None Event – Severe Weather Threat

It could have been worse this past Thursday Midday thru Friday Morning in Georgia and Alabama 1/26-1/27/2012.

I may be guilty of an overly aggressive posture dealing with this recent threat but, if I hadn’t and things went the way it was forecast, many might not have taken necessary precautions. I’ll file this as a learning experience.

I knew as local meteorologist said, most severe storms would be along the gulf coast. What we didn’t know was the amount of severe weather, if any, would impact the local area. As it turns out, no severe weather threatened the local area. The saving grace was atmospheric stabilization to our west. Had this not happened, it could have been as predicted locally.

There was severe weather to our west and south. It just didn’t make it here.

I’m glad that severe weather was nil in the area. It could have been worse and, according to the Government meteorologist, it was supposed to be. I think they should release more frequent forecast and updates to the public during an ongoing possible severe weather event [ maybe they do and I haven’t found it ]. It would save a lot of confusion and worry; after all, local mets dont break in unless severe weather is imminent to update a person. Maybe I was gun shy after having severe weather hit the local area with less mention of severe potential from the government pro’s. Either way, glad I was wrong.

Not sure what this is about; see Update 2 – Severe Weather Threat Thursday / Friday – Georgia / Alabama 1/26-1/27/2012 and Severe Weather Threat Thursday / Friday – Georgia / Alabama 1/26-1/27/2012

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Update 2 – Severe Weather Threat Thursday / Friday – Georgia / Alabama 1/26-1/27/2012

Storm Prediction Center RAISES SEVERE PROBABILITIES ACROSS THE BOARD Georgia,Alabama Severe Threat

Update #2 – 8:45 AM EST 1/26/12

Slight Risk area now covers much of the Southeast.

Tornado Probability : The local area is now at a 5% risk of a Tornado from 2% earlier [Scroll down for previous graphic in Update #1]

Wind Probability : The local area remains at a 15% risk of Damaging Winds with the 30% Risk [not instated earlier] now at the Alabama Georgia State line.

Hail Probability : Hail coverage area extended, still to our west. Local area still excluded.

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Update #1 – 5:15 AM EST 1/26/12

Threat remains for Damaging Straigtline Winds and isolated Tornadoes in the local area, East Central Alabama, West Central Georgia.

The Storm Prediction Center continues with the Slight Risk for strong thunderstorms across the area. There is also an area in South Alabama encroaching on central Alabama for the greatest threat for Tornadoes with a 5% probability extending south and west covering the Florida Panhandle and Southeast Mississippi. A 2% probability of a Tornado covers the remainder of our area extending over most of Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, the Florida Panhandle and Southwest South Carolina.

As mentioned, the biggest threat will be from Damaging Straightline Winds occurring with the Squall Line as it pushes east. All of the Columbus local area and Phenix City area is now included in a 15% probability of seeing these damaging winds. The 15% also covers most of Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and the Florida Panhandle. At this time the threat of Hail is 5% and is contained to our West covering Alabama, Mississippi, and the Florida Panhandle.

From the Storm Prediction Center:

LATEST THINKING IS RENEWED FRONTAL CONVECTION IN THE FORM OF A SQUALL LINE WILL EVOLVE OVER MS/SERN LA BEFORE PROPAGATING DOWNSTREAM ACROSS THE REMAINDER OF THE GULF STATES AHEAD OF PROGRESSIVE COLD FRONT. STRONG DEEP LAYER SHEAR CERTAINLY SUPPORTS DAMAGING WINDS AND PERHAPS EVEN TORNADOES WITH DISCRETE SUPERCELLS. OTHERWISE…AIRMASS IS NOT EXPECTED TO DESTABILIZE APPRECIABLY ACROSS THE CAROLINAS DURING THE OVERNIGHT HOURS. THIS SHOULD LIMIT THE SEVERE THREAT TO PERHAPS PORTIONS OF ERN GA/SC DUE TO A DECAYING SQUALL LINE.

From The National Weather Service Peachtree City Georgia

An area of low pressure will move across the Tennessee Valley on Thursday with a trailing cold front approaching the Gulf Coast states. Ahead of this front…abundant moisture will allow for the development of Showers and Scattered Thunderstorms across the forecast area Thursday Afternoon into Friday Morning. Isolated strong to severe storms will accompany this activity overnight with Damaging Winds and Isolated Tornadoes being the primary concerns. With 1 to 3 inch rainfall totals expected in already saturated areas…the flash flooding potential over North Georgia will also need to be monitored closely. Please reference the Flash Flood Watch for more information on potential flooding.

And from the National Weather Service Birmingham, AL

The severe threat will shift into east Alabama Thursday evening. The greatest threat area for severe will be south of I-20 and east of I-65. The severe threat should be over by midnight.

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Original Post – 5:53 PM EST 1/25/2012

I’m not going to downplay the storm system heading our direction. I will also try not to overstate the severity. I am not trying to scare anyone. I just want you to be aware of the possibility of severe weather.

The biggest threat will be damaging Straightline Winds from a Squall line that is expected to form. Within this line, there is the possibility of Isolated Tornadoes.

With that, here is the latest statement from the National Weather Service Peachtree City, GA

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PEACHTREE CITY GA
255 PM EST WED JAN 25 2012

MAJOR CONCERNS WITH THIS SYSTEM WILL BE THE POTENTIAL TO PRODUCE STRONG TO SEVERE STORMS THURSDAY NIGHT INTO FRIDAY…AND POSSIBLE FLOODING AS A RESULT OF THE HIGHLY MOIST ENVIRONMENT AND ASSOCIATED HEAVY RAINFALL. MODELED INSTABILITIES PEAK ACROSS THE CWA 00Z THURSDAY THROUGH 15Z FRIDAY…WITH ML CAPE GENERALLY IN THE 200-300 J/KG RANGE. DECENT SHEAR ACCOMPANIES THESE INSTABILITIES…WITH 0-1KM SHEAR IN THE 25-35KT RANGE AS THE MAIN LINE PUSHES INTO THE STATE…AND INCREASES TO 40-45KTS ACROSS THE CSG AND MCN AREAS BY 06-12Z FRIDAY. JUST BEHIND THESE MAXIMA…MODELED 0-6KM BULK SHEAR APPROACHES 65-75 KTS. AS A RESULT…CAN EXPECT TO SEE LOCALLY DAMAGING WINDS AND THE POTENTIAL FOR ISOLATED TORNADOES THURSDAY NIGHT THROUGH FRIDAY MORNING AS THE AIR MASS DESTABILIZES AHEAD OF THE MAIN LINE OF CONVECTION. SPC ALREADY HAS MAINLY WEST CENTRAL GEORGIA OUTLOOKED FOR A SLIGHT RISK OF SEVERE STORMS. WITH THIS STRONG EVENT EVOLVING THROUGH THE OVERNIGHT HOURS…IT IS IMPORTANT TO PREPARE NOW. DO NOT LET THESE STORMS CATCH YOU OFF GUARD.

And the latest graphics from the National Weather Service Birmingham, AL

See Previous post Severe Weather Threat Thursday / Friday – Georgia / Alabama 1/26-1/27/2012 for more information. Contains lead up info.

Severe Weather Threat Thursday / Friday – Georgia / Alabama 1/26-1/27/2012

Another heads up to the potential Severe Weather heading our way. I mentioned this threat as early as Saturday 1/21/2012 on Facebook and Twitter; since, I have mentioned the threat daily.

As with any mention of severe weather, no one knows to pin point accuracy where it might occur, until it does. The latest information and statements released give us a general idea of where and what to expect. It is up to you, the reader, to take every measure possible to keep yourself safe.

What to expect: Strong to severe storms, Possible damaging winds, Heavy rain with possible flooding, Possible hail, and possible Tornadoes. The system heading our direction is already responsible for this in Texas.

The timing on this system appears to be mainly late tomorrow night through early Friday morning.

I will monitor and continue to keep you updated through My Facebook Page: Cataula GA Weather Alerts And My Twitter Stream @CataulaGaALERTS: All warnings for the local area are posted automatically on this account within seconds of the time they are issued.

Here’s the latest from the Storm Prediction Center. Our area is in a Slight Risk for severe weather. This area has shifted since the last release. It is now farther east and north. It may be extended even farther east and north with the next release.

Severe Probability Risk: Our area is now in a 15% risk. This has been updated, as we were in the 5% risk area yesterday. I am hopeful upon the next release the percentage does not increase.

Here is what they said in their most recent statement….

CENTRAL AND NERN GULF COAST REGION…

GIVEN THE CONTINUED SLOWER EWD PROGRESSION OF THE TX UPPER LOW/ TROUGH INTO THE LOWER MS VALLEY EARLY IN THE PERIOD…THE DAY 2 SLIGHT RISK HAS BEEN EXPANDED A LITTLE WWD INTO MORE OF ERN LA TO ACCOUNT FOR THIS FACTOR. THIS CHANGE WILL ALSO SUPPORT ANY ONGOING STRONG TO SEVERE STORMS AT 12Z THURSDAY ACROSS THE LOWER MS VALLEY WITHIN A MOISTENING/DESTABILIZING BOUNDARY LAYER. THE SLIGHT RISK AREA HAS ALSO BEEN EXPANDED EWD INTO WRN GA AND THE REST OF THE FL PANHANDLE. ALTHOUGH SOME TIMING ISSUES EXIST WITH THE EWD PROGRESSION OF THE TX LOW…THESE DIFFERENCES ARE NOT GREAT ENOUGH TO PRECLUDE THE ERN EXTENSION OF THE SLIGHT RISK FOR THURSDAY NIGHT/EARLY FRIDAY…WHICH NOW INCLUDES THE ATLANTA AND TALLAHASSEE METRO AREAS.

MOIST ONSHORE FLOW WILL BE UNDERWAY ACROSS THE GULF COAST REGION AHEAD OF A SURFACE LOW INITIALLY CROSSING LA. WIDESPREAD CLOUDS/ PRECIPITATION WILL CONTRIBUTE TO WEAK/MOIST-ADIABATIC MIDLEVEL LAPSE RATES NEAR AND AHEAD OF THE FRONT…LIMITING INSTABILITY ACROSS THE WARM SECTOR THROUGH THE PERIOD. STILL…WITH A FAIRLY STRONG UPPER SYSTEM ADVANCING EWD AND ACCOMPANYING SHEAR PROFILES SUPPORTIVE OF ORGANIZED/ROTATING STORMS PER 30-40 KT SSWLY LLJ VEERING TO 50-70 KT SWLY MIDLEVEL WINDS…THREATS FOR LOCALLY DAMAGING WINDS AND A FEW ISOLATED TORNADOES REMAIN EVIDENT. THESE THREATS WILL CONTINUE THURSDAY NIGHT INTO EARLY FRIDAY MORNING AS THE DOWNSTREAM AIR MASS DESTABILIZES AHEAD OF THE EWD MOVING QLCS.

Here are the most recent statements released by various National Weather Service offices covering our area, to include Georgia, Alabama and Florida.

National Weather Service Peachtree City, GA
SEVERE WEATHER AND FLOOD POTENTIAL ARE SIGNIFICANT AND WORTHY OF ATTENTION. NAM MUCAPE VALUES EXCEEDING 500 J/KG AT 18Z IN NW GEORGIA WITH PLENTY OF SHEAR AND MOISTURE TO WORK WITH…EVENT
EVOLVING SOUTH THROUGH THE EVENING AND OVERNIGHT.

ALTHOUGH SPC KEEPS OUR AREA OUT OF THE DAY 2 SLIGHT RISK…THE THREAT OF TORNADOES…STRONG WINDS…AND FLASH FLOODING FROM HEAVY RAIN ARE POSSIBLE OVERNIGHT WITH THIS EVENT IN AND AROUND METRO ATLANTA AND POINTS SOUTH. ENVIRONMENT IS VERY FAVORABLE TO REPEAT OUR PATTERN FOR QLCS ACTIVITY…WHICH HAS PROVEN TO BE POTENT AT PRODUCING TORNADOES IN NORTH AND CENTRAL GEORGIA.

You may have noticed the mention of the SPC in the above statement. We are NOW in the SLIGHT RISK coverage area.

National Weather Service Birmingham, AL
BEST CHANCES FOR SEVERE THURSDAY WILL BE AFTERNOON/EVENING ACROSS MAINLY SOUTHERN 1/3 COUNTIES.

National Weather Service Mobile/Pensacola
THERE HAS BEEN CONTINUED CONCERN ON THE CHANCE FOR STRONG TO SEVERE STORMS THURSDAY INTO THURSDAY NIGHT. AS THE UPPER SYSTEM MOVES TOWARDS THE AREA THURSDAY…THE INCREASING INFLUENCE OF THE LOW/MID LVL JETS COMING INTO PLAY BEGINNING LATE MORNING THURSDAY OVER THE WESTERN SECTIONS OF THE FA…AND WITH THE SLOW EASTWARD MOVEMENT OF THE SYSTEM…EXITS EAST OF THE AREA BY MIDNIGHT THURSDAY NIGHT. CAPES IN THE 500-1000J/KG RANGE ARE INDICATED BY THE GUIDANCE THURSDAY INTO THURSDAY EVENING…WITH HELICITIES TOPPING OUT AROUND 300 M^2/2^2. HAVE WITH THE ENTIRE AREA UNDER A SLIGHT RISK FOR SEVERE WEATHER FOR THE PERIOD…WITH DAMAGING WINDS THE PRIMARY THREATS.

National Weather Service Tallahassee, FL
There is a potential for severe weather Thursday evening through mid-morning Friday as the aforementioned low advances towards, and eventually passes just northwest of our local area.
Strong upper level winds and marginal instability will combine to produce a threat for damaging winds and the possibility of an isolated tornado in any severe storms that may develop.

With all that, please take this threat seriously. Every Weather Service in Georgia, Alabama, and north Florida including the Storm Prediction Center has mentioned Strong to severe storms, Possible damaging winds and Possible Tornadoes.

For weather geeks ….