Hail, damaging wind, tornadoes all possible Saturday
Mar 22, 2013 (Dothan Eagle - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
A storm system moving in from the gulf coast Saturday morning will bring rain, wind gusts up to 70 mph and the possibility of tornadoes and hail.
Meteorologist Kelly Godsey with the National Weather Service in Tallahassee, Fla., said the severe weather could last 24 to 36 hours in a region extending from Louisiana to Georgia.
Godsey held a webinar with emergency management agencies on Friday afternoon. He summed up the potential impact on a region still recovering from record rainfall in February.
Houston County recorded more than 23 inches of rain in two multi-day deluges that damaged roads and bridges and caused flash flooding.
Flood-prone areas are likely to have problems. The meteorologist expects one-and-a-half to two inches of rain from the new system, but isolated totals of three to four inches are possible.
Charles Finney, communications and planning officer for the Houston County Emergency Management Agency, said in a press release that the severe weather threat will likely come in two stages.
The initial threat will be "for large hail and isolated tornadoes on Saturday morning/afternoon as the warm front lifts northward into the region in North Florida. These storms will likely move into southern Alabama and southern Georgia by early afternoon.
"A brief lull in the activity is possible Saturday evening before increasing again Saturday night as a large squall line moves through the region. Damaging winds and isolated tornadoes will be the main threats with this system," the release said.
The storms are expected to continue into Sunday and the severe threat is forecast to end across Houston County around 8 a.m. Godsey said the bad weather should clear out relatively quickly by Sunday afternoon.
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