Conditions are approving over Alabama this afternoon after a night of heavy rain and severe weather. Sunshine has tentatively returned to much of the state except for the Wiregrass of Southeast Alabama.
Tornadoes did manage to develop overnight as very powerful winds aloft and at the surface were able to transfer massive amounts of warm and moist air inland. Enough of a warm sector was formed to support updrafts that could translate some of those upper level winds to the surface. In addition to that, strong gradient winds formed in response to the difference in pressure between the rapidly intensifying low over Mississippi and strong high pressure over the Mid-Atlantic.
Tornadoes developed around Mobile and all across the Florida Panhandle, which was under siege for several hours by landfalling tornadic storms. An RV Park in Marianna, Florida was destroyed. A condo near Panama City was heavily damaged.
A couple of those storms moved up into the Southeast part of Alabama where a fatality was recorded in Houston County. It is the first tornado fatality of the year here in Alabama. I am not sure whether it was the first U.S> tornado fatality of the young year.
Temperatures across North and Central Alabama are in the upper 40s and 50s. Those gradient winds have calmed a bit, but are still gusty. Winds are gusting to 47 knots still at Muscle Shoals. Winds are gusty in the Huntsville area as well. Elsewhere, wind gusts have diminished to around 20 mph.
Clouds will fill back in this evening, and there will be a few light showers overnight. Skies will start to clear toward morning and will become mostly sunny during the day tomorrow. Lows tonight will be right around freezing. Highs on Wednesday will be in the 40s over the northern half of the area, with lower 50s over South Alabama.
Thursday will be warmer with a southerly wind kicking back in.
We will be monitoring the weather to our west Thursday as severe weather is expected across the ArkLaTexMiss. BY Friday, a line of storms will be moving into Alabama, probably during the afternoon. There could we a range of severe weather from marginally severe over North Central Alabama, a marginal tornado threat over South Central Alabama with an enhanced tornado threat over South Alabama. We still have a lot of time to study this.
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Bill Murray is the President of The Weather Factory. He is the site’s official weather historian and a weekend forecaster. He also anchors the site’s severe weather coverage. Bill Murray is the proud holder of National Weather Association Digital Seal #0001 @wxhistorian
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