A potent upper level disturbance will move across Southern Texas tonight and lead to the development of a strong low pressure area along theCentral Gulf of Mexico. This low pressure will move northeastward acrossAlabamaand into theSouthern Appalachiansby Sunday morning. Warm and moist air will be drawn northward and inland along theGulfCoastahead of this low pressure area. This will create an environment favorable for the development of strong to severe thunderstorms on Saturday afternoon into early Sunday morning.
Our computer models have come into a little better agreement today regarding the timing and progression of this storm system. However, there still is some uncertainty with respect to how much instability will be present across the region. While this complicates the forecast slightly, our confidence is increasing that there will be severe weather occurring on Saturday into Sunday morning across a good portion of the region.
The latest computer models indicate that a few strong to severe storms are now possible late Saturday afternoon as a warm frontal boundary lifts north through the region. This portion of the event still remains the most uncertain as the necessary instability may be lacking. Later Saturday evening and early Sunday morning, a squall line is expected to surge eastward across the region. Sufficient instability is anticipated to be available Saturday evening and into the overnight hours, especially across Southeast Alabama,Southwestern Georgia, and the Florida Panhandle making another round of severe weather likely. Lesser instability is anticipated to be present across the Florida Big Bend and into South Central Georgia, resulting in lower chances of severe weather late Saturday night and into Sunday morning.
* As the warm front lifts northward on early Saturday afternoon isolated tornadoes and damaging wind gusts will be possible.
* As the squall line moves through the area Saturday evening and into Sunday morning, more widespread damaging winds are anticipated. Isolated tornadoes will still be possible.
Based on the latest data, the Storm Prediction Center has kept the entire region within a Slight Risk for severe weather for Saturday into Sunday morning. The associated severe weather probabilities with this event are still relatively high in western portions of our region at 30 percent with lower values of 15 percent further to the east along the Interstate 75 corridor and into the Florida Big Bend. Of course, there still remains some uncertainty and this outlook may change as the event approaches on Saturday.
Rainfall amounts are expected to be heaviest acrossSoutheast Alabamaand into the Florida Panhandle where 2 to 3 inch totals are anticipated. Lesser amounts are expected further southeast with areas in the Florida Big Bend seeing around 1 inch of rainfall from this system.