Severe storms, tornado expected in Alabama on Thursday

A tree blocks a roadway after it fell in high winds during a winter storm in West Sacramento, California, US January 8, 2023. — Reuters

A forecast has been issued on Thursday by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Storm Prediction Center on Thursday about severe isolated storms and tornado expected in Alabama.

The centre noted that the risk level 1 is out of 5 — which is a marginal — issued for coastal Alabama today, and then a large part of the state on Thursday.

According to National Weather Service, a Level 1 risk means that isolated severe storms will be possible. Damaging straight-line winds and a tornado will be possible with the strongest storms.

Storms will likely start from early Thursday morning in Southwest Alabama. Storms in Central Alabama could start at noon and is to likely persist into the evening hours.

The national weather service will be constantly observing the low-pressure system moving toward Alabama from the Gulf of Mexico. The same system sparked speculations about organising into a “tropical entity”, but has been later on ruled out on Wednesday.

Nevertheless, the system could substantially generate waves up to 5 to 7 feet high “a high risk of rip currents along Alabama’s coastal areas as well as the northwest Florida Panhandle.”

According to NOAA, rip currents are powerful, narrow channels of fast-moving water that are prevalent along the East, Gulf, and West coasts of the US, as well as along the shores of the Great Lakes. Moving at speeds of up to eight feet per second, rip currents can move faster than an Olympic swimmer.

The system moving toward Alabama is likely to cause storms and rains in the state which could start tonight starting late tonight into Thursday morning in south Alabama and progressing northward through the day, as per the forecast.

The weather service said, “There is expected to be just enough wind shear and instability over south and parts of eastern Alabama to produce isolated strong storms.”

It also added: “Rain chances for Alabama — especially eastern Alabama — could linger into the day on Friday as the low-pressure system tracks off to the north and east of the state.”

The forecasters were of the view that looks for rain and storm chances to climb again on Saturday as another system approaches Alabama from the west.

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