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FIRST ALERT WEATHER DAY: Today through tomorrow possible flash flooding, strong wind gusts, and spin up tornadoes

Published: Aug. 30, 2021 at 5:28 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 30, 2021 at 11:31 AM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - We have declared today (8/30/21) and Tuesday (8/31/21) a First Alert Weather Day. It means we are expecting weather threats for all of Central Alabama as Ida inches closer to our state. Heavy rainfall, gusty winds, flash flooding, and isolated tornadoes are possible across Central Alabama today, tonight, and tomorrow. Make sure you stay weather aware between now and Tuesday afternoon. Have multiple ways to receive warnings in case they are issued. Download the WBRC First Alert Weather App and make sure you have a NOAA Weather Radio charged and plugged up tonight into early Tuesday morning.

Ida continues to weaken across central Mississippi. The future track takes it across northwest Alabama overnight and into Tennessee tomorrow which will keep us on the side of the storm where outer bands continue to lift through. These bands will continue to move up from the south and west tonight through tomorrow afternoon. The widespread impact will be heavy rainfall that could lead to flash flooding. Localized impacts could be strong wind gusts and even spin up tornadoes.

Wind Advisory: A wind advisory is in effect today through tomorrow for sustained winds of 15-25 mph with gusts near 40 mph. With several inches of rain expected over the next 48 hours, wind gusts up to 40 mph could knock some trees over creating sporadic power outages. Just make sure your electronic devices remain charged today and tomorrow so you can access critical weather information. The strongest winds will likely occur tonight between 8 PM - 8 AM.

Flash Flood Watch: A flash flood watch is in effect for all of Central Alabama since Ida shifted slightly to the east. Rainfall totals of 3-6 inches are possible between now and Tuesday evening with the highest rainfall totals likely occurring in west Alabama. Some spots could easily record over a half a foot of rain. Remember to never drive through flooded areas. Turn around, don’t drown.

Timing Out the Impacts:

Evening commute will likely be wet. Slow down and be careful as visibility could be greatly reduced if you get trapped in a tropical downpour. We will be monitoring storms for rotation.

Our highest chance to see heavy rain and flash flooding might occur tonight as Ida inches closer to Alabama. I think our strongest winds will occur during this time. Plan for sustained winds of 15-25 mph with isolated gusts up to 30-40 mph possible. I can’t rule out the potential for some sporadic power outages. We will also have to monitor the potential for an isolated tornado threat overnight. The threat is lower overnight, but not zero. Greatest chance for an isolated tornado overnight will likely occur south of I-20 and east of I-65. We will have to pay close attention to Chilton, Coosa, Shelby, Talladega, Clay, and Calhoun counties between 2 AM - 8 AM. Have multiple ways to receive warnings. NOAA Weather Radio is highly recommended. We will continue our First Alert Weather Day into Tuesday. Strong storms and an isolated tornado threat will be possible along I-65 and points to the east around sunrise. The final band of Ida will advance into east Alabama early Tuesday afternoon. The threat for tornadoes will likely come to an end for areas along and west of I-65 by late Tuesday morning. The tornado threat will likely end for east Alabama Tuesday evening. Tuesday’s focus will be east Alabama. The rest of Central Alabama will see off an on pockets of showers. Some pockets of rain could be heavy at times.

Good news is that Ida will finally be out of our area Wednesday. We could see a few lingering showers or storms in east Alabama, but most of us will begin to dry out. Plan for a mostly cloudy sky with clouds slowly decreasing during the afternoon and evening hours Wednesday. Highs in the mid 80s. The great news about this week is that we will get to enjoy some nice weather by Thursday and Friday. A cold front will help lower our temperatures and humidity levels. We could be waking up with temperatures in the lower 60s Thursday and Friday morning. Areas north of Birmingham could see low temperatures in the upper 50s. It should feel very refreshing. We will likely see plenty of sunshine with highs in the mid to upper 80s. The great weather will likely extend into Labor Day weekend with temperatures in the afternoon hours gradually warming up into the upper 80s. We could be back into the lower 90s by early next week. Please download the WBRC First Alert Weather App for critical weather updates. Stay safe as we track Ida across our area today and tomorrow.

Keeping you informed through the night.

Please download the WBRC First Alert Weather App for critical weather updates. Stay safe as we track Ida across our area today and tomorrow.

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