Small Risk For Severe Storms Ahead Of Cold Front

Update 3:09 PM. Updated SPC graphic for Alabama, no other changes.

SUMMARY: Ahead of a strong cold front, showers and thunderstorms will occur late this evening into the overnight hours. Some of these storms could be strong to severe especially across northwest Alabama.

NWS Graphics:

NWS Huntsville Svr 10/15/21
A few strong/severe storms are expected later this evening/overnight as a cold front sweeps across the region. The main threats with the strongest storms will be damaging winds, but a tornado or two cannot be ruled out. Stay weather aware this evening

TIMING: Beginning around 9:00 PM this evening (10/15) and lasting through 2:00 AM across northwest Alabama.

Potential Hazards: Heavy rainfall and strong-locally damaging winds gusts from 40-60 MPH. A tornado or two cannot be ruled out.

Potential Impacts: Heavy rainfall along with gusty winds can knock down trees into power lines, causing power outages. Heavy rainfall could cause flooding in some areas. Damaging winds are winds of 58 MPH or stronger, which could damage roofs, outbuildings, sidings, gutters, sheds, and trees. Gusty winds are also possible outside of thunderstorms. Tornadoes – if any – will be brief and weak but is still enough to cause damage to mobile homes and roofs.

CONFIDENCE IN POTENTIAL HAZARDS: 9/10. Very confident.

Recommended Preparedness Actions: Stay weather aware this evening as the cold front gets closer. Stay inside, and have multiple ways to receive warnings should one be issued. Take the warning seriously. A Severe Thunderstorm Watch will likely be issued well ahead of the cold front as the storms get closer. If a Tornado Warning is issued – take the Warning seriously, do not wait to see or wait for confirmation because this will be a late-night event where tornadoes will be difficult to confirm.

DISCUSSION

SPC has placed a small corner of the state in a Slight Risk for severe thunderstorms this afternoon and evening, with a Marginal Risk going across the rest of Coverage Zone 1. Seeing no Slight Risk in Coverage Zone 2 will leave any discussions for Central Alabama out. HRRR model data shows storms coming in the form of a line expected to reach the AL/MS border around 03Z (9:00 pm). SBCAPE at the arrival will range from 500-1,000 J/KG and quickly dissipate with the arrival of the front. Updraft Helicity values are not overall impressive but are there nonetheless. This ties in with the STP values at about 2/10, which leaves a non-but-not-zero chance of a tornado as the cold front gets closer.

SCP however is favoring supercell development with the line, but again, it quickly dissipates with the arrival of the cold front. Hard to tie these parameters perfectly together. Graphics below. Stay safe, and get ready for fall after this cold front.

Flash Flood Watch In Effect

Several days of repeated rainfall, where some of the rain could be moderate to heavy at times, could lead to instances of flash flooding across the area. Flash flooding is a dangerous situation. Remember, turn around don’t drown!

The Flash Flood Watch is for the entire Coverage Area.

flash flood watch hun
Flash Flood Watch – NWS Huntsville
flash flood watch bmx
Flash Flood Watch – NWS Birmingham

The Weather Prediction Center has put in a Day 2-3 Moderate/Slight Risk for Excessive Rainfall. The highest amounts are forecasted to be across northeast Alabama. This indicates where flash flooding is most likely to occur.

WPC Day 1
WPC Day 1 Outlook
WPC Day 2
WPC Day 2 Outlook
WPC Day 3
WPC Day 3 Outlook

Flash Flood Watch In Effect

Flash Flood Watch in effect for our far northern Alabama Coverage Area counties until 7:00 pm Sunday. Rainfall rates could be from 3-4 inches Saturday morning through Sunday evening, leading to the potential for flash flooding.

...FLASH FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT THROUGH SUNDAY EVENING...

The National Weather Service in Huntsville has issued a

* Flash Flood Watch for portions of Alabama and southern middle
  Tennessee, including the following areas, in Alabama, Colbert,
  DeKalb, Franklin AL, Jackson, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone,
  Madison, Marshall and Morgan. In southern middle Tennessee,
  Franklin TN, Lincoln and Moore.

* Through Sunday evening.

* Multiple rounds of heavy showers and thunderstorms this morning
  through Sunday evening are expected to produce flash flooding
  across the watch area. Widespread 3-4 inches of rain is forecast
  with localized higher amounts possible. Efficient rainfall rates
  may exceed 2 inches/hr. Runoff may also lead to rises on area
  rivers, creeks, and streams.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

You should monitor later forecasts and be prepared to take action
should Flash Flood Warnings be issued.

Tropical Storm Ida Update

The center of Tropical Storm Ida is currently located near Jackson, MS with maximum wind speeds of 30 MPH. The Tropical Storm Warnings/Storm Surge Warnings are set to expire at 12:30pm. Ida wrecked havoc on New Orleans and knocked out power to 100% of the city, according to Entergy. For an update on restoration from Entergy, see this article:

Closer to home, we are expected to start feeling the impacts from Ida tonight. Wind Advisories and Flash Flood Watches are up for almost our entire Coverage Area:

Tropical Storm Ida – NWS Birmingham
Tropical Storm Ida – NWS Huntsville
Tropical Storm Ida Track – RadarOmega

RAINFALL: The biggest story of any Tropical System is the rainfall. We’re looking to receive anywhere from 4-6″ on the western half of the state, and 2-4″ elsewhere. Flash flooding will also be a concern in some areas that receive repeated heavy rainfall.

[Image of WPC QPF U.S. rainfall potential]
[Image of WPC Flash Flooding/Excessive Rainfall Outlook]

WINDS: Will begin to pick up as Ida nears. Currently the forecast is for 30+ MPH winds with gusts up to 40. Winds could be felt as early as 8:00 PM Monday for west/northwest Alabama. Winds of this magnitude can easily topple over trees and power lines. Trees with saturated ground could fall more easily.

time of arrival graphic

TORNADOES: With any tropical system – especially on the outer edge of the system – there is the potential for tornadoes. Any tornadoes that do develop will be brief and weak (70+ MPH winds)

Please stay weather aware during this time. Heed all Warnings and have multiple ways to receive them.

Ida Makes Landfall; Potential Local Impacts

As of 12:10 PM August 29th, Hurricane Ida has made landfall as a Category 4 Major Hurricane. The image below is the direct text from the National Hurricane Center.


Around our neck of the woods, we will start seeing impacts from Ida Monday night and Tuesday from west to east. Threats will include flash flooding, strong gusty winds, and a few tornadoes. Flood Watches are in effect for portions of west Alabama up to Interstate 65

[U: Extended] Another Day Of Dangerous Heat

A large chunk of our Coverage Zones are under a Heat Advisory due to heat indices expected to reach 106F. This includes the Alabama counties of

Lauderdale, Colbert, Franklin AL, Lawrence, Marion, Lamar, Fayette, Winston, Walker, Pickens, Tuscaloosa, Jefferson, Shelby, Talladega, Sumter, Greene, Hale, Perry, Bibb, Chilton, Coosa, Tallapoosa. Marengo. Dallas, Autauga, Lowndes. Elmore, Montgomery, Macon, Bullock, Lee, Russell-Pike, Barbour,

Some counties are not in our Coverage Zones but have been included in this message

...HEAT ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM NOON TODAY TO 7 PM CDT THIS
EVENING...

* WHAT...Heat index values in the 105 to 107 degree range are
  expected across portions of the advisory area.

* WHERE...Lauderdale, Colbert, Franklin AL and Lawrence Counties.

* WHEN...From Noon today to 7 PM CDT this evening.

* IMPACTS...Hot temperatures and high humidity may cause heat
  illnesses to occur.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

Drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out
of the sun, and check up on relatives and neighbors. Young
children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles
under any circumstances.

Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside. When
possible reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or
evening. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat
 stroke. Wear lightweight and loose fitting clothing when possible.
To reduce risk during outdoor work, the Occupational Safety and
Health Administration recommends scheduling frequent rest breaks
 in shaded or air conditioned environments. Anyone overcome by heat
 should be moved to a cool and shaded location. Heat stroke is an
 emergency! Call 9 1 1.
...HEAT ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 7 PM CDT WEDNESDAY...

* WHAT...Heat index values near 105 each afternoon.

* WHERE...Blount, Etowah, Calhoun, Cherokee, Cleburne, St.
  Clair, Clay, Randolph and Chambers Counties.

* WHEN...Until 7 PM CDT Wednesday.

* IMPACTS...Hot temperatures and high humidity may cause heat
  illnesses to occur.


PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

Drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out
of the sun, and check up on relatives and neighbors. Young
children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles
under any circumstances.

Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside. When
possible reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or
evening. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat
 stroke. Wear lightweight and loose fitting clothing when
possible. To reduce risk during outdoor work, the Occupational
Safety and Health Administration recommends scheduling frequent
 rest breaks in shaded or air conditioned environments. Anyone
overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location.
Heat stroke is an emergency! Call 9 1 1.

&&

$$

ALZ011>015-022>025-027-030>037-039>050-280400-
/O.EXT.KBMX.HT.Y.0001.000000T0000Z-210729T0000Z/
Marion-Lamar-Fayette-Winston-Walker-Pickens-Tuscaloosa-Jefferson-
Shelby-Talladega-Sumter-Greene-Hale-Perry-Bibb-Chilton-Coosa-
Tallapoosa-Marengo-Dallas-Autauga-Lowndes-Elmore-Montgomery-Macon-
Bullock-Lee-Russell-Pike-Barbour-
Including the cities of Hamilton, Sulligent, Vernon, Fayette,
Double Springs, Jasper, Carrollton, Tuscaloosa, Birmingham,
Hoover, Columbiana, Pelham, Alabaster, Talladega, Sylacauga,
Livingston, Eutaw, Greensboro, Moundville, Marion, Centreville,
Clanton, Rockford, Alexander City, Dadeville, Demopolis, Linden,
Selma, Prattville, Fort Deposit, Hayneville, Wetumpka, Tallassee,
Montgomery, Tuskegee, Union Springs, Auburn, Opelika,
Phenix City, Troy, and Eufaula
118 PM CDT Tue Jul 27 2021

...HEAT ADVISORY NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 7 PM CDT WEDNESDAY...

* WHAT...Heat index values 104 to 108 each afternoon.

* WHERE...Portions of west and south central Alabama.

* WHEN...Until 7 PM CDT Wednesday.

* IMPACTS...Hot temperatures and high humidity may cause heat
  illnesses to occur.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

Drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out
of the sun, and check up on relatives and neighbors. Young
children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles
under any circumstances.

Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside. When
possible reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or
evening. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat
 stroke. Wear lightweight and loose fitting clothing when
possible. To reduce risk during outdoor work, the Occupational
Safety and Health Administration recommends scheduling frequent
 rest breaks in shaded or air conditioned environments. Anyone
overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location.
Heat stroke is an emergency! Call 9 1 1.

Strong-Severe Storms, Flooding Concerns This Evening Into Overnight

Today’s Outlook from the Storm Prediction Center puts most of Coverage Zone 1 and portions of Coverage Zone 2 in a Marginal Risk for severe thunderstorms this evening, tonight and into the overnight hours.

The highest severe weather threat will remain to our north in the Slight Risk area.

Anticipated risks are 50-60 MPH wind gusts along with locally heavy rainfall. Parameters are not in place for tornadoes but remember severe thunderstorms can and occasionally do produce tornadoes. We have also been highlighted in a Slight Risk for excessive rainfall from the Weather Prediction Center.

Additionally, a Flash Flood Watch is in effect for Cullman, DeKalb, Jackson and Marshall counties as torrential rainfall from Claudette impacted the area and more heavy rainfall is on the way.

Flash Flood Watch In Effect

Counties Affected: Marshall, Jackson, DeKalb, Cullman

Alabama Hazards
URGENT - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
Flood Watch
National Weather Service Huntsville AL
417 AM CDT Mon Jun 21 2021

ALZ008>010-016-212045-
/O.NEW.KHUN.FF.A.0007.210622T0000Z-210623T0000Z/
/00000.0.ER.000000T0000Z.000000T0000Z.000000T0000Z.OO/
Marshall-Jackson-DeKalb-Cullman-
Including the cities of Arab, Fort Payne, Guntersville, Cullman,
Boaz, Rainsville, Albertville, and Scottsboro
417 AM CDT Mon Jun 21 2021

...FLASH FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT FROM THIS EVENING THROUGH TUESDAY
EVENING...

The National Weather Service in Huntsville has issued a

* Flash Flood Watch for portions of north central Alabama and
  northeast Alabama, including the following areas, in north central
  Alabama, Cullman. In northeast Alabama, DeKalb, Jackson and
  Marshall.

* From this evening through Tuesday evening

* Showers and thunderstorms will increase in coverage this afternoon
  and evening, ahead of a slow-moving cold front. An additional 1-2
  inches of rain is expected, along with locally higher amounts.
  With nearly saturated soil conditions in the watch area, the
  rainfall will be efficiently converted to runoff, increasing the
  risk for life-threatening flash flooding.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A Flash Flood Watch means that conditions may develop that lead to
Flash Flooding. Flash Flooding is a very dangerous situation. You
should monitor later forecasts and be prepared to take action should
Flash Flood Warnings be issued.

Website Redesign Now Live And A Few Notable Team Changes

If you’re reading this, something is different. Yes – a lot is different – from visual changes to a ton of fixes, improvements, enhancements, additions, behind-the-scenes, let’s get to all the changes right now!

Website Redesign

Right off the bat, you’ll see the website looks very new, more compact, not as stretchy. That’s right! This has been about 5 months’ worth of work with a theme called GeneratePress and a Page Builder called Elementor. This retires our old theme named Newsup, and our old Page Builder named Themify.

  • All Pages – including the Home Page – have been redesigned to be more compact, and to be more “visual”. This is why things like pretty clouds will appear on each page/section. Admit it, it’s pretty.
  • QR codes have been added to multiple pages so you can open links on your mobile device.
  • Page issues have been fixed. Including but not limited to the Severe Page not showing a severe image and the NOAA Weather Radio Page not showing NOAA Weather Radio Transmitters have been fixed. The Severe Page now shows an image from NWS – this is a permanent fix! I sincerely apologize to those of you that may have been following links from Twitter in hopes of an image.
  • You seen that NOAA Weather Radio Page? It’s remarkable if I do say so myself.
  • How about that new Live Page?
  • The Contact Page now has more content. Contact information was moved from our Live Page to our Contact Page because it just makes more sense. A few visual tweaks have also been made to this page.
  • Visual improvements made to the About Page, including showing more accurate information about our Team Members, and showing the roles/positions.
  • Visual improvements to the Application Page, the Requirements section is collapsable, and the Expectations are more straightforward.
  • Blog Page shows posts by category in a carousel. Keep in mind. Posts from 2020 have been archived, so many things might not be showing up here.

Why the change? Why Elementor and GeneratePress?

We’ll get to that later.

Facebook Messenger Widget Throughout Website

We have added this widget so you can interact with us directly on Messenger. A Messenger account is recommended but you can also continue as a guest. Interacting as a guest only makes the chat visible for 24 hours. Otherwise, start a conversation with us right from Messenger, our automated assistant will let you know we will get back to you shortly, then you will hear from an actual human being!

Alabama Weather Prediction is now on Telegram

As part of our goal to expand to more chat/media platforms, we are now also on Telegram. Telegram is a free universal application (iOS, Windows, Android) for chatting, voice and video. Also available on the web. Very simple to get started, just go to Telegram: Contact @awpwx, or go to the Contact Page and click Telegram. Registration is required for this.

Telegram currently shows posts as soon as they’re made, but no other automations at this time.

Behind-the-scenes

Now for the non-important stuff that most of you probably aren’t going to read – and that’s okay.

  • PHP has been updated to 8.0. No issues have been identified over the past several months.
  • Cache has been disabled site-wide. Again, this was tested over several months and we have actually seen an improvement in loading times with our new themes and builder

Why the change?

So, the old theme we had, Newsup, was not nearly as customizable. It was also very stretched out and seemed to take up your whole screen. It also wasn’t responsive to any changes that we attempted to apply. We were also looking for a new Page Builder and found that Elementor works great with GeneratePress. GeneratePress is also very lightweight, so Elementor does not need to do much work as far as caching is concerned. To put matters simple, I combined these together to come up with the solution of a) fixing any website issues b) implementing the new website layout and c) deciding if cache needed to be modified, tweaked, or disabled altogether. I’m not gonna lie, cache is a big headache and probably more trouble than what it’s worth, which is why I decided to disable it to see what happened. Well, this was the end result.

Tech talk. Look at this loading speed difference I snapshotted. Left side is Staging website, right side is old, Live website. It loads faster when cache is off site-wide!


Team Changes

There are some changes to our Coverage Area that are worth mentioning.

Alabama Weather Prediction Coverage Area

First off, and most importantly, we are dropping support for Mississippi and Tennessee Counties to focus solely on Alabama.

Next, you’ll see we are starting to implement “Zones”. We will start using this kind of language when we cover severe weather events with things such as

Storms will be moving into Coverage Zone 1 here in the next several hours and we will bring you live updates

A Slight Risk is in place for most of Coverage Zone 1, 2, 3, etc

Instead of

Storms are moving across the Coverage Area

Slight Risk in place for this day for portions of the Coverage Area

See, this is just too bland? Let’s be more specific and narrow it down.

In coordination with @westaltracker who is in charge of alerts_awpwx on Twitter, you should start to see more of this language in the coming weeks.

Enhanced Risk In Place for Tuesday 5/4

Enhanced Risk in place for most of the Coverage Area on Tuesday, May 4th. Damaging winds and large hail will be the main threat, but there will be a secondary threat for tornadoes.

Summary: Thunderstorms are expected to come in 2 waves on Tuesday, the first wave will be in the morning with gusty to damaging winds being the primary threat. After this passes, the atmosphere will destabilize and make room for the next wave of thunderstorms. Thunderstorms that do develop will have the potential for produce damaging winds gust, large hail, and a few tornadoes.

NWS Graphics

NWS Huntsville 5/4

NWS Birmingham 5/4 PM

NWS Birmingham 5/4 AM

SPC Outlook

 ...THERE IS AN ENHANCED RISK OF SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS ACROSS PARTS OF
   FAR SOUTHEAST
   ARKANSAS...LOUISIANA...MISSISSIPPI...TENNESSEE...ALABAMA AND
   NORTHWEST GEORGIA...

   ...SUMMARY...
   Widespread strong to severe thunderstorm development is possible
   Tuesday from the lower Mississippi and Ohio Valleys into the
   Allegheny and Cumberland Plateau regions.  This will include a risk
   for large hail, damaging wind gusts and a few tornadoes.

   ...Synopsis...

   The severe weather forecast for Tuesday remains complex with
   lingering uncertainty. Most of the forecast changes for this cycle
   are peripheral/modest for the Slight and Enhanced risk areas. The
   Marginal risk area has been expanded quite a bit to the east, from
   the South Carolina to Delmarva coast. 

   On a broader scale, an upper trough extending from the Upper Midwest
   to southwest TX/northeast Mexico will migrate eastward, becoming
   oriented from the upper Great Lakes to GA by Wednesday morning.
   Several smaller shortwave perturbations are forecast to eject
   northeastward across parts of the lower MS Valley to the lower Great
   Lakes vicinity as well as portions of the central
   Appalachians/Mid-Atlantic vicinity. At the surface, a seasonally
   moist airmass will be in place, with mid 60s to low 70s dewpoints as
   far north as the TN Valley and into the Carolinas/Chesapeake Bay
   vicinity. Low to mid 60s dewpoints will spread further north into
   the lower Great Lakes eastward toward the I-95 corridor from
   Philadelphia into southern NJ. Meanwhile, an EML characterized by
   steep 700-500 mb lapse rates around 7-8 C/km will advect eastward
   across the lower MS Valley into the TN Valley, aiding in strong
   destabilization with MLCAPE values forecast around 2000-3000 J/kg.
   Weaker, but still sufficient lapse rates will exist across parts of
   the Ohio Valley eastward to the mid-Atlantic coast. A belt of
   increasing southwesterly midlevel flow will overspread much of the
   lower MS Valley into the Mid-Atlantic ahead of the main upper
   trough, providing further support for organized convection. As a
   result, a broad area of strong to severe thunderstorms are expected
   across a large part of the southeastern US into the Mid-Atlantic.

   ...Lower MS Valley/Southeast...

   The greatest/most concentrated severe threat on Tuesday appears to
   extend parts of AR/LA eastward into TN/AL/GA. Some uncertainty
   continues across this region as ongoing convection is expected over
   parts of the area during the morning hours as an MCS spreads
   eastward across the Ohio Valley and perhaps parts of the TN Valley.
   How this system from the Day 1/Monday period evolves will have some
   impact on how further convection develops later in the
   morning/afternoon as the airmass recovers ahead of the main surface
   cold front spreading southeast through the afternoon. Little capping
   is expected across the area and pockets of stronger heating will
   likely result in early development of thunderstorm clusters across
   parts of MS/AL/GA. While effective shear will initially be modest,
   this should rapidly increase through the morning. This initial
   activity will pose a threat for all severe hazards, including hail,
   damaging gusts and a couple of tornadoes.

   By late morning/early afternoon, convection is expected to develop
   along the surface cold front from parts of AR into far east TX. Some
   of this activity will likely remain cellular initially amid
   supercell wind profiles. With midlevel lapse rates around 7.5-8 C/km
   this activity could produce significant hail, in addition to
   damaging gusts and a couple of tornadoes. With time, stronger
   forcing and boundary-parallel deep layer flow should result in
   upscale growth into bowing/linear segments as convection shifts
   eastward across MS/LA and into AL during the afternoon/evening. This
   will increase the potential for more widespread damaging gusts, and
   favorable low level speed shear should continue to support
   mesovortex tornado potential along the line. 

   ...Ohio Valley to the Mid-Atlantic...

   A moist boundary layer (low to mid 60s F dewpoints) beneath modest
   midlevel lapse rates will be in place on Tuesday amid 35-50 kt
   850-700 mb west/southeasterly flow. MLCAPE values around 1500-2500
   J/kg are forecast as pockets of strong heating result in steepening
   low level lapse rates. Low level flow will remain weak, but marginal
   supercell wind profiles should support isolated to scattered
   organized thunderstorm development during the afternoon. A
   well-mixed boundary layer, with inverted-v low level thermodynamic
   profiles indicate potential for locally damaging gusts. Some of the
   stronger cells also could produce marginally sever hail. 

   Some guidance suggests that the morning MCS over parts of OH/TN
   Valley may continue eastward and spread into parts of VA/NC/SC. If
   an organized convective system can be maintained, this could
   increase damaging wind potential during the afternoon/evening and an
   upgrade to Slight risk could be needed in later outlooks.