STATUS: IOP tomorrow
The NOAA P-3 scientists from NSSL, and the University of Oklahoma SMART-Radar crews, are on their way to the Huntsville AL area for operations tomorrow. This will likely be a one-shot event. As of midday today, we are anticipating a QLCS (squall line) system to pass through the northern AL area during the evening on Tuesday.
There are a couple of factors that reduce our confidence in tornadoes: the low-level wind profile has a weakness at about 2-3 km above the ground that we typically do not see in tornado situations. And the moisture may not be especially rich and deep near the ground. If the near-ground relative humidity is low, there will be more evaporation of rain and colder outflow, diminishing the likelihood of the near-ground updrafts thought to be important in tornado production. But it’s always good to be proven wrong… if our knowledge were perfect, there would be no need for VORTEX-SE.
Right now it looks like a another chance of operations toward Friday, and then perhaps a better chance around Monday of next week.