Meterologists have been warning Alabamians for almost a week about the potential for severe weather Tuesday and Wednesday. A cold front is expected to sweep through Alabama Tuesday night/Wednesday morning has the potential to produce strong to severe thunderstorms.
Both the American and European weather models continue to stay in agreement and are now showing our potential severe weather system slowing down. The area of low pressure looks to take a more northerly track, keeping upper wind flow southwest across Alabama. Due to the slower pace of this system it looks like the system will not arrive in west Alabama until after 6 p.m. Tuesday.
The system will move through the state west to east. The main line will be over central Alabama after sunset, which is good news because the loss of daytime heating will limit instability in our atmosphere. There will still be a high amount of wind shear that could produce a few spin-up tornadoes so we will not back off the possibility of severe storms just yet.
Rain/storm activity will last overnight and we should expect the rain to exit southeast Alabama by midday Wednesday. Colder and drier conditions will set in Wednesday night and last through Saturday as a large upper trough sits over the eastern United States.
In the event of severe weather predictions, always stay tuned to your radio or television and become familiar with the warning signals. While it is good to be able to judge cloud formations and other natural signs, don’t assume you will have time to assess weather conditions and to act properly in the event of bad weather.
Tornado Watch: Weather conditions may cause tornadoes or severe thunderstorms to develop in or near the watch area. A watch does not mean a tornado has been sighted.
Tornado Warning: A tornado has actually been sighted or indicated by radar. Residents should take shelter.
Today is also a good time to make sure your emergency kit is stocked and stored in a safe, accessible place. Have you got items such as a weather radio, extra batteries, flashlights and charged cellphone.
For more severe weather preparation information go to Extension’s Emergency Handbook. You can also download it for free from Apple’s iBooks. Make sure you have the basics stocked just in case you need them