James Spann: Unsettled weather for Alabama through the weekend

HEAVIER STORMS SHIFTING INTO SOUTH ALABAMA: The line of storms over northwest Alabama this morning just didn’t want to go away. In fact, the storms intensified as they moved eastward, producing scattered tree and power-line damage in a number of counties. As of 3, the heavier storms have shifted down into the southern half of Alabama.

The air over the northern counties of the state is cool and stable after the morning rain, and additional severe storms are not expected tonight — just some lingering light to moderate rain.

FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: A stalled surface front will sit across Alabama, meaning we will have to deal with occasional showers and thunderstorms Friday, Saturday and Sunday. High-resolution models have been performing very poorly, but the large-scale setup favors unsettled weather. Here are some notes on the weather situation on these three days:

  • It is impossible to give specific rain start/stop times for any location. Just be ready for an occasional passing shower or thunderstorm.
  • Showers are possible at any hour of the day or night, but they should be most numerous during the afternoon and evening.
  • Of the three days, the most widespread rain will most likely come on Sunday. Even then there will be some good breaks in the wet weather.
  • A few strong storms are possible; the Storm Prediction Center has the northern two-thirds of the state in a marginal risk (level 1 of 5) on Saturday. I think the chance of a few severe storms is actually a bit higher on Sunday, when some dynamic forcing comes into play and wind fields are more robust.
  • Remember, when you hear thunder, get indoors, even if it is not raining.
  • Rain amounts between now and Sunday night will be in the 1- to 2-inch range for the northern half of Alabama.
  • Look for a high in the low 80s Friday and between 77 and 81 degrees Saturday and Sunday.

NEXT WEEK: For now the week looks dry with partly to mostly sunny days and fair nights. Highs will be in the 78- to 82-degree range Monday through Wednesday and in the mid 80s Thursday and Friday.

ON THIS DATE IN 1995: An F3 tornado produced $10 million in damages along its 40-mile path across central Illinois. The tornado caused significant damage in Cantrall, where three homes were destroyed, 10 had significant damage and 11 had minor damage. The roof and interior of a grade school suffered extensive damage. The tornado passed about 2 miles southeast of the new National Weather Service Office in Lincoln, Illinois.

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