STRONG TO SEVERE STORMS POSSIBLE EARLY THURSDAY… Thunderstorms potentially capable of producing heavy rain, damaging wind gusts, hail, and maybe even a tornado or two will become possible across south Alabama and northwest Florida very early on Thursday morning. Storms will likely first develop near the Mississippi River in parts of Arkansas, northern Louisiana, and western Mississippi before moving southeast toward our area throughout the day on Wednesday. Unfortunately, for areas along and west of Interstate 65 in our local area, this event is expected to begin in the very early morning hours of Thursday (before 6AM). This means that you’ll need to have a way to get urgent weather warnings BEFORE you go to sleep on Wednesday night, just in case we happen to have any tornado warnings issued locally. More Tuesday evening forecast notes are below.
SEVERE WEATHER TIMING – EARLY THURSDAY… The main window for strong storms across south Alabama and northwest Florida will be from 1AM to 9AM on Thursday. This eight hour window mostly happens in hours before sunrise, thus it is important we all have a way to get warnings before we go to sleep Wednesday night. We need something that can wake us up, aka a device that is loud like a NOAA Weather Radio. Cell phones with Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) are also a great tool.
MAIN CONCERN LOCALLY: DAMAGING WIND GUSTS… Let me be clear that the tornado risk with this event on Thursday morning remains low, but not entirely zero. The better dynamics associated with this weather system will be far to our north but with surface-based instability being fairly plentiful Wednesday night into Thursday morning, these storms could potentially pack a punch. Damaging wind gusts capable of knocking down a few trees will be the main concern. Heavy rain, lightning, loud thunder, and hail will also be possible.
LEVEL 1 (OUT OF 5) LOW-END RISK FOR ENTIRE LOCAL AREA… All parts of south Alabama and northwest Florida are involved in a low-end, Level 1 (out of 5) severe weather risk valid for Thursday morning. All parts of Washington, Clarke, Monroe, Conecuh, Butler, Covington, Escambia (AL), Mobile, Baldwin, Escambia (FL), Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, and Walton counties are involved in this low-end risk zone. This means that intense, widespread severe weather is not expected, but a few stronger storms (or even a severe storm or two) cannot completely be ruled out. Most locales can expect just rain, perhaps being heavy at times, Thursday morning.
A NOTE ABOUT THE CONVECTIVE OUTLOOKS FOR THIS EVENT… Just to be crystal clear, the entirety of the southern half of Alabama and all of northwest Florida is currently involved in the low-end, Level 1 (out of 5) severe weather risk valid late Wednesday night into Thursday morning. The current convective outlooks issued by the Storm Prediction Center may be misconstrued if taken at face value. Why? Because their outlooks “cut off” every, single day at 7AM CDT. This means the Day 2 outlook (currently in place for Wednesday) actually extends to 7AM on Thursday. The image I’ve posted (attached) corrects for this issue and shows the convective outlooks for both Wednesday AND Thursday.
HEAVY RAIN LIKELY AT TIMES THURSDAY… Rain will begin from west to east across the area early Thursday morning. There is a chance some communities in northwest Florida may not have rain until the late morning hours of Thursday as the cluster of thunderstorms continues moving southeast. Rain will be likely at times throughout the day on Thursday and really into Friday and Saturday as well.
APP ALERTS… 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 will have your next full forecast video posted by 7:15AM tomorrow morning. Please let me know if you have any questions. Have a nice Tuesday evening!