First Alert: Easter Sunday may feature severe weather for Pine Belt

First Alert: Easter Sunday may feature severe weather for Pine Belt
As a cold front sweeps through the area showers and storms will start as early as Saturday night and last through Sunday afternoon or evening. (Source: WDAM)

PINE BELT (WDAM) - The Storm Prediction Center continues to highlight a portion of our area with an Enhanced Risk for severe weather on Easter Sunday. As a cold front sweeps through the area showers and storms will start as early as Saturday night and last through Sunday afternoon or evening. It will likely come in two rounds. A first round Saturday evening and overnight, then a second round Sunday afternoon.

What to expect:

A warm front will pass through the area Saturday night with a chance for some storms, and these may be pretty loud, but at this point look like they should remain below severe limits. But the air that will move in behind those storms will be warmer and very humid. By Easter Sunday, the warm humid air will continue to get pumped into the area s showers and storms develop across the area by midday. These storms may linger around through the evening hours as a cold front move through the area.

Threats:

As the first wave of storms move through on Saturday night and into early Sunday morning, the main concern will be for heavy rain, frequent lightning and hail. While this part of the forecast may still change, it looks like severe weather is not as likely during this time.

Sunday the main concern will be heavy rain, frequent lightning, wind gusts up to 70 mph, hail up to the size of half dollars and a tornado or two. Given the overall setup, the data suggest up to EF-3 tornadoes will be possible.

Timing:

The first round will be Saturday night between 7 p.m. and 3 a.m. Sunday morning. The next round will be between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Sunday.

Unknowns:

Right now the question is really about the overall storm system track and where the area of low pressure near the surface develops. The further north, away from us, the lower the overall threat for the Pine Belt will be. And until the data can come into better agreement, that is still one of the unknowns.

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.

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