...Enhanced risk of damaging tornadoes in the western part of the viewing area has ended.
...Risk of severe thunderstorms with damaging winds and brief, weak tornadoes in the rest of the area has ended.
A large storm system in centered over Missouri this morning and its attendant cold front stretches southward to the Louisiana Delta area. The morning balloon launches at Tallahassee and Birmingham reveal a cap (or stable layer) about 5,000 feet above the ground. It is this cap that will keep storms from developing in our area during the daylight hours. Increasing southerly winds ahead of the front will cause the air to moisten substantially beneath the cap, so insignificant showers could organize before sunset in the Western Florida Big Bend and Southwest Georgia.
Strong lift associated with the cold front and an associated middle and upper atmospheric trough will start overspreading our area from the west this evening. The lift will cause the cap to burst and thunderstorms will develop soon thereafter. The greatest combination of vertical wind shear and instability is expected west of U.S. Highway 319. Areas near the Apalachicola and Chattahoochee Rivers will have the highest threat of tornadoes between dusk and midnight. In these areas, a strong tornado (EF2 intensity or greater) may occur because of the very strong lower tropospheric winds that will be in place. As the thunderstorms approach the the Moultrie, Thomasville, Tallahassee and Apalachicola areas, the air will not be quite as unstable and the lower tropospheric winds will ease slightly. As a result, communities along and near U.S. Highway 319 can expect thunderstorms to occur mainly after midnight, with a potential of damaging winds with the strongest cells. An isolated brief, weak tornado still cannot be ruled out. Our Eastern Big Bend communities (including Perry, Madison, Valdosta and Live Oak) will see the storms arrive in the wee hours of the morning, lasting until almost dawn. The severe threat will be lower here, but gusty winds will still be possible and residents should be aware of that threat.
The latest numerical models indicate rain showers holding on in the eastern viewing area Monday morning. Partial clearing and brisk conditions are expected to filter in starting Monday afternoon.
Stay tuned to WCTV and wctv.tv for the latest storm information later today and tonight.