Severe storms are possible in the coming days in Alabama
Alabama is poised to pay the price for this week’s unusually warm weather in the form of rain and thunderstorms.
Strong to severe storms will be possible in Alabama today, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.
Storms are expected to develop before two cold fronts and one warm front. One of the cold fronts is expected to enter the state late overnight or Thursday. The other is expected this weekend.
Severe storms could bring destructive winds, hail, heavy rain and a tornado or two, forecasters say.
All that active weather could bring a lot of rain to the state, with up to 3 inches possible in some areas by Sunday. This could lead to flooding problems in the flood prone areas.
There were some changes in the forecast overnight. NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center added – and expanded – an “increased” risk of severe weather for northern Alabama. The latest update expanded this area to include the Huntsville and Decatur areas in addition to Northwestern Alabama.
An increased risk is level 3 out of 5 and means that many severe storms will be possible.
SPC has also expanded its low-risk zone (Level 2) to include most of central Alabama and parts of southern Alabama. A slight risk (level 2) means that scattered severe storms are possible. Everything else in southern Alabama is at marginal risk (Level 1), which means isolated severe storms are possible.
Another change: Forecasters now believe the storms could arrive sooner – reaching northern Alabama later this afternoon instead of tonight.
The threat of storms will persist through Thursday, and there is a marginal risk (Level 1) of storms in the southern part of the state. Here is the weather forecast for Thursday:
Also new: The Storm Prediction Center added a severe weather threat to all of northern and parts of central Alabama on Friday as a warm front lifts northward in the region, according to the Weather Service. Here is the weather forecast for Friday:
Rain and thunderstorms were moving across parts of the state Wednesday morning. The strongest thunderstorms are expected from this afternoon, according to the weather service.
The storms could arrive in multiple turns, forecasters said. Here’s what to expect by region across Alabama.
NORTH OF ALABAMA
There is an increased risk, or Level 3, of severe weather today for the northwest corner of the state, which means that many severe storms are possible. The rest of northern Alabama has a mild or level 2 risk of severe weather.
The Huntsville National Weather Service said a general threat of severe weather would develop in northern Alabama from this afternoon and last until Thursday morning. Here is the weather service’s reflection on timing:
All modes of severe weather will be possible today, including tornadoes, destructive winds, hail, and heavy rain.
Northern Alabama could see an inch to 1.5 inches of rain until Thursday morning in addition to the rain that fell overnight, according to the Weather Service.
Strong to severe storms will be possible from Friday evening to Saturday morning as a warm front moves north through the region. The northwest corner of the state has a level 2 risk of severe weather and the rest of the region has a level 1 risk from Friday to Saturday. The weather service added that there is low confidence in severe weather for the period from Friday to early Saturday.
There will be a third set of storms expected later Saturday and possibly last until Sunday before another cold front.
The weather service said changes in risk levels and timing will be possible over the next few days, but severe weather is to be expected on Saturday.
These storms could bring an additional 2-3 inches of rain to the area, which could raise flooding issues.
The storms are expected to recede by Sunday and cold air will blow in, which could bring the possibility of a brief winter mix in parts of the region. Confidence in this part of the forecast is low, but be aware that patchy black ice may be possible on the roads from Saturday night through Sunday.
Parts of central Alabama will face extreme weather today through Sunday morning, according to Birmingham’s National Weather Service.
The first threat of storms will come later today. The weather service said wind gusts of up to 60 mph and a tornado would be possible across central Alabama, with slightly higher odds in the northern and western parts of the region.
Storms will be possible as early as noon in the northwestern part of the region and will move east and south throughout the day until night.
The threat of a storm could persist until Thursday in the south and east of the region:
Scattered rains and storms will also be possible from Thursday to Friday, and the Storm Prediction Center added a marginal risk of severe weather for the northern part of central Alabama for Friday as a warm front moves north. across the region.
Another round of potentially strong storms will be possible from Saturday afternoon and possibly last until Sunday morning before another cold front, according to the weather service.
Destructive winds and heavy rains will again be possible, and a tornado cannot be ruled out.
Cold air will move south after the weekend system, and the weather service said light rains or flurries could be possible in the northern part of the region early on Sunday. No accumulation is expected.
The first part of next week should be dry and cold.
The Mobile National Weather Service said there is a marginal (Level 1) risk of severe weather events throughout southern Alabama from late this morning until early evening.
Stronger storms could have destructive winds of up to 60 mph, and an isolated tornado will also be possible.
The weather service added that strong storms are not a sure thing, but if they do develop they could become intense.
A marginal threat of severe weather will persist through Thursday for all of southern Alabama, according to the Storm Prediction Center.
Rain and thunderstorms will be possible on Friday, but widespread severe weather is not expected.
The next system will affect southern Alabama on Saturday and could again bring potential for strong to severe storms to the area, according to the weather service. The timing could change, but storms are more likely to appear late Saturday through Sunday morning.
“There is still too much uncertainty at this time to determine the overall storm mode and threat,” the weather service said in its discussion of the forecast on Wednesday. “We will continue to monitor the situation closely and provide additional information as the model directions become more accepted and overall confidence increases.”