Several Waves of Storms Ahead… Tuesday Afternoon Forecast Update – 4:30pm #alwx @wvua23

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Good Tuesday afternoon! At 4:30pm, a band of rain and storms is slowly moving east across the northwest portion of Alabama, with rain falling in areas around Vernon, Hamilton, Fayette and Haleyville. A few isolated showers have popped up in other spots across western Alabama, but the heavier rain will remain to the northwest of I-59 this evening.

Temperatures will drop into the upper 50s tonight, as a slow moving cold front sags southward across the state. An isolated shower or two will be possible on Wednesday, but heavy rain is not expected. Skies remain mostly cloudy, with a high in the upper 60s, a good 5 to 10 degrees cooler than today.

Below is my thoughts from earlier this afternoon on the severe weather possibilities ahead..

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I’m carefully watching 2 storm systems that will impact our weather this week and into the weekend. The first round of heavy rain and storms will arrive Thursday afternoon, ending Thursday night. The second round of heavy rain and storms will arrive sometime Saturday night into the day on Sunday.

Above is the zone where I think there will be a chance of a few strong and perhaps an isolated severe storm Thursday afternoon into Thursday night. A vigorous shortwave trough will swing eastward across the southern Mississippi River Valley, sparking the development of a weak surface low and providing lots of uplift to enhance a risk of heavy rain and storms. Instability will be lacking with this event, but there will be enough wind shear, uplift and instability combination over west Alabama for a small chance of storms becoming strong and possibly a severe storm or two. The main time frame would be 5pm Thursday through 2am Friday. Gusty winds would be the main risk, but an isolated spin-up tornado isn’t out of the question. Given the expected widespread heavy rain, the severe weather risk should remain really low.

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Our next system to watch arrives over the weekend. This one is much more impressive given the uplift, wind shear and available instability. Above is a look at the 500mb vorticity. This shows a very deep upper air trough axis becoming negatively tilted. The energy with this system is impressive.

A deep surface low will develop over Texas and move northeast into the Arkansas and Tennessee. This should place central and west Alabama in the prime location for strong to severe storms, but all of this could easily change. The placement and strength of the surface low could change, increasing or decreasing the risk. I have seen a few model runs track the low right across central Alabama, which would limit the risk for the northern half of the state. There is also a possibility of widespread coastal storms, which would block the inflow of unstable air into central and west Alabama. I think there is a fair chance storms on the coast limit the risk, but there is no doubt this one needs to be watched carefully. Keep checking back for more updates as we get closer to the weekend and as forecast confidence increases. This could easily turn into a heavy rain event with some storms or it could become a serious severe weather threat. For now, there is too much inconsistency in our data to lay out a specific threat.

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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