Rain, wind and storms are likely tonight. This post may become outdated as the situation rapidly changes over the next few hours. See our LIVE BLOG here on WHNT.com for the latest specific information about tonight’s severe weather threat. The broad overview is still good; however, the most updated information will be on the live blog.
What to expect: The strongest storms form where instability and wind shear (fuel and dynamics) exist; that’s clearly south of the Tennessee Valley. This round of severe weather could have a relatively high impact in the *MODERATE* and *ENHANCED* risk areas: near and south of Interstate 20.
The tornado risk is highest to the south of the Birmingham area; occasionally a storm can produce a tornado north of that “main” area where conditions are not quite as good. That’s the kind of thing we will be mindful of tonight even though there is not a watch in effect (and we don’t really expect one).
Remember – it only takes one tornado to make it a big deal for the community it impacts.
Wind and Rain: The biggest issues tonight revolve around wind and rain for most of the Tennessee Valley; the risk of a severe storms is rather low. Wind gusts in the 20-40 MPH range may topple trees because of saturated, soggy ground; that may cause some sporadic power outages.
Some minor flooding is possible as well; while this won’t be a widespread catastrophic flood (Christmas), some high water is possible in flood prone areas through early Wednesday.
The Bottom Line: The greatest threat of severe weather exists in south Alabama, Florida and Georgia through the night. While we will have some incredibly strong dynamics, there is very little fuel – or thermodynamics to produce extreme weather in north Alabama and Tennessee.
You can expect strong wind gusts, heavy rain, some lightning and hail with the stronger storms late Tuesday evening through early Wednesday. It will also be very windy Wednesday with some leftover showers and a few snow flurries as colder air moves into the region.