVEL 2 (OUT OF 5) RISK FOR MUCH OF OUR AREA… The severe weather risk zones have not changed that much since last evening. The risk zones for our area have been quite consistent in the lead up to this severe weather potential. The Storm Prediction Center continues to include much of our area in their Level 2 (out of 5) severe weather risk zone valid for this evening into early Friday. Locally, this zone includes areas along and WEST of a line from Forest Home to Georgiana to Wing to Navarre. This means the following communities are involved in the Level 2 risk zone (where scattered severe storms may happen Thursday into Thursday night): Mobile, Pensacola, Milton, Pace, Gulf Breeze, Molino, Warrington, Perdido Key, Walnut Hill, Bratt, Century, Jay, Berrydale, Munson, Whiting Field, Holt, Harold, Bay Minette, Perdido, Stockton, Stapleton, Daphne, Fairhope, Spanish Fort, Montrose, Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Foley, Magnolia Springs, Elberta, Loxley, Gateswood, Bayou La Batre, Coden, Dauphin Island, Theodore, Wilmer, Prichard, Saraland, Satsuma, Creola, Mt. Vernon, Citronelle, Chunchula, Brewton, Atmore, Flomaton, Poarch, Huxford, Damascus, Riverview, Castleberry, Evergreen, Repton, Range, Owassa, Lyeffion, Monroeville, Uriah, Beatrice, Tunnel Springs, Peterman, Excel, Frisco City, Perdue Hill, Grove Hill, Thomasville, Jackson, Coffeeville, Millry, Chatom, Yarbo, Wagerville, McIntosh, Greenville, Georgiana, McKenzie, and surrounding areas.

LEVEL 1 RISK FARTHER EAST… Much of Covington and Okaloosa counties are involved in the lower, Level 1 (out of 5) marginal severe weather risk where strong storms are not as likely to happen, but still possible. This includes places like Andalusia, Opp, Florala, Straughn, Horn Hill, Crestview, Destin, and Niceville.

RAIN MOVES OUT FRIDAY MIDDAY… Rain and storms will exit our area to the east late tomorrow morning, extending into the early afternoon hours for the eastern half of our area. Gusty winds (15-25 mph) will be possible before and after the main line of thunderstorms passes through a given area. Rain chances will be much lower tomorrow evening, but not completely at zero. There still could be a few showers around Friday evening into Friday night.

FEW SHOWERS POSSIBLE SATURDAY MORNING… Isolated showers may happen along, south, and east of Interstate 65 on Saturday, primarily in the morning hours. The severe weather risk will be well to our east on Saturday, but a few areas of rain will be possible. Cooler, drier air will move in Saturday afternoon. Highs on Saturday will be in the mid-60s.

QUIET, COOL WEATHER AHEAD FOR EARLY NEXT WEEK… Sunshine returns in full force on Sunday. High temperatures will only be in the mid- to upper-50s on Sunday. Temperatures quickly rebound into the 60s by Monday. Right now, mostly sunny skies are expected Sunday through at least Wednesday morning of the upcoming week.

TORNADO WARNING POLICY… Any time there is an active tornado warning in effect for southwest Alabama or northwest Florida, we provide uninterrupted, live video coverage on Facebook Live and in the RedZone Weather app. Our detailed coverage commitment is outlined at redzoneweather.com/coverage. We are proud to cover all parts of Escambia (AL), Covington, Monroe, Conecuh, Baldwin, Mobile, Clarke, Washington, Butler, Escambia (FL), Santa Rosa, and Okaloosa counties. If you live in any locale in those counties, be sure to tune into our coverage whenever there is an active tornado warning!

APP ALERTS… We send quite a bit of Low-Level Alerts in our RedZone Weather app. The app is totally free for you! redzoneweather.com/app is the link where you see the download links to your respective app store for iOS and for Android devices. Once you have the app downloaded to your smartphone or tablet device, be sure to visit the Alerts tab to customize the alerts you would like to receive straight from me.

I will have updates posted throughout the day and into tonight in the RedZone Weather app. If or when tornado warnings become required for our local area, be sure to join me for live streaming video coverage. Have a great New Year’s Eve Thursday, stay dry, and stay safe!

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