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Storms Still Looming to the West; Weakening Early Fri. AM

Posted on: 8:47 pm, April 18, 2013, by

The latest guidance (both from short-range models and from the Storm Prediction Center) still keep a low-end threat of some strong or severe storms mainly west of Interstate 65 through 2 AM. The SLIGHT RISK has been peeled back from Northeast Alabama as storms should be below severe limits in Jackson, DeKalb, Franklin (TN), Marshall, Etowah, and Cherokee Counties.

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  • SPC Slight Risk through 7 AM (threat ends around 3-4 AM)

  • SPC Tornado Probability - just high enough to be on guard tonight through about 3 AM.

Radar at 8:38 PM shows heavy thunderstorms (only one severe) moving northeast through Mississippi at about 45 MPH; on that track, the first heavy cells will enter counties along the state line from Pickens and Lamar north through Marion, Franklin, Colbert, and Lauderdale between 10 and 11 PM tonight:

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The limiting factor is still the “fuel” (instability, CAPE). Dewpoints are not as high tonight as they were last night; that’s why it didn’t feel quite as sticky today with a high in the mid-80s.

The one severe storm in Mississippi as of this writing was moving near the northernmost edge of the higher dewpoint air (65 to 68º F) in East Central Mississippi’s Choctaw and Oktibbeha Counties:

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  • Yellow counties in a TORNADO WATCH until 11 PM

  • 8 PM Dewpoints in Ala and Miss.

This higher-dewpoint air is advecting northeast toward the area near US 43 and Ala. 17 in West Alabama; severe storms are most likely in the counties west of Interstate 65 through 2 AM. After that, these storms should weaken considerably.

So what should you do?

Go to bed as you normally would, but have a way to get a warning just in case one is needed for a storm near you. If meteorologists were good enough to be able to tell you specifically if you’re in danger, we would. Unfortunately, the science isn’t advanced enough for us to do that yet.

That means there is an element of personal responsibility on nights like this. You’ve got to make sure your NOAA Weather Radio is properly set to alert you in the (seemingly unlikely) event of a tornado warning for your community.

If you don’t have a NOAA Weather Radio, WHNT News 19 offers and recommends several applications that can help you stay informed on your mobile device. We also have live streaming radar, and we will be live blogging here if the storms manage to hold together long enough to warrant it.

Stay Informed!

WHNT.com’s Maps & Radar Page
Mobile Applications
Baron Saf-T-Net

We will be manning the office all night and early morning to make sure you’re aware of any significant changes to the situation.

-Jason
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