NICE AFTERNOON: As forecast, the sky has become partly to mostly sunny across most of Alabama this afternoon with temperatures at or over 80 degrees in most places. The sky will be mostly fair tonight, with some low clouds forming after midnight.
TOMORROW: While a few showers could form tomorrow morning… most of the showers and storms will come during the afternoon and evening hours, when the airmass becomes very unstable across the Deep South. It will be much like a summer day… the storms will be “hit and miss”, but where they form they could produce strong winds and possibly some hail. There is no tornado threat tomorrow afternoon; the high will be in the mid to upper 70s.
TOMORROW NIGHT/SATURDAY: A nasty line of severe storms is forecast to roll into Alabama after midnight tomorrow night, into Saturday morning. SPC has defined an “enhanced risk” (level 3/5) as far east as Hamilton, Brent, and Grove Hill. There is a “slight risk” (level 2/5) to Huntsville, Anniston, Troy, and Foley, and a “marginal risk” (level 1/5) covers the rest of the state. Understand this is the SPC outlook technically for Day 2, tomorrow, but it covers the period that runs through 7:00 a.m. CT Saturday. There will be higher risk over East Alabama after 7:00 a.m Saturday.
TIMING: Storms will likely enter Northwest Alabama around 3:00-4:00 a.m. Saturday, and will move out of Southeast Alabama by 3:00 p.m. For the northern half of the state, the rain will be over by mid to late morning, and the afternoon will be dry with a clearing sky.
THREATS: This line of storms will be capable of producing damaging winds. Maybe even widespread wind damage. Also, a few tornadoes are possible in the line… and some hail is a possibility as well.
If you have an outdoor event planned for Saturday morning, be aware of this threat and pay attention to radar trends and warnings. Saturday afternoon will be mostly sunny over North/Central Alabama with a high in the mid 70s.
SUNDAY AND NEXT WEEK: Look for mostly sunny mild days and fair nights Sunday through Tuesday. The high will be in the mid 70s Sunday, upper 70s Monday, and close to 80 Tuesday. Showers are possible Wednesday, followed by another shot of drier air Thursday and Friday. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.
LONG RANGE: The latest CPC guidance for April 16-22 continues to suggest below average temperatures across the Deep South April 16-22. This pattern could bring a few frosty mornings to Alabama. Odds of a major, killing freeze are low, but there could be a few mornings with temperatures well down in the 30s.
“Blackberry winter” as some call it.
ON THIS DATE IN 1998: A violent EF-5 tornado cut a 31-mile long, 3/4-mile wide swath through nine Birmingham suburbs including Oak Grove, Sylvan Springs, Rock Creek, Pleasant Grove, Concord, Pratt City, and Edgewater before lifting in the western limits of the City of Birmingham. The worst of the destruction occurred across the Oak Grove, Rock Creek, McDonald Chapel, and Pratt City communities.
Thirty-two people were killed in this tornado including three in Oak Grove, eleven near Rock Creek, four in Sylvan Springs, two in Wylam Heights, nine in Edgewater, two in McDonald Chapel and one in West Ensley.
The same parent storm would drop another tornado that killed two more people in St. Clair County near Wattsville.
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