Potential for damaging winds Thursday evening

Updated: Apr. 18, 2019 at 11:10 AM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Good Thursday! It is a warm start to the day with many locations in the 60s. We continue to see southerly winds at 5-15 mph, which should help bring in some moisture across the area. We are waiting on a big storm that is developing to our west. It will intensify and produce storms in parts of Louisiana, Arkansas, and Mississippi. Storms will likely arrive later this evening and continue into the overnight hours. A few storms could be strong or severe. Highs in the upper 70s this afternoon.

First Alert Weather Day: We have declared Thursday a First Alert Weather Day for the potential to see strong and severe storms capable of producing damaging winds and isolated tornadoes. The main threat with this system will be damaging winds up to 60 mph. Models continue to indicate a line of storms sweeping through Central Alabama between 5 p.m. until 2 a.m. Make sure all of your electronic devices are charged by this evening in case you happen to lose power from these storms.

Main Impacts Thursday: We think the areas that have the best chance to see severe storms will be in West Alabama and in South Alabama where the greater instability is located. South Alabama has the greatest potential to see tornadoes tonight. As the storms push east, we do expect a gradual weakening trend in East Alabama. Potential Bust? There are some indications this morning (from our latest model runs) that the forecast could bust on the severe potential. It is possible that we see a batch of showers ahead of the main line of storms that could help stabilize our atmosphere and weaken the storms by the time they arrive. It would likely lower the wind and tornado threat if this materializes. It’ll be something we’ll watch on radar. Hopefully we can trend with a less severe threat. Even if storms end up weaker, we will still see wind gusts around 40 mph.

Rainfall Totals: We will definitely see heavy rain move through Central Alabama late this evening. Rainfall totals could add up around 1-2 inches. I can’t rule out some minor flooding where rainfall rates add up quickly over a short period of time.

Chilly Friday: An upper level low will move in behind this line of storms giving us clouds, breezy conditions, chilly temperatures, and scattered showers. Temperatures will likely hold steady in the 50s Friday. It’ll feel like the middle of winter tomorrow. Stay warm!

Saturday: We could start the day with clouds and a few showers. Temperatures will likely drop into the lower 40s with some spots north of Birmingham in the upper 30s. Showers and clouds will slowly decrease during the day. We should finish out Saturday dry with some sunshine. Highs in the low to mid 60s.

Easter Sunday: Sunday is looking beautiful with plenty of sunshine and highs in the mid to upper 70s.

Next Week: We look relatively dry and warm to start next week. Highs will likely climb into the lower 80s with lows in the 50s. Next rain chance could occur for the middle and end of next week. Make sure you download the WBRC First Alert Weather app to receive critical weather information. We’ll keep you updated on the potential severe weather for tonight.

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