First Alert: Severe weather possible late Saturday night

First Alert: Severe weather possible late Saturday night
Because of the threat for severe weather, the First Alert Weather Team has designated Saturday as a First Alert Weather Day. (Photo source: WDAM)

PINE BELT, MS (WDAM) - The Storm Prediction Center has continued the Slight Risk for severe weather for the Pine Belt for Saturday and into early Sunday morning. That is a two-out-of-five on the one-to-five scale where five is the highest risk for severe weather. Model data is coming into better agreement that organized severe weather will be possible for our area.

This setup isn’t as messy as the last round of severe weather and should be a bit better organized. The overall threat for severe weather may also increase in the coming 18 to 24 hours, so please stay tuned to the forecast.

What to expect:

Wind from the southeast will pick up during the day on Saturday, pooling warm and moist Gulf of Mexico air in the region. There may be a few showers and drizzle in the morning under a mostly cloudy sky. For the Pine Belt, it looks like there may be enough of a lid on the atmosphere to hold thunderstorms down until after 9 p.m. on Saturday night. As a cold front approaches it will open the door for showers and storms to start in the evening and continue into the overnight hours and into Sunday morning.

Once the front passes through early Sunday morning the threat should cease.

Threats:

The computer model data continues to suggest this is a heavy rain and wind event. With straight-line wind up to 70 mph possible and up to 1.5 inches of rain. Unfortunately, tornadoes will also be possible too. Since the storms will be moving through the area as a broken line, there may enough space within the line, as well as upper-level wind support, to have rotating updrafts and embedded supercells.

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.

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

Timing:

Regular rain may be hit and miss through the afternoon, but the threat for severe weather for the Pine belt will be between 9 p.m. Saturday night and 6 a.m. on Sunday morning.

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 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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