Severe Storms Possible Across Alabama Tonight : The Alabama Weather Blog4 min read
ACTIVE 24 HOURS AHEAD: The weather is clear and cold across Alabama early this morning with temperatures mostly in the 40s; we are seeing some 30s over the eastern counties. Clouds will increase today with a high in the 67-71 degree range, and some rain could break out this afternoon as moisture surges northward.
Severe thunderstorms are possible across Alabama tonight ahead of a dynamic weather system. SPC has defined an “enhanced risk” (level 3/5) for the far western counties of the state… there is a “slight risk” (level 2/5) as far east as Guntersville, Prattville, and Brewton, and a “marginal risk” (level 1/5) down to Opelika and Enterprise.
We should note the southeast corner of the state (Dothan, Ozark, etc) has a “marginal risk” (level 1/5) defined for tomorrow morning from 6-10 a.m.
TIMING: A few severe storms are possible across far West Alabama as early as 4-8 p.m.; initially the concern is from hail with little surface based instability. The core threat will come from 10 p.m. until 4 a.m. The severe weather threat will wind down after 4:00 a.m. as the storms move into a more stable airmass.
THREATS: Storms will be capable of producing large hail, damaging wind, and a few tornadoes. The main tornado threat is over the western half of the state in the enhanced and slight risk areas. We believe the highest tornado probabilities will be along and south of I-20, and west of I-65 (West and Southwest Alabama)…this is where the best combination of shear and instability will be found.
WIND: Away from thunderstorms, pressure gradient winds will average 15-25 mph tonight, with potential for gusts to 40 mph in spots.
RAIN: Rain amounts of 1-2 inches are likely… some heavier totals are possible across Southwest Alabama, where a flash flood watch has been issued.
BE PREPARED: For most of Alabama, the core threat will come during the late night/early morning hours, meaning you have to have a reliable way of getting warnings if they are needed. The best way is a NOAA Weather Radio; every home and business needs one. Be sure WEA (Wireless Emergency Alerts) are enabled on your phone, and have the free ABC 33/40 weather app installed.
Know the safe place in your home, and have helmets for everyone there. And, if you live in a mobile home, know the location of the nearest shelter, or business that is open 24/7 that can provide shelter, and also know the quickest way to get there. Have transportation available.
NOT SCARED: Events like this are very common in Alabama in November and December; there is no need to be anxious or worried. Just be prepared, get the warnings, and we will get through the night fine together. Don’t let the rogue TikTok and YouTube accounts scare you. The use fear to drive subscriber counts…. which is a horrible thing to do.
Look for a breezy and much cooler day tomorrow with temperatures falling through the 50s… the sky will gradually clear. We drop into the 27-32 degree range across North/Central Alabama by early Thursday morning. The weather will be dry Thursday and Friday with a good supply of sunshine both days; the high Thursday will be in the 50s, followed by 60s Friday.
THE WEEKEND: Showers are possible Saturday as a surface front pushes into the state. No risk of severe storms, probably very little thunder. Not a washout at all, but just be ready for some rain at times if you have an event outdoors. The high Saturday will be in the 65-70 degree range. Sunday’s forecast is a low confidence one due to model inconsistency, but the latest guidance suggests the front will stall out, meaning some risk of rain will continue through Sunday.
NEXT WEEK: We will mention a chance of showers Tuesday night and Wednesday with a cold front passing through, followed by cooler, drier air over the latter half of the week. Temperatures will reach the low 70s Monday and Tuesday, followed by low 60s Wednesday, and 50s Thursday and Friday. See the daily Weather Briefing video for maps, graphics, and more details.
ON THIS DATE IN 1991: A tornado struck southeast Springfield, Missouri, causing F4 damage. Shortly after touchdown, the tornado reached F3 intensity, approximately 3 miles north of the town of Nixa. While crossing Highway 65, the tornado picked up a truck and dropped it onto a frontage road, killing one passenger and injuring ten others. The tornado intensified to F4 strength as it moved through the Woodbridge and Natural Bridge Estates subdivisions where 15 homes were destroyed. Altogether, two people were killed and 64 others were injured.
ON THIS DATE IN 2016: Eleven tornadoes touched down across Alabama…one EF2 moved just under 10 miles from near Arley to Helicon in Winston County and ended two miles over the Cullman County line. The NWS survey determined the estimated maximum winds were near 130 mph.
BEACH FORECAST: Click here to see the AlabamaWx Beach Forecast Center page.
Look for the next Weather Briefing video here by 3:00 this afternoon… enjoy the day!
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