First Alert Weather day declared ahead of Wednesday morning storms

WCTV FIRST ALERT
WCTV FIRST ALERT(wctv)
Published: Jan. 24, 2023 at 12:49 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 25, 2023 at 12:30 PM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - 12:30PM - The tornado watch for the Big Bend and South Georgia has expired. The squall line of showers and now isolated storms will continue to march across eastern portions of our viewing area through this afternoon.

A wind advisory will remain in effect for the viewing area until 7PM this evening.

A tornado watch was in effect for portions of South Georgia and the central Big Bend as a potent squall line moved through the area Wednesday morning.

The Storm Prediction Center extended a tornado watch for Decatur, Grady, Thomas, Liberty, Gadsden, Leon, Jefferson, Wakulla, and Franklin counties until 11 a.m. Eastern Time.

A tornado watch means conditions are favorable for tornadoes, and to be weather ready in case any warnings are issued by the National Weather Service.

As of this update, the the highest threat of tornadoes was for areas closer to the coastline where higher moisture content and better instability was located along with sufficient wind shear.

The line of storms will continue to move east for the rest of Wednesday morning and into the afternoon.

The First Alert Weather Team will continue to monitor the threat of severe weather on Wednesday. Be sure to have the First Alert Weather App to be notified of any watches or warnings as well as updates from the team.

This story was updated to reflect changes to the tornado watch.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A potent storm system is forecast to bring a risk of severe weather to the Big Bend and South Georgia on Wednesday morning.

The Storm Prediction Center had placed the entire viewing area under a level 2 out of 5 risk of severe weather with damaging wind gusts and tornadoes as the hazards of concern starting Wednesday morning.

There is also a chance of wind gusts of up to 40 mph before the main line of showers and storms arrive Wednesday morning. A wind advisory was issued for most of the South Georgia counties as well as Franklin, Liberty and Gadsden counties in the Big Bend from 1 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Tallahassee. Sustained winds of 20 to 30 mph are possible in the advisory area, which could blow around unsecured objects and small limbs that could cause limited power outages in a few locations.

Timing

Guidance model runs as of Wednesday morning were in reasonable agreement with a line of showers and thunderstorms entering Southwest Georgia (Early, Miller and Seminole counties) roughly around dawn Wednesday and near the Apalachicola River roughly between 7 and 9 a.m. Locations such as Tallahassee, Thomasville and Apalachicola would likely see the line enter between 8 and 11 a.m., with Valdosta seeing the squall line before or around noon. The eastern Big Bend would encounter the line early to mid-afternoon Wednesday.

Impacts

Damaging wind gusts and isolated tornadoes are the main hazards of concern.

Despite sub-par convective energy, mid-level lift would help sustain thunderstorms as well as increased low-level moisture that is forecast to increase late Wednesday night. Low-level helicity, based on recent guidance models, would be more than sufficient for rotating thunderstorms.

The First Alert Weather Team will continue to monitor the threat of severe weather on Wednesday. Be sure to have the First Alert Weather App to be notified of any watches or warnings as well as updates from the team.