We may have some ups and downs when it comes to temperatures, but there is no real threat for any significant weather until Tuesday at the earliest. I am watching a system that will likely bring rain, thunderstorms, and even the possibility of severe storms.
Before we get too excited, I'm not seeing anything showing indications of a severe weather outbreak. The setup looks marginal at this point with the greatest risk for thunderstorms during the afternoon and early evening Tuesday. The EHI or Energy Helicity Index from the GFS is showing the highest values in Mississippi and West Alabama Tuesday evening. In fact, the most likely area for severe storms should be in Mississippi based on this data.
Dew point temperatures will remain in the lower 60s on Tuesday. Typically (not always) - significant severe weather is favored when the dew point temperatures are above 65 degrees.
At this point, I think the overall severe threat will remain low for Alabama, but continue to watch this system for any changes. A bit more instability could mean the difference between a few thunderstorms and something much more threatening. We'll continue to have updates on our WBRC First Alert weather app and the weatherblog.
In the meantime, temperatures will fall this evening with overnight lows around 30 degrees. Expect clearing skies this afternoon. Sunshine is in the forecast Saturday with highs reaching the upper 50s during the afternoon. We could see a small chance for showers Saturday evening with a better chance for scattered rain on Sunday through the early afternoon.
WBRC First Alert Chief Meteorologist
A gradual increase in temperatures is expected over the next few days. This is staying on-course with our forecast for a mild Winter. This afternoon temperatures will reach the mid 50s with abundant sunshine. This evening temperatures will fall into the mid 40s so a light jacket may be required if you have plans tonight.
Tuesday will be another winner of a day for folks with outdoor plans. We will see highs in the upper 60s and possibly as high as 70 in a few places during the afternoon.
The dewpoint temperatures will remain low giving us comfortable conditions. We will again see mostly sunny skies in the forecast on Wednesday with temperatures in the upper 60s. We can expect a slight increase in cloud cover late Wednesday with the possibility for a few showers. A few sprinkles are expected in the forecast from Wednesday through Saturday. Rainfall amounts should generally be light as a weak front stalls across the area.
Temperatures will likely be a bit cooler Thursday and Friday with highs in the 50s with morning lows in the lower to mid 40s.
Weekend forecast: Saturday should be mostly cloudy with little to no rain across the area. We will see a few breaks in the cloud cover. Highs Saturday will reach the mid 50s. By Saturday evening, we'll see some cloud cover and lows in the lower 40s. Rain chances Sunday will climb to around 50-percent. The good news is no severe weather is expected. This will be just rain.
The GFS is indicating the heaviest rainfall will remain across the Tennessee Valley with light to moderate showers expected locally.
The longer range forecast continues to indicate above average temperatures over the next few months.
Have a great afternoon!
WBRC First Alert Chief Meteorologist
The Storm Prediction Center has now issued a PDS or Particularly Dangerous Situation Tornado Watch. These always get our attention because it means there is a good chance of a violent tornado happening within the watch area. The watch reaches all the way to the I-20 corridor which includes the WBRC Fox6 viewing area. The watch expires at 3am and includes Sumter, Hale, Green, Bibb, Shelby, Chilton, Coosa, Tallapoosa, Clay, and Talladega Counties.
Heavy rain and thunderstorms will track northward through the evening. We will likely see thunderstorms impacting the area as early as 9pm and tracking northeast. While most of what we'll see will be rain - it is possible we could see a tornado develop south of I-20. The greater threat as indicated by the model data suggests areas south of Montgomery. We'll be watching these areas closely through the evening.
High resolution model data suggests heavy rainfall moving into the area by 9pm.
The more widespread rain is expected to arrive after 11pm. Please note the individual thunderstorm cells south of the widespread rain. These individual cells are most likely to produce a tornado. We will be watching this area closely. Storms will tracking northeast through the overnight. If you have family or friends that attend school in Auburn, Troy, or just live in South of Montgomery - it would be a good idea to give them a call and let them know about the significant severe weather expected.
Aside from a tornado threat, there is also a threat for hail and heavy rainfall with this system. It might be a good idea to park your vehicle inside the garage just to be safe this evening.
The conditions are most favorable for tornado development through the evening mainly in South Alabama. The Significant Tornado Parameter values remain high overnight in South Alabama. I'm particularly concerned about Troy, Enterprise, Dothan, Ozark, and Brewton. Places around these cities and communities are in the bullseye for tornado development. It would not be out of the question for a significant EF3 or greater tornado to development in this part of the state. Please remain weather alert. The position of the warm front will be key in the northward extent of severe weather development. Models are keeping it to the south of the WBRC Fox6 viewing area, but we will have to monitor radar trends for changes.
The entire WBRC First Alert weather team is watching this developing weather situation. We'll keep you updated. Please make sure you have multiple ways to receive weather warnings including the WBRC First Alert weather app and NOAA weather radio - especially if you live south of I-20.
Please join us for WBRC Fox6 News beginning at 9pm for updates.
WBRC First Alert Chief Meteorologist
The rain and thunderstorms are right on schedule. For some of you, the NOAA weather radio may have gotten you up early. The Storm Prediction Center has issued a tornado watch until 11am for areas south of I-20. Fred Hunter is tracking storms this morning.
Model data is still indicating the greatest risk for tornado development in South Alabama. Highway 80 southward is probably the most likely places for development. This is where we are seeing the most instability and wind shear. The Energy Helicity Index is highest in south of Montgomery. The EHI graphic below is based on the HRRR model. We will likely see significant severe weather in this area of increased instability and wind shear sometime this morning.
In most of the WBRC viewing area, we are going to be looking at very heavy rainfall, gusty winds, and possible small hail.
Most of the rain will clear by this afternoon with highs in the upper 60s. We'll likely see additional showers and thunderstorms tonight through Sunday morning. The severe weather threat appears a bit more limited for the rest of the weekend. It would not surprise me to see some damage winds and hail before this system exists the state tomorrow. Remain weather alert for the rest of the weekend with multiple ways to receive weather warnings.
WBRC First Alert Chief Meteorologist
Severe weather is expected Saturday and to a lesser extent Sunday across Alabama. As additional data arrives, I'm getting a better idea on where the greatest risk for severe storms will develop.
We will likely see thunderstorms after 3am Saturday and lasting into the mid-morning hours. This could be the main severe weather event. Models are suggesting the greater risk for severe storms will remain south of I-20. The greatest risk for severe storms is south of the Montgomery area extending south toward the Gulf Coast. This is the simulated reflectivity or "future radar" for tomorrow at 6am. The storms moving into West Alabama will likely be hail producers. In fact, large hail is possible. First Alert for hail in Pickens, Tuscaloosa, Sumter, Hale, and Green Counties for Saturday morning.
The graphic below is the Energy Helicity Index (EHI). This is one of my favorite severe weather tools. The EHI for Saturday morning is highest in South Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida. The is the measurement of CAPE and Helicity. The idea - where those values are the highest is your best probability for severe storms including tornado development.
By mid-morning, the shift for severe weather shifts farther east and south based on the 4km NAM.
After mid-morning, we are expecting a break in the active weather. This may or may not allow the atmosphere time to recover for additional severe thunderstorm development. The instability will be there, but the wind shear will have decreased significantly by then. Overall, I think the severe risk will be much more limited Saturday afternoon/evening through Sunday.
The greatest risks locally for severe storms will come after 4am Saturday and continue as late as noon. If you live in Pickens, Tuscaloosa, Sumter, Greene, Hale, Bibb, Chilton, or Coosa Counties - you are in the area with the highest probability of seeing damaging winds, large hail, and/or tornadoes. For places farther south - the severe weather risk will increase dramatically. In fact, there's a possibility South Alabama could see some significant severe weather.
Please check back to the blog frequently, our mobile app, and WBRC Fox6 for changes in the forecast. It is possible we could see the primary threat shift a bit farther north.
WBRC Fox6 Chief Meteorologist
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.