As I write this about 6:15 AM Monday morning, showers and thunderstorms are ongoing over the Southern part of Alabama and Mississippi and the Florida Panhandle. I'll break down what to expect and when below.
THIS MORNING: A warm front is stationed along the Gulf Coast this morning, and that is providing the fuel for the storms we are seeing. There have been some pretty strong storms along the coast with large hail and very gusty winds. Some of them are rotating as well, but there is not a big tornado threat with the storms this morning. They are moving to the Northeast and we have seen some pretty heavy rain and thunderstorms over Jones and Wayne Counties. There is also some light to moderate rain falling along I-20 over Newton and Lauderdale Counties. This complex of storms will continue moving through the area this morning, so you will want the rain jacket or umbrella as you head out and about this morning.
TODAY: After this initial round of showers and thunderstorms moves out, I expect us to see a break from the rain beginning through late morning lasting through early afternoon. The warm front looks like it will move over us later this afternoon, bringing warm and moist Gulf air that will help to destabilize our atmosphere ahead of the cold front currently over Central Texas.
THIS AFTERNOON/NIGHT: The Storm Prediction Center does have pretty much the whole viewing area under a "Slight" Risk of severe weather for this afternoon through tonight. The unstable air from the warm front will provide energy for the storms associated with the cold front when they come through. Right now, it's not clear exactly what type of storm mode to expect. If individual storm cells form ahead of the cold front, that will mean more of a tornado and hail risk. If all of the storms merge into a line, we'll see a damaging straight line wind risk, along with the possibility of a few tornadoes. We'll just have to wait and see how they start firing up. Expect the storms to start this afternoon and last through about 10:00 PM tonight.
HOW TO PREPARE: Make sure you have a way to receive severe weather information and warnings. The best way to do that is to have a NOAA Weather Radio or a location-based smartphone app. Do not rely on outdoor sirens. Go about your day, and if you go under a warning, make sure to tune in to Newscenter 11 on TV and the web for the latest.
I think the greatest severe risk will be from the coast up to Highway 84, but we will have to see just how far inland the warm front makes it. Where we see the warmest temperatures and highest dewpoints will dictate where the greatest risk of severe weather is.
Make sure to stay tuned for updates today!