March 28, 2017 Leave a comment
Good Tuesday afternoon! Our local weather has turned out very warm and very muggy this afternoon, with a combination of high air temperatures and high dewpoints. A few spotty showers continue across portions of central Alabama this afternoon, but most areas are currently dry. The risk of a spotty shower will diminish this evening, with skies remaining partly to mostly cloudy. Temperatures tonight will bottom off in the lower 60s.
We’re getting lots of questions about a risk of strong to severe storms on Thursday. After looking over tons of model data over the past 24 hours, I have noticed a trend that could prevent any severe weather issues in our area Thursday evening into Thursday night. The model image above is the 12z GFS, valid late Thursday night.
A surface low and upper air trough axis will be in a rather favorable position for a risk of strong to severe storms in Alabama, however, there is also a favorable setup for development of widespread thunderstorms near the coast. If you keep up with weather in Alabama and have through the years, you know widespread storms on the coast block the inflow of unstable air needed for severe weather in central Alabama. A large cluster of storms will suck the energy out of the atmosphere and basically leave our portion of central Alabama in rain with no severe weather.
Will this happen Thursday night? Based off our latest computer model data, there is excellent agreement in a Gulf Coast cluster of storms Thursday afternoon into Thursday night. Confidence in this scenario is high, so the risk of severe weather in central Alabama looks low at this time. At best, if storms develop in our portion of central Alabama, they could produce gusty winds and isolated areas of small hail, but widespread severe weather would not happen. Keep in mind, if the storms are not on the coast, that would put us into a higher risk of strong to severe storms. Fortunately, I don’t see any evidence of our risk increasing at the moment.
Late Thursday afternoon into the pre-dawn hours Friday morning, have a source of weather information incase the setup and risk change. I will say this… if you see a big cluster of storms near the Louisiana to Alabama Gulf Coast Thursday afternoon, consider that a positive sign that central Alabama will deal with a very limited or non-severe risk…
Temperatures will drop into the low and middle 70s on Friday, with a gradual decrease in clouds. Expect lower 50s at night Friday night and Saturday night. By Sunday, we’ll warm to near 80 degrees, with a partly cloudy sky.
More storms arrive on Monday, and we’ll need to watch for the potential for any strong to severe storms. It’s interesting to note that models suggest a very similar setup Monday that we will deal with on Thursday. A cluster of storms may form on the coast on Monday, limiting the risk of anything severe in our portion of central Alabama… More on this as we get closer.
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WVUA Chief Meteorologist