A few strong storms late today into the evening. Severe storms possible Thursday night.
While it's not a big threat at all, we will be on the watch for a strong storm or two across our area late this afternoon into the evening hours, generally between the 4PM and 10PM timeframe. The Storm Prediction Center has a Level 1 of 5 risk of severe weather across much of our region, generally along and west of Highway 43. With a few of the storms, the main concerns would be wind gusts of 40 to 60 mph and maybe hail up to quarter size (less likely). Heavy rainfall and localized street flooding would also be possible. Notice that a tornado risk does not show on the graph. You can never 100% rule out a tornado during any severe thunderstorm situation, but the tornado risk today is as close to zero as is possible.
Partly cloudy skies through midday and the early afternoon will allow temperatures to warm into the low to mid 80s. As we get into the mid to late afternoon and into peak heating, scattered showers and thunderstorms look to bubble up over north Mississippi into west Tennessee. These scattered storms then shift across our area during the late afternoon and the evening hours before exiting around roughly 10-11PM, if not a little sooner. It is during this timeframe when one or two of these storms may grow strong to marginally severe, with the threats mentioned above. Again, this is a very low-end risk, but we can't rule out a severe thunderstorm warning or two.
What may end up being a somewhat greater threat of severe weather to our local area may line up for late Thursday afternoon/Thursday evening into early Friday morning. The Storm Prediction Center already has the equivalent of a Level 2 of 5 risk of severe storms in place for almost all of our area for this time period, with locations just to our west already under the equivalent of a Level 3 of 5 risk of severe storms. There are still some questions about how exactly the ingredients for severe storms will come together and how that will control the exact magnitude of the threat. However, even with those questions in place, this looks like a situation where all threat types are possible: damaging winds, hail, and a tornado risk. We will be working to fine tune the magnitude of the risk and are more specific timing for the threat over the next few days as we get closer.
The month of May is still considered part of our primary spring tornado season in the Tennessee Valley, and it can sometimes be active. Take the time to review your safety plans and make sure you have multiple reliable ways of hearing watches and warnings.