Hurricane Gonzalo Part 2: Bermuda Landfall

2 11 2014

After passing the NDBC Buoy 41046, Hurricane Gonzalo moved to the NW and eventually was forced to go NE due to the strong cold front pushing it to head straight towards Bermuda.  This is where the 2nd and final installment of the Hurricane Gonzalo blog begins.  By the time Gonzalo was passing over Bermuda it was weakening and only had winds of 115 MPH.  Still a powerful storm, the National Ocean Service station and NWS/FAA station in Bermuda captured some excellent data as Gonzalo was making its arrival on and departure from the island.

The barometer shows the lowest pressure was 952.3 millibars that occurred twice.  One was at 0036Z and the other 0048Z (7:36 PM and 7:48 PM CDT).  In this time is when the center of Hurricane Gonzalo was passing over the island.  The air temperature during this time was slowly increasing before the rain on the other side of the storm cooled it off again so there were not any significant signature changes noted in the air temperature to show of some natural phenomenon occurring like another eyewall replacement.


The barometric pressure below is from a NWS/FAA weather station TXKF that observed a minimum pressure of 952.7 millibars at about 0055Z (7:55 PM CDT).  Slightly higher than at the NOS station on the island.  You may notice some missing data in the graph below and that is due to power issues that was going on during the storm.


Now we look at the winds.  Looking pretty crazy and clearly shows when the eye approaches, passes, and leaves.  The winds are much stronger on the southwestern side of the storm where peak gusts of 89 MPH were reported.  When the eye was passing over the winds were very light with constant winds of 3 MPH.  The time of the weakest winds were at 0042Z (7:42 PM CDT).  The winds at the NWS/FAA weather station were about 11 MPH near the eye of the storm.  The NWS weather station also reported a max wind gust of 112 MPH as the southwestern portion of the storm was passing over!  The reason why you see such a large difference in wind speeds between the two stations is because of their location.  The NWS weather station is more exposed and can capture the wind speed better while the NOS weather station is a little more sheltered causing the winds to report lower.  You can see the winds at the NWS weather station below the NOS station.



Finally, the graph below from the NOS station really show the disruption in the tide.  As the storm was occurring you can see tide reached about 3 feet before fluctuating from 2.25 feet to 3 feet.  There was one occasion where the tide reached 3.25 feet which occurred at 0254Z (9:54 PM CDT).  As the storm was leaving, you can see the tide going back down to its typical pattern.




This is so far the most powerful storm of the year and will most likely be the most powerful storm since the hurricane is now officially over with.  There was more good than bad out of this storm.  The bad was the destruction that it caused in Bermuda.  The good was that it went over 3 weather observing stations where we can learn more about it and there were no fatalities during its tropical system state.  However, there were some fatalities in the United Kingdom as it passed through it as an extra-tropical system due to strong tropical storm force winds causing trees to fall and flooding.

Hurricane Gonzalo Part 1: The Buoy

19 10 2014

Our first major hurricane of the 2014 was Hurricane Gonzalo.  The replacement for Gustav since it was retired in 2008, Gonzalo has proven to as powerful as the meaning of its name which is “battle”.  Gonzalo first traveled between islands in the eastern Caribbean, but it was not a powerful storm.  Once it finally left the Caribbean and went into the open waters of the Atlantic it took advantage of it and exploded.  Becoming a very powerful storm, we had only satellites to help determine how strong it was becoming until Oct. 15.  Gonzalo was heading straight towards a NDBC buoy and it was determined to go directly over the buoy.  A perfect situation for the NHC and other meteorologists as the NHC can adjust it’s forecast and other meteorologists can observe what is really going on inside the storm.

What was caught by the buoy?  Everything most people search for.  Pressure, winds, air temperature, dew point, and waves.  Wonder what it looked like?  We have the graphs from the NDBC site itself on what it looked like when Gonzalo passed directly over the buoy.  These graphs can show so many things about the storm and we will point out all of the details we found.

First, we will start off with one of the most obvious measurements and that is the pressure.  BARO


You can see where the air pressure started to drop dramatically on the 15th at 1400Z, which is 9 AM CDT.  The eye of Hurricane Gonzalo began passing over the buoy around 1830Z, 1:30 PM CDT, and left the buoy about 2000Z, 3:00 PM CDT where the air pressure was at it’s lowest.  As a matter of fact, the lowest pressure recorded from the buoy was 954.9 millibars at 1915Z, 2:15 PM CDT.  Keep the times of when the eye wall was passing over the buoy because for the remaining graphs it will play a critical roll.  Next, we will look at the winds.



This graph is continuous winds which are winds reported by the buoy every 10 minutes.  You can really see where Hurricane Gonzola was approaching the buoy, when eye passed over it, and when the hurricane was leaving the buoy.  The winds were actually stronger where the buoy was once it passed it reaching as high as 56 knots, which is equivalent to 64-65 MPH.  The lowest winds shown on the graph were reported at 1930Z, 2:30 PM CDT.  With this in mind and the time of the lowest air pressure reported by the buoy, that tells us that the dead center of the storm passed over the buoy sometime between 2:15 PM and 2:30 PM CDT.  Think that’s cool?  It gets better!  image8


Here is a graph of the peak gusts in knots reporting every hour.  The highest gust reported after the eye passed and was 80.5 MPH.  This gust was measured about the same time as the highest wind speed reported in the previous graph.  To really show that the hurricane passed over the buoy we have this next graph.  image10

The wind direction began changing about 2:10 PM CDT from the Northeast and came completely from South Southwest at about 2:50 PM.  Pretty neat huh?

What about the waves?  This storm had to have produced some gnarly waves right?  You are definitely right.  image3

This is the significant wave height which is primarily from wind generated waves.  Waves reached as high as about 33 ft at this buoy at 1:00 PM CDT.  You can again see the effects of the eye as it passed over the buoy as the waves dropped to about 17 ft at 3:00 PM and 4:00 PM CDT and came back up again.

Now we can go to the last graph that show the effects of Hurricane Gonzalo.  image4

Here is the air temperature from the buoy throughout the storm.  The air temperature dropped as Gonzalo approached it.  With this you could see drops in air temperature due to the rain from the storm and the rise in air temperature in the middle of the eye as well as another rise in air temperature afterwards which could possibly indicate a gap between the main eyewall and a second eyewall.  If this is true, then that means Gonzalo was possibly undergoing an eyewall replacement where it will later become stronger.  This is a very strong theory because Gonzalo, during this time, was estimated to have winds of 130 MPH and shortly afterwards dropped to 125 MPH and stayed there until the morning of the 16th where they jumped up to 140 MPH and continued to increase that day.

April 27-30 Severe Weather Event

5 05 2014

The first major severe weather outbreak of 2014 and with it came the largest tornado outbreak of 2014 so far.  This event was seen a week out and was watched carefully each day and each run of the different forecast models.  Needless to say, when a major severe weather outbreak that includes a good chance of tornadoes is going to happen the models are good enough now to find it several days ahead.  But let’s get to the meat and bones of this since this is not about how good models are getting.

As mentioned, we saw this event coming together pretty early on where moderate risks started being highlighted for areas 3 days out.  Usually not a good sign because most of the time when that happens those areas will eventually have a high risk embedded in them on the Day 1 or 2 Outlook which is exactly what happened for this event.  Here are all the storm reports from the entire event from April 27th to April 30th.

A grand total of 929 reports of severe weather within that time period.  Almost 200 of which were tornadoes and the largest being wind damage which nearly covers 400 of the reports.  The neat thing about this map is that you can almost see each day without highlighting each one as the 27th was more Arkansas, Missouri, and Great Plains; the 28th and part of the 29th more Mississippi and Alabama; and the rest of the 29th and 30th more North Carolina, Florida, and Ohio.  As interesting as this is, we need to face the fact that the big talk about this event is not the hail and strong winds but the tornadoes.  We knew tornadoes would be rearing their ugly heads into this with a good chance of them being very strong.  As much as we knew this we were hoping for something less life threatening than what we were anticipating.  Here is a map of all the tornadoes throughout the same time period with the highlighted days.

The red dots, indicating tornado reports, are outlined by colors designating each day they occurred except the one tornado report way over in Washington State as it had nothing to do with the event.  The green outline indicates all those that occurred on the 27th.  What’s more noticeable is the number of red dots lined up in Arkansas that were various reports of the deadly EF-4 tornado that tore through Vilonia, Saltillo, and Mayflower.  This was the longest tracking tornado out of the entire event and most destructive and, sadly, deadliest tornado out of the bunch with a death toll of 15.

Now moving on to the 28th and the morning of the 29th where it impacted our home state and our sister state.  This day has the most tornadoes reported from this storm out of the 3 days which is very easily seen from the above map.  More interesting than the number is the tornado paths.  The Southeast is very notorious for having long tracked tornadoes that come from one stubborn supercell that is strong enough and rotating strongly enough to keep a consistent tornado on the ground regardless of the topography.  This time it wasn’t the case.  These were strong, short-lived tornadoes from persistent supercells that kept on spitting them out.  There are some ideas on why this happened, but that will be mentioned on another blog when we compare this event to the April 27th, 2011 event since it occurred practically 3 years prior to this event.  What we remember out of the 28th was the Louisville, MS EF-4; Richland, MS EF-3; Tupelo, MS EF-3; and the Crawford, AL EF-3.  The first three are pretty obvious due to clear radar signatures and where they landed as Tupelo is the largest city in Northeast Mississippi, Richland is part of the Jackson Metro, and Louisville is fairly close to Mississippi State University.  Interesting fact, some debris fell onto the campus from the Louisville Tornado which is about 25 miles away from the city.  The Crawford Tornado was much more unique as it was embedded with a cluster of thunderstorms and not easily seen on radar.  It was a very quick and violent spin-up that nearly didn’t get caught in time, but due to our excellent meteorologists at the Birmingham National Weather Service they caught it just in time.

Finally, the system spawned some more tornadoes in eastern North Carolina and Florida, but were not near as strong as the ones in Alabama and Mississippi.  We cannot forget the oddball tornado that occurred in Illinois that did not cause any damage.

A total of 45 tornadoes have been reported in Mississippi and Alabama throughout the event.  There was 1 EF-4, 9 EF-3, 7 EF-2, 24 EF-1, and 4 EF-0.  With the type of atmospheric environment that these tornadoes were in, we, the StormTEAM 4 meteorologists, expected more weaker tornadoes e.i. EF-1 and EF-0 than stronger ones.  As a matter of fact, we knew no EF-5’s were going to come out of this with a small chance of 1 or 2 EF-4 tornadoes, a decent possibility of EF-2’s and EF-3’s, and a high probability of EF-1’s and EF-0’s.  Why these numbers is because this system was not built with the right structure to handle EF-5’s and a large number of EF-4’s.  However, it was structured enough to handle some EF-2’s and EF-3’s and definitely built for anything weaker than those.

When the tornadoes were done we thought that was the end of the life threatening weather.  We were sorely wrong.  This system kept on pulling moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and created a continuous line of thunderstorms in Southwest Alabama and the western portions of the Florida Panhandle where historic flooding occurred.  Multiple places received over 20″ of rain just within a 24 hour period and several other places received 15-20 inches.  Several problems aroused where rivers reached major flood stages and streets were flooded with over a foot of water.  Another area that had flooding issues was northern Alabama due to 3 days of persistent rainfall.  The amounts were not near as much as what was seen along the Gulf Coast, but the problems that were caused by the rain was the same.

All in all, lives were changed.  Some lost their lives in the floods because they thought they could drive through it.  Others lost their lives due to the tornadoes.  One life was lost while trying to protect his girlfriend from the tornado that went through Tuscaloosa and another life was lost in Vilonia, AR when the large EF-4 ravaged his home.  The sad thing about the student in Vilonia was that he was texting his mom before it hit and even told her goodbye because he knew he wasn’t going to make it.

-Senior Meteorologist Michael Vasquez, StormTEAM 4 / Gamma 9  Weather

Thanksgiving Travel Weather

26 11 2013

Tricky traveling this Thanksgiving with the storm that’s in the area.  Right now there is no problem as the air is warm enough all across the viewing area so rain is the only thing falling from the sky for the rest of today.  Traveling should be no issues on I-65, I-10, I-85, and all other highways and roadways.  Temperatures will drop all day after reaching the high early this morning.  By tonight, temperatures will continue to drop to the mid-30’s for the southern half of Central Alabama and lower 30’s for the northern half of Alabama.  This is where the fine line of some rain/snow mix can bee seen early Wed. morning in the Montgomery area and even our northern viewing counties of Coosa, Chilton, Tallapoosa, and Chambers which has a better chance of seeing a little bit more snow than areas along I-85.  Our Georgia viewers are not out of the rain/snow threat either as the Columbus area could see some of the mix as well.  Further south of Montgomery and I-85 will not see any frozen precipitation of any sorts and will continue to see rain, a cold rain at that.  Even with the rain/snow mix there should not be any issues as the ground will be too warm for any snow to accumulate even in Birmingham which has an even better chance of seeing snow than any of our viewing areas.

GFS Thanksgiving Snow 2013NAM Snow Thanksgiving 2013

Once when the remaining moisture comes through and drops the rain in southern Alabama and the rain/snow mix for Central Alabama things should clear out for the rest of Wed. and when that happens is when the real cold temperatures set into play.


Thursday morning will the be some of the coldest air have seen since the first few months of this year.  We will be seeing lows to in the low 20’s for most of Central Alabama with a few inner city locations of Montgomery and Columbus being a little closer to mid 20’s.  The cold air doesn’t stop there.  Even down to Mobile the lows will be down in the mid 20’s and even along the coast will be in the upper 20’s.  Needless to say, our entire viewing area will be below freezing Thursday morning.  This poses as another threat as a hard freeze will take place which means any plants will be bitten by the bitter cold air, even hardy plants are at risk.


With this coming along you should bring all plants and animals inside.  Also, to keep from your pipes freezing leave some water trickling from your faucets.  The last thing we all need is no water on Thanksgiving Day due to frozen pipes.


Ready for some good news?  After the extremely cold temperatures on Thursday morning the rest of Thanksgiving will be spectacular even though it will be cool.  From Thanksgiving Day to the weekend you couldn’t ask for a better weekend unless warmer temperatures would make it better which will come for the weekend.  No winter type weather or rain will be expected to be seen from Thursday on through Sunday and hardly any clouds will be seen until maybe Sunday.

We wish everyone a happy and safe Thanksgiving!  Just to sum up everything from earlier, be cautious if you are traveling today as it will be raining a lot and it can reduce your visibility.  Also, hydroplaning will be a big risk with all of the sitting water.  Wednesday, cautious traveling if you are driving in the very early hours when the rain/snow mix is likely to fall.  The time frame for the rain/snow mix will be between 12 AM to 7 AM Wed. morning.  As mentioned before the ground and roads should be warm enough for no accumulation whatsoever and should just wind up being water on the roads instead of ice.  After Wed. morning traveling should be safe and sound for the entire Southeast region for the rest of the week.

-StormTEAM4 / Gamma 9 Weather Senior Meteorologist Michael Vasquez

Super Typhoon Haiyan, Uncertain Pressure

17 11 2013

On November 7 an extremely powerful typhoon hit The Philippine Islands and caused a massive amount of destruction and chaos.  As of right now, Nov. 17, 3,714 people have been confirmed to have perished with the damage toll over $1 billion.  One of the most memorable images that has been seen across the web is this one:

A classic buzz saw image of an extremely intense tropical system.

One thing to keep in mind is that this is in the Pacific Ocean which is a much larger body of water and less land interaction for the storms to hit so it is fairly common for them to get very powerful.  There was a brief time where someone superimposed an image of Super Typhoon Haiyan onto a small map of the United States making it as big as the U.S.  This is false.  No tropical system could be that big.  However, it has been compared to a notorious storm that everyone in the Southeast Region of the U.S. are very familiar with.

It is clear to see that Hurricane Katrina had a larger eye than Super Typhoon Haiyan, but Haiyan is much broader than Katrina.  This image shows that Haiyan is no where near as big as the U.S., but if it made landfall on us it would have been horrendous.

To compare Haiyan to one of our hurricanes it had max 10 minute winds of 145 MPH which is comparable to Hurricane Earl or Hurricane Ike.  The strongest 1 minute winds estimated from Haiyan was 195 MPH.  The most notable hurricane in our neck of the woods to have winds close to that was Hurricane Camille at 190 MPH.  Those of you who lived through Camille can imagine what it was like to deal with what the people of the Philippines had to deal with.

The amazing thing about the storm is the lowest pressure the storm ever got to.  Satellites estimated that the lowest pressure that Haiyan reached was 895 millibars.  That is not the lowest pressure ever recorded from a tropical system since we know that Hurricane Wilma is the lowest pressure recorded in our tropical region of 882 millibars.  There are some discrepancies with Super Typhoon Haiyan’s low pressure.  For one, it’s estimated by a satellite to be 895 millibars.  Satellites are good, but not precise in their use.  The other is measurements that were taken on The Philippine Islands as Haiyan was making landfall.  A group of storm chasers called iCyclone took some measurements while they were in Tacloban and the lowest pressure they measured was 960.3 millibars.  The Tacloban airport, just one mile south of the storm chasers location, measured 955.6 millibars before power went out.  Both the measurements were taken almost at the same time with only a 5 minute difference and were taken as the center of Haiyan was just passing south of them which means it was the lowest pressure each measured.  By performing some simple math, between those two measurements is a 4.7 millibar difference in just 1 mile.  The airport was just 17 miles north of the center of the storm.  If the change in pressure was 4.5 millibars to 5 millibars per mile like what was measured from the iCyclone crew and the airport, that means the lowest pressure of Haiyan would range somewhere between 879 millibars and 871 millibars.  This would put Haiyan in the top 5 most intense tropical cyclones in the world.  This pressure estimate makes sense because the other typhoons within the range what Haiyan could be had max 1 minutes winds ranging from 190 MPH to 200 MPH.  The most intense storm in the Pacific Ocean is Super Typhoon Tip which had a minimum pressure of 870 millibars.

Other than the unknown official minimum pressure of Haiayn, the next unknown bout Haiyan is whether or not it’s the strongest tropical cyclone to make landfall in recorded history.  It is currently the second deadliest typhoon to hit the Philippines on record.  The deadliest was Tropical Storm Thelma, or Tropical Storm Uring in the Philippines, which killed somewhere between 5,000 and 8,000 poeple.

Tropical Storm Karen

3 10 2013

We are under our first Hurricane Watch of 2013 from a threatening tropical storm named Karen.  TS Karen quickly intensified overnight due to favorable atmospheric conditions for strengthening.

One thing you will notice is the west side of the storm lacks any and almost all thunderstorm activity.  That is because of the storms counterclockwise rotation bringing in dry air into that region of the storm which will limit or even prohibit much thunderstorm activity.  The next following images are forecast tracks from various models.  The first will just be a track forecast while the next one will be a track and timing forecast.

Currently, the models hint at a landfall ranging from the mouth of the Mississippi River to Apalachicola, FL.  However, there is a focus from Waveland, MS to Pensacola, FL.  Depending on where it falls will make a dramatic difference because those to the west of the landfall location will not experience the full force of the storm.  This does not mean you will not see any strong winds or thunderstorm activity because the reason why TS Karen will curve like it does is because of a strong cold front sweeping across the U.S. and will begin to pick up TS Karen as it gets closer to the coast.  So, we will see a combination of tropical storm weather and thunderstorm activity from a cold front this weekend.

The intensity of TS Karen as it gets closer is still a bit uncertain, but vast agreement with tropical storm strength winds as it makes landfall.  If you notice on the previous image, most forecast models hint a landfall early Sunday morning which is just before 72 hours.  The graphic below shows forecast intensities by a number of forecast models.


Just by looking at this you can see that most models forecast it will make landfall as a tropical storm which is the light grey area.  Landfall timing is within the black oval which is between 60-72 hours ahead from the time this graphic was initialized.  Most agree with winds from 40-60 knots which is anywhere from 45-70 MPH.

TS Karen will have some issues it will face as it makes its trip to the Gulf Coast.  Graphics would be posted, but they are a bit confusing so I will just describe to you the issues.  One, and the biggest, issue is wind shear which is simply a change in wind and direction over a short distance in the atmosphere.  North and Northwest of TS Karen are strong upper-level winds that will shear the tops of the thunderstorms.  Those strong winds will limit the strengthening of the storm.  As TS Karen continues to move close to the Gulf Coast it will push the strong upper-level winds northward.  The problem with that is that if TS Karen makes a westward movement it will run into a slightly favorable environment until it gets close to land where part of it will be torn apart, due to strong winds, before making landfall which will weaken it.  If it keeps a more northerly track it will not get sheared as much from the winds and maintain some strong tropical storm strength until landfall.  Right now, either case is possible as tropical storms and hurricanes like to seek out the most favorable environment for them.  The curve will be due to a strong cold front moving across the U.S. which will be timed perfectly to pick up TS Karen.  The other issue is the dry air which will prohibit much rapid intensification throughout it’s lifespan.  Due to dry air and the wind shear it has a slight chance of becoming a weak category 1 hurricane for a brief time period, but will not maintain that status or get any stronger than that.

We will continue to heavily watch Tropical Storm Karen as a lot of football games and even a music festival, Bayfest, will be affected by it.

June Severe Weather Outlook

5 06 2013

We always wonder how each month will play out when it comes to severe weather.  Last month, May, gave us a huge surprise toward the end by becoming very active after being very slow.  We saw this active pattern coming and now it looks like things have leveled off.  The question is how will June play out?  Will it be like May or the complete opposite or maybe completely different?

We have been doing a study based upon specific severe weather criteria dating back to 1955 and figured out how many severe weather days occur each year.  We found some interesting statistics about June that we will be sharing with you.

First thing we noticed is that each decade has had more and more severe weather days on average up to 2000-2009.  This doesn’t necessarily mean that we are seeing more severe weather it just means we are able to detect it better and have more observers in recent years than back in the 1950’s and 1960’s.  Overall the past 58 years, the nation sees, on average, 21 severe weather days in June.  Looking at more recent years from 1990 to now the average is about 26 days out of 30 days in June.  That is a lot of severe weather days and second highest active month in the year.  However, we noticed a decline in severe weather activity last year when from 2004-2011 almost each day was a severe weather day.  Last year, we only had 16 severe weather days across the nation and it is looking like this year might be below or near-below average in severe weather.

What about Alabama?  Alabama is seeing the same trend when the past 6 years prior to 2012 there were 10 or more severe weather days.  In 2012, Alabama saw only 4 severe weather days.  So for Alabamians we will most likely only see about as much as we did last year give or take 1 or 2 days.  Alabama’s overall June average is about 6 severe weather days per.

We decided to go a step further and try to figure out which days are more likely to see a severe weather day.  This doesn’t hold as much of a solid ground as previously discussed data because atmospheric conditions are not factored in it.  Based on statistics so far for the United States, June 5 and June 13 are two days that severe weather has occurred quite frequently where each has about an 83% of seeing severe weather.  As interesting as this is, it isn’t as important as the trend we see.  From June 5 – June 16 and June 20 – June 23 have the highest percentages of seeing severe weather of 70% or more.  Towards the end of the month, it lessens quite a bit to nearly a 50/50 chance.

For Alabama, June 19 – June 22 and June 24 – June 28 have some of the better chances of having a severe weather day.

This is still a work in progress and it’s just a scratch of the surface.  We are testing it as we go and will see how things play out and will continue to add things as we carry on with it.  So enjoy on what looks to be a near average of 15 – 20 severe weather days for the nation and 3 – 5 for Alabama.

Senior Meteorologist Michael Vasquez

Memorial Day Forecast

24 05 2013

The weather couldn’t be any better this weekend and for Memorial Day! A moisture starved cold front has moved through bringing with it cooler, less humid air to the state! Highs will be in the mid to upper 80s from Phenix City to Mobile with overnight lows dipping to the mid to upper 50s, combine all this with a north breeze 10-15 mph & virtually clear skies with sparkling sunshine, and it sets up a great late may forecast! So, whether your heading to Lake Martin, the beach or just staying around the house, get outside and enjoy this weather and take a few moments to remember all those who have & are fighting for our freedom this Memorial Day.




– StormTEAM 4 / Gamma 9 Weather Chief Meteorologist Patrick Bigbie

April 11, 2013 Severe Weather Event

10 04 2013

We have been watching the system that is slowly moving our way and strengthening at the same time. Ever since yesterday we were able to figure out the timing of the event which is from late tomorrow morning to tomorrow night. The hardest part up to today was determining the highest threat. We, and many others agree, have decided that the biggest threats are damaging winds, flooding, and, unfortunately, tornadoes. There is a threat for some hail, but it is lower than the other threats.

We were able to breakdown tomorrow by certain hours and give you the areas that will likely see the highest impact from the severe weather. The following image shows the area with the highest threat of seeing severe weather tomorrow morning at 10 AM.


At this time, the threats could be scattered and weak as the day is just getting going and instability is all over the place. To be more specific, the warm, moist air is starting to come into the Southeast, but some of the upper level qualities are further north. The next image shows the area of concern for the best chance of severe weather at 1 PM.


This one shows a larger area of concern, but there is a smaller embedded area where most of things we look for, such as CAPE, warm air advection, low level jet, positive vorticity advection, etc. line up so we will watch this area as it has the highest risk of the severe weather to occur. This area will have the best chances of seeing a tornado and the damaging winds.

As we move on into the 4 PM hour the area shifts to the east some and isn’t as big as before.


The area of interest is smaller than the last, but the area with the highest risk is a little bigger. The reason for that is because it is getting to the warmest part of the day and on top of that the low level jet and many other factors are coming together at this time for us to have some concern that the pink shaded area. As we move on to 7 PM tomorrow evening the highest risk areas are smaller and more focused on particular areas.


By this time it appears that the highest risk areas are away from the viewing area, but any locations between the two high risk areas are of concern as the factors we look for become more isolated.

The final hour we looked at and will show is 10 PM where the area of interest becomes much smaller, but the area with the highest risk covers the eastern part of Central Alabama which includes Phenix City, Al and Columbus, GA.


By this time things will be quieting down as the peak heating of the day is long gone, but the squall line, which is the culprit of most of this, will be the cause of most of the severe weather which means damaging wind will be the primary threat as the storms that built up through the day start to die down and with all of the mass it holds in the air it has to fall which will creat some strong winds.

This is how things look now and there can always be some changes to the atmosphere that could change this some, but this covers the general area that we expect severe weather to occur. We will keep you posted throughout tomorrow and even tonight for the latest and to keep you up to date.

-StormTEAM 4 / Gamma 9 Weather Senior Meteorologist Michael Vasquez

Thursday’s Severe Weather Threat

9 04 2013

We’re watching Thursday for our next chance of Severe T-Storms across Central and South Alabama. The threat on Thursday looks to begin around mid to late morning to afternoon for the Mobile area and last until 10 pm in the eastern part of the state. The SPC has placed the area under a slight risk for Thursday as well as a 30% chance area for severe weather.

Our current thinking is that we will see a squall line move through the state with the greatest risk being damaging winds, flooding & isolated tornadoes but we can’t rule out a few hail reports with this system. Questions still remain on weather we could see discrete cells develop ahead of the line. The environment will be marginally supportive of this happening but wont be overly favorable.

Severe Threat

We still have a few days to watch it and things change so stay tuned and we’ll keep you updated on the latest

-StormTEAM 4 / Gamma 9 Weather Chief Meteorologist Patrick Bigbie