Major Severe Weather/Tornado Outbreak Tomorrow… Thursday Update 6:40 PM

Good Thursday afternoon! The atmosphere is getting primed for a severe weather outbreak tomorrow, so make sure you are severe weather alert through the afternoon and evening hours on Friday.

Short term: A few showers and storms will become possible tonight as a warm front lifts into the area from the south. Lift ahead of the warm front will help to develop a few storms. There could be an isolated strong to severe storm, but the chance of that looks pretty low at this point. Look for lows to fall into the lower 60s tonight.

Friday: This is the big day, with a major severe weather outbreak across parts of the Ohio River Valley and Tennessee River Valley. As instability increases into high levels Friday morning and afternoon, the atmosphere will become very primed for severe weather issues. A weak cap will keep activity from developing early in the day. Once the front gets closer to the area, the cap will break and supercell thunderstorms will likely develop. Supercells have a higher threat of producing tornadoes, so we’ll need to remain severe weather alert. Most severe weather parameters are very impressive for this time of the year. Here are some of the new parameters from this afternoon:

CAPE: 1,000 to 2,000 J/kg (Anything over 900 J/kg is high this time of the year)

Shear: 200 to 300 m2s2 (Anything over 200 m2s2 is high)

Lifted Index: -4 to -6 (-3 and above is moderate to high)

STP (Significant Tornado Parameter): 3 to 5 (Anything above 1 is high)

EHI (Energy Helicity Index): 2 to 3.5 (Anything over 1 is high)

I just wanted to show some of the latest parameters for the weather geeks like me. Numbers like this are high and very concerning for an early March storm system.

The time frame hasn’t really changed all that much since this morning. Supercell storms will break out ahead of a squall line sometime around 2 or 3 pm in northwest Alabama tomorrow. The threat will expand east and include all of central and west Alabama through the late afternoon and evening hours. Once the squall line moves through your area, the threat will end. I expect that to happen first in northwest Alabama after 10pm and then end in southeast Alabama after 3am.

The threat of tornadoes and damaging winds are high across our entire area, with some large, long tracking tornadoes possible across our northern counties. The threat is much higher over Tennessee and Kentucky, where there is a stronger mix of shear and instability. If you live between I-20/59 and HWY 80, tornadoes are certainly possible, along with a threat of damaging winds. The threat becomes much more isolated south of HWY 80, but you need to remain severe weather alert there as well. Just because the threat is lower over our southern counties doesn’t mean you should let your guard down.

The supercells that develop in the afternoon hours will have a higher threat of producing tornadoes. The primary concern along the squall line will be damaging strait line winds, but small spin-up tornadoes are also possible.

Now is a good time to go over your severe weather plan incase a tornado warning is issued for your area. Find that spot in your home that is the safer place, which should be the lowest floor, in a small room away from windows. Also, you must get a programmable NOAA Weather Radio. You can find them at Walmart, Publix, Radio Shack and Walgreens. They cost 20 to 30 dollars, but it is worth it. If we have tornado warnings at night, you will need something to wake you up. I suggest getting a Midland NOAA Weather Radio. Here’s a link to all the SAME codes in Alabama. You can program the weather radio for a single county or multiple counties. Find the codes by searching this link:

Don’t forget, we broadcast non-stop for tornado warnings in west Alabama on WVUA-TV. We also simulcast severe weather coverage on 102.9 Catfish Country and 100.1 WTBC The River.

Send us your weather pictures! Send them to Also, look us up on facebook and twitter by searching or searching WVUA-TV Weather. We also have a new like page on facebook, called WVUA-TV Weather. Since we’re running out of room on the friend page, I recommend you like us on facebook. Great way to get weather updates! Plus, facebook is a great way to send us weather pictures. Simply tag us!

Also, join us live on WVUA-TV weekdays at 4, 5, 6 and 10 pm and weekends at 10pm for the very latest on your news, weather and sports.

WVUA Chief Meteorologist Richard Scott


3 Responses to Major Severe Weather/Tornado Outbreak Tomorrow… Thursday Update 6:40 PM

  1. Nathan says:

    Thanks Richard I seen the other day on the GFS another surface low forming around Memphis is it still looking like that are have the models backed off on it thanks

  2. WVUA Weather says:

    Some models are bringing the main low further southeast. That would cause our surface winds to back more out of the southeast…aka…increase lift and shear in the area. Lets all watch this very, very close through the day – Richard Scott

  3. Nathan says:

    Thank you

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