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RIGHT NOW: The sky is clearing over the northwest counties of Alabama this afternoon, and all of the state will go clear early tonight as dry air takes over. The weather will turn a bit cooler; most places will see a low near 40 degrees early tomorrow morning.
Tomorrow promises to be a beautiful day, with sunshine in full supply and a high close to 60 degrees.
MORE STORMS: We stay during the day Wednesday with lots of sun and a high in the upper 60s, but to the west SPC has defined a severe weather risk over much of Arkansas, North Louisiana, and West Mississippi as strong to severe storms are expected to form by late afternoon.
Those storms will move into Alabama during the pre-dawn hours Thursday. Looks like our main window for storms will be from about 3:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon Thursday. For now SPC does not have any severe weather risk defined for Alabama due to the lack of instability, but we do note the 12Z NAM does show a tongue of surface based instability moving up into Alabama Thursday morning. Shear values are pretty high, so we will still need to monitor this system for severe weather potential.
At this point I would suggest the best chance of severe storms Thursday morning will be along and south of I-85, but I can’t rule out a severe storm or two along the squall line up this way. The primary threat will be from strong straight line winds, with some potential for isolated tornadoes mainly over Southeast Alabama.
FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: The weather turns sharply colder Thursday night, and we should be below freezing early Friday. The sun will out in full force Friday, but even with that we will have a hard time getting out of the 40s, and another freeze is likely at daybreak Saturday. The weekend will be cool and dry with highs in the mid to upper 50s, exactly where we should be in late December in Alabama.
DREAMING OF A STORMY CHRISTMAS? We have good agreement with the GFS and the ECMWF; both show a very dynamic storm system impacting Alabama in the December 25-26 time frame with the dual threat of heavy rain and severe thunderstorms. Needless to say, it is way too early to be specific; once we get Thursday’s system out of here we can really focus on this one. But, unfortunately it looks like we might be busy in the weather office around Christmas time.
And, both models show a shot of very cold air blowing in here following the Dec 25-26 storm system; the ECMWF is hinting at highs in the 30s and potential for lows in the teens by Thursday of next week (December 27). See the Weather Xtreme video for all of the maps, graphics, and details.
For those traveling at Christmas, we should point out the system that is expected to bring rain and strong storms to Alabama has the potential for heavy snow over East Oklahoma into Missouri. Maybe even a few snow flakes down into North Texas.
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