Storms move in early Sunday: Yet again this month, a marginal severe weather setup looks possible across the deep south. Let’s dive right in and talk about what we think could happen.
Sunday morning, a cold front will be approaching the area from the northwest, with a line of storms out ahead of the front.
That line of storms approaches northwest Alabama early in the morning and pushes across the state through the day. Now, the ingredients for severe storms look like they will be marginal at best on Sunday, but as we saw earlier this month, events with a marginally supportive environment for severe weather can cause big problems depending on how things evolve.
Historically, seemingly marginal setups like this one have produced some severe weather over the deep south, but not every time.
The latest CIPS Analog run, which looks at the model data and compares it to what the weather did when the pattern looked like that in the past. Based on these analogs, you could expect someone in north Alabama to see severe weather of some kind roughly 1/5 to 1/7 of the time the pattern looks like it will Sunday morning. That means the better odds are you personally don’t see severe weather on Sunday. But there is a chance. It’s a low chance but the best advice I can give you is to be prepared for bad weather, and consider it a blessing if the weather stays tame. I don’t necessarily anticipate a big event, but these kinds of setups are often boom or bust. They either do a good bit, or just bring some windy rain showers.
Another Low Cape/High Shear day: We talked about this earlier in the month, but most of our storm setups in the winter months are low CAPE/high shear, meaning there isn’t much unstable air for storms to tap in to to get strong, but there’s enough wind shear in place that if a storm were able to briefly get a stronger updraft, it would start rotating rather quickly. Sunday is going to be another one of those days.
There will barely be any unstable air (CAPE) in place, but plenty of wind shear. That means we’ll have to monitor things closely as storms move through the area.
The bottom line: Considering the storms earlier this month, I expect there will be some folks on edge out there. You shouldn’t be. I have a responsibility to let you know, that at this point, there does appear to be a low risk for severe weather Sunday morning. That risk isn’t zero, but it’s low. Odds are, at you’re house, all you see is some heavy rain, and maybe a couple of good wind gusts. But I can’t rule out some people seeing worse than that. Stay weather aware Sunday. Have Live Alert 19 on your phone. Go over your plans to get to shelter. Be prepared. You probably won’t have any weather that’s too rough, but best to be prepared, just in case.
Meteorologist Alex Puckett