First Alert Weather Day: Tornado Watch in effect until 6 a.m. Wednesday

Published: Nov. 29, 2022 at 5:43 AM CST|Updated: Nov. 30, 2022 at 2:11 AM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The First Alert Weather Team has declared Tuesday evening into early Wednesday morning a First Alert Weather Day for the potential to see heavy rainfall, severe thunderstorms and isolated tornadoes.

A Tornado Watch is in effect until 6 a.m. Wednesday morning for Bibb, Chilton, Coosa, Greene, Hale, Perry, Shelby, and Sumter counties.

In addition to tornadoes, damaging winds up to 70 mph and hail up to ping pong ball size are possible. The highest risk for these threats continues along and west of Interstate 65. Heavy rainfall may also result in localized flooding.

The latest outlook from the Storm Prediction Center highlights a moderate risk for parts of Marion, Lamar, Pickens, Fayette, and far western Winston counties. A moderate risk is a threat level four out of five indicating the potential for strong tornadoes (EF-2+), damaging winds up to 70 mph, and the threat for large hail. An enhanced risk - threat level three out of five- now includes Sumter, Greene, Hale, Tuscaloosa, eastern Fayette, Walker, western Jefferson, Winston, and Cullman counties. Areas in the enhanced risk could see damaging winds up to 70 mph, large hail, and a few tornadoes that could become strong. The rest of east Alabama is in the standard slight risk - threat level two out of five. The threat in east Alabama will trend lower with only a few strong or severe storms possible. The main threat in East Alabama will be strong winds, some hail, and a low-end threat for an isolated tornado. The main timeline to see stormy weather across Central Alabama will be at 4 p.m. Tuesday and ending 5 a.m. Wednesday.

Storm timing.
Storm timing.(Source: Matt Daniel/WBRC)

Timing: A few showers and storms will be possible before 3 p.m. in northwest Alabama, but the threat for severe weather appears low. Main threat will be large hail and lightning. Rain and storms will likely increase in coverage across west Alabama between 4-7 p.m. I think it’ll end up very wet with an axis of rain setting up along and north of I-20 between 7 p.m. until - 2 a.m. If we stay wet, it’ll lower our severe threat with most of the severe weather shifting farther south in some of our southwestern counties and into south-central Alabama. I would encourage everyone to avoid driving late this evening and tonight as conditions will deteriorate quickly. Visibility will be very low, and it’ll be dangerous to travel due to heavy rainfall and the threat for strong storms. Greatest window to see a few severe storms will likely occur late tonight between 10 p.m. until 5 a.m. as some unstable air moves in ahead of the cold front. I think most of the wet weather will quickly move out of here by 6-7 a.m. Wednesday. Rainfall totals could add up around 1″-3″ with higher totals expected north of I-20. The severe threat is significantly lower for parts of Etowah, Cherokee, Calhoun, and St. Clair counties, but it is not zero.

Severe Potential Tonight: The greatest window for severe weather across Central Alabama will likely occur between 10 p.m. until 5 a.m. for areas along and south of I-20/59. Areas we will need to closely watch include Greene, Pickens, Sumter, Hale, Tuscaloosa, Bibb, Shelby, Jefferson, Chilton, Coosa, Talladega, and Clay counties. Areas farther north and east will likely have a lower severe threat due to rainy conditions and the lack of unstable air in the area. We can’t rule out a rogue severe storm in far west Alabama between 4-8 p.m., but the threat appears low due to the lack of unstable air. I would be on alert after 4 p.m. for Marion, Lamar, Pickens, and Sumter counties. Main severe threat will be damaging winds and maybe an isolated tornado. If a tornado warning is issued, we will be on television until the warning expires. You can watch us on WBRC FOX6 News, social media, and through the WBRC First Alert Weather App. Make sure you have multiple ways to receive warnings tonight. I encourage everyone to put in new batteries and turn on their NOAA Weather Radio before going to bed. It will wake you up and alert you if any warnings are issued in your area.

Temperatures Dropping Wednesday: Our high temperatures Wednesday will likely occur shortly after midnight with most of us in the mid 60s. Once the cold front pushes through Central Alabama tomorrow morning, temperatures are likely to drop during the day. I encourage everyone to dress warmly and grab a warm jacket tomorrow. We should see temperatures cool into the 50s by late Wednesday morning with some spots dropping into the 40s Wednesday afternoon. It will be a breezy day with northwest winds at 10-20 mph with gusts near 25 mph. Winds should lower Wednesday evening setting us up for a cold Wednesday night. The good news is that we should see plenty of sunshine Wednesday afternoon.

Freezing Temperatures Thursday, Friday Mornings: Lows Thursday morning will drop to the freezing mark or colder in some northern locations, followed by even colder temperatures by sunrise Friday morning. We will likely see a mostly clear sky with Thursday morning temperatures in the upper 20s and lower 30s. Thursday will end up dry with a partly cloudy sky. Highs in the mid 50s. A moderating trend will begin Friday and Saturday as a more south/southwesterly wind flow returns with showers developing along a weak front Friday night into Saturday.

Increasing Rain Chances This Weekend: We will likely start Friday out with a partly cloudy sky with temperatures in the lower 40s. Cloud cover is forecast to increase Friday afternoon giving us a partly sunny to mostly cloudy sky. Highs Friday afternoon are forecast to climb into the upper 50s and lower 60s. Models are hinting some moisture could develop along and north of I-20/59, so we’ll introduce a 20% chance for a few showers. Rain chances will likely increase to 40% Saturday and Sunday as another cold front stalls across the Southeast. Temperatures this weekend will trend warmer and above average with highs in the upper 60s. The best chance to see rain will likely occur along and north of I-20. It won’t be a washout this weekend, but I would likely grab the umbrella if you are planning to go shopping Saturday or Sunday.

Looking Ahead: Early next week will likely start out mostly cloudy and warm with highs in the lower 70s and lows in the 50s. We will hold on to a 20% chance for a few showers next Monday and Tuesday thanks to southerly flow and higher humidity levels. A cold front is forecast to impact Central Alabama next Tuesday into Wednesday giving us another round of showers and a few storms. Temperatures will likely trend cooler by the second half of next week. Make sure you download the WBRC First Alert Weather App for the latest weather information.

Have a safe Tuesday and stay weather aware this evening and tonight.

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