Tornado Watch Cancelled: the risk of strong storms in North Alabama is now over

*The Tornado Watch has been cancelled. A few trees blew down ahead of the storms as the wind gusts peaked around 40 to 50 MPH (44 MPH at Muscle Shoals, 32 MPH at Huntsville International, and 51 MPH on Monte Sano). The risk of severe storms is over; however, more rain is likely this week! See the forecast page for what to expect beyond a dry, mild New Year’s Day.

*Information below this line is now dated and should not be used to make decisions*

TORNADO WATCH is in effect for many Alabama and Tennessee Counties through 7 PM:

The Storm Prediction Center outlines a SLIGHT RISK of severe storms for most of North Alabama and Southern Tennessee for Monday afternoon and evening.  Storms moving out of Mississippi enter northwestern Alabama between noon and 2 PM mainly bringing a threat of high winds (gusts over 60 miles per hour) and a lower threat of tornadoes and flash flooding.

WHAT TIME WILL IT GET HERE?

The line is already moving east of Huntsville and Decatur; the severe threat drops to zero behind it.  Ahead of it, there might still be a brief wind gust higher than 40 MPH, but there’s not much severe potential left.  Approximate arrival times:

Albertville, Arab, Guntersville – 4:15 to 4:45
Scottsboro, Stevenson – 4:30 to 5:00 PM
Fort Payne, Rainsville – 5:00 to 5:30 PM

HOW BAD WILL IT GET?

This looks like a fairly typical ‘cold season’ severe weather threat in Alabama and Tennessee: low CAPE/high shear.  That means there’s a lot of wind shear (mechanical energy) to support severe storm formation, but the fuel is limited.  In this environment we don’t need a LOT of fuel (CAPE); we just need enough to get some storms going, and they can become severe.

The wind will be strong ahead of the line regardless of the storms themselves.  Expect wind gusts as high as 40-45 miles per hour ahead of the line, but within the line it could be much higher: potentially over 60 to 70 miles per hour in small ‘bowing segments.’

Brief flash flooding is possible this afternoon because the ground is so soaked from recent rain; this may also cause some additional flooding in the next 24-48 hours on some of the already swollen rivers from last week’s rainfall.

Track heavy storms with WHNT.com’s Interactive Radar or swipe over to the radar feature on Live Alert 19!

-Jason
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