CLOUDLESS SKY: With sunshine in full supply this afternoon, temperatures are mostly in the 70s across Alabama. Tonight will be clear and cool with a low between 47 and 52 degrees.
Tomorrow will be another sunny day with a high close to 80 degrees.
FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: Moisture levels will rise, and we will introduce the chance of isolated showers Friday and Saturday. Still, most of these two days will be dry with a mix of sun and clouds. Scattered showers and storms will become more numerous Sunday as a weak surface front approaches, but this won’t be a “washout”. The chance of any spot getting wet Friday is 10-20 percent, 20-30 percent Saturday, and 50-60 percent Sunday. Like summer days, the best chance of a shower or storm will come during the afternoon and evening hours, and highs will be in the low to mid 80s.
NEXT WEEK: A moist, unstable airmass will be in place much of the week, meaning some risk of scattered showers and thunderstorms on a daily basis. This won’t like the large scale, soaking rain events like we can see in spring, but more like a summer pattern with random showers and storms. Highs through the week will be in the 80s, with lows in the 60s. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.
ON THIS DATE IN 2011: A generational tornado outbreak for Alabama. A total of 62 tornadoes; 252 people were killed. There were two rounds of storms that day; a line of severe thunderstorms with damaging winds and embedded tornadoes moved through during the morning hours, then supercell thunderstorms, many featuring violent, long track tornadoes, developed again during the afternoon and evening hours.
The most violent tornado of the event was an EF-5 that tore through communities like Hackleburg, Phil Campbell, and and Tanner. This one started on the ground into southern Tennessee, and killed 72 people across six counties. An EF-4 tornado tore through central Cullman, damaging more than 800 homes and nearly 100 businesses before moving into Morgan and Marshall counties… it killed five members of one family in the community of Ruth in Marshall County.
Another tornado ripped through Pickensville and Cordova during the afternoon, killing 10 people along its 128-mile journey. Cordova was hit twice April 27, 2011. Yet another struck Marion County, killing six. At almost the same moment, another tornado, an EF-4, killed 11 people while tearing through Jackson and DeKalb counties.
At 4:43 p.m., an EF-4 tornado with winds up to 190 mph touched down in Greene County and began its deadly journey toward Tuscaloosa. ABC 33/40 viewers watched in horror as our SKYCAM showed the tornado moving straight through the heart of the Druid City, barely missing DCH Regional Medical Center. The tornado ultimately traveled 80 miles, killing 43 people including six University of Alabama students. Another nine died later from injuries related to the storm. That same storm was soon threatening metro Birmingham. The tornado tore through the Pratt City and Smithfield neighborhoods of the city and then turned north, just before it reached downtown. It crushed portions of Pleasant Grove, Concord and McDonald Chapel.
As evening fell, the tornadoes kept coming. A twister in Greene, Hale and Bibb counties killed seven. In northeast Alabama, an EF-4 tornado scraped across Fyffe, Rainsville and Sylvania, killing more than 25. Another EF-4, spawned from the same supercell that pummeled Tuscaloosa and Jefferson counties, tore through the Shoal Creek valley of St. Clair County, killing 22 before crossing into Georgia. Shortly after 8 p.m., another damaging EF-4 took a meandering path through Elmore, Tallapoosa and Chambers counties, including ripping through areas around Lake Martin.
This was part of a four day event which produced 360 tornadoes in 21 states from Texas to New York to southern Canada.
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