By Jim Stefkovich, Meteorologist, Alabama Emergency Management Agency
CLANTON – March 19, 2018 – Unfortunately, confidence has increased concerning severe storm development and it appears that a substantial event will unfold today, with two separate waves of activity, including supercell thunderstorms. Supercells are the most violent of storms, and all modes of severe weather are possible, including a couple of strong to violent tornadoes, hail approaching baseball size, and non-tornadic wind gusts near or above 70 mph. There is little doubt that tornado watches will be issued ahead of storm development.
There are still some uncertainties about the first wave which is shown in the graphic below. The red shaded region is the most favorable areas for storms. It is still possible that severe weather will not occur, but if the expected showers become thunderstorms, the atmosphere is such that explosive supercell development would occur. If there is any good news, it’s that coverage is expected to be isolated and most will not be impacted by storms.
The second wave will be more powerful and bring the greatest risk of severe weather, with a broken line of supercells moving southeast across the state. The following graphic shows the areas likely impacted.
Now is the time to begin preparations for severe weather, not when an actual warning is issued. For more information on being prepared, go to https://www.ready.gov/severe-weather