WEATHER ALERT: Significant severe weather outbreak expected Sunday

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All modes of severe weather will be possible for Easter Sunday, including tornadoes, damaging winds and large hail.

A significant severe weather event now appears likely for the Deep South, including Central Alabama on Sunday. With the ongoing pandemic and the Easter holiday, we know severe weather can complicate an already stressful time for everyone. We want everyone to use this to get everyone informed and prepared for what we could see on Sunday. Now is not a time to panic, but to get prepared.

THE SETUP: An upper-level low will move through the Great Plains this weekend and strengthen as it moves into the Deep South. At the same time, strong winds through the atmosphere and lots of moisture streaming in from the Gulf of Mexico will combine to produce an explosive environment for severe storms.

RISKS FOR SUNDAY: As of Friday morning, a MODERATE RISK of severe storms is in place. This is the fourth of five risk categories from the Storm Prediction Center. This is also the highest risk that can be placed on an area this far out. More than likely, a HIGH RISK will be issued for parts of the Deep South, and possibly parts of Central Alabama, on Saturday. No matter then risk level assigned to us, the entire state has a good chance to see severe storms Sunday.

POTENTIAL THREATS/TIMING: All modes of severe weather will be possible with this setup. Damaging winds of 60-70 mph are likely in both discrete cells and a squall line. Tornadoes are also likely, with some of those being EF-3 or stronger with a chance for those staying on the ground for a long period of time. Golf-ball sized hail or larger is also possible in some of the thunderstorms we see. Flooding is not a major concern, but some isolated flooding in low-lying areas is also possible. Right now, there are still some details to iron out, but it looks like this could be a long duration event, lasting from noon Sunday until possibly the early morning hours on Monday. This will have to be watched and fine-tuned as we get closer.

TAKE ACTION NOW: The best thing we can tell everyone to do right now is BE PREPARED. We’ve been through these events before and we want everyone to be safe come Sunday. Let’s do the simple things first. Know where you live in relation to other counties and cities around you. When we start talking about warning, knowing where you live can give you a head start if storms threaten. Have more than one way to get warnings. Too often we hear storms “came out of nowhere” or “there was no warning.” Do not rely on outdoor sirens only..have multiple ways to get warnings (weather radios, CBS 42 Storm Team Weather App, Wireless Emergency Alerts, friends and family calling you, etc). Know where your safe place is, whether that’s in your own home (basement, closet, bathroom), a community storm shelter, or a friends home. These safe places need to be easily accessible when warnings are issued. Tell your friends and family about the risks. Being educated and knowing about events ahead of time is the best way to save lives. Make sure you are sharing live-saving information with the people you care about.

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