Wednesday is FIRST ALERT Weather Day

Updated: Mar. 15, 2021 at 9:28 AM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Good Monday morning. It is going to be an active weather week across Central Alabama. We are going to deal with two to three rounds of severe weather over the next three days. We have declared Wednesday to be a FIRST ALERT Weather Day for the potential to see all modes of severe weather including damaging winds, tornadoes, large hail, and even the potential for flooding. We also want to give everyone a first alert for the potential to see strong and severe storms this afternoon and evening as a cold front approaches the state. A marginal risk, or a 1 out of 5 threat, has been introduced for most of Central Alabama today. Best time to see strong storms will be around 11 a.m. and continuing into the evening hours. Main concern today will be gusty winds, an isolated tornado, and some hail. Just make sure you have multiple ways to receive warnings today. The threat for severe weather is low today, but not zero. The severe threat is significantly greater as we approach Wednesday afternoon.

First Alert AccuTrack is showing some clouds and spotty showers across Central Alabama. We are watching a line of showers and storms to the west that will enter our area by this afternoon. Temperatures are very warm with 60s west of I-65 and 50s in parts of east Alabama. Temperatures are forecast to climb into the mid to upper 70s today with southerly winds at 10-15 mph. Storm chances increase in northwest Alabama late this morning and continue for the rest of Central Alabama during the afternoon and evening hours. It is a good idea to monitor the weather today and have ways to be alerted in case a warning is issued.

Strong Thunderstorms Possible Tonight: The severe threat will lower tonight, but I still can’t rule out an isolated strong or severe storm. Main threat tonight will be strong winds and heavy rain as the cold front stalls across the area. The tornado threat is low tonight, but not zero. Plan for waves of showers and storms as the front slowly drifts to the south. I think our best chance to see showers and storms tomorrow will likely occur during the first half of the day. It is also the time frame where we will continue to hold on to a small severe threat. We may trend drier by Tuesday afternoon and into the evening hours with the bulk of the storms staying in south Alabama. We’ll start tomorrow off with temperatures in the lower 60s. Highs are forecast to climb into the mid 70s Tuesday afternoon with cooler temperatures possible in far northeast Alabama as a wedge of cooler air tries to push in.

It is going to be an active weather week across Central Alabama.
It is going to be an active weather week across Central Alabama.

FIRST ALERT Weather Day Wednesday: We have declared Wednesday a First Alert Weather Day for the potential to see all modes of severe weather including damaging winds up to 70 mph, tornadoes, large hail, and flash flooding. Tornadoes that form Wednesday have the potential to be stronger than EF-2 based on the parameters we are seeing from the latest models. Hail that falls could be as large as golf balls. You will want to closely monitor the weather Wednesday afternoon, evening, and even into Wednesday night into Thursday morning. Have multiple ways to receive warnings. Now is the plan to know where you’ll go if a warning is issued. Remember to always take shelter away from windows and doors. It is ideal to get to the lowest floor and towards the center of the house. You want as many walls between you and the outside. Wear bicycle helmets and put on a pair of shoes for protection. Have extra batteries and a first aid kit in your safe spot. Make sure all electronic devices are fully charged before and during the event. Being prepared is the key to reduce storm anxiety. It isn’t unusual to see severe threats like Wednesday during this time of the year.

Wednesday morning we could see showers and storms in the morning hours. With instability and wind shear increasing Wednesday afternoon, we will have to watch out for supercell storms capable of producing all modes of severe weather. Temperatures are forecast to climb into the mid to upper 70s Wednesday afternoon. Severe threat could linger into Wednesday night as a cold front moves through Central Alabama. We can promise you that we will stay on television if a tornado warning is issued Wednesday. Our goal is to be on your side no matter what. The threat will likely end early Thursday morning from west to east. Most of the rain and storms should move out of Central Alabama by mid-morning Thursday.

We have declared Wednesday a FIRST ALERT Weather Day.
We have declared Wednesday a FIRST ALERT Weather Day.(WBRC)

Heavy Rain and Flood Potential: With several rounds of showers and storms over the next 3-4 days, I can’t forget about the potential to see heavy rain and flash flooding. The latest models continue to show widespread rainfall totals of 2-4 inches for most of Central Alabama through Thursday morning. Parts of east Alabama could see totals higher than 4″. With heavy rain in a short period of time, flash flooding could be a concern in a few spots. I’m not expecting widespread flooding with this event. The ground will be able to absorb the rainfall thanks to the dry conditions we’ve experienced over the past two weeks. If there’s a bright spot with this system, it should help the abnormally dry conditions that have developed across east Alabama.

Significantly Cooler Air Returns: Behind this strong cold front, temperatures are forecast to cool significantly. We could see highs stay in the upper 50s Friday and Saturday with low temperatures dropping into the 40s. Clouds could return as a disturbance moves into the Southeast. Cloud cover will likely keep our temperatures below average Friday and Saturday. Saturday is looking cloudy with a small chance for spotty showers. We could see lows dip into the upper 30s Sunday morning.

Make sure you download the WBRC First Alert Weather App for the latest weather information. You will definitely need it this week.

Have a safe Monday and stay weather aware!

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