Severe Weather Update – Sunday at 10:30 PM

I’ve got some better news in terms of our severe weather threat for tomorrow. The new soundings are out, and a strong cap is in place. A cap basically keeps convection from naturally forming, as it acts as a block in the atmosphere. Since the cap is a bit stronger than previously expected, we aren’t expecting any storms through the night and into the morning hours tomorrow. A few showers will be around, but that’s about it. With a cap this strong, the only way we can break through it is with a strong lifting mechanism such as a front. That being said, I don’t expect storms to make it in here during the early morning hours, as previously thought. This is a good and a bad thing.

This is good because the environment will be much more favorable for tornadoes during the morning hours, due to the high level of wind shear in place. The stronger wind shear will be long gone once the front gets here. If the storms aren’t here when the good wind shear is, the threat of tornadoes goes down.

This is bad because the atmosphere will get more unstable due to more sunshine and warmer temperatures. Once the front arrives, storms will be much more likely to produce large hail. In-fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to get a few reports of hail the size of golf balls or a little larger.

Storms will be isolated or scattered in nature, so not everyone will see severe weather. If you get underneath one of these severe storms, expect the threat of large hail and damaging winds. Eventhough wind shear will be lower, I still can’t rule out a tornado or two.  I think the main threat of tornadoes will be well north of Alabama.

If any tornado warnings are issued for our immediate area, be sure to join me on WVUA-TV for live tornado coverage. Otherwise, keep a check right here to our weather blog page for updates. Also, check out our television channel for a crawl and map for any severe weather updates. Have a great evening!

WVUA Chief Meteorologist Richard Scott

Sunday Afternoon Severe Weather Update – 12:30pm

We’re getting into our spring severe weather season, and it’s already beginning on an active note. After Thursday night’s severe weather, now more severe weather is possible on Monday; in-fact, the storm prediction center has placed most of Alabama under a slight risk of severe storms, with a moderate risk over the northern 1/4th of the state. The moderate risk looks to include areas from Hamilton to Jasper to Cullman and points north.  

A squall line will likely organize to our west some time during the evening hours today and move eastward through the night. The line should be moving into our northwestern counties around daybreak, but the big questions come after that. Does the line fall apart and re-form over Alabama during the midday hours? I think the line will weaken or fall apart as it enters northwestern Alabama. As the sun starts heating things up during the mid morning hours, more storms will likely develop ahead of the cold front. There will be plenty of instability for storms to become severe. The better environment for severe weather will be to the south, but the better dynamics for severe weather will be to the north. I believe the best chance of severe storms and higher concentration of severe storms will be along and north of a line from Reform to Tuscaloosa to Helena.  There will be some severe storms south of that line, but they will be more isolated in nature. As for the threat type… The highest threat will be in the form of damaging winds and large hail. A couple of tornadoes are possible, but I’m not overly impressed with the setup for tornadoes. That being said, don’t let your guard down. There will likely be a few tornado warnings out there, along with a tornado watch at some point during the morning to midday hours. Any cells that become discrete will have to be watched close, as they pose the highest risk of producing a tornado or large hail.

All of this activity will move eastward and out of our area by 4 or 5pm, as the threat shifts into Georgia. If a tornado warning is issued, I’ll be on non-stop with tornado coverage. Otherwise, keep it right here to our weather blog for watches and warnings and out television channel. The map and crawl will be up, showing the latest watches and warnings. Have a great day!

WVUA Chief Meteorologist Richard Scott