Focusing on Sunday: severe storms expected

Weather

Moderate Risk For Severe Storms For Parts Of the Tennessee Valley Easter Sunday

A significant threat of severe storms including hail, very strong winds and some tornadoes develops on Easter Sunday

Be prepared! Live Alert 19 and your NOAA Weather Radio give you two reliable sources of warning information in critical weather situations.

Here is the Storm Prediction Center Outlook for Easter Sunday. Keep in mind ALL of the Tennessee Valley has a chance of tornadoes Easter Sunday. The MODERATE RISK shows a little higher chance across west Alabama into Louisiana. Check back for changes through the day into the weekend.

An intense springtime storm system swirling over the Pacific Coast Thursday night moves east on Friday and Saturday.  Ahead of it, we’ll warm up and see the humidity increase around Alabama and Tennessee this weekend.

This is the kind of spring storm system that can really bring some nasty weather.  In fact, the Storm Prediction Center already outlines a large part of the South for severe weather potential on Sunday; we believe that threat includes North Alabama and Southern Tennessee as well given the trends in guidance we have seen in the past few days.

What to Expect on Easter Sunday:

Rain and thunderstorms in the early morning will actually make it cooler and more stable over North Alabama and Tennessee for the first half of the day.  Don’t let that fool you; things will change quickly by early afternoon.

This strong storm system drags warm, humid air north from the Gulf of Mexico fuels intense storms that will develop ahead of a cold front Sunday afternoon and evening.

– Tornadoes are possible
– Strong wind gusts over 60 mph are expected
– Hail larger than a quarter is possible
– Some flash flooding could occur with more than 2″ of rain on Sunday alone

The Storm Prediction Center says this about the threat:

[This environment] "will result in a very favorable environment for organized
   convection, including the potential for long-track supercells and a
   corresponding strong tornado risk. Very strong low/midlevel flow
   fields will also support widespread damaging wind potential." 

What could change the threat?

There will be some cool, dry air over North Alabama, North Georgia and Tennessee early Sunday.  This drier air will have a significant impact on the northern extent of the severe weather threat because when it rains into dry air, the air gets cooler.  Cooler air is more stable: less fuel for storms.

To be fair, there’s not a single computer model solution that indicates the cooler air wins out; however, it can happen this way sometimes.  If anything stops a major severe weather event, this will be it.

Prepare now to save time on Sunday

The best time to prepare for severe weather is days before the weather arrives — that way, you have all of your supplies together and you know where to go in the event a warning is issued for your location.

Make sure you have no less than three sources of information:

  • We will broadcast on WHNT News 19 any weather updates you will need to know, so keep the TV locked to WHNT News 19
  • In the event the power goes out and your TV is dead, use Live Alert 19 to stream WHNT News 19 on your mobile device. Think of Live Alert 19 on your phone as your “other TV”. Make sure your phone/tablet is charged well before hand, and keep extra power banks charged as backups!
  • In the event that both the TV and cellphone/data networks are down, have your NOAA weather radio programmed and ready to go with fresh batteries. Even in this digital era, the NOAA weather radio serves as a valuable back up in case the two other sources fail.

Know where to go if a warning is issued for your area:

  • Due do COVID-19, some storm shelters have altered their policies, which are announced on a county/local level. Check with your local Emergency Managers or community leaders to know what the COVID-19/Storm Shelter Policy is for your area
  • If you usually shelter with a friend or family member, realize that there may need to be extra precautions/changes that will need to be made in light of COVID-19
  • If you can shelter in place safely at your home or residence, find the lowest level of your building and go to a central room, closet or bathroom. If you have a basement, go there as your safe place.

Looking for the rest of the forecast? It’s always online at WHNT.com/Weather and in the “Daily Forecast” section on Live Alert 19!

-Jason
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