James Spann: Active storms over northwest Alabama

SEVERE STORMS: An unstable air mass has developed over northwest Alabama this afternoon, and numerous showers and storms have fired up. A number of severe thunderstorm warnings have been issued by the National Weather Service Birmingham, including parts of Marion, Lamar and Winston counties. All of the storms have been showing broad rotation, and we have seen a number of wall cloud photos, but so far no evidence of a tornado.

The window for strong to severe storms will close this evening, but widespread rain and storms are expected over the northern third of Alabama tonight through tomorrow, and NWS Huntsville continues a flood watch for its counties in the Tennessee Valley.

Showers tonight will be more scattered for places like Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, Anniston and Gadsden, but rain will be more widespread tomorrow as a cold front slices into the state. The Storm Prediction Center maintains a “marginal risk” of severe storms tomorrow for a small part of east Alabama, but because of the lack of surface-based instability the overall threat looks fairly low.

Rain amounts for the I-20/59 corridor (Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, Anniston and Gadsden) should be around 1 inch, with lighter amounts to the south. The rain will end from northwest to southeast late tomorrow afternoon.

FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: Look for sunny days and clear, chilly nights. The high Friday will be close to 60 with a cool north breeze; expect mid 60s Saturday and Sunday. We will have a good chance of frost both Saturday and Sunday morning with lows in the low to mid 30s; colder pockets will see 20s.

NEXT WEEK: A cold front will bring a chance of showers Monday night and Tuesday morning; the rest of the week looks cool and dry, with lows in the 30s and highs around 60. We could be dealing with a freeze threat by Thursday or Friday morning.

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