SEVERE THREAT TODAY & TONIGHT – 2 Rounds Possible – Special Sunday Video



5pm Update:   Good news: BMX cancels Tornado Watch for  Autauga, Chilton, Dallas counties.  It continues for Elmore, Coosa, Tallapoosa till 7 #alwx


TORNADO WATCH now covers west, and a part of central AL. until 7PM.

Please read previous post below and watch the Special Video for more details.


..Severe Weather Threat Today & Tonight, through early Monday…  Our severe weather scenario  has just gotten a little more complicated.  Two rounds of severe weather may affect the state, with the first round possibly beginning in the west counties early this afternoon.  A second round begins tonight, in through the overnight hours, possibly into early Monday. Details are still emerging, but on this video I will walk you through what we know, with the latest from the Storm Prediction Center,  and I’ll show you future radar. I hope you have a moment or two to watch this important update.  Stay weather aware today & tonight.

Updated outlook from SPC (8am edition) has upgraded west central and SW Alabama to an Enhanced risk.  The Slight Risk area has also been bumped several miles eastward into east Alabama.  All of the state is under a severe risk today & tonight.

Here’s a few Future Radar snapshots for this afternoon & tonight.

Future Radar hi res loop which runs through late tonight.


Stay weather aware!  Make sure you have our weather app downloaded.  It will alert you to watches and warnings for your area.  Make sure your weather radio is in the alert mode so that it can wake you up when there are watches and warnings at night.  Follow me on Twitter for frequent updates:  @Rich4caster.





Hot/Windy Saturday –Severe Threat Sunday Night

It will feel like summer on this last day of April.  Like Friday, our high will be near 90°, and that’s not all.  Early this morning the dewpoint has been near 70.  That’s a summertime level.  That means it will be humid.  But, there will be a breeze.  In fact, a wind advisory is in effect.  By later today & this afternoon, south winds 15 to 25 mph, gusting as high as 30.  Like a summer day, isolated pop up thundershowers can’t be ruled out.  They will be random, about 20% coverage.  Most will stay dry, and the showers will fade away after sunset.  Low tonight near 70.

SUNDAY:  If you have plans for Sunday & Sunday evening, look for a partly sunny, breezy day, with a high in the upper 80’s.  Can’t rule out a stray afternoon or evening t-storm, but all the “big ticket” weather holds off until late Sunday night.

SEVERE THREAT SUNDAY NIGHT:  Another strong frontal system will approach the state late Sunday night.  A line of strong thunderstorms will move through in the overnight hours.  Some of the storms could be severe.  Although damaging wind gusts will be the main threat, brief tornadoes can’t be ruled out.  The global models have now come together on the timing issue.  Here’s late Sunday night on the GFS and Euro model.  (1AM Monday)


The Storm Prediction Center has a Slight Severe Risk covering the western half of the state, generally west of I-65.  The rest of the area is under a Marginal Severe Risk through 7AM Monday morning.  Again, damaging wind gusts are the central threat, but like our last storm system, brief tornadoes can’t be ruled out.  We had 4 weak tornadoes touchdown in east and SE Alabama Thursday morning.  Make sure you have our weather app downloaded, and please allow push notifications for watches & warnings.  Make sure you weather radio is in the alert position so that it can wake you and alert you, too.

Here’s a few future radar snapshots of the overnight hours Sunday night into Monday morning.  Don’t take these literally.  It’s just one model’s best “guess”.



HOW MUCH RAIN?:  With moderate drought now covering much of east and SE Alabama, the raindrops from this next system will be greatly appreciated.  Take a look at the map below.  Many of us could see more than an inch.  This is a blend of several models.


There will be more drama and craziness later next week, but for now, we’ll just focus on this first storm system.  I will prepare a Special Sunday Video for you tomorrow morning, updating the severe weather threat.


Have a great day.  Bailey and I will be out at Bark in the Park later for the Prattville / Autauga county Humane Society at Cooter’s Pond Park.  We hope to see you there!  Come by and say hi to Bailey and me.  Dress for a very warm day.


In Between Storms For Now – Severe Threat Sunday PM – Friday Video

Happy Friday! We are in between storm systems for a couple of days. But, another severe weather threat is looming for late Sunday / Sunday night.  And, all indications are, some big ticket weather may be in our future next week.  New drought monitor map, is out, as we anticipate what could be some decent rain ahead.  Are ready for a couple of hot & humid days today & tomorrow?  I have an action packed Friday morning personal weather briefing for you.


All eyes on the next significant storm system to affect by late Sunday, Sunday night, through Monday morning.  It will be producing a lot of severe weather today and tomorrow out in the nation’s mid-section.  Timing of this system is about 6 hours slower on the Euro model.

The Storm Prediction Center already has almost all of the state in a Severe Weather Risk Sunday night.  The strong risk will be over the western half of the state.  It is very likely the risk area and risk levels will be adjusted as we get closer to this event.


We could see some beneficial rainfall from this next storm system.  Here’s just one model (The GFS) estimate at possible rainfall from this Sunday night/Monday system.

Hopefully that will help put a dent in our growing drought.  A new Drought Monitor Map came out yesterday, showing much of eastern and southeast Alabama in a moderate drought.

Wild ride next 10 days, according to the Euro model.  2 significant storm systems, followed by a sharp drop in temperatures.


No video tomorrow, but there will be a blog update on Saturday morning, and a Special Sunday Video is planned, too.  Have a great weekend!  Bailey and I hope to see you at Bark in the Park tomorrow at Cooter’s Pond Park.


Remembering The Super Tornado Outbreak – April 27, 2011

It was a day in weather history that simply can’t be compared to any other day.  In fact, it was our nation’s biggest Tornado Super Outbreak of all time.  Unfortunately, Alabama was  Ground Zero.  By far, the hardest hit state – with 62 tornadoes and 252 deaths.  Nationally, on that day, there were 218 tornadoes and 317 deaths.  Even surpassing 1974, the previous benchmark.

But, it’s not just the number of tornadoes.  It’s the prolific number of violent tornadoes.  On that day, there was an unprecedented 4 EF-5’s.  An EF-5 is very rare indeed.   There were 11 EF-4’s, and 19 EF-3’s.  That’s more “significant” tornadoes than any other day in history.

Tornado Tracks on April 27, 2011


Alabama Tornado Tracks April 27, 2011

It’s still tough for me to try to realize how 252 people could have died in this modern day and age.  We knew several days in advance it was going to be bad.  The severe weather parameters were off the scale.  All the right ingredients came together at exactly the right moment.  Supercell thunderstorms were numerous.  Each began to rotate, and almost off them produced tornadoes.  Some supercells produced numerous tornadoes.  One supercell stands above all others.  It formed in eastern Ms at 2:40PM and dissipated 8 hours later in western North Carolina, dropping multiple tornadoes along the way.

One of the tornadoes it produced was the famous Tuscaloosa-Birmingham tornado, which was on the ground for 80+ miles, killed 65 and injured 1500+.  It is the longest and deadliest tornado in Alabama’s history.  I will never forget narrating this tornado LIVE during the 5:00 news.  It was surreal moment in my career, because I knew there were so many people about to die.

Closer to home here in central Alabama, we had a horrific tornado that tore through parts of Elmore and into Tallapoosa counties.  It destroyed the Myers Trailer Park near Eclectic, where 5 died.  The storm continued eastward, intensifying to EF-4 intensity as it approached Lake Martin, causing unbelievable damage and killing 2 more people in Tallapoosa county.  These are snapshots from my IPHONE.  Myers Trailer Park.

At Lake Martin…


Here was our interupt on WSFA for that tornado warning just after sunset that night.

I’ve covered many tornadoes and hurricanes in my 40 year career on radio and TV, but hearing the heart wrenching stories from the victims at Myers Trailer Park is something I will never forget.

Before any severe weather event, I’m asked, “Will this be like April 27, 2011?”   What happened that day is called a generational event.   Outbreaks on this scale might happen every 40-50 years.  Let’s hope we never see another day like April 27, 2011 in our lifetime.

Check out this stunning radar loop of the whole day as it unfolded, from a morning QLCS event which caused extensive damage to the explosion of supercells in the afternoon & evening.  Amazing.


Here’s a few links to additional articles which go into greater depth about the Super outbreak.



Severe Weather Threat: Early Today & Sunday PM. – Thursday Video

Ongoing severe threat early morning, as I prepare your video.  We’ll walk you through the rest of the day.  April will end on a very hot note, especially Friday and Saturday.  It will feel like summer.  All eyes on the next significant storm system which will bring another severe weather threat to the state by late Sunday and Sunday night.  A lot of important info to share with you this morning on your personal weather briefing.

This is the early morning severe thunderstorm watch which is ending at 5.  While the Marginal Severe weather risk continues eastward through the rest of the morning into the afternoon across east and SE Alabama.

Next potent storm system will affect Alabama beginning late Sunday night with yet another severe weather threat edging eastward into the state.

This preliminary Sunday Severe Risk from SPC will likely be expanded eastward in the coming days.

Looks like it could be a wild ride next 10 days according to the Euro model, with 3 storm systems followed by a sharply cooler episode.