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Cooling Trend Through Mid-Week; Stormy Saturday

| March 22, 2017 @ 6:31 am

RADAR CHECK: A band of showers is over far North Alabama early this morning associated with a push of cooler air that is working southward…

We will mention the risk of a few widely scattered showers over North Alabama this morning, otherwise today will be noticeably cooler with a mix of sun and clouds; most communities will see a high between 67 and 70 degrees, almost 20 degrees cooler than yesterday when temperatures soared into the upper 80s. Birmingham wound up with an official high yesterday of 89 degrees… within one degree of the record high of 90 for March 21, set in 1907.

We project a high tomorrow in the mid 60s; just a small risk of shower with intervals of sunshine. Then, on Friday, the day will be dry with a partly sunny sky and a high in the 71-75 degree range. To the west, severe storms will likely form Friday, impacting places like Dallas, Tulsa, Shreveport, and Little Rock.

STORMY SATURDAY: A surface low, supported by an upper trough, will be over Missouri, and Alabama will be covered with a warm, moist, unstable airmass. SPC has opted to put a decent part of the state in a severe weather risk on their “Day 4” outlook…

Here is the current thinking…

TIMING: We will open up a 12 hour window for now; main threat of severe storms will come from 12:00 noon until 12:00 midnight. There is a decent chance much of Saturday morning will be dry.

PLACEMENT: Highest risk of severe storms will be along and west of I-65… basically the western half of the state.

THREATS: Storms Saturday will be capable of producing hail and strong winds. With good directional shear a tornado or two can’t be ruled out.

RAIN: Amounts of around 1 inch are likely; we don’t expect any flooding issues.

Understand we are still 84-90 hours away, so this could easily change, but forecast confidence is higher now that the GFS (American) and ECMWF (European) models are in better agreement.

Showers and storms should exit the state by Sunday morning, and it now looks like Sunday afternoon will be dry. Highs over the weekend will be in the 70s.

NEXT WEEK: We stay in a moist airmass through the week. We will have some risk of showers and storms Monday and Tuesday, but the biggest impact event comes toward the end of the week with a fairly vigorous system; this could bring another threat of severe storms to Alabama. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

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STORM SPOTTER TRAINING: We will be on the road through early April offering free storm spotter classes. We need more trained spotters in Alabama; by attending you can make the severe weather warning process better. No need to register; just come with a curious mind. And, there is no age limit… kids that love weather will enjoy it. You will never look at a storm the same again. The next class will be Thursday evening at the Gardendale Civic Center at 6:30.

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 a weather program this morning at East Elementary in Cullman… look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon. Enjoy the day!

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James Spann is one of the most recognized and trusted television meteorologists in the industry. He holds the AMS CCM designation and television seals from the AMS and NWA. He is a past winner of the Broadcast Meteorologist of the Year from both professional organizations.

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