Low End Severe Risk Late Tonight… Saturday AM Update – 9am #alwx @wvua23
December 17, 2016 Leave a comment
Good Saturday morning! Temperatures continue to warm with a breezy south wind; in-fact, temperatures could reach the middle 70s this afternoon and remain in the 70s through the overnight hours. As moisture continues to increase, a few showers will remain possible at times today, but severe weather is not expected during the day today.
A deep upper air trough will send a sharp cold front into Alabama late tonight and in the pre-dawn hours Sunday morning. There will be an incredible thermal gradient along the front, with temperatures near 70 before the front arrives at your house, then falling into the upper 30s to low 40s within an hour or two behind the front. By the time you wake up tomorrow morning, the cold air will have already taken over all of west and central Alabama. Sunday will be a cold day, with periods of rain through lunch. Temperatures will remain in the 30s all day on Sunday.
Ahead of the cold front, there is a small risk of a few strong storms and maybe a severe storm or two. The higher chance of a severe storm developing will be to the west of HWY 69 across west and northwest Alabama. This is where the highest combination of wind shear, instability and uplift will occur. Fortunately, the forcing to get storms developing will be lagging just behind the cold front, so I expect elevated storms and heavy rain in the colder air directly behind the cold front. Elevated storms do not produce tornadoes. The low end risk of an isolated tornado would be for a spin-up along the leading edge of the line of storms or if any storms can form ahead of the main line. Again, the risk of tornadoes is very low tonight, but not impossible.
The line of storms will enter northwest Alabama sometime around 10pm to midnight, then progress southeast through sunrise. The risk of anything strong to severe will end by 4am along I-59 and by 6am for areas in a line from Demopolis to Clanton to Anniston. Keep in mind, once the cold air reaches you, the risk of severe weather will be over for you. Severe weather is not expected for areas along or to the east of I-65.
Be weather alert tonight, and if a tornado warning is issued, tune into WVUA/WUOA for non-stop coverage.
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WVUA Chief Meteorologist