10:45 PM UPDATE
The threat for damaging wind and tornadoes ended before it started. Flash flooding is still possible as areas of heavy rain track from west to east across East Mississippi and West Alabama. Rain will fade to an end between 4 AM and 6 AM. Thursday will be 20-25 degrees colder than Wednesday.
9:00 PM UPDATE
The Severe Thunderstorm Watch for West Alabama has been cancelled. The flash flood threat remains, but the severe weather threat is diminishing quickly.
8:45 PM UPDATE
Storms have mainly been weakening as they enter our area from the west. The atmosphere has largely stabilized, and the severe weather threat is diminishing. Heavy rain can still increase through 10 PM and fall through about 3-4 AM, but severe weather is gradually becoming less likely.
West Alabama may be the exception. A Severe Thunderstorm Watch continues until midnight for Sumter, Greene, Hale, and Pickens counties. Instability is a little higher there since the afternoon was a little warmer. We're monitoring radar trends to see if that instability is enough to keep the severe threat in place, but so far it isn't happening.
Still, a stronger storm that produces 40-45 mph wind gusts can blow down trees. The saturated ground doesn't hold the roots of the trees as well, so they topple more easily. Flash flooding is also possible. Adding up to another inch on top of the 3-6 inches of rain we got on Monday and Tuesday won't help reduce that threat. River flooding is going to become a bigger deal through this weekend.
Watch Newscenter 11 at Ten for the latest updates.
Heavy rain and thunderstorms are likely Wednesday night and Thursday morning. Some storms could be severe. The primary threat from any severe thunderstorms is damaging wind, but a tornado or two can't be ruled out.
TIMING THE STORMS
Between 6 PM and 9 PM, storms will track through Louisville, Philadelphia, Nanih Waiya, Preston and Macon.
Between 9 PM and 11 PM, storms will track through Union, Decatur, Newton, and Little Rock, and into DeKalb, Klondike, Prismatic, Bailey, Suqualena, Collinsville, Chunky and Hickory.
Between 11 PM and 1 AM, storms will track through Meridian, Marion, Lauderdale, Scooba, Enterprise, Stonewall, Geiger and Emelle.
Between midnight and 4 AM, storms will track through Quitman, Shubuta, Waynesboro, Livingston, the University of West Alabama, York, Cuba, Butler, Lisman, Demopolis, Gilbertown, Silas, Neeham, Toxey, Linden and Dixons Mill.
Storms will exit the area between 4 AM and 6 AM.
The tornado threat is fairly limited. The damaging wind threat is a bigger deal. With the ground begin saturated from the 3-6" of rainfall on Monday and Tuesday, trees will be uprooted more easily than normal. An additional half-inch to an inch of rain will fall tonight, adding to the potential for problems. Non-severe storms can blow over trees. Pay attention to the roads ahead of you.
Monitor weather updates on Newscenter 11, the WTOK Weather App, and on WTOK.com.