The early portion of the severe storms season has been rather quiet for our area due to an anomalous upper ridge that has set up over the area for a while.  The hedge of protection appears to be coming down and conditions look to be quite severe tomorrow night through Saturday afternoon.  It is likely that the severe weather will not impact the area until Saturday, but conditions are becoming more likely for significant severe weather to be possible in the region.  At the present time the SPC has the area outlooked for a slight risk of severe weather, but the categorical numbers supporting that risk are at the max over our area.  It would not surprise me at all to see the area moved to a moderate risk of severe weather by as early as tomorrow’s first set of new risk discussions.  Here is the current thinking from the SPC for Saturday…

SPC Text Data…

 …CENTRAL GULF COAST STATES/MID SOUTH TO THE SRN APPALACHIANS…
   SIGNIFICANT SEVERE WEATHER EVENT IS EXPECTED THIS PERIOD…WITHIN AN
   AREA ROUGHLY BOUNDED BY THE MS RIVER ON THE W…THE OH VALLEY ON THE
   N…AND THE APPALACHIANS ON THE E.  WITHIN THIS AREA…A
   MOIST/DESTABILIZING AIRMASS COMBINED WITH STRONG WIND FIELD
   SPREADING ACROSS THIS REGION SUGGEST A LARGE AREA OF SEVERE
   POTENTIAL…INCLUDING HAIL…DAMAGING WINDS…AND SEVERAL TORNADOES.
  
   WITH ACTIVE CONVECTION FORECAST DURING THE PRIOR FORECAST PERIOD…A
   SOMEWHAT COMPLEX SCENARIO WILL LIKELY EXIST DURING THE FIRST HALF OF
   THIS PERIOD.  HAVING SAID THAT…ATTM IT APPEARS THAT SEVERE THREAT
   WILL LIKELY INCREASE THROUGH THE MORNING INVOF THE MS/TN
   VALLEYS…AND THEN CONTINUE INTO THE AFTERNOON AND EVENING AS
   SEVERAL WAVES OF SEVERE STORMS WILL LIKELY OCCUR IN CONJUNCTION WITH
   SMALL-SCALE MID-LEVEL FEATURES EMBEDDED WITHIN FAST/CYCLONIC SWLYS
   ALOFT. 
  
   WITH SLY LOW-LEVEL FLOW AHEAD OF THE ADVANCING FRONT BENEATH RAPIDLY
   VEERING/INCREASING FLOW WITH HEIGHT…BOTH LOW-LEVEL AND DEEP-LAYER
   SHEAR WILL SUPPORT ROBUST/POTENTIALLY-TORNADIC SUPERCELLS…AIDED BY
   MID 60S TO NEAR 70 SURFACE DEWPOINTS SPREADING NWD ACROSS THIS
   REGION.  WITH TIME…THE OVERALL THREAT AREA WILL SHIFT EWD…AND
   WHILE A SLOW DECREASE IN SEVERE THREAT IS EXPECTED OVER NRN PORTIONS
   OF THE AREA INTO THE OH VALLEY…SUBSTANTIAL SEVERE POTENTIAL MAY
   LINGER WELL INTO THE OVERNIGHT HOURS ACROSS PARTS OF TN AND AL…AND
   EVENTUALLY WRN GA AND THE WRN FL PANHANDLE

From the NWS office in Jackson and Birmingham…

Jackson: 

THE SEVERE WEATHER OUTBREAK WILL CONTINUE INTO FRIDAY NIGHT AND
SATURDAY…WITH THE CONTINUING POTENTIAL FOR STRONG AND LONG-TRACK
TORNADOES…HAIL TO THE SIZE OF GOLF BALLS OR LARGER…AND DESTRUCTIVE
STRAIGHT-LINE WINDS OF AT LEAST 80 MPH FROM THE STRONGEST
THUNDERSTORMS.

AFTER 9 PM FRIDAY NIGHT…THE COVERAGE OF SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS COULD
DECREASE BEFORE RAMPING UP PRIOR TO SUNRISE. SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS
WILL BECOME NUMEROUS DURING THE DAY SATURDAY. ALSO…A DAMAGING
SQUALL LINE IS EXPECTED TO SWEEP ACROSS THE OUTLOOK AREA ON SATURDAY.

THUNDERSTORMS WILL ALSO HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO PRODUCE VERY HEAVY
RAINFALL. WHERE THUNDERSTORMS MOVE REPEATEDLY OVER THE SAME
LOCATIONS…TOTAL RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF AT LEAST 2 TO 4 INCHES COULD
RESULT CAUSING FLASH FLOODING…ESPECIALLY SATURDAY.

Birmingham: 

A DEVELOPING STRONG STORM SYSTEM WILL IMPACT CENTRAL ALABAMA AS
EARLY AS FRIDAY EVENING…CONTINUING THROUGH SATURDAY NIGHT.

A FEW STRONG STORMS WILL BE POSSIBLE LATE FRIDAY…MAINLY WEST OF
INTERSTATE 65 AFTER 4 PM. THE MAIN THREAT FROM THESE STORMS WILL BE
SMALL HAIL AND WIND GUSTS UP TO 50 MPH.

SATURDAY MORNING INTO SATURDAY NIGHT….ALL MODES OF SEVERE WEATHER
WILL BE POSSIBLE…INCLUDING TORNADOES…DAMAGING WIND…LARGE
HAIL…AND LOCALIZED FLOODING. ALTHOUGH ISOLATED SEVERE STORMS WILL
BE POSSIBLE BY 9 AM SATURDAY MORNING IN WESTERN ALABAMA…THE
GREATEST RISK APPEARS TO BE SATURDAY AFTERNOON INTO SATURDAY EVENING
ACROSS ALL OF CENTRAL ALABAMA. ALL INTERESTS IN CENTRAL ALABAMA
SHOULD MONITOR THE LATEST FORECAST CONCERNING THIS POTENTIALLY
DANGEROUS WEATHER SYSTEM.

BREEZY CONDITIONS CAN BE EXPECTED AHEAD OF THE FRONT SATURDAY AND
BEHIND THE COLD FRONT SUNDAY. SUSTAINED WINDS WILL BE BETWEEN 10 AND
20 MPH.

The glaring message is that all modes of severe weather are possible and we should be ready to take action if the threat grows.