James Spann: Strong/severe storms possible in Alabama later today

James Spann: More active weather for Alabama today, tonight from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

ACTIVE PATTERN: We will have two opportunities for strong to severe storms across Alabama this week. The first will come this afternoon and this evening as an upper trough lifts out of the southern Great Plains. This system brought storms with large hail to parts of North Texas and Oklahoma late yesterday and last night.

The Storm Prediction Center has parts of North and West Alabama in the standard “slight risk” for severe storms this afternoon and tonight, with a “marginal risk” down to Jackson, Montgomery and Auburn.

Surface-based CAPE values (instability) are expected to climb to nearly 2,000 j/kg this afternoon, and with relatively cold air aloft, hail seems to be the biggest threat; overall wind fields will be slowly weakening.

TIMING: The main risk of strong to severe storms will come from roughly 3 p.m. until 8 p.m.

THREATS: Heavier storms this afternoon and early tonight could produce large hail and strong, gusty winds. The tornado threat is very low.

RAIN: Rain amounts of one-half to 1 inch are expected; no flooding issues.

Away from the storms, the sky today will be mostly cloudy, and we expect a high between 76 and 79 degrees this afternoon.

TOMORROW/WEDNESDAY: A moist airmass remains over Alabama, but there is no real trigger for rain tomorrow, so we will mention just the chance of a few widely scattered showers with a mix of sun and clouds. The high will be in the upper 70s. Then, Wednesday looks warm and dry with ample sunshine and a high in the low 80s.

MORE STORMS THURSDAY: The next upper wave will bring more rain and storms to Alabama Thursday afternoon and Thursday night. The SPC has much of the state in a severe weather risk.

We need to get past the storms this evening to really focus on the event Thursday. Model details are not very consistent, but the overall synoptic pattern does look favorable for strong to severe storms.

FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: Showers should end very early in the day Friday, and the sky becomes partly sunny by afternoon. And the weekend looks nice, with ample sunshine Saturday and Sunday. Highs on these three days will be in the 70s, close to seasonal averages for late March and early April in Alabama.

NEXT WEEK: Yet another wave will bring rain and storms back to Alabama by Monday night or Tuesday.

Click here to see the Beach Forecast Center page.

STORM SPOTTER TRAINING: We will be on the road through early April offering free storm spotter classes. We need more trained spotters in Alabama. By attending, you can make the severe weather warning process better. No need to register; just come with a curious mind. And there is no age limit; kids who love weather will enjoy it. You will never look at a storm the same again. We are at Oxford tomorrow (at the Oxford Civic Center) and Jasper Thursday (at the Jasper Civic Center).

WEATHER BRAINS: You can listen to our weekly 90-minute netcast anytime on the web, or on iTunes. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including meteorologists at ABC 33/40. We will produce this week’s show tonight at 8:30. You can watch it live here.

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For more weather news and information, visit AlabamaWX.

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