* Temperatures approaching 70F
* A few breaks in the clouds by afternoon
* Dewpoints in the 60s
* A strong southerly wind gusting to 30 mph at times
* A 998 millibar surface low moving into Missouri
All of these conditions tend to point to the threat of a late winter severe weather threat in Alabama. But we aren’t calling for one at this time. Why?
Because indications are that we won’t have any deep convection. Just disorganized, weak storms.
Make no bones about it, the conditions are there for severe weather, including tornadoes, across Alabama Monday evening into early Tuesday. Digging in a little deeper, we find that conditions tomorrow evening over West Alabama are marginally favorable for tornadoes:
* CAPE values between 500-750 joules/kg
* 65 knots of bulk shear
* Storm Relative Helicity of 180 m2/s2 (a little low, but sufficient for tornadoes)
So should we be worried? It does not appear so, because:
* Surface winds will be out of the southwest, not southeast, which helps provide the helicity and spin
* Lapse rate (the decrease of temperature with height) will be low, around 5.6 C/km in the lowest 3km of the atmosphere
* Lack of a strong low-level jet at 850 millibars or about 5,000 feet
* Most models don’t depict deep convection being able to develop
But, as we always caution, things can always change fairly quickly, and we will be watching developments carefully. So even though we are downplaying the situation, for now, stay tuned to the Blog and your other sources of weather information in case things become more interesting.
When it comes to thunderstorms in Alabama, as we always say, expect the unexpected.
About the Author (Author Profile)
Bill Murray is the President of The Weather Factory. He is the site’s official weather historian and a weekend forecaster. He also anchors the site’s severe weather coverage. Bill Murray is the proud holder of National Weather Association Digital Seal #0001 @wxhistorian