James Spann: More rain, potentially strong storms for Alabama today

James Spann has the forecast for a wet Wednesday in Alabama from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

UNSETTLED WEATHER CONTINUES: Today will be another windy, wet, stormy day for Alabama, but at least temperatures will be considerably warmer for the northern counties of the state as a warm front moves north of us. A tight pressure gradient will keep winds (away from thunderstorms) out of the southeast in the 15-25 mph range, with higher gusts.

A band of showers and storms over Mississippi will move into the state this morning and continue into the afternoon. Rain could be heavy at times, and a few strong storms are possible. In fact, the Storm Prediction Center has defined a marginal risk (level 1 out of 5) of severe thunderstorms for parts of west Alabama, generally west of a line from Tuscaloosa to Marion to Camden to Jackson.

Some of the storms in the risk area could produce hail and strong, gusty winds. There is even a low-end tornado threat; we will watch radar trends closely. The high today will be in the 60s for most of the state; 70s are possible over southwest Alabama. Those of you in northeast Alabama, however, could remain in colder air, with a high in the 50s there.

THURSDAY/FRIDAY: Occasional showers and thunderstorms remain likely as the unsettled pattern continues. There will be breaks in the rain, and we don’t expect any severe storms on these two days, but keep the rain gear handy. Thursday will be slightly cooler, with a high between 57 and 61; then we will be warmer Friday, with a high around 70 degrees.

A flood watch remains in effect for the northern half of Alabama; additional rain amounts over the next few days will be in the 2- to 3-inch range. Many communities have already received 3 inches of rain since Sunday, and the ground is saturated.

SEVERE STORMS POSSIBLE OVER THE WEEKEND: Saturday will be warm and windy, with temperatures rising into the 70s. A few showers are possible during the morning, but an approaching cold front will push a band of strong to severe storms into the state later in the day and Saturday night. The SPC has defined a severe weather risk for about the northern half of Alabama.

The main window for severe storms will come from about 3 p.m. until midnight Saturday; the main threat will come from damaging straight-line winds, but an isolated tornado or two can’t be ruled out.

Drier air finally returns to the state Sunday. The sky becomes mostly sunny with a high in the 60s.

NEXT WEEK: Monday will be another dry, pleasant day, but moist air returns Tuesday and Wednesday with a chance of showers. For now it doesn’t look like the rain will be too heavy.

ON THIS DATE IN 1912: An F3 tornado killed nine people and injured 50 others as it crossed Centenary College in Shreveport, Louisiana. Centenary College would be hit again in 1940.

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