SUNNY BUT COOL DAY: With a sunny sky, temperatures are in the low to mid-60s across most of Alabama this afternoon… the average high for Birmingham on April 22 is 76. Tonight will be clear, and not as cold as last night. Lows early tomorrow morning will be generally in the 40-48 degree range.
The weather stays dry tomorrow… with a partly sunny sky the high will be close to 70 degrees. Clouds will increase tomorrow night.
STORMY SATURDAY: A batch of rain and thunderstorms will move into Alabama after midnight tomorrow night, and some of those storms could be strong to severe. SPC has defined a “slight risk” (level 2/5) of severe thunderstorms for areas south of a line from Tuscaloosa to Birmingham to Jacksonville, with a “marginal risk” (level 1/5) as far north as Cullman.
The main window for stronger storms with this round will come from about 3:00 until 11:00 a.m. Saturday. Heavier storms will be capable of producing strong winds and hail… and an isolated tornado or two can’t be ruled out. High-resolution model guidance continues to show very little surface-based instability, which should help to mitigate the threat to some degree. The rain will be heavy at times… amounts of 1-2 inches are likely.
After midday lull, another round of thunderstorms is likely Saturday afternoon ahead of a cold front. These storms could produce small hail and strong gusty winds… tornadoes are not expected as the winds will be unidirectional in the atmosphere by then. Rain amounts of 1-2 inches are likely across most of Alabama Saturday, with isolated totals to 3 inches.
The rain should be over by 5:00-6:00 p.m. over the northern half of the state, and by midnight Saturday night over South Alabama. The sky will clear Saturday night, and Sunday will be a dry day with a good supply of sunshine. Highs over the weekend will be in the low to mid-70s.
NEXT WEEK: Look for warm, dry weather Monday through Wednesday with mostly sunny days and fair nights. The high Monday will be around 80, followed by mid-80s Tuesday and Wednesday. Another round of showers and storms is likely by Thursday… too early to know if severe thunderstorms will be an issue. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.
RACE WEEKEND: Saturday will feature occasional rain and a few strong thunderstorms at Talladega… the high will be in the low to mid-70s. But, Sunday will be a picture-perfect day for the running of the Geico 500 with lots of sun along with a high in the mid-70s.
ON THIS DATE IN 2003: Tropical Storm Ana became the first Atlantic tropical storm since records began in 1871 to form during the month of April. Maximum sustained winds reached 55 mph. Starting as a non-tropical area of low pressure on the 18th about 210 miles south-southwest of Bermuda, it was classified as a sub-tropical storm early on the 20th, it gained full tropical characteristics near 0000 UTC on the 21st, developing an “eye” feature.
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