Central Alabama’s Most Detailed Seven Day Forecast

Sunday morning, March 18, 2018
Forecaster: Ryan Stinnett

FOR TODAY: We are starting the day off dry, and most of today should stay that way. It will be a day with a mix of sun and clouds and very warm temperatures with highs well into the 70s and perhaps 80s for some this afternoon. As we head through the day, we are going to be watching a storm system emerge from the Rockies and into the Plains, this system will play a major role in our weather the next 24-48 hours.

STORMS TONIGHT: A warm front will lift north overnight and this is going to be the trigger for rain and storms overnight and into Monday morning. At the writing of this forecast, the SPC has much of Alabama highlighted in a “marginal risk” (level 1 out of 5) for tonight, with a “slight risk” extending into southwestern portions of the state. This is related to the warm front lifting north that will allow for an enhancement of dynamics as well as instability building north into the state. Scattered strong and severe storms are possible this afternoon across portions of South Alabama, and this threat could move north overnight with the front. Damaging wind gusts and hail are the greatest concern tonight.

MORE STORMS MONDAY: The warm front continues northward Monday morning, powered by a low pressure system moving from Missouri into Kentucky. A warm and humid airmass will be in place over the state on Monday, and temperatures will once again be very warm with upper 70s and lower 80s expected if we are able to see sunshine. This would set the stage for a good supply of instability to be in place, decent wind shear and very cold air aloft; all which is needed for severe weather in Alabama. As we head through the day, a cold front swings into the state, and we are going to be watching for a line of thunderstorms impacting the state during the late afternoon or early evening and will intensify through the evening hours as it pushes southeastward.

As of late last night, the SPC has nearly the entire state of Alabama highlighted in their standard “slight risk” (level 2 out of 5) for severe weather on Monday. Of course, this is likely to change and I would not be surprised to see it at least upgraded to “enhanced risk” (level 3 out of 5). The local NWS Office in Birmingham is thinking that will occur as well.

We know without a doubt, with all these parameters in place, there is the potential threat for severe storms in Alabama Monday afternoon and evening. All modes of severe weather will be possible, with the focus on very large hail and tornadoes.

There remains some uncertainty how the possible event develops. Tonight’s rain and storms could impact tomorrow’s severe weather potential by impacting the environment. We still do not feel confident in the threat and the placement of the greatest threats for now. If the sky remains overcast tomorrow, the threat will be less, if we see sun, the threat will increase.

As we head into the heart of our spring severe weather season, it is important to plan ahead and always be prepared:

*Be sure you can hear warnings if needed. NEVER rely on an outdoor warning siren; if that is your main way of hearing warnings, you have little hope of hearing them indoors. Have a NOAA Weather Radio in your home or business, and a good app designed for warnings on your smart phone.

*Know the safe place in your home. Small room, lowest floor, away from windows, and near the center of the house. If you live in a mobile home, you have to leave and go to a shelter or site built structure.

*In your safe place, be sure you have a helmet for everyone to wear (not just children)… it is also good for everyone to have a portable air horn, and be sure and wear hard sole shoes.

Also, read the blog and check it frequently, as our team of expert meteorologists will keep you informed and up-to-date on the latest watches, warnings, and threats. Don’t fall to the hype machines on social media because it has been really bad already over the weekend. It is a situation that bears watching, but nothing to panic about.

Along with the severe weather threat, a nice soaking rain is expected, with many locations receiving 1-2 inches of rain between now and Tuesday morning.

HELLO SPRING: Tuesday is the first day of spring as the vernal equinox occurs at 11:15 AM CDT. The weather will be a breezy and a mix of sun and clouds, and there is a chance for lingering showers wrapping around the backside of the low as it departs the Southeast. Those showers should be out of the area by the evening. Afternoon highs will be in the lower 60s to the lower 70s, while overnight lows will be in the upper 30s to the mid-40s.

REST OF WEEK: Mainly sunny and drier for the remainder of the work week, and temperatures will be just below normal for Wednesday and Thursday. Afternoon highs will be in the upper 50s to the mid-60s for those days with a good supply of sunshine. Low will be well down into the 30s and we could certainly see some frosty conditions at times early in the mornings. Friday will feature a mix of sun and clouds with slightly warmer temperatures, as highs reaching the lower 60s to the upper 60s.

WEEKEND SNEAK PEEK: Warmer temperatures and the threat for rain and storms will be back in the forecast. At this time, it doesn’t look like a severe weather potential. Both Saturday and Sunday will feature highs in the 70s and lower in the 50s.

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

WORLD TEMPERATURE EXTREMES: Over the last 24 hours, the highest observation outside the U.S. was 109.4F at Birni-N’Konni, Niger. The lowest observation was -93.1F at Dome A, Antarctica.

CONTIGUOUS TEMPERATURE EXTREMES: The highest observation was 93F at Falfurrias and McAllen, TX. The lowest observation was -11F at Mount Washington, NH.

WEATHER ON THIS DATE IN 1925: The great Tri-State Tornado occurred, the most deadly tornado in U.S. history. The tornado claimed 695 lives (including 234 at Murphysboro IL and 148 at West Frankfort IL), and caused seventeen million dollars property damage. It cut a swath of destruction 219 miles long and as much as a mile wide from east central Missouri to southern Indiana between 1 PM and 4 PM. The tornado leveled a school in West Frankfort IL, and picked up sixteen students setting them down unharmed 150 yards away. Seven other tornadoes claimed an additional 97 lives that day.