Weather update – 707 pm

Tornado on US 72 near Burnsville, MS (courtesy UAH SWIRLL)


Several tornadoes have occurred over Mississippi and Alabama today.  The one above in north MS, then we have always gotten reports of severe tornado damage in Columbus, MS.  There are also reports of wind damage in parts of Lamar, Fayette, and Marion Counties in Alabama.

The initial line of storms that brought funnel clouds, wall clouds, and torrential rainfall to parts of Tuscaloosa, Walker, Jefferson, and St. Clair counties this afternoon has moved out.  The main area of storms is now moving through western and central Alabama.  Currently, there are no tornado warnings in Alabama.

The strongest storms extend from Huntsville to Decatur, through Winston County near Smith Lake, and moving into Walker County.  That Walker County storm is rotating and is moving toward Cordova and Parrish.

The instability in the atmosphere has decreased due to rainfall and sunset.  CAPE has decreased to around 500 J/kg.  But, wind shear actually increased a little bit with sunset (something we are researching at UAH), and with the man storm system approaching.  So, a few storms could still rotate, and an isolated tornado can not be ruled out this evening. 

But, the threat for tornadoes has greatly decreased and will decrease through the evening.  However, so much rain has fallen the past few days, and now with dark, flash flooding will be the biggest threat tonight.  Do not cross any roads with water over them.  It is not worth it to drown.  The governor has issued a state of emergency for the northern 1/3 of Alabama due to long-term flooding.

The whole thing will be over in Birmingham by around midnight.  Sunny and cooler weather for early week!

Dr. Tim Coleman

Twitter @timbhm

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