FIRST ALERT: A dose of warm, spring sunshine before storms arrive Friday night

Published: Mar. 22, 2023 at 6:21 AM CDT|Updated: Mar. 22, 2023 at 10:10 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - First Alert AccuTrack Satellite and Radar shows any lingering sprinkles clearing out across our northern counties with a partly cloudy sky in place. Temperatures will stay comfortable in the 60s this evening and fall into the 50s by tomorrow morning. Southerly flow will keep the warming trend in place going into tomorrow.

Thursday is looking mostly sunny with highs in the lower 80s. Winds will continue from the south at 5-10 mph. Friday morning will likely end up warmer with temperatures in the upper 50s and lower 60s. I think most of Friday will end up dry with a partly cloudy sky. Temperatures are forecast to warm into the low to mid 80s with breezy southerly winds at 10-20 mph. A stray shower or thunderstorm will be possible in west Alabama Friday evening, but the bulk of stormy weather will likely move in Friday night.

First Alert Weather 9p 3-22-23
First Alert Weather 9p 3-22-23(WBRC)

Next Big Thing: The big story this week is the threat for severe storms Friday night into Saturday morning across Central Alabama. The Storm Prediction Center is forecasting an enhanced risk- threat level 3 out of 5 - for parts of eastern Louisiana, southeast Arkansas, and into Mississippi. This is the area that has the greatest threat to see supercells capable of producing tornadoes, damaging winds, and large hail. The severe threat extends into Central Alabama where a slight risk - threat level 2 out of 5 has been issued. I think our primary concern will be damaging winds and isolated tornadoes. We are still thinking that greatest chance to see severe storms will likely occur Friday at 9 PM and come to an end by 7 AM Saturday. A line of severe storms will likely push from west to east across Central Alabama Friday night, but we will have to monitor for discrete supercells out ahead of the main line moving in first after 9PM that could carry a tornado threat. This system will sweep through our area and clear out by Saturday morning. You’ll want to make sure you have multiple ways to receive warnings Friday night. Make sure you have a NOAA Weather Radio on and with fresh batteries so it can wake you up. Plus, make sure your WBRC First Alert Weather App is set to receive notifications. Rainfall totals are forecast to be an inch or less for most of Central Alabama.

First Alert Weather 9p 3-22-23
First Alert Weather 9p 3-22-23(WBRC)

Dry and Warm Saturday: Once the storms move through early Saturday morning, we will likely enjoy a mainly dry and warm Saturday afternoon. For now, we have a mostly sunny sky and highs in the upper 70s. We could see some lower 80s south of I-20. Saturday will likely end up breezy with winds at 10-20 mph with gusts up to 25 mph. Saturday is our best day to spend some time outdoors this weekend. Rain returns later Sunday.

Storms Return Sunday: The cold front that moves through Central Alabama early Saturday morning will likely stall along the Gulf Coast and lift northwards as a warm front Sunday afternoon. The first half of Sunday will likely remain dry. Temperatures are forecast to start out in the lower 50s with a mostly clear sky. Cloud cover will likely increase Sunday afternoon with highs in the upper 70s. We have increased our rain chance to 50% mainly for late Sunday afternoon and into the evening hours. As the warm front lifts northwards, I can’t rule out the threat for a few strong or severe storms south of I-20. The main threats will be damaging winds and hail. The rain will likely increase in coverage Sunday night into Monday morning for all of Central Alabama. A strong or severe storm will be possible during this time period too.

Next Week’s Outlook: Rainy conditions will likely continue Monday, but I think most of the rain will move out of Central Alabama by Monday night. Morning lows will start off mild in 60s with highs in the mid 70s on Monday. Long-range models are hinting that we could trend a little cooler for the beginning and middle of next week with highs in the 60s and lows in the 40s and 50s. Our coolest morning will likely occur next Wednesday, the 29th. We could see lows in the upper 30s and lower 40s. While I see no signs of freezing temperatures over the next 7-10 days, I still encourage people to wait on planting their garden until April 15th. We can still get cold waves in early April. The end of next week will likely trend warmer with increasing rain chances. High temperatures by the end of next week could climb into the mid to upper 70s. So, the warm and unsettled weather pattern still looks to win out.

Make sure you download the WBRC First Alert Weather app for the latest weather information.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

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