Today marks the 6 year anniversary of the historic super outbreak on April 27th 2011 . A day that forever changed thousands of people . A day when 218 tornadoes were recorded setting the record for most tornadoes in a single day . Deaths were reported in Mississippi, Alabama , Tennessee, Georgia and Virgina . 317 people were killed on April 27th 2011 making it the single deadliest tornado related day since 1925, 243 of those deaths occurred in Alabama alone . Destruction was spread far and wide and to this day the landscape across the southeast remains scarred from that day.
There were stories of heartache , stories of heroism and stories of complete strangers giving the clothes off their backs to people who lost everything . Communities pulled together in the days and weeks following the outbreak . Volunteers gathered by the thousands to help in the aftermath.
There were so many incredible survival stories across the southeast that day. Some families were completely trapped after their house crumbled ontop of them. Survivors were being pulled from the rubble hours and hours after the storms passed . For me personally I remember grabbing my wife , a few sofa cushions , the dogs and running into the bathroom to cover take cover . We were lucky as the tornado passed a quarter mile south of our house but I will never forget the sounds from outside as we could hear the tornado and hear debris pelting our roof. We were very lucky , others were not.
April 27th 2011 is Day the Southeast will never forget . The experts say we won’t see another outbreak of that magnitude in our lifetime. Regardless , its important to remember as we look back on this day that it does not take an EF4 or EF5 tornado to cause death and destruction. In the last 6 years society has become complacent to severe weather threats as they are sometimes described as ” not as bad as April 27th 2011″ . Please remember that all severe weather threats are dangerous. Don’t ignore a warning because it’s ” just a severe thunderstorm warning” Severe thunderstorms kill people every single year . Don’t become complacent to a ” slight risk ” of a ” brief ” tornado as that brief tornado regardless of strength could end up being your April 27th 2011. Have a safety plan , PRACTICE your safety plan and make sure everyone in your household knows what to do and where to go.
We’ve learned a lot in the years since April 27th 2011. We’ve learned from tragedy, we’ve learned from mistakes and we’ve learned from each other. It’s important that we keep learning from that day , it’s important that we keep moving forward and it’s extremely important that we always stop to reflect about the events of that day . Buts it’s just as important not to fear the next storm and to make sure your plan is in place in case one day you experience your own April 27th.
A fairly high severe weather threat today and tonight especially across Arkansas , Louisiana and Mississippi. That is where the best severe weather ingredients will be . Currently we have ongoing severe storms in western Arkansas
This is where the highest tornado risk will be today. Southern Arkansas looks to be the hotspot in regards to the greatest tornado risk . The storm prediction center upgraded southern Arkansas to a moderate risk and also expanded the slight risk a little further east extending into Alabama
The general thinking is a few supercell thunderstorms capable of producing tornadoes will form in that general area before forming into a long squal line. The threat later tonight becomes more of a large hail and damaging wind threat for Mississippi and Alabama. The tornado threat isn’t zero in those areas but it’s much lower vs areas off to the west where the best cape values are. Instability remains a question mark for Mississippi and Alabama . Most guidance brings cape values in the 1000-1500 j/kg range for Mississippi and Alabama. If those values are underdone, the risk could go up a little .
Bottom line is , there is an increasing severe weather threat for the western parts of the southeast today and tonight . The threat slides east tonight and by tomorrow the severe threat drops off greatly
It’s been a warm week across the southeast this week and that looks to continue through tomorrow . Temperatures in many locations are running 5-10 degrees above normal . But, brief Relief is on the way.
An approaching front will bring a line of showers and thunderstorms to western parts of the southeast tonight and tomorrow . While the severe weather threat isn’t zero it remains fairly low with the greatest risks coming over central Mississippi in the form of large hail and damaging winds . As the system slides to the east on Saturday night it will slow down and attempt to cutoff from the main flow . This will bring enhanced rain chances to the Carolinas . This is very welcomed news as many places remain well below the average rain totals for this time of year. The system slides east late Sunday into Monday morning bringing much cooler air to the southeast. Here is the 00z Euro modeled rainfall output for the Carolinas. We believe this is overdone but it gives you an idea as to where the heaviest rain could be this weekend. Image from wxbell.com
After this system passes and the brief cool down on Monday we warm up again later next week and will be watching yet another system approaching from the west as we head into next weekend
An active and dangerous weather day is less than 24 hours away for a large portion of the southeast including Mississippi, Alabama , Georgia and the Carolinas. There are still many questions regarding tomorrow’s threat many of which cannot be answered until tomorrow morning at the earliest . Early today SPC released its updated day 2 outlook and it expanded the enhanced risks and the moderate risks. There are some high probabilities within this outlook as well
The moderate risk is very expansive and the Storm Prediction Center even hinted that they might have to upgrade areas further north towards Tennessee. Based on everything we’ve looked at this afternoon it appears they will most likely pull the moderate risk even further to the west and northwest sometime tonight . We also believe that tomorrow there will no doubt be a high risk issued especially around from SE Alabama to SW Georgia area.
Models today kept inching higher severe parameters further west to include parts of western Alabama . They are also starting to show development a little further west towards the Mississippi / Alabama border . Below is the 3k 18z NAM showing individual cells forming along the dry line
If early development occurs, the risk for a larger threat area increases as well. If it’s later development , the storms might not get cranking until central or eastern Alabama. So as I said before there are still many questions.
We will have a round of showers and storms early tomorrow morning between 4-8 am thanks to the warm front lifting north from the gulf coast . There is the threat some of these could be severe as well with large hail and damaging winds. But it’s the afternoon storms that we are most worried about. Once the warm front lifts north the atmosphere will become a powder keg . Here is the projected cape values tomorrow afternoon
Add to that extremely high dew points and high helicity values and the atmosphere would be primed for rotating storms capable of producing large tornadoes.
This is a very serious weather situation and you should prepare for it no later than tonight. Make sure you review your Severe Weather safety plan. Make sure you have a NOAA weather radio or a reliable way to recieve warning information . Make sure you have flashlights and batteries as well.
There is no reason to panic, we deal with severe weather outbreaks every year in the Deep South. But please know your course of action if you should be placed under a severe thunderstorm warning or a tornado warning . Not everyone will be impacted by severe storms tomorrow . But the risk is high and it’s better to be safe than sorry . Look for more updates here on the blog or you can follow the latest at Southernwx.com , Southernwx on facebook and @southern_wx on Twitter .
Ongoing severe weather across Texas , Louisiana, and Arkansas will gradually slide eastward tonight into Mississippi forming into squall line . But before it does that the severe threat this afternoon in those areas is extremely high. SPC went with a rare high risk for those areas this afternoon into tonight
Numerous showers and storms have formed in that area already and some are already severe
A squall line slides east tonight and will be approaching the Mississippi \ Alabama boarder by sunrise . The line will slide east during day with the greatest severe threat from i20 south . The line will move into western Georgia tomorrow afternoon before slowly weakening in eastern Georgia .
The biggest threats tomorrow will come from large hail and damaging winds however, the tornado threat is higher with this system vs the previous systems we’ve had over the last few weeks . SPC outlines an enhanced risk for tomorrow and now even includes a moderate risk where the biggest tornado threat will be .
Stay Weather aware tonight and tomorrow across the southeast. Have a safety plan in place , a NOAA weather radio or another reliable resource to receive warning information . We will have frequent updates over the next 24 hours
We are still watching for the possibility of a few severe storms later this afternoon . In fact, there are a couple of storms over south Alabama that went severe for a brief period already. The cluster of showers and storms that moved through Louisiana and southern Mississippi this morning is now across southern Alabama . They are helping to limit the severe threat later this evening but keeping the atmosphere in check somewhat .
SPC maintained a slight risk across a large area of the southeast in their latest update
We will start looking back towards the Mississippi River as the cold front is now approaching. Showers and storms are staring to form and those are the storms we will be watching later this evening into tonight.
The severe weather threat has diminished some over the last few hours thanks to storms along the gulf coast that are blocking the moisture return and thanks to some drier air that’s been mixing down lowering dew points . While the threat has diminished some, do not let your guard down . Stay Weather aware throughout the day and we will have plenty of updates . The new SPC day 1 outlook
Quick update on today’s severe weather threat . First , the good news is SPC removed the moderate threat they had in place over northern Mississippi and western Tennessee . Here is the new day one outlook .
One thing we are watching this morning are the thunderstorms that are ongoing across southern Mississippi. It will be interesting to watch these storm over the next few hours as they move across the gulf coast. As we discussed yesterday, they could act to limit the overall threat by cutting off the moisture return
However , if they die off and the moisture return is uninterrupted the environment will become ripe for severe storms later on the evening . Here is the 06z 3k NAM showing a line of strong to severe storms later tonight
Make sure you have a way to recieve warnings later today and always remember to stay Weather aware !!!!
An extremely active severe weather day is shaping up for tomorrow across the southeast . In fact, the threat begins today across parts of Louisiana and Arkansas and slowly slides east tomorrow during the day then impacts the eastern areas of the southeast during the early morning hours on Friday .Here is the latest SPC day 2 outlook
All modes of severe weather will be possible including tornadoes , large hail and damaging winds . The highest tornado risk will be over northern Mississippi and western Tennessee. Thanks to fairly steep lapse rates and cold air aloft large hail will yet again be common with the storms
One thing we will be watching early tomorrow morning is a possible complex of thunderstorms along the gulf coast which could act to limit moisture return across northern Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. IF that complex does cut the return flow off, the severe threat would be limited somewhat . If it’s not there or further off the coast the severe threat will be higher as good moisture return would help fuel the storms. I circled the possible complex on the image below
Again, tomorrow looks like a very busy day across the southeast. Much will depend on the possible storms across the gulf coast . If moisture return is plentiful tornadoes , hail and damaging winds will all be possible. We will have frequent updates over the next 24 hours
One system down and one fast on its heels . Welcome to spring in the southeast . The previous two weeks have been extremely active across the region and that looks to continue . Our next storm system will be approaching the region Wednesday into Thursday . The greatest chance of severe storms tomorrow will be across Arkansas , and Louisiana
The biggest threats will come from damaging winds and very large hail. Like the previous two system there will be very cold air aloft that will help produce very large hail. The storms will slowly slide off to the east tomorrow afternoon into tomorrow night .
Thursday the threat continues sliding off to the east . Here is SPCs latest day 3 outlook. Again we see an enhanced risk over western Tennessee and northern Mississippi
Similar to tomorrow , the biggest threats on Thursday will come from gusty winds and very large hail. There is also a a chance of tornadoes both days however that threat remains fairly low and like the past few days IF a tornado does form it will be rather short lived. One thing we will be watching for Thursday is to see if thunderstorms along the gulf coast choke off the best moisture return helping to limit the severe threat some .
Lots to watch for over the next few days and we will have frequent updates . As always, make sure you have a reliable source for receiving watches and warnings . Stay Weather aware!!