Severe weather risk for today. (Source: SPC/NOAA)
Good morning, everyone. Today isn't (or is) a good day to be in the southeast (depending if you are a weather nut or a storm chaser). There is a very-rare high risk for severe weather in parts of Alabama and Mississippi according to the Storm Prediction Center (SPC). A low over the Midwest with an associated cold front, a sufficient low-level jet, steep lapse rate potential, a negative tilting trough, and many other factors are allowing for this rare weather setup across the deep south. Multiple tornado watches are in effect along with many tornado warnings currently in effect. Reports of possible tornado and thunderstorm wind damage are flooding my Twitter feed as I write this.
This same storms system will continue to move on into the east and will affect areas from central Florida to the mid-Atlantic states on Sunday. The SPC has issued a slight risk of severe weather for the aforementioned area. Here are some factors the SPC is laying out for the risk (with links to their definitions by meteorologist Jeff Haby):
- Southerly to Southwesterly low-level jet within the pre-frontal warm sector
- MLCAPE of 1000 to 2000 J/Kg
- Increased dynamic forcing ahead of a upper trough
- Increased wind shear environment
Severe Weather Risk for Sunday (Source: SPC/NOAA)
Among these, daytime heating will help enhance the setup as the day advances. The National Weather Service in Jacksonville also noted in their last full Area Forecast Discussion (AFD) that the southern jet stream will also strengthen tonight. As Sunday begins, multiple lifting mechanisms (cold front, upper-level divergence - which allows more air to replace the diverged air in the upper levels - smaller impulses and disturbances) will add to the potential.
We will have to wait until Sunday morning when more data comes in and forecasts solidify before determining what exactly will happen. Timing will also be key since the intensity will depend on how much daytime heating would be allowed. So much for focusing on the Physics II final exam.
There may be an update on this blog Sunday morning or as early as tonight. Keep an eye on my Twitter feed for the latest information.