Severe or No Severe on Thursday? Latest Thoughts… Wednesday Update – 1pm #alwx @wvua23
March 29, 2017 Leave a comment
Good Wednesday to you! At 1pm, I’m looking over the very latest 12z data with the upcoming event on Thursday into Thursday night. This setup is about as complicated as a severe weather risk gets in Alabama. There are two very distinct scenarios that have completely different outcomes.
Here’s the deal… From a synoptic standpoint, the dynamics and thermodynamics are very impressive for a severe weather risk, especially over northwest Alabama, west Tennessee and northern Mississippi. Wind shear, instability, uplift, timing of the event all look impressive for severe weather, so what gives? Why is there a question to whether we have severe weather issues or just some periods of showers and storms?
We have to look at a smaller scale feature near the Gulf Coast. There is a real possibility a large cluster of storms will form near the Louisiana Gulf coast early tomorrow morning, then slowly move east through the afternoon hours on Thursday. The model above is the 4km RPM, which shows this exact scenario. If the storms are widespread enough near the coast, that will block the inflow of needed fuel or energy for storms to become severe across central and west Alabama. Unfortunately, not all of our computer model data agrees on this happening, so I have to atleast warn you of the possibility of strong to severe storms Thursday afternoon into Thursday evening.
At worst case scenario, the Gulf is wide open and the dynamics tap into the environment ripe of severe weather. Strong to severe storms would be possible across all of central and west Alabama, with the higher risk of large hail, isolated tornadoes and damaging winds occurring to the northwest of I-59 (northwest of Tuscaloosa, Birmingham and Gadsden). The time line would be 3pm until midnight Thursday night.
Best case scenario and a very real possibility, a large cluster of storms on the coast blocks the best inflow of unstable air into the best dynamics and we get a few showers and storms, with little to no risk of storms becoming severe.
I can’t think of many events like this with so much uncertainty only 24 to 30 hours out, but I want you to be alert incase severe weather actually occurs. Have a plan ready to go and take action if needed. We will continue to update you on this event, and hopfully can share some better news when things become more clear.
For more updates, go to the weather blog at wvua23.com, scroll to the weather tab and click weather blog. Updates are also on our Facebook and Twitter page. My twitter is @RichardWVUA23 and facebook is WVUA23RichardScott
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WVUA Chief Meteorologist