My thinking at this time … I will try and keep it simple …
The severe weather threat for this Saturday is much like the last couple that have pushed through the southeast and local area during the past month, a low CAPE elevated SHEAR event. What this means is, while there may not be as much available convective energy [cape] as we would see during summertime thunderstorms, winds at different heights, speed and direction [shear] will make it possible for tornadoes to spin up out of the stronger storms that may move through the area. As with all situations such as this, it is not definitive this will happen. It just means the possibility is there for damaging winds, large hail, heavy rain and possibly a tornado.
Looking at data available at this time 10:56 AM 2/17/2012, it would appear things may get bumpy during the overnight hours Saturday night into the early AM hours of Sunday Morning. I know this is not what many want to hear. I wish I could control the weather and make it otherwise.
Here is what I see ….. While thunderstorms may be ongoing from late afternoon Saturday, things start to heat up around 6 PM EST. From that time, storms will continue to build as the combination of a warm front to the south pushes north, and a cold front from the west pushes east. It looks like some of the stronger storms will push through around 9 PM EST. and possibly again as the frontal passage pushes through the area around 3 AM EST. Again, this is going by data currently available. Timing will change as the system evolves.
As I have said before, no one knows to pin point accuracy where severe storms might occur, until they form. We can only watch the environment for development and track their paths.
The latest wording form the Storm Prediction Center includes the mention of a strengthening Low Level Jet stream which would help induce a Line Echo Wave Pattern and Bow Echos which are indicative of straight line winds and possible tornadoes. They also mention Embedded Supercells which as we know can produce tornadoes. Again, I am not saying a tornado will spin up, only that conditions ‘may’ become favorable.
Another aspect of this will be the potential for flooding in areas which are prone. 2 to 3 inches of rain are expected during this event. There is the possibility of higher amounts in isolated areas.
What we can hope for is good rain and more clouds ahead of the main line to help stabilize the atmosphere, thus reducing the severe weather threat.
See my earlier post for more information – Severe Weather Threat Saturday / Sunday – Georgia / Alabama 2/18-2/19/2012
As is the case when severe weather threatens the area, I will be posting updates on Facebook and Twitter as much as I can and to the best of my ability.
Also of interest is my other Twitter and Facebook accounts where All warnings for the local area are posted automatically as they are issued. Facebook Page:Cataula GA Weather Alerts And Twitter Stream @CataulaGaALERTS.
Here is a graphic from the NWS out of Peachtree City Georgia. I posted one earlier this morning from them which was released at 3:38 AM on Facebook. At that time the northern extent of the line was through central Troup county to the west. Now the line for potential severe weather has been pushed farther north.
A strong storm system will move toward Georgia bringing widespread showers and thunderstorms Saturday night. Some of these storms could produce damaging winds, large hail, heavy rain and possibly a tornado. The area of greatest threat is generally south of a Carrollton to Atlanta to Commerce line between 6 PM Saturday to 9 AM Sunday. Total rainfall amounts of 2 to 3 inches will be possible across much of north and central Georgia by midday Sunday and could produce minor flooding.
Here is another graphic. This one from the NWS out of Birmingham Alabama highlighting the area likely to see Tornadoes out of this storm system should they occur.
Severe Tornado Parameter (12Z NAM) valid at midnight tomorrow night EST. Highest risk remains over South Alabama.