We started the day off chilly with widespread 40s across Central Alabama. As soon as the sun cleared that eastern horizon, temps began their climb. With nothing but blue sky and sunshine, temps have climbed into the 70s this afternoon and it is almost impossible to find a cloud in the Alabama sky. Heading out and about this evening and overnight, once the sun sets the temps will be dropping through the 60s and into the 50s overnight and the sky will remain clear, but overall it will be a excellent evening for anything you may have planned.
There may be a little race in East Alabama tomorrow. Actually the past several days have been ramping up to the big GEICO 500 tomorrow at the Talladega Superspeedway. Once again, there will be nothing but sunshine and blue sky tomorrow. It will be a cool start once again, with upper 40s and lower 50s expected, but those temps will rapidly climb to the 80s by the afternoon. I am urging everyone to stay hydrated as well as take plenty of sunscreen heading to the race tomorrow. But other than the threat for sunburn, there will be no other weather woes and humidity levels will remain low.
Though it remains cloudy, gray, and cool today, we are not seeing much in the way of rain across the state this afternoon, but of course that will be changing as rain and storms will return to the state as early as this evening. Temperatures this afternoon are in the upper 60s and lower 70s for most of Central Alabama. The SPC does have much of the southern two-thirds of the state outlined in a “marginal” risk for severe weather today, notice the blue line in the map below. Areas along and south of a line from Fayette to Birmingham to Talladega are included in this risk and this will be for storms that arrive late tonight into the pre-dawn hours.
I want to say first off that there is a lot of uncertainty with both rounds of potential storms we could see. The first round will come overnight tonight. Model data suggests showers and storms will begin developing across Mississippi and Alabama this afternoon and this activity will be heading towards Central Alabama during the overnight hours, with the main time frame being from around 12 a.m. until 8 a.m. tomorrow. We will see more of a heavy rain event with limited instability, but there will be still be the threat of storms that will bring with them the threat of hail and strong gusty winds, and while the tornado threat is very low, it is not zero.
However, we do note there is a large expanse of showers and storms across the Northern Gulf of Mexico and these could possibly be impeding our threat of strong storms during the overnight period as the flow from the Gulf of Mexico is blocked. Of course we are watching everything closely, but this ongoing activity could very much benefit us in Central Alabama. We are still going to forecast rain and storms this evening and overnight. What activity we see develop should be pushing out of the area during the late morning hours tomorrow and we should see a break in the action for most of Sunday afternoon and into the evening hours.
As we look at the latest day 2 convective outlook just issued from the SPC, it shows the entire state of Alabama is included in the “slight” risk for severe weather on Sunday. This is for what could potentially develop late Sunday and lasting into the pre-dawn hours Monday. This second round will be the one that we will have to watch very carefully as this is when the best dynamics will be approaching the area with the upper trough over the southern Plains. While it will be slowly weakening, the air will be more unstable, shear values and lapse rates suggest that some of the storms could produce damaging winds, large hail, and an isolated tornado or two will be possible.
We are continuing to monitor the situation carefully, and we are going to urge everyone to stay weather aware the next 48 hours, especially since the main threat for storms appears to be during the overnight hours; make sure you have ways to get and receive warnings. Always prepare for the worst and hope for the best, and expect surprises when it comes to thunderstorms in Alabama.
The front has pushed well into South Alabama today. In its wake, plenty of sunshine, slightly cooler temps, and much drier air. Humidity levels are very low and it is feeling very nice on this April Saturday. Any plans you have will be A OKAY when it comes to weather. This afternoon, most locations are sitting in the 70s. I highly recommend everyone getting out and enjoying this terrific weather.
For tonight, expect a clear and cool night as temps settle back down into the lower to mid 50s, and there will even be some 40s in Northeast Alabama. Heading into our Sunday, most of Alabama should be dry, especially for North-Central Alabama. However, our winds will be shifting back out of the south, and moisture will be returning. That means clouds will begin to increase during the afternoon hours, and a shower could move up here from the south Sunday night as moisture returns. I think for the most part, it will be a very nice day, with highs in the upper 70s to near 80 degrees.
The clouds from this morning continue to push south and we are seeing nothing but severe clear conditions with an abundance of sunshine this afternoon. Hard to find cloud in the sky, but it is noticeably cooler, with most locations in the mid to upper 60s across Central Alabama. Tonight, with the clear sky, look for temps to drop quickly after sunset, and we should see widespread upper 30s and lower 40s for much of Central Alabama, and even the threat of some frost in northeastern Alabama.
For our Easter Sunday, it will be a chilly start to the day, so if heading out to any sunrise services, be sure to take the jackets. However, we will see an abundance of sunshine, with dry conditions, expect plenty of sunshine and afternoon highs will climb towards the 70 degree mark. Any egg hunts planned for tomorrow afternoon will have ideal weather conditions.
AREAS AFFECTED…CNTRL AND NRN MS…SRN TN…ERN AND SRN AR…NE LA
CONCERNING…SEVERE POTENTIAL…WATCH POSSIBLE
VALID 032057Z – 032230Z
PROBABILITY OF WATCH ISSUANCE…40 PERCENT
SUMMARY…AN ISOLATED SEVERE THREAT MAY DEVELOP FROM CNTRL MS NEWD
ACROSS NW AL INTO SRN TN OVER THE NEXT FEW HOURS. OTHER SEVERE
STORMS MAY DEVELOP ALONG A COLD FRONT IN ERN AND SRN AR. ISOLATED
LARGE HAIL AND WIND DAMAGE WILL BE POSSIBLE WITH THE STRONGER CELLS.
WW ISSUANCE MAY BE NEEDED ACROSS THE REGION.
DISCUSSION…LATEST SFC ANALYSIS SHOWS A COLD FRONT MOVING SEWD
ACROSS WRN TN AND ERN AR WITH A CORRIDOR OF LOW-LEVEL MOISTURE AHEAD
OF THE FRONT WHERE SFC DEWPOINTS ARE IN THE LOWER 60S F. AN AXIS OF
LOW-LEVEL CONVERGENCE IS EVIDENT IN THE SFC WIND FIELD FROM NEAR
JACKSON MS NEWD ACROSS NW AL WHERE CONVECTION HAS INITIATED OVER THE
LAST HOUR. THUNDERSTORMS ARE ALSO DEVELOPING ALONG THE COLD FRONT IN
NE AR AND DEVELOPMENT SHOULD CONTINUE TO OCCUR ALONG THE FRONT
FURTHER TO THE SOUTHWEST OVER THE NEXT FEW HOURS. PARTIAL CLEARING
ON SATELLITE AND SFC HEATING SHOULD INCREASE MLCAPE VALUES TO NEAR
1500 J/KG AHEAD OF THE FRONT EWD ACROSS THE TN VALLEY LATE THIS
AFTERNOON. THIS COMBINED WITH 0-6 KM SHEAR OF 40 TO 50 KT…EVIDENT
ON THE JACKSON MS AND MEMPHIS TN WSR-88D VWPS…SHOULD BE SUFFICIENT
FOR SEVERE STORMS AND POSSIBLY SUPERCELLS. ALTHOUGH WIND DAMAGE AND
ISOLATED LARGE HAIL WILL BE PRIMARY THREATS…LOW-LEVEL SHEAR COULD
BE STRONG ENOUGH FOR AN ISOLATED TORNADO THREAT ESPECIALLY ACROSS NW
AL WHERE THE HUNTSVILLE AL WSR-88D VWP SHOWS A CURVED HODOGRAPH.
SEVERE WEATHER THREAT: The SPC maintains an “enhanced” risk for severe weather for much of Northwestern Alabama today roughly along and line from Reform to Cullman to Scottsboro. South of that, a “slight” risk extends just south of the Intestate 59 corridor from Livingston, Brent, Hoover, and Gadsden, with a “marginal” risk as far south as the Montgomery area.
SET-UP: A very warm, moist, and unstable air mass is in place across the state today. A cold front across the Mississippi and Ohio Valleys is sinking towards the south and it is providing the needed uplift for storms. The main low pressure center with this system is well to the north in Canada. This is good news, because that means the best dynamics are displaced from the instability, however, there is still enough to allow for strong and severe storms. Early this afternoon, a tornado watch has already been issued for portions of Kentucky and Tennessee. We are expecting to see additional watches issued and that does include into Alabama the next several hours.
THREATS: The front will be arriving into the state later this evening, and we will have the uplift and instability to produce severe storms. Shear values are not overly impressive, so for us in Alabama, there is a very low tornado threat, but it is still not zero. The line of storms will move into the state, and we are expecting the threat of damaging winds as well as the possibility of large hail. The farther north you go, the greater the threat for severe weather, and the storms will be stronger over the Tennessee Valley of the state. Expect frequent lightning and very heavy rainfall with these storms that develop today.
TIMING: A quick look at the radar this afternoon shows the main area of storms remains well to the north of Alabama. However, we are expecting to see additional convection develop along the Mississippi River and begin to head towards the south and east. We could see a few storms develop out ahead of the main line, and these will have to be watched carefully. We are expecting the line of storms to enter northwestern portions of the state around 5PM. The storms will continue to work their way towards the southeast during the early evening hours and should be approaching the Interstate 59 corridor closer to 9PM. The main action will arrive after the sunsets, so make sure you stay weather aware this evening, to about midnight. As the storms continue to move towards the southeast, they will be slowly weakening and the threat for severe storms will be diminishing the farther south you head.
It is a cool day with most locations sitting in the upper 40s and lower 50s this afternoon. Northwesterly flow continues to keep it breezy as well. Most locations have seen plenty of sunshine today, but we are watching an area of clouds moving into and through West Alabama from the northwest. Within the clouds, there are a few very light showers, and some of these are showing up on the radar this afternoon over some of our northwestern counties and these showers should stay west of Interstate 65.
This feature will exit the region later tonight and we should see our sky clear once again. Much like last night, tonight it is going to be very cold for spring. Temperatures will fall below the freezing mark overnight. The NWS has issued a freeze warning for much of North-Central Alabama. This warning includes areas along and north of line from Sulligent, Fayette, Birmingham, Alabaster, Rockford, Alexander City, and LaFayette. South of this area, a frost advisory has been issued for areas around Demopolis, Tuscaloosa, Clanton, Montgomery, Troy, and Auburn. Take any precautions need to protect sensitive vegetation as temps are forecast to be in the 28-32F range by tomorrow morning.
Through the morning hours, we saw a mainly dry Saturday, but around noon, a few light showers started moving into West Alabama and these continue to spread east through the state. The rain is very light and will be more of a nuisance the next few hours. It, for the most part is a mild and cloudy day, with most locations along the Interstate 20 corridor into the 60s. Looking west, there is a lot of rain back in Texas and Louisiana associated with an area of low pressure, and it is heading our direction
All the rain to the west will arrive overnight, and will continue through Sunday and it looks like a very wet day with rain likely most of the day and into Sunday night. The air will be cool and stable, so there is no risk of severe weather, and you probably won’t hear much thunder. Rain amounts of 1 to 2 inches are likely. You will definitely need the rain gear tomorrow. The good news from all the rain, it will help wash away a lot of the pollen that is covering everything right now.