James Spann: Rain, storms move into Alabama on Tuesday

MILD MONDAY: Temperatures are mostly in the low 70s across Alabama this afternoon with a mix of sun and clouds; there’s nothing on the radar as of 3:15 p.m. We will maintain the chance of a few isolated showers tonight, but the main action will be well to the northwest of Alabama, where most of Missouri and parts of the adjacent states are under an “enhanced” risk of severe storms. Tornado watches are already in effect from Missouri north to Minnesota.

STORMY TUESDAY: A deep surface low will move into Canada, but the trailing cold front will creep into Alabama tomorrow, bringing showers and thunderstorms. With the surface low and main wind fields well to the north, we don’t anticipate a big severe weather problem, but the Storm Prediction Center has pulled a “marginal” risk into west and north Alabama.

Thunderstorms tomorrow afternoon could produce hail and strong, gusty winds; the main window for the heavier storms will come from noon to 8 p.m. Rain amounts of at least one-half inch are likely; a few spots could see up to 1 inch.

WEDNESDAY/THURSDAY: These two days will be dry, with cool nights and pleasant afternoons. The high Wednesday will be close to 70, followed by mid 70s Thursday. We do note Thursday morning will be chilly, with a low in the upper 30s in many places.

FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: A cold front will approach Alabama from the north Friday, and with moisture levels rising we could see a few showers and possibly a thunderstorm. The front will hang up over Tennessee and move a little northward Saturday in response to a surface low forming over Arkansas. This puts Alabama in the “warm sector” of the new system Saturday, opening the door for strong, maybe severe thunderstorms. The SPC in its outlook for Saturday has a risk defined already for the northwest corner of Alabama. Just a little too early to determine if severe storms will be an issue; the latest Global Forecast System suggests instability values won’t be all that high, which might mitigate a severe weather problem. We will have much better clarity after tomorrow’s event; you know we like to take them one at a time.

Sunday will feature a clearing sky, and the weather turns much cooler, with a high between 58 and 61 degrees.

MARCH SNOW: Global models are hinting a pretty good March snow event could unfold this weekend north of Alabama. Travelers, beware.

NEXT WEEK: A very active March pattern continues; another round of showers and storms seems likely Monday night with another cold front approaching from the west. And yet another system shows up later in the week.

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