Updated Outlook/Timing of Tonight’s Storms

Posted on: 2:29 pm, December 21, 2013, by , updated on: 05:51pm, December 21, 2013

The 2:00PM severe weather risk outlook posted by the Storm Prediction Center does contain some encouraging news for the Tennessee Valley. We are still anticipating an elevated risk for severe storms here in the Valley, with the highest risk primarily near and west of I-65, but the higher probabilities of tornado have been trimmed back further west.

SPC outlook for severe storms valid through 6AM Sunday morning

SPC outlook for severe storms valid through 6AM Sunday morning


SPC probabilities of a tornado withing 25 miles of a given point.

Tornado watches have been issued for much Mississippi, Western Tennessee, and Louisiana, but no tornado warnings have been warranted as of yet. It’s progress east will be slow, and the line of storms we’re expecting in the Valley won’t be arriving in our western counties until late this evening.


This doesn’t mean we’re off the hook for damaging weather tonight. There is still a substantial threat for severe straight line winds and isolated tornadoes are still a possibility, although the odds your specific location will be affected by a tornado are much lower than the probability of damage from winds.

Scattered storms will be a possibility through the rest of the afternoon and this evening. A few could be strong.  But, the severe weather threat will be limited until the main line of storms begins moving into the Shoals later tonight.  As for timing, we’ve pushed back the expected arrival time of the stronger storms to later in the evening.  We still anticipate the heaviest rain to be pushing east of the Valley by daybreak with a slight weakening trend as the line moves further west.

Projected timing of the highest chance for strong thunderstorms.

Projected timing of the highest chance for strong thunderstorms.

Otherwise, it will be a very windy evening and overnight with non-thunderstorm wind gusts in excess of 35mph possible.

The bottom line of all this remains pretty much the same as we’ve been telling you leading up to today: Go about your business this evening. Enjoy the holiday parties. But, make sure you stay tuned in to the weather situation. We offer several ways to stay alert. Here at Valleywx.com, we will activate a live blog as storms approach, giving you rapid-fire updates on your computer or mobile device. We also recommend you check out our suite of mobile apps and online weather resources:

WHNT.com’s Maps & Radar Page
Mobile Applications (Including Saf-T-Net & iMap Weather Radio)
Baron Saf-T-Net Text Service