First Alert: Severe weather possible Thursday for the Pine Belt

First Alert: Severe weather possible Thursday for the Pine Belt
The Storm Prediction Center has the Pine Belt under a slight risk for severe weather on Thursday. (Source: WDAM)

PINE BELT (WDAM) - The Storm Prediction Center has the Pine Belt under a slight risk for severe weather on Thursday. As an area of low pressure moves by to our north, there will be enough 'umph' along the cold front for thunderstorms, and possibly severe weather, to occur.

Depending on how the storms develop and the day evolves, there could be an increased threat for hail and tornadoes. Because of the threat for severe weather, the First Alert Weather Team has designated Thursday as a First Alert Weather Day.

What to expect:

Thursday will start out mild and humid with a breezy southeast wind. Temperatures will heat up to around 80 degrees by lunch time. Into the afternoon, storms will move through the area from southwest to northeast. There is a chance here, given the atmospheric setup, to see organized thunderstorms and severe weather develop.

Threats:

The computer model data continues to suggest this is mainly a heavy rain and wind event, with straight-line winds up to 70 mph possible and up to 1.5 inches of rain. Unfortunately, tornadoes will also be possible. The overall threat for tornadoes will be dictated by how the storms develop. If the storms are in a line, the tornado threat is lower, if the storms are isolated, the tornado threat will be higher.

One concern is that the atmosphere will be capable of supporting long-track and devastating tornadoes. Right now, the question is will it be able to produce those types of tornadoes in our area.

Localized flooding may become a concern, too, as rainfall rates will be quite high in some of the intense storms.

Timing:

Unlike the last few events, this one will happen during the daylight hours. The timeline is between 3 p.m. and 11 p.m.

The timeline for this round of severe weather is between 3 p.m. and 11 p.m.
The timeline for this round of severe weather is between 3 p.m. and 11 p.m.

Unknowns:

The big question is when does the handful of supercells in Louisiana congeal into a line of storms. That will really dictate just how severe our weather gets. If the line remains very broken and there are discrete, lone storms moving into our area instead of a line, that may increase the threat for severe weather. While if the storms are all clustered together in a messy line, that would decrease the risk.

And we still can't know exactly where the strongest storms will be.

More Info

For more scientific information on this - and other - forecasts, you can get extra details and a complete scientific breakdown over on Nick's Blog.

Preparations:

Have your NOAA Weather Radio programmed with fully-charged batteries available for it. If you must travel, make sure to check the weather conditions, watches, warnings and advisories before venturing out the door. Review your Severe Weather Plan and know what you would do if a severe storm or tornado was near you. If you don't feel comfortable riding out a storm where you live, make a plan regarding when you would leave your home and where you would go. Also, download the WDAM Weather App so, if the power goes out, you still have access to live, streaming coverage of any updates about the weather.

The WDAM First Alert Weather App:

Take the same tools the WDAM First Alert Weather team uses with you anywhere you go. Download the WDAM First Alert Weather app today for real-time interactive radar, location-based severe weather alerts and a constantly updated forecast for wherever you are.

Plan your day with an hour-by-hour forecast tailored for home, work or anywhere on-the-go. Our WDAM First Alert Weather app can tell you if a storm near you has hail, strong winds or rotation.

Here are some more features of the WDAM First Alert Weather app:

· Storm Tracks: See at a glance where a storm is and where it is headed

· Multiple Alerts: Turn on alerts for tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, floods, tropical storms/hurricanes, winter storms and more

· Live severe weather coverage: Watch our live stream for continuously updated information when severe weather strikes

· Updated forecasts from the {weather team brand} forecast center

· Weather pictures and video sent by people who live near you

· A constantly updated 10-day forecast, so your weekend is always in view

The WDAM First Alert Weather App is free in the Android and Apple app stores, part of the WDAM First Alert commitment to help keep you safe.

Apple users can download the app here. Android users can download the app here.

If your home or community is damaged in the storms, contact your county’s Emergency Management Agency here.

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