A Look at the New Year’s Severe Weather Threat

We are still looking a decent severe weather threat across all of North/Central Alabama, where all modes of severe weather will be possible, especially the threat of damaging winds up to 70 mph and tornadoes. We will have plenty of shear and helicity in place, along with a decent bit of instability. Match that with higher dewpoints in the upper 60s to the lower 70s, and all ingredients are there for severe storm development. Here is the breakdown of the SPC’s Day Two Severe Weather Outlook:

ENHANCED RISK: All of North Alabama and much of Central Alabama down to a line from Livingston to just north of Jemison to just east of Heflin.

SLIGHT RISK: South of Enhanced Risk to a line stretching from Sweet Water to Hayneville to Auburn.

MARGINAL RISK: South of Slight Risk for the remainder of Central Alabama.

We do note that the SPC also has those locations in the Enhanced Risk are in the hatched area on the Day Two Tornado Outlook, which means there is a greater risk of tornadoes within those locations.

The main action will be with the main squall line that will move into the area late into Saturday evening and moving across the area through the night and into the morning hours on Sunday, exiting the area before the midday hour. That is where we’ll have the larger risk of damaging winds. We’ll really have to watch for discrete cells that may form out ahead of that line of storms, possibly as early as the mid-afternoon hours on Saturday. These cells will carry the potential for tornadoes, possibly a strong tornado as well.

The only limiting factor that is keeping this setup from causing the SPC from raising the risks to a Moderate Risk for some locations is the potential of having warm air aloft. If that occurs, that will limit the height of the storms to build and will lessen the risk of severe storms just a little. If the warm air disappears or show to be cooler over the next few runs of the models, we could see that upgrade, meaning that the threats may increase. It is almost a wait-and-see game for now.

Be sure to know where to go if a warning is issued for your location. Now is the time to be sure that your safe place is free from clutter and your safety supplies have been restocked and ready to go. Have multiple ways to receive warnings and have those mobile devices fully charged and those weather apps installed. Also, keep fresh batteries in those WeatherRadios as some of this activity will take place during the overnight hours on Saturday night through Sunday morning.

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