PHASE ONE - DRENCHING RAIN: Nothing nice to tall about. Heavy rain continues across the area today after drenching rains overnight. Many places have already seen over 2.00". Additional rainfall could be 2-4 inches, with locally higher amounts before it all ends tomorrow.
PHASE TWO - SEVERE WEATHER THREAT: As we have been telling you for the past few days, this is a very complicated set-up. Low pressure will develop over Louisiana during the day. It will intensify as it moves toward the northeast. This will drag a warm front northward from the gulf coast, northward across Alabama later tonight and Monday morning. In the warm air, south of the warm front will be the best environment for severe weather. Some storms could easily become severe. Any thunderstorms that develop overnight will likely start to rotate. There will be a lot of directional shear, meaning winds will not only increase with height, but also will change direction, allowing for sufficient "spin", with rotating updrafts. Tornadoes are possible. The threat area cover much of central and south Alabama.
DISCLAIMER: There are some limiting factors which remain. There are some of the big question marks on how this may all come together. How far northward will the warm front move and how quickly? Will drenching rain during the day today limit instability? Can the atmosphere recover? These are just some of the question marks. But, we need to be ready. Always expect the unexpected, and be ready for the worse case scenario. The biggest threats appear to be the flooding potential, the threat for damaging winds, the tornado threat, and, to a lesser extent large hail.
OVERNIGHT THREAT: The biggest problem I worry about is the fact that the primary threat will occur when most folks are asleep. On WSFA, we will be with you with all the watches and warnings, but we can't wake you up. You need a reliable way to receive weather warnings, like a weather radio, or a smart phone with our Weather App. If you depend on an outdoor siren, that's simply not enough! Sirens are designed to alert people outdoors. You can text your county name to 41212 to get watches and warnings as text messages.
Stay up with the latest. Eric will have another blog update later this afternoon. Plus, please join Eric on WSFA 12 News at 5:00 and 10:00. Needless to say, the Storm Center will be manned all night.
--Rich Thomas, Doppler 12 StormVision Meteorologist
Facebook: Rich Thomas WSFA Weather