Nice Friday, Some Weekend Storms… Friday Forecast Update – 4:15pm


Good Friday afternoon! Today has turned out to be a great weather day, with lots of sun and mild temperatures. Highs have reached the upper 70s to lower 80s across west and central Alabama. While much of the day has been sunny, we do note some clouds are moving in as of 4pm. Clouds will gradually increase tonight, but most of Alabama will stay dry. At 4pm, a couple of showers have formed over far northwest Alabama, but the rain should remain well north of I-20 through tonight. Lows will fall into the middle 50s tonight.

The weekend forecast will include high rain chances, but it will not rain all day over the weekend. A weak storm system will provide lift for showers and storms on Saturday and Sunday, but I don’t expect severe weather issues. As deep tropical moisture moves into Alabama, the risk of rain will increase through the day on Saturday. The morning hours could start off dry on Saturday, with the best chance of rain happening after lunch. I know there are lots of events happening over the weekend, so keep the rain gear out incase rain moves over your area. Highs will top out in the upper 70s on Saturday and middle 70s on Sunday.

The weak front will slowly move south across the state on Sunday, which will continue to bring the risk of rain and storms. As the front moves into deep south Alabama, dry air will clear out much of west and central Alabama on Monday and Tuesday. A few afternoon storms are still possible south of I-20 on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. With a little more sun on Monday and Tuesday, temperatures will warm into the lower 80s for highs. Lows at night will cool into the middle to upper 50s due to dry air. Remember, dry air heats and cools faster than moist air.

A strong cold front will move through Alabama on Thursday, which will bring a good chance of storms. Cooler air will take over on Thursday and Friday.

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Richard Scott
WVUA Chief Meteorologist
Twitter: Richard_wvua


Looking Back… 2 Years Ago (Tomorrow)… Friday Update – 11am


Good Friday morning to you! Above is a visible satellite image from the afternoon of April 27th, 2011…

This post is looking back at the April 27th tornado outbreak of 2011. I’ve included a discussion from the day before the event, from 2 years ago today. At that time, we were getting ready for a horrible tornado outbreak. Looking back, it’s amazing how fast life can change. This day, 2 years ago, everything was fine. I remember how warm and humid it was outside and how the weather felt great. It was a nice and warm day after a long and cold winter. Changes were happening… You could look at the low level cumulus clouds, racing north, thanks to a strong southerly wind. The south wind was priming the atmosphere for the event that would happen the next day. At this time, 2 years ago, there was lots of fear from people. We had just been through the April 15th event, which was a major tornado event where people were injured and killed, so the thought of another major event had people worried for sure. We have had big severe weather threats in the past that turned into a minor or do-nothing event, but everything we were looking at pointed in the direction of something horrifying. Tomorrow, on April 27th, 2013, will be out 2 year anniversary of the event that changed my life and likely changed your life in some way as well.

Below is a discussion I posted on the WVUA Weather blog on Tuesday, April 26th, 2011, the day before the event…. Warning…. This is not our current forecast…

April 26, 2011: So far, all indications are that west and central Alabama will deal with a major severe weather/tornado outbreak Wednesday afternoon. All of the severe weather parameters that we look at when forecasting severe weather are maxed out over west and centralAlabama, where numbers are somewhat disturbing. Tomorrow afternoon, we will have the rare mix of high instability, high wind shear and strong lift. Usually, there is atleast one limiting factor, but I just can’t find one tonight.

Conditions will become more and more unstable during the morning hours. A cap, or a layer of warmer temperatures aloft, will keep premature storms from popping up during the morning hours. As the surface heats up, the cap will break and supercell storms will fire up across our western counties first, then they will spread northeastward. It looks like we’ll have a period of sun during the mid morning hours, which will add more fuel to the fire, with even more heat and instability. The severe weather parameters point to a major tornado outbreak across most of our area, with the best chance of tornadoes happening along I-20/59 and points north. There is still a big risk of severe weather to the south of the interstate, but the highest threat will exist to the north. As of now, the Storm Prediction Center has much of our area under a moderate risk of severe weather, but an upgrade to a high risk looks likely at this point. I’ll post the new outlook once it comes out later tonight. The time frame is looking the same. Storms could begin as early as lunch in west Alabama and continue as late as 9pm in our area. Tornadoes, damaging winds and large hail will be a big concern. Some tornadoes could be large or violent and long tracking. I’m not trying to scare you, but I just want you to be aware of the possibilities.

Go over your severe weather safety plans now. Don’t wait until the storms fire up because it’s too late then. Remember a few safety tips if a tornado warning is issued for you. Get in the center portion of your home, away from windows. Find an interior room, closet or basement and stay there until the threat is over. If you’re in a car, pull over and seek shelter immediately. If you live in a mobile home, get out and find a sight built home or storm shelter. In-fact, once the tornado watch is issued, go ahead and leave your mobile home and find a friend with a site built home. Don’t go back until the threat is over, which appears to be after 9pm Wednesday night. If a tornado strikes your house, please be careful and look out for downed powerlines. You never know if the lines still have electricity. Also, evacuate the area hit by a tornado incase of ruptured gas lines or other hazards.

Again, that was a discussion I posted the day before the event started. I’ll post more tomorrow, on the 2 year anniversary.

WVUA Chief Meteorologist Richard Scott