Updates: Now two tornado watches for Alabama as severe storms move into state

 al.com  04/14/2019 04:15:45   Leigh Morgan | leigh.barnette@yahoo.com

All of Alabama will run the risk of seeing severe weather this weekend, from tonight into Sunday afternoon.

And just about everything is on the table this time, including tornadoes, large hail, damaging winds and heavy rain, according to the National Weather Service. A strong tornado is not out of the question, according to forecasters.

Tornado-warned storms were lined up on the Mississippi-Alabama border as of 11:45 p.m. Saturday.

The warnings are beginning to come in:

A tornado warning is in effect for Colbert and Franklin counties until 12:45 a.m.:

As of 11:54 p.m. the storm was located near Tremont, or 11 miles northwest of Hamilton, and was moving north at 40 mph.

Areas affected include Red Bay, Vina, Pleasant Site, Pogo, Mynot, Cedar Creek Reservoir and Atwood, among others.

A tornado warning is in effect for Sumter County until 12:45 a.m.:

As of midnight the storm was located near Aliceville and was moving northeast at 45 mph.

Locations affected include Aliceville, Gordo, Refom, Carrollton and Pickensville, among others.

Another tornado warning is in effect for Marion County until 12:30 a.m.:

As of 11:40 p.m. the storm was located near Detroit, or 12 miles west of Hamilton, and was moving northeast at 60 mph.

Locations affected include Hamilton, Weston, Pigeye, Shottsville, Byrd and Bexar.

A severe thunderstorm warning is in effect for Marion and Lamar counties in west Alabama until 12:15 a.m.:

Another severe thunderstorm warning is in effect for Franklin and Colbert counties until 12:30 a.m.:

As the clock moved later on Saturday night the weather service warned Alabamians to not go to bed unprepared:

The Storm Prediction Center continued to monitor the approaching storms and said the threat for severe weather will likely continue into the overnight hours as the storms move eastward into western Alabama. A tornado threat, wind damage and hail can be expected with the line, forecasters said:

There are now two tornado watches in effect for parts of Alabama.

The first covers parts of north and central Alabama and will be in effect until 3 a.m. Sunday:

The SPC said a few tornadoes are likely with a couple intense tornadoes possible. There could also be scattered damaging wind gusts up to 70 mph and isolated very large hail up to 2 inches in diameter.

The Alabama counties in this watch are: Bibb, Blount, Fayette, Greene, Hale, Jefferson, Lamar, Marengo, Marion, Perry, Pickens, Shelby, Sumter, Tuscaloosa, Walker and Winston in central Alabama; and Cullman, Franklin, Lawrence, Marshall and Morgan in north Alabama.

The weather service in Huntsville added several north Alabama counties to the watch as of 9:10 p.m.: Colbert, Lauderdale, Limestone and Madison:

The second watch was issued just after 9:30 p.m. and covers part of south Alabama. It will be in effect until 5 a.m. Sunday:

The Alabama counties in this watch are Baldwin, Choctaw, Clarke, Mobile, Monroe, Washington and Wilcox.

Forecasters said several tornadoes will be possible in the watch area, which also includes part of Mississippi and Louisiana. There is also the possibility of winds up to 70 mph and isolated large hail.

The weather service in Huntsville got a report of tennis ball size hail from Limestone County near Rogersville as a severe storm moved through that area recently.

Weather experts continued to urge Alabamians to have not one but several ways to get severe weather alerts -- especially overnight.

A NOAA weather radio is one option (make sure to have batteries in case the power goes out).

There are multiple smartphone apps available as well that can alert you if a warning is issued for your location.

One thing NOT to do is rely on outdoor sirens to wake you up at night. Those arent designed to be heard indoors and will be even more difficult to hear if youre asleep.

Those in mobile homes will have to be especially vigilant and have an alternate shelter at the ready should a storm threaten.

That is an inconvenience, but it may save your life: Recent reports indicate most of the victims of the EF4 tornado in Lee County last month were in mobile homes.

The storms that concern forecasters the most are expected to arrive starting late tonight and will bring the whole array of severe weather hazards with them.

The weather service expects supercell storms to continue to develop to the west in and track eastward, reaching Alabama late tonight.

Forecasters said that the atmospheric dynamics in place could allow those storms to maintain their intensity, and they could arrive in Alabama as a semi-broken line with embedded supercells.

We want to emphasize that these potential tornadoes will NOT just be quick QLCS spin-ups but more super cellular in nature, the weather service in Birmingham said in its morning forecast discussion.

The storms are expected to push through the state from west to east, exiting the state by Sunday afternoon.

Rain and storms could redevelop later Sunday afternoon when the actual cold front moves into the state, but the weather service doubted that the atmosphere could recover quickly enough to produce more severe storms. However, showers and isolated thunderstorms will be possible.

NOAAs Storm Prediction Centers latest severe weather outlook has most of the state under some sort of severe weather risk as of 8 p.m. The latest update expands an enhanced risk area farther into Alabama and widens the slight risk area.

An enhanced risk means numerous severe storms will be possible.

A slight risk means scattered severe storms will be possible. A marginal risk for isolated severe storms extends to the east of that.

The severe risk continues into Sunday. The severe weather outlook for Sunday, which begins at 7 a.m., has an enhanced risk for the northeast part of the state and a large slight risk area over most of the rest of east and central Alabama.

The cold front is forecast to pass through Alabama by Sunday afternoon.

Once the front passes the severe weather threat is over, forecasters said.

And Monday morning will be on the cool side, with lows dipping into the 40s for much of Alabama.

But the calm may not last all that long. The weather service was continuing to monitor another chance for potential severe weather by Thursday:

The Storm Prediction Center has already outlined an area that could see severe weather later next week. This is the severe weather outlook for Thursday.

The Storm Prediction Center has already outlined an area that could see severe weather later next week. This is the severe weather outlook for Thursday.

« Go back