FIRST ALERT: Rain chances on the rise by Wednesday night

Published: Feb. 7, 2023 at 5:49 AM CST|Updated: Feb. 7, 2023 at 9:48 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - First Alert AccuTrack Satellite and Radar shows some isolated light rain showers moving up I-20 in west Alabama this evening with the rest of our area dry. We will keep a 30% chance for light rain overnight, otherwise staying cloudy and mild. No storms around tonight at least.

Isolated Showers/Storms Possible Wednesday: We will likely start tomorrow morning off mostly cloudy with temperatures in the mid 50s. A stray shower or two will be possible tomorrow morning, but most of us will likely end up dry. Tomorrow will end up very warm with high temperatures climbing into the low to mid 70s. Temperatures could end up 15 degrees above average. We are forecasting a mostly cloudy sky Wednesday with a 30% chance for isolated showers or thunderstorms. Any storm that develops tomorrow afternoon could produce lightning with gusty winds up to 30-40 mph. Winds will come from the southeast at 5-10 mph. I can’t rule out an isolated strong or severe storm in far west Alabama tomorrow evening, but the severe threat is limited. The main concern will be strong winds and maybe an isolated tornado. 

Wednesday forecast, severe outlook
Wednesday forecast, severe outlook(WBRC)

Next Big Thing: The big story this week is the arrival of a strong cold front Wednesday night into Thursday morning. A line of showers and storms will likely develop to our west and impact us Wednesday at 11 PM and continue into Thursday morning. Instability appears low with this system, but we will see enough wind energy to support a few strong storms during this time frame. The main threat will be strong, gusty winds. An isolated tornado can’t be ruled out especially for parts of west Alabama. The Storm Prediction Center is highlighting a Level 1/5 marginal risk for areas along and west of I-65. The severe threat is low, but we still encourage you to have multiple ways to receive warnings just in case they are issued. Thursday morning will likely end up wet with an 80% chance for rain and rumbles of thunder. Temperatures Thursday morning will likely start out in the upper 50s and lower 60s. Rain chances will likely decrease Thursday afternoon and evening with the best chance for rain southeast of Birmingham, closer to I-85. High temperatures are forecast to top out in the mid 60s Thursday afternoon.

Drying Out Friday: Friday morning will likely end up cooler with temperatures in the mid 40s. We will hold on to a 20% chance for isolated showers Friday, but most of us will end up dry for the day. We are forecasting a partly sunny to mostly cloudy sky with highs in the upper 50s and lower 60s. Friday will be our transition day as drier and colder air moves into the state. I can’t rule out a few wraparound showers across the northern third of Alabama Friday, but most of us will end up dry. 

Colder Air Returns This Weekend: Saturday looks like our coldest day of the week. Saturday morning will end up chilly with temperatures in the low to mid 30s. We will likely end up partly sunny to mostly cloudy Saturday afternoon with temperatures topping out into the upper 40s. It’ll likely end up breezy Saturday afternoon with northerly winds at 10-15 mph with gusts up to 20-25 mph. Freezing temperatures will likely return Saturday night into Sunday morning with lows ranging from the upper 20s to low 30s. Sunday afternoon will likely stay dry with a mostly sunny sky. Highs will trend warmer with most of us in the mid to upper 50s. The Mercedes-Benz Marathon will be cold and dry Sunday morning with temperatures in the 30s between 7 AM- 9 AM. If you have plans to watch the Super Bowl Sunday night, wear a warm sweater!

Looking Ahead: Long-range models are hinting that next week could be active for the Southeast. Temperatures will likely end up above average once again with highs in the 60s and lows in the 40s and 50s. The first half of the week will likely start out dry, but rain and storm chances will likely increase by next Tuesday into Thursday. Long-range models are hinting at a few dynamic weather systems impacting the eastern half of the United States. With warm temperatures in place, I can’t rule out the potential for wet weather and the threat for strong storms next week. It remains too early to determine specific timing and threats, but it’ll be something to watch. If you have any Valentine’s Day plans, account for the possibility of at least some showers in the forecast.

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