National Weather Service

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Forecasters say 30 tornadoes were reported overnight in seven states, resulting in at least 17 deaths in Arkansas and Oklahoma. Northwest Florida and south Alabama will catch the southernmost end of that weather system.

The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma says the weather system will continue moving eastward over the next few days, bringing powerful storms and the potential for tornadoes to parts of the Midwest and Southeast.

Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and Louisiana are facing the greatest risk today, but a number of storms are also likely for this area.

NOAA

Forecasters predict a warming of the central Pacific Ocean known as “El Nino” will provide a break for weather-weary Americans this year.

The National Oceanic Atmospheric and Administration issued an official El Nino watch Thursday. In a typical El Nino year, there’s a stronger flow of wind at the Jet Stream level, and a stronger Jet Stream over the southern U.S.

Jeff Garmon, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Mobile, says that can increase the potential for severe storms: tornados, severe thunderstorms, squall lines, things of that nature.

Winter precipitation is moving into the Florida Panhandle, the produce of frigid arctic air and Gulf moisture.

Escambia County’s Emergency Operations Center activated at midnight. Emergency Management Chief John Dosh says they’re at level-2, with only key agencies on hand for now.  

Throughout the year the Escambia EOC conducts table-top exercises to cover a number of scenarios – hurricanes and other natural and man-made disasters. Dosh says those – and the current winter storm development – are all part of what he calls “consequence management.”

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Officials in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties join the rest of the Florida Panhandle in bracing for a rare taste of winter precipitation.

A winter storm warning is in effect for the western Florida Panhandle for all day Tuesday and Wednesday morning, as moisture from the Gulf of Mexico joins forces with another blast of Arctic air. That, says Dave Eversole at the National Weather Service, means sleet, freezing rain and possibly some snow.

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Forecasters say the next round of winter weather for northwest Florida and south Alabama is on the way, with the coats and blankets to be kept out at least a few more days.

Don Shepherd at the National Weather Service in Mobile says when the rain moved out on Monday, so did the moderate temperatures that were enjoyed over the weekend.

Lows around freezing are on tap for Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, while daytime readings are not expected to go beyond the low 50s.

Cold Winter Weather Continues

Jan 6, 2014
Accuweather.com

If you liked last week’s frigid weather, you’re going to love what Mother Nature has in store this week for northwest Florida and south Alabama.

Meteorologist Steve Miller, at the National Weather Service in Mobile, says the cold is back after a brief warm-up over the weekend, thanks to a pair of upper-level systems: one along the U.S. and Canadian border, and the other moving through the Great Plains pushing a very cold air mass ahead of them. Highs are expected not to climb out of the 40s, while lows could approach 20 degrees.

Freezing Temperatures On The Gulf Coast

Jan 3, 2014
Andrew Seaman

The winter storm pounding the northeastern United States brought rain to the Gulf Coast this week. Northwest Florida and south Alabama are also slated for a return to the deep freeze.

As Temperatures Drop Emergency Shelters Open

Nov 27, 2013

Two weeks after the first taste of winter for northwest Florida and south Alabama, another, colder round is on tap for this week.

The same weather system that’s pushing winter storm conditions towards the northeastern U.S. is sending frigid air into the Southeast. For this area, that means the coldest temperatures of the fall on Wednesday – highs in the upper 40s during the day, then dropping into the 20s that evening. Wind chill indices will be in the 20s.

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