On April 27th, 2011, 62 tornadoes left their marks on Alabama. In the end, 252 peopled died as a result of the deadly storms. The following video clips take us back to that deadly day in Alabama history.
Nine months later I had the opportunity to fly over the damage in West Jefferson County. The damage scars were still very visible. This was an aerial look over Concord, Pleasant Grove, Oak Grove, and Tuscaloosa.
Fox6 Chief Meteorologist
Dry weather continues across Alabama this morning with cooler temperatures and increasing high clouds. The cloud cover is associated with a complex of strong to severe storms that is prompting tornado warnings in the New Orleans area. The strongest storms associated with this complex should move off of the coast, although rain with this system may impact places like Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. This smaller scale system to our south has caused wind speeds to remain a bit higher this morning. Clouds will linger into tonight however we don’t expect any precipitation.
RAIN TOMORROW/WEDNESDAY: A low pressure system moving along the Gulf Coast will trigger our next chance of rain tomorrow. The wet weather will increase from west to east during the morning, with a few heavier downpours in the afternoon. We can’t rule out a rumble of thunder later in the day but the greatest chance would be in locations south of I-20. Once this system passes to our south, trailing upper air energy will move overhead for a couple of days. This will produce a cooler, cloudy, and wet setup that will linger Tuesday night and on Wednesday. The rain threat should end by Thursday however the sky will remain cloudy with a cool breeze during the day.
SUNSHINE RETURNS FRIDAY: The low clouds should finally move out on Friday as the upper level disturbance lifts to our northeast. We will start off the day on a chilly note but look for temperatures to make a big recovery over the weekend.
WEATHERFEST 2015: Weatherfest has been rescheduled for this Saturday, May 2nd from 10 AM -2 PM at the McWane Science Center. If you are a fan of weather, you don’t want to miss this event! Several meteorologist will be there, along with the tools used to track and monitor severe weather. We will also have several prizes and special presentations on the iHeart Radio Stage. We hope to see you in front of McWane this Saturday!
Fox6 Meteorologist Wes Wyatt
We have another nice looking day out there today...just more clouds than yesterday...and highs in the low 70s. Look for increasing clouds tonight with lows near 53.
Tomorrow a trough of low pressure is expected to make its way into southeast Louisianna. That will give us a chance of scattered showers by afternoon. The low should hug the coastal areas as it moves east and give us scattered showers through mid-day Wednesday.
Expect clearing skies on Thursday as high pressure builds in again.
Friday through the weekend looks fab with mostly clear skies...can you dig it!!!
You can expect one more dry day in Alabama and then it will be time to break out the umbrella again! April is typically one of our wetter months but this year April could end up being the wettest! Birmingham has measured 9.89” of rain (6.23” above average), Tuscaloosa has measured 8.57” of rain (5.03” above average), and Anniston has measured 8.06” of rain (4.63” above average). There is a good chance this surplus of rain will be higher by Friday.
TONIGHT/TOMORROW: A cold front will track across our area this evening. This front will help set the stage for a much cooler night, with low temperatures in the upper 40s and low 50s. After a pleasantly cool start to our Monday, temperature will rebound into the 70s. It won’t be quite as windy, with a northerly breeze at 5 to 10 mph. Clouds will increase by the afternoon and this will be in response to our next rainmaker.
(Futurecast Simulated Radar 1:30 Tuesday.)
RAIN LIKELY ON TUESDAY/WEDNESDAY: We are looking at a cloudy, cool, and rainy weather setup for the middle portion of the week as low pressure tracks along the Gulf Coast. The rain is expected to begin by Tuesday afternoon and we could deal with on and off rain through Tuesday night and Wednesday. The good news is that this setup does not support any strong thunderstorms. In fact, we expect little to no thunder as this system impacts our area. Temperatures will be below average with highs in the 60s and lows nearing 50º. The wet weather should taper off by Thursday but I expect low clouds will linger so we may not see a good supply of sunshine again until Friday. I will have more specifics in your forecast beginning at 9 PM on WBRC!
Fox6 Meteorologist Wes Wyatt
The radar is quiet and will primarily stay that way the rest of the day despite the fact that a cold front is going to be push southward across the state. A spotty shower can't be ruled out this Sunday afternoon across east Alabama but generally the weak front will only produce enough lift for the development of clouds. Expect gusty winds and one more day with highs in the upper 70s and lower 80s until next weekend. Temperatures will be slightly cooler for folks that live along the highway 278 corridor because the cold front arrives first across that location.
Muggy air is in place ahead of the front with dewpoint temperatures in the 60s. The Frizz Factor is moderate today but will be lower tonight once the front passes through. Breezy conditions are expected during the afternoon hours so heads up for that. Also, if you received heavy rainfall yesterday, you may want to hold off another day before doing any yard work.
Sunday night the cold front passes through and the air mass changes dramatically. The winds die down, clouds break up and both the temperature and dewpoint temperature lowers which will make it feel refreshing outside. It might be a perfect night to open up the windows with temperatures dropping into the lower 50s.
We squeeze in one more mainly dry day on Monday before our next system moves in. This system shifts into the Southern Plains today through Monday and then impacts Alabama on Tuesday into Wednesday. The strongest storms this go around avoid Central Alabama. We are just expecting a cool, rain and perhaps a few rumbles of thunder. Rain chances are very low leading up to the event and then spike to 60 percent on Tuesday and Wednesday. As of now, a mainly dry pattern sets up late week and lingers into next weekend.
Enjoy the rest of the weekend,
Jill Gilardi Fox 6 Meteorologist
MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 0456 NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK 0210 PM CDT SAT APR 25 2015 AREAS AFFECTED...PORTIONS OF CNTRL AL AND WRN GA CONCERNING...SEVERE POTENTIAL...WATCH POSSIBLE VALID 251910Z - 252045Z PROBABILITY OF WATCH ISSUANCE...40 PERCENT SUMMARY...AN ISOLATED SEVERE THREAT MAY DEVELOP ACROSS PORTIONS OF CNTRL AL/WRN GA THIS AFTERNOON. DEPENDING ON ADDITIONAL CONVECTIVE DEVELOPMENT...WW ISSUANCE IS POSSIBLE. DISCUSSION...ISOLATED CONVECTION THAT INITIALLY FORMED OVER E-CNTRL MS HAS RECENTLY MOVED INTO W-CNTRL AL WHILE WEAKENING...MOST LIKELY IN ASSOCIATION WITH LIFT ATTENDANT TO A LOW AMPLITUDE SHORTWAVE TROUGH MOVING OVER THE LOWER MS VALLEY ALONG WITH DIURNAL HEATING. A BROAD CIRRUS SHIELD DOWNSTREAM FROM THUNDERSTORMS ALONG THE GULF COAST IS TEMPERING MORE ROBUST HEATING ACROSS THIS AREA...WITH TEMPERATURES GENERALLY IN THE UPPER 70S TO LOWER 80S. CONVECTION FROM EARLIER THIS MORNING HAS OVERTURNED THE LOW TO MID LEVEL AIRMASS AND LESSENED LAPSE RATES SOMEWHAT. HOWEVER...18Z SOUNDINGS FROM BMX AND FFC SUGGEST THAT THE ATMOSPHERE HAS HAD SUFFICIENT TIME TO RECOVER...AS MLCAPE RANGES FROM 1000-2000 J/KG ACROSS CNTRL AL...TO ABOUT 500-1000 J/KG OVER WRN GA. EFFECTIVE SHEAR OF 50-70 KT WOULD SUPPORT SUPERCELL STRUCTURES...WITH AN ASSOCIATED THREAT FOR DAMAGING WINDS AND LARGE HAIL. WITH LOW-LEVEL FLOW NOW MAINLY VEERED TO THE SW PER 18Z AREA SOUNDINGS AND RADAR VWPS...THE TORNADO THREAT APPEARS LOW AT THIS TIME. RECENT HRRR TRENDS SUGGEST ISOLATED TO WIDELY SCATTERED CONVECTION MAY FORM ACROSS SRN PORTIONS OF CNTRL AL THIS AFTERNOON. IF THIS OCCURS...THEN A WW MAY BE ISSUED. ..GLEASON/MEAD.. 04/25/2015
Quiet weather continues through the early afternoon hours. In the meantime, the atmosphere gradually destabilizes from southwest to northeast across the state. Temperatures warm into the upper 70s and lower 80s and dewpoints remain high in the middle 60s which will help fuel storms later today.
Widespread rain and storms are expected across southern Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia on this Saturday afternoon. Central Alabama will see isolated to widely scattered storm development any time after 2pm and especially between the hours of 3pm-7pm. Certainty is low regarding the overall coverage but any storm that forms will have the potential to quickly become severe.
The Storm Prediction Center still has central Alabama under a slight risk for severe storms. That means severe weather is likely but the storms will be low in coverage and of varied intensity. Due to high instability and strong wind shear, any severe storm that manages to form will have the capability of producing damaging wind gusts, large hail and possible tornadoes.
Again, there is still uncertainty regarding if and how many storms might form this afternoon. Play it safe and be weather aware today if you are planning on doing anything outside and please have a way to receive watch and warning information.
Jill Gilardi Fox 6 Meteorologist
The rest of Saturday morning looks fairly quiet with thinning clouds. A spotty shower can't be ruled out to the south of I-20 but most places look to stay dry. If you are attending one of the many outdoor activities and events going on today, you shouldn't run into any issues early on but that could change this afternoon through the evening hours.
A large mass of showers and storms moves along the Gulf Coast this afternoon and the northern shield of precipitation looks to impact areas along and south of I-20 during the early afternoon hours. This area of rain may be our saving grace and may lower the threat for severe storms this afternoon by robbing some of the greatest moisture and instability. Have an umbrella with you at all times this afternoon.
I think some of the strongest storms will occur along the Gulf Coast including south Alabama and Georgia and across parts of the Ohio and Tennessee River Valley this Saturday afternoon and evening. There is an enhanced risk for severe storms across parts of Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky. That's where the greatest risk for storms capable of producing tornadoes will develop. Farther south, there is a slight risk which includes the majority of the Fox 6 viewing area. That means severe storms are likely but more isolated in nature and of different intensities.
The radar after 3pm will most likely be speckled with isolated to widely scattered showers and storms. I think enough instability will be in place for some of the storms to turn severe. We are not expecting widespread severe storms but more hit or miss in nature. That threat will persist through 9pm before any activity that forms, fizzles out.
The severe weather parameters look high enough that the strongest of the storms will be capable of producing large hail and damaging winds. There is still a tornado threat as well but it's slightly lower than hail and wind. New model data comes out later this morning and we will reassess the severe threat and update the graphics and forecast if needed. This is not a clear, cut forecast. Subtle small scale features can have large impacts. Residual boundaries left over by morning storms can pose big problems and so we highly recommend that you check back with us at several times during the day.
I understand there are a lot of outdoor activities and events going on today and you are probably wondering if it is safe to go or not.
Here are my recommendations:
Some of you will get to enjoy a pretty quiet day while others will see several hours of nice weather followed by stormy conditions. Just be weather aware and we will do our best to keep you informed of changing weather.
Jill Gilardi Fox 6 Meteorologist
We're looking at several rounds of possible severe weather through tomorrow evening. I'm becoming a bit less concerned about the overnight threat through early Saturday. I'm not sure if the instability will return enough for us to see significant storms.
ROUND #1: The primary threat from 3am through 7am will be gusty winds and heavy rain. The overall tornado risk will remain rather low. It does appear the greater risk for severe storms toward daybreak will be west of I-65. Don't be surprised if thunder wakes you up.
ROUND #2: After 2pm, it's possible we could see some thunderstorm development because of increased instability. CAPE values are forecast to be extreme during the afternoon and evening. CAPE values could reach over 3,000 j/kg in East Alabama.
The high resolution 4km NAM is indicating some supercell development in East Alabama. This is a bit concerning since supercells are type storms that often produce tornadoes. Are we guaranteed to see supercells develop? No. We're lacking a significant forcing mechanism. This is something we need to monitor closely.
HIGHEST IMPACT AREAS: I'd be particularly weather aware if I lived East of I-65 during the afternoon and early evening. Counties that will be favored for possible tornado development are Etowah, St. Clair, Calhoun, Cherokee, and Cleburne. This is not an tornado outbreak, but an isolated strong tornado is not out of the question in this environment.
Fox6 will continue to provide updates throughout the weekend.
Fox6 Chief Meteorologist
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