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Severe Weather Alert
 
January 25, 2011 - Tampa, FL
There is a potential for super cells developing later this afternoon into the evening hours. A super cell is an intense thunderstorm that has the potential to develop into a tornado. Please listen to weather radios throughout the night. Rainfall may begin in the late afternoon hours today. Fast moving squall lines will be active throughout the area between 8pm-11pm. There is a potential for large hail. Wind will be at 40-50 mph and gusts 50-65 mph. Be aware of scattered debris in the early morning hours. Move all unsecured objects indoors.

Detailed Forecast
High confidence that squall line will develop over eastern Gulf of Mexico today and move onshore peninsula late today and across central Florida this evening/early Wednesday.

Band of strong-severe thunderstorms will occur with squall line. Threat for damaging wind gusts of 50-65 mph and isolated tornadoes (8PM-5AM).

Rapid storm motion, toward the NE at 45-50 mph (storms will approach quickly).

Most significant tornado potential will exist ahead of line if supercells develop. There is a risk of strong and/or long-track tornadoes (lower confidence, but potential high impact; 3-8PM).

While large scale environment are forecast to be very favorable for severe weather, local conditions will determine whether significant impacts occur (can not be forecast until hours in advance).

Average rainfall totals near 0.50”, with areas of 1-2” likely.

Strong and gusty SW/W winds of 30-40 mph behind weather system Wed would impact any areas if wind/tornado damage occurs late today/tonight.

Update
The NWS is expecting 2 events in relation to the squall line that has developed over the eastern Gulf of Mexico.

The first event will be this afternoon (expected around 3pm) ahead of the squall line. This is the event with the potential for the strong or long line tornados. The NWS and storm prediction center classify this as a 'low probability - high impact' event.

The second event is the squall line (expected around 7pm) and could bring heavy rainfall (1-3") and strong winds. The biggest concern here is possible localized flooding and damage from strong winds. There is much higher confidence in the forecast for the second event.

We are currently under a tornado watch (meaning conditions are favorable for the development of tornados) and the line is about 90 minutes away. We all need to keep a very close eye on this system as things could change very quickly.

For more information, please visit the National Weather Service, Tampa Bay.

Please contact Chauncia Willis, Office of Emergency Management, for additional questions.

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