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BACK TO THE 80s: We project a high today back in the 83-86 degree range for most of Alabama with a mix of sun and clouds. Winds will pick up out of the south this afternoon ahead of a major storm system to the west, but we should stay generally dry through tonight with only a slight risk of a rogue shower.
BARONS HOME OPENER: For tonight’s inaugural game at the new Regions Park in downtown Birmingham… the weather will be warm and breezy… about 80 degrees at the first pitch with just a 10-20 percent chance of a brief shower passing by. Rain should not be a big issue.
TO THE WEST: SPC maintains a large “slight risk” of severe weather for places like Shreveport, Jackson, Little Rock, and Memphis. Quite frankly, this big system underperformed yesterday with no tornadoes reported… just a few hailers over the Great Plains. SPC has backed off a bit on the overall magnitude of the risk; yesterday they had a 45 percent chance of severe weather within 25 miles of a given point in the core of the risk… today is back down to a 30 percent chance. Still, storms west of Alabama later today could produce large hail, damaging wind, and a few isolated tornadoes are possible.
TOMORROW’S SEVERE WEATHER RISK IN ALABAMA……
*Based on slower trends in model output, I now expect the main severe weather risk to come from 11:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. tomorrow. No doubt a few storms could work into Northwest Alabama earlier than 11:00 a.m., but the core of the severe risk will come during the afternoon and evening hours, which is, of course, during the peak of the daytime heating process, and comes at a time when the air tends to be most unstable.
*Storms should impact places in West Alabama like Haleyville, Vernon, Fayette, Hamilton, Jasper, Tuscaloosa, Eutaw, and Greensboro from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.
Then, the risk moves east, and from 3:00 until 6:00 p.m. cities like Birmingham, Cullman, Brent, Oneonta, Cullman, Clanton, and Pell City.
And, the biggest risk from 6:00 until 9:00 will be for communities like Anniston, Gadsden, Ashland, Centre, Heflin, and Roanoke, in East Alabama.
Please understand these arrival times could change, but that is the best idea now based on model output.
*The primary risk will come from strong, potentially damaging straight line winds. However, an isolated tornado cannot be ruled out anywhere in Alabama. It seems like the highest risk of a tornado will come over the eastern half of Alabama late tomorrow, where the air will be a bit more unstable. We have seen several model hint at a few discrete cells ahead of the main squall line over the eastern counties, and these will need to be monitored for potential of storm rotation.
*All 67 Alabama counties are in a standard “slight risk” as defined by the Storm Prediction Center… and the higher 30 percent severe weather probabilities include much of North-Central Alabama.
*Watch the Weather Xtreme video for a detailed meteorological discussion of the threat tomorrow. Overall, the severe weather parameters are not really overwhelming for an April event in our state, but certainly supportive of severe thunderstorms, and perhaps an isolated tornado. And, as we always say, when it comes to thunderstorms, expect the unexpected.
*Be sure you are in a position to hear severe weather watches and warnings tomorrow as they are issued… this should NEVER be an outdoor warning siren… a NOAA Weather Radio is the baseline, and it is a great idea to have a good smart phone app like MyWarn, or iMap WeatherRadio so you can get warnings on the go. You can also watch ABC 33/40 severe weather coverage on these apps if we have tornado warnings.
*Please pay attention to severe thunderstorm warnings. Damaging straight line winds can produce damage just like a tornado in many cases. Listen to the specific words used in each warning… they will clearly define the threat.
The storms will end from west to east across Alabama tomorrow night as drier air works into the state.
FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: The sky will become mostly sunny Friday with a high around 70. Saturday will be a delightful day, with a cool morning (lows in the 40s), followed by a mild afternoon (the GFS is printing a high of 74). Sunday’s high will be close to 80 with a partly to mostly sunny sky.
NEXT WEEK: The first half of the week looks unsettled, with some risk of showers and storms on a daily basis Monday through Wednesday. For now we don’t expect severe weather, and the showers won’t be continuous. Again, see the Weather Xtreme video for the maps, graphics, and details.
WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly 90 minute netcast anytime on the web, or on iTunes. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists here at ABC 33/40.
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I have weather programs today up in Walker County at Curry… at the elementary and middle school. Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon… enjoy the day…