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Warming Trend Ahead; Severe Storms Possible Friday Night

| March 21, 2023 @ 5:49 am

ANOTHER COLD START: Temperatures are generally in the 25-35 degree range across Alabama early this morning, with sub-freezing readings for many areas. On the positive side, a warming trend begins this afternoon as temperatures rise into the low to mid 60s. Still below average, but moving in the right direction. The average high for Birmingham on March 21 is 69. A disturbance will push some clouds into Alabama today, but the weather should remain dry here.

Tomorrow will feature a mix of sun and clouds with a high in the low 70s; a few showers are possible over extreme North Alabama, mainly north of the Tennessee River. Then, on Thursday as the warming trend continues, we rise into the low 80s with a good supply of sunshine.

FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: The day Friday will be warm and breezy with a high back in the low 80s. Then a cold front will push an organized band of showers and thunderstorms into the state Friday into early Saturday morning. SPC maintains a risk of severe thunderstorms for Northwest Alabama in their “Day 4” outlook…

We note the local NWS office at Birmingham has all of their CWA (County Warning Area) in a severe weather risk, and SPC will most likely expand their risk area tomorrow. A line of severe storms will likely move through the state in the window from 10:00 p.m. Friday through 6:00 a.m. Saturday, and damaging straight line winds will be the primary threat. However, forecast wind profiles suggest a few tornadoes are possible as well.

Rain ends early Saturday, followed by a clearing sky Saturday afternoon. Clouds return quickly Sunday, however, and new model data suggests rain could moe back into the state as early as Sunday afternoon. The air will be unstable, and a few thunderstorms will be involved. Highs over the weekend will be in the 70s.

NEXT WEEK: The weather stays somewhat unsettled Monday and Tuesday with a chance of showers and thunderstorms both days… for now the latter half of the week looks dry. Highs will remain in the 70s through the week for most of Alabama. See the video briefing for maps, graphics, and more details.

ON THIS DATE IN 1932: The March 21, 1932, generational tornado outbreak unfolded across Alabama. At least 36 tornadoes—including 27 killers and several long-lived tornado families occurred across the Deep South, and Alabama was the hardest hit. The March 24th headline of The Tuscaloosa News stated that the death toll rose to 300, 32 of whom had died in Northport, and 2,500 were known to be injured. The Red Cross worked tirelessly to rehabilitate approximately “10,000 people left homeless in Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee. According to The Tuscaloosa News, in Alabama alone, there are more than “8,000 whose domiciles were blown to the four winds.” Quite frankly, to this day, we don’t know the exact number of people who died. Keep in mind there were no tornado warnings in 1932.

Chilton County was hit extremely hard with 58 persons killed. The Union Grove community near Jemison was laid to waste. Doctors and nurses from Montgomery and Birmingham worked all night by lantern and flashlight to relieve the widespead suffering. In Clay County, one of the tornadoes remained on the ground for 30 miles cutting a path 400 yards wide. A new automobile became airborne and was carried through the air for a distance of 400 yards. 12 persons died in Clay County and 200 were injured. After the tornado, there were people living in the Clay County Courthouse. Sylacauga was hit by a violent tornado.

ON THIS DATE IN 1962: An estimated F3 tornado tore through the community of Weaver, in Calhoun County north of Anniston. This tornado occurred along the leading edge of a fast moving squall line. The squall line produced peak wind gusts of 58 miles an hour at Birmingham.

BEACH FORECAST: Click here to see the AlabamaWx Beach Forecast Center page.

Look for the next video briefing here by 3:00 this afternoon… enjoy the day!

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Category: Alabama's Weather, ALL POSTS, Weather Xtreme Videos

About the Author ()

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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