We've been tracking and monitoring an intense line of rain and thunderstorms this evening. This storms are developing ahead of a strong cool front. The system certainly has a history of packing a strong punch with tornadoes and wind damage reported over the last few days. While the system is taking aim on Alabama, much of its threat will be gone. The wind shear is impressive, but the instability is rather lackluster. This means mainly rain for the state.
Over the next few hours, we can expect winds to pick up out of the southeast at between 25 and 30mph. We have been seeing nearly constant winds at area ASOS stations around 20-25mph. The gusty winds will be the main threat tonight and overnight. Don't be surprised to see a few garbage cans blown in the streets and gutters full of leaves. The best chances for rain will occur after 3am in West Alabama. The is an estimated breakout when it comes to timing based on the 4km NAM model. Thunderstorms and heavy rains will likely be impacting West Alabama between 4 and 6am. The greatest risk for tornadoes will remain in South Alabama. We could see a few spin-ups south of Montgomery. If you're heading South, make sure you remain weather aware.
The threat for heavy rain will continue through the morning commute and mid-morning hours. If you live in Birmingham, Hoover, Cullman, or Clanton the best chances for rain will occur after 7am and extend through at least 10am based on model data.
Storms will begin to exit the state during the late morning and early afternoon. By lunchtime, we will see heavy rain in Anniston, Oxford, and Gadsden. We could see upwards of 2" of rainfall in some locations. Most of the rain will be gone by 4pm.
What can we expect? We will see occasional cloud to ground lightning, periods of heavy rainfall, and strong winds out of the Southeast. These winds could gust up to 35mph.
Skies will slowly begin to clear Thursday evening with temperatures falling during the afternoon into the upper 50s. We should see sunshine back in the forecast both Thursday and Friday. Highs will reach the lower 60s. High pressure will dominate our weekend forecast. Expect colder morning lows. Those lows will likely drop near freezing both Saturday and Sunday morning. This ridge of high pressure will keep us dry through early next week.
Make sure you have the WBRC First Alert weather app for updated information concerning Wednesday's rain. We will have updates on-air, online, and via mobile.
WBRC Fox6 Chief Meteorologist