1st Moderate Risk of the Year & Tornado Threat Today

Unfortunately Mother Nature is at it again with a severe weather and tornado threat today. The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has issued a Moderate Risk for parts of LA, MS, AL, and the FL Panhandle. Metro areas that are impacted include: New Orleans, and Baton Rouge Louisiana Mobile, Prichard, Enterprise, and Montgomery Alabama, and Hattiesburg and Jackson Mississippi and Columbus, Georgia. There is an Enhanced Risk of severe weather and tornadoes also including parts of southwestern Georgia and a Slight Risk extending into parts of Southeastern Texas.

Moderate Risk
Moderate Risk of Severe Weather including tornadoes issued by the SPC for today
Tornado Outlook
15% hatched tornado risk

Here’s a great article from WHNT News 19’s Jake Reed in Mobile Alabama explaining the meaning of the SPC Risk Categories:

The outlooks are all based on how concentrated the severe weather reports are expected to be– they have nothing to do with the expected intensity of the storms.

What the potential intensity of the storms has to do with is the specific combination of atmospheric parameters such as: wind shear, buoyancy, ascent, and a boundaries (e.g. fronts). Here’s the 00z NAM forecast sounding and Hodograph for near New Orleans, Lousianna at 7pm central, it indicates a Particularly Dangerous Situation or PDS tornado threat.

Forecast Sounding
00z NAM Forecast Sounding and Hodograph from near New Orleans, Lousianna valid for 7pm central

For an in-depth list of forecasting tools and resources, click here.
Unfortunately for those in the the Southeastern US today, the conditions look favorable for strong tornadoes and the chance of nighttime tornadoes exists today as well.

Here is the 00z NAM’s Significant Tornado Parameter for 7pm today:

Significant Tornado Parameter valid for 7pm tomorrow
Significant Tornado Parameter valid for 7pm today

Significant Tornado Parameter or STP is a composite index. A majority of violent tornadoes occur when STP > 1, in this model run, the STP is > 4

The latest SPC outlook has this ominous wording:

HIGHEST CONFIDENCE IN TORNADOES CURRENTLY EXISTS FROM PORTIONS OF
SRN LA NEWD INTO SRN AL WITH THE BULK OF THIS THREAT OCCURRING AFTER
00Z. GIVEN THE STRENGTH OF THE LOW-LEVEL FLOW…SOME POTENTIALLY
SIGNIFICANT TORNADOES ARE POSSIBLE.

GIVEN THE STRENGTH OF THE LOW-LEVEL FLOW…SOME POTENTIALLY
SIGNIFICANT TORNADOES ARE POSSIBLE

Schools in and around Baton Rouge, Louisiana and St. Tammany Parish Lousiana are closed today due to the tornado threat http://www.wbrz.com/news/schools-in-west-baton-rouge-parish-closed-tomorrow-due-to-severe-weather-risk?utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook_WBRZ_Channel_2

If you haven’t already, make sure to have your tornado sheltering plan in place! Charge your batteries on your NOAA weather radios and stay tuned to local tv/ radio stations for weather alerts.

Plan Ahead!

Remember: a Tornado Watch means conditions are favorable for tornadoes to form, Tornado Warning means a tornado is occurring and to seek shelter immediately.

Basehunters will be live-streaming from Mississippi today at http://www.severestudios.com/livechase.

Stay safe!

Lauren Forney
WAS*IS (Weather & Society Integrated Studies), NWA, VORTEX 2

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