8:15am Thursday Severe Update… #alwx @wvua23

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Good morning! Round one of rain and thunder is impacting much of west and central Alabama now, just as expected. The heaviest axis of rain is over northwest Alabama near Hamilton, Vernon and Haleyville. I’m concerned about flooding across northwest Alabama over the next few hours. Areas along I-20 and HWY 80 are dealing with periods of rain, but it’s not heavy enough to cause flooding at the moment. The morning round of rain should end from west to east over the next few hours, allowing a break to set in by midday and into the early afternoon.

regional_temp_640.JPGOur entire area is under a flash flood watch through Friday, for the risk of flash flooding with the storms today and tonight. There is a tornado watch for south Mississippi, but that is set to expire shortly. Currently, there are no severe weather issues, nor are any organized severe weather issues expected before noon.

The map below is the probability of a tornado within 25 miles of a given point for today, and the percentages are fairly high across the northern portion of Alabama, including cities near Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, Gadsden and points north. The hatched area represents the risk of significant severe weather, where a couple of long track tornadoes are possible as well. Large hail is another big concern this afternoon under the more intense storms.

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What to expect for the rest of today… The early morning round of rain and thunder is weakening and moving to the east. There are no signs of coastal convection to prevent the inflow of instability into our area this afternoon. The sun could actually peak out some this afternoon, allowing instability to rapidly increase. As uplift increases and wind shear from the west, supercell storms will likely begin to form over Mississippi and spread into west Alabama by mid to late afternoon. The highest risk of severe weather in our area will be 4pm through 4am tonight. Keep in mind, the risk will be ending from northwest to southeast after midnight, but for areas near HWY 80, the risk will be ending around 4am tonight. The risk should be over for I-20 sometime between midnight and 2am.

Storms that develop this afternoon, evening and into the overnight hours could produce large hail, damaging winds and a few tornadoes. Storms could also produce flash flooding, so be careful if you live in a typical flood zone. The highest risk of severe weather will be along and north of I-59, but keep in mind that everyone is in a risk today and tonight. If you live south of I-59, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a tornado or large hail or damaging wind. All of Alabama is in a severe risk with this event.

Everyone needs to be weather alert later this afternoon and tonight. Make sure you have a way to get warnings and a backup source. There are lots of warning apps for smart phones. You can use your NOAA weather radio to get alerts, and tune into WVUA-23 for live coverage during tornado warnings.

Tornado coverage… We will be on TV on WVUA non-stop during tornado warnings for all of west, central and east Alabama in the Birmingham TV market area. We can be heard live on Moody Radio 88.9fm in the Tuscaloosa/Birmingham area, 89.5fm in the Selma area, 91.9fm in the Dixons Mills area if you lose power.

Join us live on WVUA23 weekdays at 5, 6 and 10:00 P.M. and weekends at 10PM for the very latest on your news, weather and sports.

Richard Scott
WVUA Chief Meteorologist
rscott@wvua23.com
Twitter: RichardWVUA23
Facebook: WVUA23RichardScott

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