Significant Severe Weather Likely This Afternoon Through Early Friday

By Jim Stefkovich, Meteorologist, Alabama Emergency Management Agency

CLANTON – Thursday, 7:00 am February 16, 2023

The SPC risk levels and areas haven’t changed overnight, although it still could be upgraded to Moderate Risk later today.  Honestly, that is immaterial at this point and don’t get hung up whether this is an Enhanced or Moderate Risk.  There is a threat of severe weather across the entire state.

What has changed is that short range models are now showing the development of a number of supercells developing well ahead of a broken line of storms.  The line itself will likely contain supercells as well, enter the northwestern portions of the state late this afternoon and exit the southeastern portions before dawn on Friday.

The timing graphic above now has longer duration threat times to take into account storms both ahead of the line and the line itself.

Damaging straight-line winds, tornadoes, large hail and isolated flash flooding are all possible.  Within the Enhanced Risk area, EF2+ long-tracked tornadoes, baseball size hail and straight-line wind gusts of 70+ mph could occur.  There will be a weakening trend late tonight, especially south of I-85 and east of I-65.  Still, severe weather will be possible until the line of storms clears the state early Friday morning.

Much colder air will filter into Alabama on Friday.  Low temperatures early Friday morning will range from the middle 30s north to middle 50s south with high temperatures from the middle 40s north to upper 50s south.  Gusty northwest winds from 20-25 mph will also occur.   Low temperatures Saturday morning will range from the middle 20s north to lower 30s near the coast.

It is VERY IMPORTANT you have at least two methods to receive severe weather warnings, one of which does NOT include an outdoor warning siren. 

NOAA Weather Radio, making sure Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) for your cell phone is turned “on”, and other Apps from a trusted source are all options.  Why two methods?  First, outdoor warning sirens are meant for people outdoors, and they can fail.  Second, any other source can fail at times for a variety of reasons.  Don’t let a single point of failure make you miss a life-saving warning!

If you have never developed a severe weather plan or haven’t reviewed your current one in some time, go to Severe Weather | .  Be prepared before severe weather strikes.  Trying to figure out what to do in a middle of a warning is a recipe for disaster.

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