Weekend Severe Weather Discussion

22 03 2013

We are looking at another severe weather event for this weekend and the tricky part has been figuring out what the biggest threats will be and when they will occur.  We have been looking at 3 main forecast models and they all tend to tie together for the big picture, but it’s the small important details that makes this so hard.  Here is what the Storm Prediction Center has for tomorrow:

SPC has the main focus over most of Alabama and Mississippi with the highest risk of 30% chance of severe weather in the southern half of Alabama and Mississippi.  Here is the problem with this though, the forecast models are showing something a little different.  Here is what we are more thinking the biggest threat will be:


This area seems to be more favorable as the more recent forecast model runs are wanting to push the warm front further north than what was expected.  Why is that important?  Where the warm front is helps point out the area of interest where tornadoes are likely to be spotted because they typically like to develop there due to the dramatic change in wind direction as you go higher in the atmosphere.  The area highlighted is the area where most of all the ingredients for severe weather line up.  This includes a lot of complicated stuff, but what it ultimately results in is the region where we could see rotating storm capable of producing tornadoes, strong damaging winds and even large hail.  This isn’t to say that south of this area won’t get anything because that area has other factors that could help in developing some severe storms as well.

So to sum it all up we are looking at an event that could start out as a wind and hail event as it is moving towards us until the cold front catches up to the warm front which will develop a squall line.  As this starts to happen rotating storms are likely to develop.  There has been talk of whether some discrete storms will develop and rotate, but as of right now we are not seeing that to happen because a specific feature in the atmosphere that we look for is very weak to cause storms to rotate.

The timing looks to be late Saturday night when things start cooking, but brought to a boil by after midnight Saturday when all of the features we look for to create severe weather line up.  By this time it looks like it will be in the eastern half of Alabama into Georgia.

Since the forecast models are having a hard time with all of this even with it being just tomorrow we are still watching it all to see what changes might happen as the environment will be very delicate and only the slightest change can make it worse or not even happen.

StormTEAM 4/Gamma 9 Senior Meteorologist Michael Vasquez




One response

22 03 2013
Alex Puckett

Warm front doesnt get anywhere near that far North.

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