First Alert Weather: Tornado Watch in effect until 8 a.m. Saturday
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - A Tornado Watch is in effect for Walker County until 7 a.m.
A Tornado Watch is in effect for Bibb, Blount, Calhoun, Cherokee, Chilton, Clay, Coosa, Etowah, Greene, Hale, Jefferson, St. Clair, Shelby, Sumter, Talladega, and Tuscaloosa counties until 8 a.m.
Storms will now likely move into northwest Alabama after midnight as discrete cells and storm clusters in Mississippi come into the state. The threat will then shift along I-20/59 between 2 AM - 5 AM. We can’t rule out the threat for isolated tornadoes and damaging winds. A strong tornado - EF-2 or greater - can’t be ruled out in far northwest Alabama.
As the storms push farther to the southeast, the dynamics with this system will likely weaken which will reduce our threat for severe weather. The severe threat should come to an end for all of Central Alabama by 9 AM Saturday. Please make sure you have multiple ways to receive warnings tonight. I would turn on a NOAA Weather Radio and make sure it has fresh batteries. I would also monitor the WBRC First Alert Weather app. If any tornado warnings are issued, we will be on television and stream directly through the app to get you through these storms. The main focus for severe weather in Alabama will remain in northwest Alabama, but severe storms still remain possible south and east of I-20/59.
A Wind Advisory is also in place across north and central Alabama until 1 PM CDT Saturday afternoon. Winds out of the south this evening will shift to the west Saturday from 10-20 mph. We could see gusts up to 35-40 mph in the advisory, even outside of any storms. Just make sure you secure outdoor furniture before you go to bed and keep your electronics charged in case you lose power.
Drying Out Saturday: Once storms move out by 9 AM, Saturday will likely end up dry and breezy with decreasing cloud cover. Temperatures tomorrow morning will likely start out in the lower 60s. We are forecasting a mostly sunny sky tomorrow afternoon with highs in the upper 70s. Winds will come from the west at 10-20 mph. We could see gusts up to 35 mph. I would recommend grabbing a jacket if you go out Saturday evening. Temperatures will likely drop quickly into the 60s and 50s Saturday night.
Cool and Mostly Dry Sunday: Sunday morning will end up chilly with temperatures dropping into the low to mid 40s. Sunday is shaping up to be mostly dry and quiet. We are forecasting a partly cloudy sky with highs in the lower 70s. We expect to stay dry for most of Sunday, but isolated showers will be by possible by the evening as rain approaches from the west.
Stormy Pattern Next Week: It looks like the first week of April is going to remain unsettled and stormy for the eastern half of the country. Long-range weather models are showing a dynamic system developing across the Central United States that could result in several severe threats. The big question is the timing of this system and the placement of moisture. The latest trends are showing widely scattered storm chances for Central Alabama Monday through Wednesday. The exact timing and coverage remain a big question mark. I do think we’ll see temperatures climb well above average for the first half of the week. Highs on Monday are forecast to climb into the low 70s. We could end up in the lower 80s next Tuesday and Wednesday. Any storms that form Tuesday through Thursday could become strong or severe thanks to unstable air and some wind shear. The Storm Prediction Center is already highlighting an enhanced threat for severe storms Tuesday, April 4, for northern Arkansas, most of Missouri, southern Iowa, and into western Illinois. A slight risk has been issued for northern Mississippi, western Tennessee, and far northwest Alabama Tuesday. I think we will have a better handle on this setup once we get through the weekend. I would plan for storm chances each day next week with a cold front trying to move into Alabama next Wednesday and Thursday. Cooler temperatures are possible by the end of next week as a cold front tries to push into Alabama. If the system stalls out to our south, wet weather will stick around. For now, we have a 60% coverage for at least some scattered showers on Thursday and Friday.
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