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It’s going to be a wet Easter Sunday across much of Alabama as a combination of upper level disturbances and a surface front bring showers and thunderstorms to the area.
As we noted yesterday, a series of upper level disturbances are passing the area. We had one yesterday afternoon and evening that brought about a quarter of an inch to most folks. This morning, two more disturbances are poised to affect us. One over Mississippi will bring an area of showers and thundershowers to much of the north and central portions of Alabama. We get a short break in the rain before the second disturbance now affecting Oklahoma and Missouri, moves across the area. It is this second disturbance that will finally push the front to our northwest through much of Alabama. With the front passing, we should see some sunshine and drier weather on Monday while temperatures change very little.
We will definitely be hearing some thunder today and tonight, however, I do not believe the conditions for organized severe weather is very high. A few storms could be strong, and SPC has outlined a risk of severe storms from South Central Mississippi westward into the Hill Country of Texas. Rainfall amounts are likely to be in the range of three quarters of an inch to a little over an inch. Because the rain comes in the form of showers and thunderstorms, I think the rainfall amounts could vary substantially with some spots getting about half an inch while others may get as much as one and a half inches. I do not expect flooding issues, however, rain may be heavy in spots so isolated flash flooding may be possible.
A second front without any precipitation should come in here on Tuesday and that will drop temperatures once again. Tuesday should be noticeably colder with highs in the lower 60s. Wednesday morning we are likely to see some locales dip into the 30s, but I do not believe we will see a significant freeze.
Wednesday we should see clouds increase quickly with rain chances climbing as a strong short wave trough moves out of the southern Rockies into the Lower Mississippi River Valley. Our best chance for rain comes Thursday, however, depending on the exact timing of the upper trough, we could see some showers reaching Alabama by Wednesday evening. That trough will cross the Mississippi River on Thursday with a surface low coming out of the northern Gulf of Mexico. That low will move quickly to the Mid-Atlantic coast by midday Friday returning dry weather to Alabama and promising a dry and warm weekend.
Yesterday I noted the extreme difference between the ECMWF and the GFS. Today, those two models have come much closer in their solutions with the GFS bringing the surface low further north and the ECMWF pushing it a bit further south. So the track forecasts of both are in close agreement which improves the confidence in the forecast for the latter part of the coming week. There are still some differences in the models especially in the strength of the low, but those are minor compared with the huge differences we saw yesterday.
Heaviest rainfall will be focused along and just south of the track of the surface low. For Central Alabama, rainfall amounts are likely to be around one inch, but along the Gulf Coast, rainfall total for the storm could reach 2 to 3 inches. Severe weather is probably a fairly likely occurrence for the Florida Peninsula on Thursday or early Friday, but we should be primarily in a rain area.
Late Friday and into Saturday, we begin to come under the influence of an upper ridge. Several weak disturbances will be moving across the ridge, however, I expect to see only some passing clouds since there will not be any moisture to deal with plus the ridge should be strong enough to keep the best dynamics well north of Alabama. It should be a lovely Sunday with the ridge coming across the Mississippi River and highs reaching the lower to middle 70s.
The pattern remains active looking into week 2. As noted yesterday, a strong trough with a potential for severe weather comes at us around April 10th. The GFS suggests another low latitude short wave trough around April 13th with yet another system that would likely bring another risk for severe weather around April 16th. So no rest in the weather department as the springtime conveyor belt of storms gets cranked up!
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I hope that you have a good day today even with the wet weather forecast. James Spann will be back with the next edition of the Weather Xtreme Video. Be sure to stay up with the Blog today as we keep you posted on the latest developments in the weather for Central Alabama. Have a great day and Godspeed.