BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - 5:45 p.m. update:
The Severe Thunderstorm Watch has been cancelled.
3:30 p.m. update:
A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH remains in effect until 9 p.m. Counties will gradually be dropped from the watch from north to south this evening. We now think the greatest risk for possible strong to severe storms sets up mainly south of I-20. The atmosphere is ripe for severe storms, but we have seen things calm down significantly and some of the worst storms are in either Georgia or Mississippi.
If a severe storm were to form, it could produce 60 mph winds or stronger and large hail. Storms in general today and early evening will produce heavy rainfall that could cause localized flooding. Frequent lightning needs to be taken seriously, too, and if you hear thunder then you need to be inside.
Strong storms produced damage earlier today in Etowah and Cherokee counties and points northward, but those areas are no longer under the gun.
Storms will be scattered to random in nature through the early evening hours and then tend to fade away after dark. I wouldn't cancel your evening outdoor plans, but definitely check with us to make sure the storm threat has ended.
Showers develop late tonight and Saturday morning along and mainly south of I-20. We will also see pop-up showers and storms on Saturday afternoon, but nothing very organized. It will be hot and sticky for folks going to Rock the South or CityFest. Stay hydrated! Storms are possible on Sunday morning and evening, and then dry and comfy weather takes over next week.
2:30 p.m. update:
FIRST ALERT for severe storms this afternoon and early evening!
A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH is in effect until 9 p.m. for multiple counties. That means the atmosphere is ripe for the development of severe storms. Primary threats include scattered damaging wind gusts up to 70 mph and scattered large hail up to 1.5 inches in diameter.
Thunderstorms continue to intensify across Alabama within a very moist and increasingly unstable atmosphere. Wind shear is weak and that's why we are not concerned with tornadoes with this event, but there may be enough shear for strong wind producing storms and clusters of hail producing storms today that will spread southeast with time.
Storms of this magnitude can easily cause trees to come down, damage structures and knock out power to hundreds or thousands of people.
Expect frequent updates from us on WBRC FOX6 News, social media and the WBRC First Alert Weather app.
Remember, if you lose power you can always watch our livestream on the WBRC First Alert Weather or News apps. If you see damage, please pass that information along to us, and pictures too, but be safe doing so.
Storms will be scattered to random in nature through the early evening hours and then tend to fade away after dark.
Tracking the storms starting on The Four.