Significant severe weather risk for many states Friday
The risk zone does include part of Alabama Friday night into Saturday morning
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - As March comes to a close and April begins, a large portion of the Central United States will likely be impacted by severe thunderstorms. This includes over a dozen states from Iowa and Illinois southward to Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
All modes of severe weather are likely to occur, from tornadoes to damaging wind gusts to large hail. Instances of significant severe weather are also expected. That includes strong (EF2+) tornadoes, wind gusts of 75+ mph and large hail upwards of two inches in diameter.
Some larger cities in the higher risk zone include Memphis, Little Rock, St. Louis, Des Moines, Nashville, and Evansville.
Severe thunderstorms are possible as early as Friday morning. The threat will only increase in intensity and coverage as the day goes on. Things will remain active through Friday evening and night as the storms progress to the east.
Eventually the storms will outrun the best ingredients. This should put an end to much of the severe risk by the time the sun comes up Saturday. A few strong storms could still occur from the Great Lakes southward to the Deep South early on Saturday, but that risk is both very low and highly conditional.
That is great news for us in Central Alabama! While the northwestern part of the state is under a more substantial risk of severe thunderstorms Friday night, we don’t see much of a risk closer to Montgomery.
The threat locally isn’t zero, it’s just very, very low. Alabama cities like Huntsville, Muscle Shoals, Florence, Hamilton, Decatur, Madison, Phil Campbell, Cullman, Jasper, and Hartselle have a much higher threat of tornadoes and high wind gusts.
By the time the line of rain and storms gets to Central Alabama it will weaken considerably. We do think a quit-hitting line of rain will push through, we just don’t think much, if any, severe weather will occur.
Granted, some models do depict impressive ingredients that would support tornadoes and damaging wind gusts across Central Alabama. This is one of those situations where we have to dive a little deeper than just simply looking at wind shear, instability and whether or not a front is coming through.
The main ingredient that Central Alabama will be lacking is upper level support. While yes, a cold front will be coming through at the surface, the support in the upper levels of the atmosphere will depart before the line of rain and storms gets here.
That will lead to a substantial weakening trend once the line arrives in places like Montgomery, Selma, Auburn, Alexander City, Tuskegee, Demopolis, Troy, Greenville, Eufaula, Clanton, Andalusia, Evergreen, and Wetumpka. Good news for us!
Don’t let your guard down, though, as the risk isn’t zero here. It’s just very, very low. It’s also worth noting that the risk for some strong to severe storms may increase again next week. Details are too murky at this point in time to discuss the specifics, but the chance is there.
April is the busiest month of the year for severe weather in Alabama, on average, so severe weather risks shouldn’t come as a surprise. All you have to do is make sure you’re staying up to date on the forecast and ensure you have a way to receive weather information whenever severe weather threatens!
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