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THIS AFTERNOON: Not a bad day. Clouds have increased across Alabama, but they are thin enough in many places for a decent amount of filtered sunshine. And, as expected, we are turning warmer with most places somewhere between 57 and 60 degrees at mid-afternoon. There is no rain on radar around here.
ON THE MAPS: All eyes are on the deep upper low over Mexico, well south of El Paso, Texas. As this feature lifts out to the northeast, a big rain event is setting up for Texas/Arkansas/Louisiana, with rain extending into Alabama as well. A few showers could move into our state toward daybreak tomorrow.
TOMORROW/THURSDAY: We will forecast occasional showers and a few thunderstorms on both days; the rain tomorrow will be the result of a northward moving warm front. Then, another round of showers and storms is likely late Thursday and Thursday night with a surface front approaching from the west. The 12Z GFS and NAM really hint the heaviest rain, and main threat of strong/severe storms will remain west of Alabama, but we can’t rule out a strong to severe storms over the northwest counties of our state by late Thursday afternoon or Thursday evening. A marginal situation, however.
The big warm-up continues, with a high in the mid 60s tomorrow, and low 70s Thursday.
FRIDAY/SATURDAY: The surface front will run out of gas somewhere over Alabama Friday as the upper support lifts well north of here. We will be left in a warm, moist environment with the risk of a few passing showers both days. But, the rain probably won’t be too widespread or heavy. Highs will be in the 71-74 degree range, which is 20 degrees above average for mid-January in Alabama. You might see a little sun at times if you are lucky.
SUNDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY: Concern is growing over the potential for a long duration heavy rain event with the risk of flooding for the northern half of Alabama. A band of heavy rain is forecast to set up initially over the northwest corner of Alabama late Sunday, Sunday night, and Monday. That band of heavy rain will drift down toward I-59 and 20 Tuesday and Wednesday with very little southward progression. Sure looks like a situation where 2 to 4 inches of rain could very well fall, and we will have to be on our toes for flooding issues. Thankfully severe weather does not look to be a problem.
Much colder air returns to Alabama late next week; we will have a hard time getting out of the mid 40s by Friday. Take a few minutes to watch the Weather Xtreme video for all of the details and graphics.
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I will be away in Austin, Texas for a day or two at the AMS (American Meteorological Society) annual meeting; Brian Peters will have the video updates tomorrow and Thursday morning; I will be back in service Thursday afternoon….