Southeast / Gulf coast – Strong storms possible Saturday March 31 2012

The biggest threat form any severe storms should they develop will be strong to damaging winds, frequent lightning and hail.

Some possible strong to isolated severe storms today. Like yesterday, it depends on where you are. Noticed a feature late Thursday night as it came off the Texas coast. I thought, here we go and not even hurricane season yet. Looked real tropical the other day, now really more of an upper level disturbance. If it were a surface based low, we might be looking at some wild weather. Since, it is more of a meso convective system as it moved into the area and is now located in Mississippi. It will enhance showers to our south and central areas of Alabama and Georgia. We also have a trough moving down from the north which will affect areas in north Alabama and Georgia. We’re stuck somewhat in the middle of these two features in central Alabama and Georgia, and they will provide us with some unsettled weather today.

Already seeing some showers and storms developing in central and south Alabama early this morning on radar [ 5:50 AM EDT 3/31/2012 ]. You can clearly see the MCV rotating along the gulf coast in Mississippi heading for the Mobile area in Alabama. Not seeing much progression to the north with this feature at this time. Expect it will slowly continue it’s northeast movement and by this afternoon affect central and Southern Georgia and the Florida Panhandle.

The storm prediction center has and area highlighted with a slight chance of severe storms today from central Alabama to the west in northern Louisiana, east Arkansas and southwest Tennessee.

It’s possible later in the evening North and South Carolina will be affected by these storms.

EF-1 Tornado Troy (Pike County Alabama) March 23 2012

Troy airport, pic from an airport employee March 23 2012; Could be a rain-wrapped tornado in the distance..

Here’s the official report [storm survey] from the US National Weather Service Birmingham Alabama

Rating: EF-1
Estimated Maximum Wind: 90-100 mph
Injuries/Fatalities: None
Damage Path Length: 1.7 miles
Maximum Path Width: 700 yards
Approximate Start Point/Time: 31.8379/-86.0439 at 926 am
Approximate End Point/Time: 31.8547/-86.0230 at 933 am

We have confirmed that the damage in Troy (Pike County) on the morning of March 23rd was due to a short-lived EF-1 tornado. The tornado was viewed by the observer at the Troy Municipal Airport, and fortunately dissipated before impacting the terminal. Check out the latest survey information here.

Wet and Stormy Southeast Friday and Saturday March 23-24 2012

Showers & Storms around Today Thursday …

[ Radar removed, no longer relevant ]

Based on what I see at this time [2:23 PM EDT 3/22/2012] this is looking more and more like a rain event for the area. Looking at the possibility of 1 inch maybe a little more at this time in the local area. There will be thunderstorms around in the afternoon hours Friday through Saturday morning as the front closes in and moves through the area. The biggest threat at this time appears to be gusty winds with any of the stronger storms that may develop, and the possibility of small hail.

If anything were to become severe in the local area, my thinking is it will be Friday early evening around or after 4 PM EDT during the warmest part of the day. This is not to say that embedded strong storms that may develop within the approaching line of convection before or after this time might go severe. However my thinking is this is not likely to happen given the time frame the front will be pushing through the area.
Enforcing my thinking are marginal at best instabilities. The highest CAPE at the time mentioned above is 709 j/kg, Shear approaching 30kts and Helicity at 74.

Most if not all severe potential should remain south of the Columbus Phenix City Area. To the West and East of the Columbus and Phenix City, severe storms should also remain below this line in Alabama and Georgia based on current analysis. AGAIN, This is not to say that any strong embedded storm that may develop within the approaching line of convection could go severe.

Here’s the outlook for Friday 8 AM thru Saturday 8 AM

The local area is on the fringe of the Slight Risk area.

This one shows the local area in a 5% area of seeing severe storms

In the above graphics we do not see the progression of the system through the overnight hours. That being said, during the overnight early morning hours Saturday, the local area will likely be included in the slight risk area and the 15% area of seeing severe storms. However during the overnight hours the threat should remain LOW.

Here’s the outlook for Saturday 8 AM thru Sunday 8 AM

The local area is on the fringe of the Slight Risk area.

This one shows the local area in a 5% area of seeing severe storms

Images provided by the Strom Prediction Center