Scott Martin: Strong to severe storms possible later today, tonight

STORM PREDICTION CENTER OUTLOOK: The SPC has a slight risk for severe storms up for a good chunk of north and central Alabama, mainly north of a line from Reform to West Jefferson to Blountsville, while a marginal risk is up for the area north of a line from Eutaw to Thorsby to Daviston. This is valid through 7 a.m. Thursday.

TODAY: We’ll have a deepening trough over the eastern half of the country with a low that will develop and strengthen throughout the day. We’ll have a chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms throughout the daytime, with the higher chances stretching roughly from the I-65 corridor to the Alabama-Georgia state line. A few of the storms that develop this afternoon may become strong to marginally severe, with the potential of isolated damaging wind gusts up to 60 mph and some small hail. Daytime highs will be in the upper 80s to the lower 90s.

THIS EVENING THROUGH OVERNIGHT: We’ll have to watch for storms to move in from the west later today and overnight as a mesoscale convective system sweeps through Mississippi. The high-resolution North American Mesoscale model has it entering the state around the evening rush hour and reaching the I-65 corridor by 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. It will be weakening as it moves in and will break apart as it moves into the eastern half of the state. This is when we’ll have a larger threat of damaging winds up to 60 mph, especially in the slight risk locations.

After that, another complex of storms will move through the Southeast, but it looks to fall apart before entering western Alabama and is completely gone by sunrise Thursday. Overnight lows will be in the lower to mid-70s.

THURSDAY: The low really deepens and moves off to our northeast, but it will drag a shortwave through the area. This will provide enough dynamics that we’ll have the potential for more strong to severe thunderstorms to develop during the afternoon and into the evening and late night, with damaging wind gusts up to 60 mph and hail up to golf-ball size. Afternoon highs will be in the mid-80s to the lower 90s.

FRIDAY: Ridging will start to build over the Southeast, and that will pump hot and humid air across Alabama. We’ll have the general summertime risk of a few scattered afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms. Highs will be in the lower to mid-90s.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Ridging strengthens throughout the weekend, keeping us hot and muggy. We’ll really have to watch those heat index values, as they will be above 100 degrees. We’ll have plenty of sun with only a few clouds, and a very small chance of a few isolated to scattered showers and storms on both days, with highs staying in the lower to mid-90s.

START OF NEXT WEEK: The ridge moves more toward the East Coast, which will bring an increase to our scattered shower and thunderstorm chances Monday during the late afternoon and evening, and again on Tuesday, with skies ranging from mostly clear to partly cloudy. Highs will be in the upper 80s to the lower 90s both days.

BEACH FORECAST CENTER: Get the latest weather and rip current forecasts for the beaches from Fort Morgan to Panama City on our Beach Forecast Center page. There, you can select the forecast of the region you are interested in.

WEATHERBRAINS: You can listen to our weekly 90-minute netcast any time on the web at WeatherBrains.com or on iTunes, Stitcher or Spotify. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including the meteorologists at ABC 33/40.

For more weather news and information from James Spann, Scott Martin and other members of the James Spann team, visit AlabamaWx.

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