MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The National Weather Service has allowed a tornado warning for Crenshaw County to expire, but we're expecting more severe weather this evening. If that happens, we'll bring you coverage on-air and live streaming in our app.
Wednesday morning Harvey made landfall again, this time over Louisiana. Harvey will track northeast over the next coming days bringing widespread rainfall and the threat of tornadoes to much of the Deep South, including Alabama. The stage is set for a multi-day period where residents of Alabama will need to stay weather aware. That's why we've issued a First Alert Weather Day for Wednesday and Thursday.
The good news is our threats for flooding and tornadoes are low. But a low threat doesn't mean no threat so as always make sure you remain connected as we continue to provide updates.
A dry slot of air has worked its way into the area providing some relief from continuous rainfall. However there are bands of rain coming out of Mississippi that could slide over the state line into Alabama.
So we'll keep rain chances elevated through the remainder of the afternoon and evening. Most forecasting models have rain activity calming down calming down overnight shortly. The HRRR model shows a lull in activity beginning late tonight and lasting just before sunrise Thursday morning.
Hazards: Our entire viewing area remains under a low-end threat for quick spin-up tornadoes. The highest potential for tornadoes will reside over areas along and west of I-65. The good news is tornadoes produced from tropical systems tend to be short-lived and relatively weak.
The bad news is, these tornadoes develop quickly and provide less lead time compared to other severe weather events. So as this threat remains make sure you'll be able to take appropriate action when necessary. Review your tornado safety plan with your coworkers and your family just in case!
The other threat we're concerned about is flooding. This, like the threat of tornadoes, is low but still a present hazards we must address and be aware of. When dealing with continuous days of rainfall, flooding becomes a growing threat. The ground can only take up so much water. So if you live in a flood prone area/near a body of water, be aware of your surroundings. The highest risk for flooding is located across southwest Alabama.
Tropical Storm Harvey has made its final landfall along the coast of Louisiana but the weather story is far from over. Copious amounts of Gulf moisture will stream inland into Alabama, resulting in waves of heavy rainfall. While there doesn't appear to be much of a tornado concern this morning, that may change later today. This will set the stage for a multi-day period where residents of Alabama will need to stay weather aware.
As the rain axis evolves, we'll need to monitor just how much it's able to move west to east into the afternoon. It that plume fails to budge much, a corridor of very heavy rain totals will be possible as downpours train over the same area.
Futureview is trying to signal this possibility, suggesting flooding could develop along the I-65 corridor where the axis remains stagnant. This will be something we'll need to monitor closely.
Closer to the coast, higher instability has resulted in more intense thunderstorms that have exhibited rotation at times. There is a tornado threat for Mobile & Baldwin counties of Alabama this morning, but I'm hopeful the more stable air mass into our viewing area will keep any rotating storms at bay as they enter our counties from the south.
By the afternoon, it's possible our lack of instability will no longer be a limiting factor. Isolated brief, spin-up tornadoes will be possible, mainly west of I-65. This threat looks rather low, but it isn't zero. I'd encourage you to have reliable ways of receiving weather warnings should tornado warnings pop up.
THURSDAY: Models suggest bands of storms become more scattered in nature tomorrow with a dry slot working in. Breaks in the overcast would contribute to higher instability materializing, presenting a continued risk for tornadoes. The forecast track of Harvey has shifted slightly eastward since yesterday, placing Alabama in closer proximity to the wind field that will generate the shear necessary for storms to rotate.
Our entire viewing area would stand a low, but non-zero chance at spin up tornadoes. But the greatest risk would continue to favor areas generally west of I-65. Tornadoes in association with tropical systems tend to be short-lived and weak. But it presents an issue in offering sufficient lead time for warnings as they spin up quickly. Remember, even weak tornadoes can cause big problems. We'll need to monitor rainfall totals from today's soaking. Should a few areas get into flooding issues, any additional heavy rain tomorrow would make those issues worse.
FRIDAY: As Harvey pulls northeast, it effects will start to wane. It remains unclear whether a lingering flood/tornado threat will persist through early Friday. It's a possibility, but I think the overall threat is starting to decline. Scattered storms will still develop but favor eastern Alabama as the west side starts to dry out some.
We'll maintain at least some threat through early Friday and will amend if necessary. Rain chances continue to decline into the weekend, offering a drier look that will spill over into early next week.