January 18, 2017 Leave a comment
Good Wednesday afternoon! Our local weather remains rather mild across Alabama this evening, with temperatures in the 60s. A weak cold front moved through Alabama lastnight and did manage to drop temperatures today by about 5 to 10 degrees. A south wind will develop tonight, and very warm/tropical air will return quickly to Alabama. This will set the stage to a developing storm system west of Alabama on Thursday.
Patchy fog is possible overnight, as moisture increases. Temperatures will remain nearly steady all night, with lows in the lower 60s and skies becoming cloudy. A vigorous shortwave trough becomes negative tilted on Thursday over the Mississippi River Valley. The trough and associated weak cold front will spark the development of showers and storms across Alabama by lunch on Thursday. Rain and storms will then spread eastward into the afternoon and evening hours Thursday. Forecast models indicate enough uplift, wind shear and instability to have a concern for a few storms becoming strong or perhaps severe. The risk remains limited, but be weather alert during the afternoon and evening hours on Thursday. Rain amounts of 1 to 2 inches are likely for the Thursday event.
We will catch a break in the action on Friday, with only a small chance of showers across portions of central Alabama. Temperatures will remain very warm on Friday, with highs in the lower 70s.
The weekend gets rather complicated. A very deep upper air trough will become negatively tilted, with strong uplift passing over the state. A small scale disturbance ahead of the main trough will bring a round of rain and storms to Alabama on Saturday. Models indicate the mix of uplift, windshear and instability will be very impressive, which is concerning for a January event, however, there is a fair chance coastal storms develop on Saturday and could block the inflow of unstable air into central Alabama. If this indeed occurs, our severe weather risk on Saturday would be greatly limited to coastal areas of deep south Alabama.
As the main trough axis and surface front swings towards Alabama on Sunday, we have another opportunity to get a batch of heavy rain and storms across central Alabama. These storms also have the chance to become severe. Models are having a tough time on the setup for Sunday, so it may take a little more time for confidence to increase on a scenario. There is a fair chance coastal storms on Sunday could also limit the risk, but I don’t want you to let your guard down! The weekend event needs to be watched very carefully, as it has a potential to produce severe weather across portions of the deep south.
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WVUA Chief Meteorologist