Tornado Watch issued for most of the Big Bend, South Georgia

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By: Charles Roop | WCTV Pinpoint Weather
April 13, 2019 - 12:23 p.m. EDT

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- A tornado watch was issued for most of the Big Bend and South Georgia as a potent squall line moves into the viewing area.

The Storm Prediction Center issued the tornado watch for places such as Tallahassee, Thomasville, Crawfordville, Bainbridge, Monticello, and Donalsonville until 4 p.m. EDT. The watch excluded cities like Valdosta, Madison, Live Oak, and Perry.

A trough of low pressure digging into the Southeast in the upper- and mid-levels of the atmosphere and a cold front at the surface are the main drivers of this system.

Parameters are sufficient for severe weather based on the weather balloon launch from the National Weather Service in Tallahassee Sunday morning.

The Pinpoint Weather Team will continue to monitor the storms as they move through the viewing area.


By: Charles Roop | WCTV Pinpoint Weather
April 13, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- A storm system that was developing over Texas Saturday morning will push eastward over the weekend bringing a threat of severe weather to the Big Bend and South Georgia Sunday.

A trough of low pressure in the mid to upper levels of the atmosphere was observed on water vapor imagery with convection developing ahead of it. Texas had multiple watches and warnings in effect Saturday morning.

The Storm Prediction Center placed parts of Texas, Arkansans, Louisiana and Mississippi under a moderate (level 4 out of ) threat of severe weather for Saturday with an enhanced risk (3 out of 5) outside of that higher threat. Meteorologists are expecting an elevated threat for damaging winds, tornadoes, and hail.

The surface low, which is developing ahead of the trough, is expected to move northeasterly during the next 24 to 48 hours, dragging a cold front along with it. A squall line will develop ahead of the front as we get into the overnight period into Sunday morning. This line is expected to move into our area Sunday.

TIMING

Futurecast (RPM model) is expecting the squall line to enter our western viewing area (Blakely south-southwest to near Marianna) late morning to early afternoon and push eastward through the afternoon. Another high-resolution model is hinting at the same time of arrival, increasing confidence in approximate timing.

The line will then likely move over locations such as Tallahassee and Thomasville mid-afternoon to early evening, and exit our eastern viewing area late evening.

INTENSITY

The SPC has kept the threat of severe weather marginal to slight across the viewing area Sunday. This is a lower threat than locations to our west on Saturday.

The surface low will move farther north of the Big Bend and South Georgia over time, limiting the easterly component of surface wind. The winds will stay more out of the south, lowering (but not eliminating) the threat of supercell thunderstorms (less turning with height). The trough will still move into the Southeast, keeping a lifting mechanism in the mid levels. But models Saturday morning has the lift decreasing through the daytime hours Sunday.

The weaker lift and less directional shear are a few of the limiting elements. Models Saturday morning differed on the availability of convective energy, which is leaving some uncertainty in the intensity forecast. That uncertainty could be because of the possible cloud cover that could impact daytime heating. Regardless, warm and very moist air with some dry air in the mid-levels will keep the strong- to severe-storm potential in the forecast.

The parameters are subject to change between Saturday and Sunday morning. Despite the lower risk, the threat is not at zero. Those in the Big Bend and South Georgia need to pay attention to the weather Sunday. Be sure to have our WCTV Pinpoint Weather app, and have the alerts enabled to ensure receipt of any watches and warnings that might be issued.