QUIET THROUGH MIDWEEK: We will forecast a mix of sun and clouds across Alabama today; temperatures will warm nicely and most places will see a high in the low 60s this afternoon. Clouds thicken tonight, and some light rain is possible after midnight as a disturbance in the upper atmosphere passes through the region. Moisture is very limited, and rain amounts should less than a tenth of an inch for most communities where rain falls.
The sky become sunny Tuesday as the wave passes on to the east; the high will be in the mid 50s. Wednesday will be another sunny day; the morning low will be around the freezing mark, followed by a high in the low 60s. Thursday will stay dry; with a partly sunny sky, temperatures rise into the mid to upper 60s.
FRIDAY: Moisture levels rise and we expect periods of rain during the day as a storm system approaches. Friday will be very mild for January, with a high between 66 and 72 degrees. To the west, severe storms are likely across parts of east Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas.
SEVERE STORMS POSSIBLE SATURDAY: The Storm Prediction Center has defined a severe weather risk for all of Alabama and Mississippi for Saturday.
A deep, negative tilt upper trough will interact with a warm, unstable air mass in place across the Deep South Saturday for occasional showers and thunderstorms; no doubt some of the storms could be strong to severe, with potential for damaging wind and a few tornadoes. It is impossible to determine the magnitude of the event and the specific timing six days in advance. There are strong signals that severe storms will form across our region based on the large, synoptic-scale weather pattern. But the small-scale features usually determine the true impact, and we don’t know how those elements will line up now.
So just understand that severe storms are possible Saturday and have a way of hearing warnings and a plan. We will be much more specific later this week as we get closer to the event.
Rain amounts Friday and Saturday will be in the 2- to 3-inch range over the northern half of the state, with 1-2 inches for south Alabama. With the ground pretty saturated, this could lead to some flash-flooding issues.
SUNDAY AND NEXT WEEK: Dry air returns to Alabama Sunday with sunshine in full supply; the high will be in the low 60s. The next wave will bring some rain mostly to south Alabama early in the week, and there’s no sign of any really cold Arctic air for the next 7-10 days for Alabama.
JANUARY SEVERE WEATHER? Alabama has experienced 139 tornadoes in January from 1950 through 2018, so having severe storms this time of the year is not all that unusual here.
ON THIS DATE IN 1996: The Great Blizzard was a severe nor’easter that paralyzed the East Coast Jan. 6-8. In Washington, D.C., this storm is also known as the “Great Furlough Storm” because it occurred during the 1996 federal government shutdown. Snowfall amounts from this event include 47 inches in Big Meadows, Virginia; 30.7 inches in Philadelphia; 27.8 inches in Newark; 24.6 inches at the Dulles International Airport; 24.2 inches in Trenton; 24 inches in Providence; 22.5 inches in Baltimore; 18.2 inches in Boston; 17.1 inches in D.C., and 9.6 inches in Pittsburgh.
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