Tuesday Weather Blog: Severe Storms Possible Today

By: Meteorologist Ray Hawthorne Email
By: Meteorologist Ray Hawthorne Email

...Slight risk of strong to severe thunderstorms in the viewing area...

Somewhat higher chances of stronger cells in the Eastern Big Bend and South-Central Georgia this afternoon...

Water vapor satellite imagery and upper air observations continue to show a large, fast-moving trough translating eastward over the Central United States early this morning. Its attendant cold front is about to cross the lower Mississippi Valley. Increasing southerly and southwesterly winds well ahead of this front is causing dewpoints to rise quickly through the 50s, on their way to the mid and upper 60s later this morning and afternoon. This will support a moderately unstable airmass that will promote thunderstorm development. Storms in Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana late Monday evening could spread into Alabama, the western Florida Panhandle and perhaps far western Georgia Monday morning. High-resolution model guidance then suggests that either existing storms moving into the region will strengthen and/or new storms will develop in western Big Bend or southwest Georgia between 10 AM and 1 PM. The storms will likely organize into several small lines or bows with the potential of damaging wind and hail in the strongest cells. Despite a moist low-level environment, the air is not expected to completely saturate in the middle and upper part of the atmosphere. This means that 1) severe storm reports should not be widespread and 2) extensive, long-lasting heavy rain is highly unlikely. In fact, most of the short-range models forecast between 0.10 and 0.25 inches of rain in our area, but those who do receive heavier thunderstorms will have the chance of seeing more than 0.50 inches.

As the storms move eastward, they may intensify over the eastern portion of our viewing area owing to greater sunshine and favorable trajectories off the warm Gulf loop current. The strongest storms are expected to arrive in the Suwannee River Valley region between 3 and 6 PM, and this is where the greatest potential of straight-line winds and large hail will be in our viewing area.

The actual cold front is expected to arrive in the Albany, Bainbridge and Blounstown areas between 1 and 2 PM. It will be nearing the Highway 319 corridor (Tifton, Moultrie, Thomasville and Tallahassee) between 2 and 4 PM, and reach the Valdosta, Madison, Live Oak and Perry areas between 4 and 7 PM. At these times, the storm threat will end as colder, drier and more stable air arrives from the northwest.

Stay tuned to WCTV and wctv.tv for the latest storm information.

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