Happy Valentine’s Day! Clouds Moving In At Midday, With Rain & Thunder Tonight Into Wednesday

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At midday across Central Alabama, clouds are starting to move in from the west associated with our next rainmaking system. Much of the western half of Central Alabama is under cloud cover, but no shower activity is showing up and it will remain that way until later this evening. All of the rain and thunderstorm activity is located back to our west in the western parts of Arkansas and Louisiana, and the eastern parts of Texas and Oklahoma. A tongue of moisture is stretching to the east from northern Arkansas through northern Tennessee and southern Kentucky, and that is expected to stay up to the north of us.

For the rest of the afternoon and early evening hours today, it will be mild and clouds will be on the increase. A shortwave trough will produce a surface low today, and will track along or near the I-20 corridor across Mississippi and Alabama later tonight. Showers and thunderstorms will move along with the low, but with the quick movement of the system and a warm nose aloft, severe storm formation for Central Alabama will be unlikely. There will be heavy rainfall just north of the low, and some totals could reach as high as 3/4 of an inch to 1 inch, especially in the northern parts of the area. Most of the area will get around 1/4 to 1/2 inch by the end of the event on Wednesday morning. Highs for today will be in the low 60s to the mid 70s across Central Alabama, while lows will be in the lower 40s to the upper 50s.

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Rain should move into the western counties sometime between 8PM-10PM tonight, and becoming widespread after midnight. As I mentioned earlier, this system is a fast mover, so rainfall should come to an end pretty early in the day. The latest NAM-4k has the rainfall exiting the state before noon. The SPC has pretty much all of the southern half of the state in a marginal risk for severe storms, with the main threats being from gusty winds and small hail. The risk for an isolated tornado or two is very small, but is not zero. The best chance for severe weather will be along the Gulf Coast, where the standard slight risk is defined.

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Temperatures Across Central Alabama
At 12:03 PM, temperatures are ranging from the upper 50s to the lower 70s across the area. The warm spot is currently Troy at 73º. The cool spot is Cullman at 59º.

Birmingham’s Climatology And Records
The normal high for February 14th is 58º, while the normal low is 37º. The record high for today was set back in 1989 at 79º degrees. The record low was set back in 1905 at 2º degrees.

Rain Comes To An End On Wednesday Morning
Rain will be coming to an end during the early part of the day, with it completely out of Central Alabama before noon. Clouds will be on the decrease throughout the remainder of the day, and a few peeks of sun may break through before the end of the afternoon. With the surface low quickly moving into Georgia during the morning, strong cold air advection will move in behind it, keeping temperatures from rising much. Highs will be in the lower 50s to the mid 60s across Central Alabama, but with winds out of the northwest at 10-20 MPH, it will feel much cooler than that. Winds will slack off some, allowing for good radiational cooling. Lows will drop down into the upper 20s to the mid 30s.

What To Expect At The Beach
Showers and thunderstorms expected tonight through the early morning hours on Wednesday, with another chance of showers on Saturday. Otherwise, fair weather can be expected through Monday, with highs in the 60s throughout Saturday, and warming into the 70s for Sunday and Monday. Click here to see the Beach Forecast Center page.

National Extremes
The warmest high temperature set for the nation on Monday afternoon was 89º, set in in both Laredo and McAllen, Texas. The coldest low temperature for this morning was -5º, set in Big Piney, Wyoming. The highest precipitation total for the 24 hour period starting at 11AM Monday to 11AM today is 2.60 inches at Yakutat, Alaska.

On This Day In Weather History: 1940
A “Saint Valentine’s Day Blizzard” hit the northeastern U.S. Up to a foot and a half of snow blanketed southern New England, and whole gales accompanied the heavy snow stranding many in downtown Boston.

Forecaster: Scott Martin (Twitter: @scottmartinwx)

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