FIRST ALERT: Tracking two rounds of storms through Wednesday afternoon
Coverage of storms, some severe, looks to climb to 60% Wednesday
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Though much of central Alabama has been quiet today, the same cannot be said for our counties in northeast Alabama. Etowah, Cherokee, Cleburne and Calhoun Counties currently have ongoing Flash Flooding Warnings in effect after training thunderstorms produced more than five inches of rain in just a few hours time this evening. These storms unfortunately still have yet to budge, so avoid being out on the road in these areas tonight if you can.
The unsettled summer weather pattern we are stuck in is unfortunately difficult to forecast. The “northwest flow” in the atmosphere helps to bring disturbances through north and central Alabama, contributing to the stretch of active weather. Over the next 24 hours, a couple of rounds of additional storms will move into central Alabama, bringing the threat for more flash flooding, large hail, and frequent lightning, but also damaging wind potential. A Level 2/5 risk is in place across all of north and central Alabama tomorrow. The first cluster of storms will likely arrive around midnight, moving from the northwest to southeast, bringing heavy rainfall and strong wind gusts to our area through as late as the morning commute for Wednesday.
We could see a lull in activity later in the morning before an additional round moves along the same trajectory early in the afternoon. The severe threat tomorrow is conditional though; if we get enough widespread rain in the morning, that could help to “stabilize” the atmosphere and make it harder to “recharge” and see additional storm development in the afternoon. However, if the atmosphere is able to recharge, the next cluster of storms could bring a widespread risk for straight-line winds. Make sure you secure any loose outdoor items before heading into work tomorrow morning. Storms should hopefully come to an end by Wednesday evening.
Remember: since this type of weather pattern is difficult to forecast, make sure you are checking back for frequent updates on the WBRC First Alert Weather App.
We could see a lull in the stormy weather on Thursday as a front comes through and briefly dries us out; however, activity will likely pick back up again on Friday, when we have the potential for strong to severe scattered storms again. The Storm Prediction Center has highlighted northwest Alabama has the area most likely to see robust storms by the end of the week with once again, threats for damaging winds, large hail, frequent lightning, and torrential downpours.
The forecast by the weekend becomes more uncertain as our models are still having a tough time pinning down when the unsettled pattern will eventually dissipate. For now, we have kept at least a chance of showers and storms in the forecast for both Saturday and Sunday.
And for what it’s worth, when there’s not any rain around, expect hot and muggy conditions under a partly sunny sky. Temperatures will top out in the upper 80s and low 90s. Of course, any storms around during the heat of the day will help to prevent it from getting too unbearably hot. We may get a brief bit of relief on Thursday, but the reprieve from the humidity won’t last long.
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