Watching the Weather to the Southwest
The Storm Prediction Center has posted a Tornado Watch until 2 AM for parts of southwest Alabama, south Mississippi, as well as northwestern Florida and eastern Louisiana. We do not expect these storms to move into the Tennessee Valley tonight; the risk of severe weather stays south through tomorrow morning.
A strong area of low pressure has developed and continues strengthening over eastern Louisiana this evening. It is moving northeast toward Central Mississippi tonight, and it will be crossing northern Alabama during the day on Monday. Ahead of this system, showers are already moving through the Tennessee Valley and Central Alabama. Cullman has already had 0.54″ of rain at the airport and 0.81″ at the Extension Service station on Experiment Station Road. Albertville has gotten 0.58 inches of rain today; Huntsville has barely had enough to measure, but that will change later tonight!
This dynamic storm system is going to dump about 1 to 3 inches of rain on the Tennessee Valley through Tuesday. In that period, there is also a window of time where some severe weather parameters could come together and bring some stronger thunderstorms on Monday. The threat is very marginal for North Alabama; however, there is a risk involved here, and we want you to know we will be keeping track of things for you through tonight and Monday. Be sure to catch Brandon Chambers on WHNT News 19 at 9 on WHNT-2 as well as WHNT News 19 at 10 PM on the main WHNT channel. Both of those can be viewed online at WHNT.com.
Here’s the bottom line:
- Time Frame: A stable layer in the lower atmosphere will lessen the risk of severe storms around the Tennessee Valley early Monday; however, the wind will shift to the southeast by midday Monday, and that will erode the cooler, more stable air allowing for some heavy thunderstorm development. We expect the main time frame for stronger storms to come between 10 AM and 7 PM. That’s a wide window, and depending on the amount of erosion that occurs in the morning, it could be a little earlier. The severe threat will end after sunset Monday evening.
- Thunderstorm Risk Factors: This is not a *HIGH* risk situation. The severe weather parameters in place are not the type that you would see on an April 27th-type day. The biggest threat here will be from damaging winds that exceed 58 MPH; there is a low-end threat that rotating storms could produce tornadoes.
- Where to Get Information and Stay Informed: We offer a number of ways for you to stay informed and get warning information. Facebook and Twitter are great things, but they should not be your only way of getting weather information. WHNT offers a free app called Live Alert 19 that will alert you when we are going live on television. A NOAA Weather Radio is always a great tool to have, but there are some mobile applications that will accomplish the same thing for you: MyWarn and iMap Weather Radio. You have to pay for them, but they are worth the money.
Don’t stay up all night worrying about this weather event. Go about your business as usual on Monday, but just check in with us now and then or download some of those apps to make sure there’s no reason to change your plans.
Aside from the strong storm potential, there is a high chance of some locally heavy rain. It could be a soaker for much of the day, so keep that in mind as you prepare to start your week!