FIRST ALERT UPDATE FOR TODAY: While we do have a chance of seeing isolated strong storms today, the threat of a severe outbreak is limited.
Look for heavy rainfall at times, gusty to damaging winds and a small spin-up tornado threat. Highs are expected to be in the upper 60s to low 70s across our area...with winds out of the south at 5-10 mph.
Tonight the periods of heavy rainfall continue to be likely...with lows near 59...and south winds at 5-10 mph.
Friday looks fairly quiet though a few showers are possible during the day.
FIRST ALERT WEEKEND: The threat for severe storms capable of producing all modes of severe weather spikes on Saturday and Sunday. We will see multiple rounds potentially. The first might impact areas along and south of I-20 during the morning hours on Saturday.
That round moves out and we will have to wait and see how much instability develops ahead of round number 2. Future radar shows a chance for storms on Saturday afternoon then again at night and through Sunday morning.
Instability parameters will also be on the rise and that will mean any bit of convection will have to be watched closely. Storms will be capable of producing tornadoes and or damaging straight line winds. Large hail is also possible. Some of the highest instability in Central Alabama is expected on Saturday night into Sunday morning.
Let's be "weather aware" for today through the weekend. You can get continuous updates by monitoring our WBRC weather app and online, and of course we will be "on air" with updates if our weather becomes severe. Also make sure your weather radio has fresh batteries for updates in the event that you lose power.
Here's a look at your WBRC First Alert extended forecast:
Mickey Ferguson, WBRC First Alert weather
The weather pattern is active and we could see several rounds of severe storms across Alabama beginning tomorrow and ending sometime over the weekend. I'm starting to get a better idea of the overall weather picture as new data arrives.
First of all, I believe our severe threat tomorrow (Thursday) should remain low. The Storm Prediction Center has much of the state in a marginal risk. Based on current data, it is unlikely that risk will be upgraded.
What can we expect Thursday? Several rounds of heavy rainfall, some occasional gusty winds over 30mph, and the remote possibility of a brief tornado. We'll be monitoring the setup closely, but more than anything I'm expecting mainly rain for Thursday. Key severe weather parameters remain low. I expect the heaviest rainfall to occur late in the afternoon and continue through the night. Expect the peak time for rainfall between 5pm and 9pm.
FIRST ALERT: Stormy weather is possible across the state this weekend. The more I look at data the more I believe the greater threat for severe storms will occur on Saturday afternoon/evening instead of Sunday. There are also still some strong indications we could see the primary severe weather threat remain south of Montgomery and the I-85 corridor. We're not at a point to rule out severe weather across Central Alabama, but data is still suggesting the heaviest rainfall and greatest severe thunderstorm potential will impact South Alabama extending to the Gulf Coast. For places like Mobile, Gulf Shores, and Pensacola, the threat for severe weather looks high. In our local area, it is more likely you would see stronger storms south of I-20 than north of I-20.
We will see a round of showers and thunderstorms early Saturday and then another round during the afternoon/evening. We could see all types of severe storms including damaging winds, large hail, localized flooding, and tornadoes in at least some parts of the state. This is a dynamic system and should be watched. I've seen this type of setup go either way - either mainly rain with little to no severe storms or a high impact weather event.
Why am I not completely sold on widespread severe weather at this point? I'm not entirely sure how much the atmosphere will recover after the stabilizing effects of Saturday morning rainfall. Plus, how are will the warm front lift to our north? It will be critical to watch the warm front and its position. Areas south of the front are at the greater risk for severe thunderstorm development. I'm confident we will see widespread rainfall Saturday through Sunday. A wet weekend is shaping up with several inches of beneficial rainfall expected.
My advice is to keep a watchful eye on the weekend forecast for any changes. We could see the severe weather threat increase or possibly decrease as new data arrives. Of course, we'll provide plenty of updates via the WBRC First Alert weather app, social media, and on WBRC Fox6 News.
FIRST ALERT UPDATE: We are continuing to track the potential for two rounds of heavier rain and stronger storms this week. The first wave of heavier rain and storms will arrive tomorrow and then we will have a secondary surge of rain and storms beginning on Saturday. For the rest of today, you can expect a mostly cloudy sky, with scattered showers in the afternoon. High temperatures will surge into the upper 60s. Tonight scattered pockets of rain will track from southwest to northeast across the area, with temperatures tumbling into the middle 50s.
WHEN TO EXPECT HEAVIER RAIN AND STORMS TOMORROW: The first round of heavier rain and storms could begin over West Alabama as early as 9AM tomorrow. This heavier rain and storm activity will impact the I-65 corridor by lunchtime and then continue east thought the rest of the afternoon and evening. There is a marginal severe weather risk for damaging winds of 60 mph and quarter sized hail. If a severe storm does develop, a brief tornado can’t be ruled out. Stay weather alert throughout the day with our First Alert Weather App. Parts of the area could receive over 2” of rain! The heavier rain will taper off to spotty showers early Friday.
THE WEEKEND ROUND #2: The next round of heavy rain and storms will arrive Saturday afternoon as a warm front lifts into the area. There will be increasing buoyancy and wind shear that may lead to some severe weather near and south of the warm front. Thunderstorms further north may be more elevated in nature, with strong winds and hail being the primary threat. However, there will be an increasing risk for severe storms capable of producing a tornado further south. For areas along, and especially south of I-20 corridor, I’d be Weather Alert Saturday afternoon and evening. The main cold front will swing through the area on Sunday and this has the potential to bring another threat of strong to severe storms. There is a chance that a more water loaded atmosphere, the time of day, plus coastal rain/storms could limit instability. We will continue to highlight Sunday morning and midday Sunday for the possibility of strong to severe storms, especially south of I-20. That being said, considering the possibility of some limiting factors, Saturday afternoon may end up being the more active time period this weekend.
RAIN/STORMS MONDAY? Trailing upper level energy will track across the state on Monday and this colder air aloft may lead to some instability. I was noticing some steep lapse rates as this energy rotates over the state. We will have a chance for more showers on Monday, with the possibility of a rumble of thunder. There may even be some small hail mixed in with some of the rain showers. This would be a much cooler environment, with temperatures only in the 50s on Monday. This wet weather will depart early on Tuesday, with lows in the 40s. Be sure to join us at NOON for a FIRST ALERT UPDATE. You can also watch the LIVE Stream on the WBRC First Alert Weather App.
WBRC First Alert Meteorologist Wes Wyatt
We are looking at another day of overcast skies, and unseasonably warm, muggy air. We are not expecting much of a chance of rain for today, but a couple of wet weather systems are waiting in the wings. Look for highs today to top out near 66-degrees...with NW winds around 5 mph.
We are expecting clouds to remain in place tonight...with lows near 55...and NW winds at 5 mph.
Early Thursday morning rain should begin pushing into our area and remain throughout the day. While this storm system could see a few isolated thunderstorms, a major outbreak of severe storms is not anticipated with this system. While much needed rainfall will cover our area, flash flooding is not expected. Highs tomorrow should again make it into the mid to upper 60s.
Most of the rain should push through our area by Friday morning, but clouds and patchy drizzle could remain through the day on Friday.
Here is J-P's update on this weekend's weather:
First Alert Weekend: It is possible we could see a round of strong to severe thunderstorms Saturday afternoon through Sunday. Forecast models are pointing to a greater risk in South Alabama, but it is possible the risk could shift northward as we receive new model data.
The threat could include possible tornadoes and damaging winds. It is a bit early right now, but this is a dynamic system and something we need to watch closely. We are waiting for higher resolution data to arrive that should give us a more accurate idea of what is going to happen. Rain chances will be high Saturday night through Sunday with some areas receiving over 2" of beneficial rainfall. Temperatures through the weekend will reach the upper 60s. Stay weather alert for changing weather conditions that could mean a higher impact locally.
Here's a look at your WBRC First Alert extended forecast:
Have a nice Hump Day!
Mickey Ferguson, WBRC First Alert weather
So far this winter, we have mainly had warm weather, occasionally interrupted by Arctic cold! Temperatures will be way above normal across much of North America, including the central and eastern U.S., over the next week.
However, the weather pattern will be changing somewhat by the end of the week, as a big upper trough moves toward Alabama; and may close off over Texas or Arkansas, making the weather around here even more unpredictable.
With the approach of the upper trough, we should see several chances for rain from tonight through Sunday, and that is good considering that we are still in a drought. The experts at NCEP predict 3 to 4" of rain over most of Alabama during the next week.
Right now, it looks like the best chance for heavy rain will come Thursday night, and again Saturday night into Sunday. But the timing of that could change. When it is this warm in January and weather systems are approaching, you almost always have to look at the chance for severe weather. We don't expect much of that on Thursday, but there could be some isolated severe weather around here this weekend. With southerly flow off the Gulf, dewpoints will be in the 60s this weekend, and the air will be somewhat unstable, with CAPE values up near 1000 J/kg possible from Saturday afternoon through Sunday.
There will also be the chance of some wind shear, especially if the upper low pressure area does not cut off but stays as an open wave. It is too early to tell how much wind shear will be around to support organized severe weather or maybe even tornadoes. It does not look too impressive right now, but it is a volatile pattern and the forecast could change.
I will have a more detailed blog on the odd temperature extremes this Winter so far, and what to expect for the last half of winter, next week! Meanwhile, tune in to Fox 6 News for updates on the possibility of severe weather and heavy rain later this week and this weekend.
Dr. Tim Coleman
We're watching the weekend weather closely for the possibility of severe weather in Alabama. It's still early and much can change. We're looking at the potential for either a high impact severe weather event locally or severe weather that could be confined more to South Alabama. I want to stress this far out we have a good bit of uncertainty, but the ingredients are there and the system could affect your weekend plans.
The Storm Prediction Center is already highlighting their "Day 5" risk area. Their thinking is the system will have a higher severe weather threat Montgomery southward toward the Gulf Coast. This is based largely off the GFS model and the location of the highest instability/shear. Certainly not a bad forecast at this point. The concern is whether or not that instability streams a bit farther north or is limited by the coastal thunderstorm development. The Gulf of Mexico will be "wide open" if we do not realize the storm development along the coast priming our area for severe storms.
This is the surface map for Sunday morning. Note the position of the warm front. The warm front could remain south of us.
However, there are some indications we could see the warm front lift farther north. Areas south of the "red line" would be the focus for severe thunderstorm development because of the unstable and very juicy airmass.
Below is the GFS model output with helicity and (CAPE) instability for Saturday afternoon. While the highest instability remain farther south, it is concerning since the wind shear favor severe weather locally even if we achieve only modest instability. Dewpoint temperatures are forecast to reach the mid 60s based on both the GFS and Euro models through the afternoon and evening for Central Alabama.
Right now I would plan on at least some severe weather across our area Saturday afternoon/evening through Sunday morning. The best chances would likely remain south of I-20, but this could change. It is also possible we could see a more limited severe threat with storms confined to South Alabama northward to Montgomery. This type of setup favors severe thunderstorms that produce hail, strong winds, heavy rainfall, and even tornadoes. We need to watch this closely over the next few days as the high resolution data arrives. Be sure to check back to the blog frequently as well as our WBRC First Alert weather app, WBRC.com, and of course our newscasts.
WBRC First Alert Chief Meteorologist
Warm temperatures remain in our forecast this week. We aren't expected to see as much sunshine today. With mostly cloudy skies look for highs to top out in the upper 60s to low 70s.
Our best chance of rain look like it will occur this evening into early Wednesday morning. Lows tonight are expected to bottom out in the mid-50s.
Wednesday looks to be an overcast day, but with only a slight chance of patchy drizzle here and there...highs are expected to be in the upper 60s...lows in the 50s.
I have included J-P's update on storms later this week:
We're expecting more rain and a few thunderstorms on Thursday and Thursday evening. The rain chances will remain high, but the overall severe weather threat looks limited because of the lack of significant instability. Rain chances right now are at least in the 60-percent rain during the day and increasing during the evening. Scattered showers are expected to linger through Friday. Temperatures again will remain above average with highs in the upper 60s.
Weekend First Alert: Rain and thunderstorm potential is high for the weekend. If you have outdoor plans on Saturday, the best advice is to take care of them early in the day. The best chances for thunderstorms will arrive during the afternoon and evening. Some storms could be strong. Right now there are indications the strongest thunderstorms would likely remain along the Gulf Coast. This would likely limit our severe weather potential. The setup will need to be monitored closely for changes that could bring a severe potential closer to the the I-20 corridor. There are indications of some thunderstorms becoming elevated which could produce some significant hail. We need to monitor Saturday after 3pm through early Sunday. Stay weather alert and at least plan on some decent weekend rain. Highs this weekend will reach the mid 60s.
We're expecting some colder temperatures coming up next week with clearing skies in the forecast for Monday and Tuesday. Highs next week should be more seasonal with temperatures in the upper 40s and lower 50s. The long range forecast keeps above average temperatures in the forecast over the next several months. This means get used to perhaps a stormier weather pattern with higher than average rain chances. Expect highs in the 60s to be more common than highs in the 40s through February.
Have a happy Tuesday!
Mickey Ferguson, WBRC First Alert weather
Here's a tweak on Wes' earlier forecast. Not much has changed. Today expect mostly cloudy skies...high in the low to mid-70s...and south wind around 10 mph
A CLOUDY AND SOGGY SETUP: An active southwest flow pattern will bring multiple rounds of wet weather to state beginning on Tuesday. It won’t rain all of the time but waves of showers and storms will be crossing the region through the end of the week. The first increasing chance of showers arrives on Tuesday as a front stalls over the state. A few thunderstorms may pop-up in the afternoon on Tuesday and these cells should remain below severe levels. It’s going to remain damp and overcast through Wednesday morning, with a few lingering showers possible. Forecast data suggests we could catch a break in the steadier or more organized rain late Wednesday through early Thursday; I’m still expecting overcast and damp conditions, with a few isolated showers. Then be on the lookout for another surge of showers and possibly a few storms beginning late Thursday and continuing into the day on Friday.
Forecast rain amounts by late week don’t look too impressive however we could easily see an inch of rain in most areas by late Friday. This would certainly help with the lingering drought conditions.
THE WEEKEND: The pattern won’t change much by the time we reach the weekend. I’m expecting another surge in rain and thunderstorms that could impact Saturday night through Sunday. I do think the environment may become a bit more favorable for a strong storm or two, especially south of I-20. So we will need to keep a close eye on the storm environment for the weekend.
Be sure to check our First Alert Weather App for frequent updates.
Mickey Ferguson, WBRC First Alert weather