Severe weather is possible across southeastern portions of the United States today, particularly around the Gulf Coast. It’s been a fairly quiet severe weather pattern for the last several days. The last “slight” risk of severe weather was issued on December 14, 2014. Thus, we’ve had nine days with little severe weather activity. However, it should be noted a couple weak tornadoes occurred in southern Mississippi on the 15th.
It looks like today’s risk will be confined to portions of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. A longwave, neutral tilt trough has entered the center of the country. This brings widespread divergence aloft across the lower Mississippi Valley region, which is indicative of lift. A low level jet from the south aids in the advection of temperature and moisture, leading to an unstable environment that thunderstorms can thrive in.
There have already been a few reports of hail this morning, some larger than quarters in Mobile, AL. Tornado warnings are already in effect as of this writing at 9:30 AM. We’ll have to wait and see what the rest of the day brings.
— Matt Havard (@havard123) December 23, 2014
— Michael Napp (@MichaelNapp) December 23, 2014
Severe weather isn’t all that uncommon during December. In fact, we had some severe weather during December last year. Climatology suggests the greatest threat of tornadoes in December is portions of the southeast.
Threats for today’s Gulf Coast severe weather includes damaging wind, large hail, and isolated tornadoes. A tornado watch has been issued for much of the aforementioned region until 6 PM. If more significant severe weather develops, we’ll have a story about it. So, check back from time to time for more updates.