Severe Weather Update for Tonight and Forecast Discussion. Saturday, 2/24/18 8:10pm. #wxal @wvua23

7 Day -SHELTON STATE Forecast - Offset Lows - PM.pngGood Saturday evening! Mild temps were present today with increasing clouds and a few areas catching some pop-up showers and storms. That early dose of rain is almost over as its making it’s way out of Blount and Etowah Counties now. Don’t let that fool you; we are in for a bumpy night. We are tracking a line of strong storms that are currently moving over the Mississippi River. Numerous severe thunderstorm warnings have been issued on this line for damaging, straight-line winds. This trend will likely continue over the next several hours as it moves closer to Alabama. That said, we do see the risk of severe weather tonight.

Our main threat tonight will come from damaging straight line winds as the line of storms become more linear (straight/vertical/north to south). Wind shear and minimal lapse rates (acceleration of air aloft) look to be present tonight, as well as winds mainly only out of the southwest, preventing horizontal shear. All those together point to a low end severe weather event. Aside from the damaging winds, the threat for a spin-up tornado can not be ruled out, but that risk is very low. The low pressure center that’s helping pull these storms along is forecasted to take a sharp NNW track over the next few hours. That path will pull the low (and its force pushing the line of storms along) away from Alabama. This will also help in lowering our risk for tornadoes this evening as well. For timing, please see the attached image above from the National Weather Service in Birmingham.

Deep Breath…now for the rest of our forecast.

Tomorrow morning, rain will be widespread across central Alabama and will be lasting through the day. If you’re hitting the road, take your time. Soil moisture content is already very high so there isn’t much room for the new dose of rain coming, so puddling will be taking place. Tomorrow night, rain looks to lighten up, but continue into early Monday morning.

Monday will start our work week with a few showers in the morning; however, have no fear. That rain will be ending quickly, before lunchtime. After, clouds will stick into the afternoon, before starting to clear out. The plan is that we will see some sun return Monday afternoon before sunset. That night, skies continue to clear. Tuesday we will start with clear skies and temps return to the 70’s. This warm up will be enjoyed for only a short period of time. Rain develops early that evening and will last into Wednesday when it will become heavier. On and off rain from that point will last into Thursday, before wrapping up Thursday afternoon/evening.

Friday and at least the start of next weekend look to be dry and a little cooler in the upper 60’s. These temperatures could trend warmer though with the ample sunshine then to help heat things up. We will have to wait and see exactly how warm it gets since we are still a few days away. But hey, at least it isn’t the 40’s.

Reggie Roakes
Twitter: @MetRoakes
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