We have a cold front approaching Central Alabama from the west that will begin to move into the area during the overnight and much of the daylight hours on Wednesday. Out ahead of that, warm and moist air will be advected up across the area from the Gulf of Mexico that could help destabilize the atmosphere during the late-night and overnight hours.
The Storm Prediction Center has a good chunk of the western half of Central Alabama in a Marginal Risk for severe storms for the late-night through the early morning hours. Threats will be isolated damaging wind gusts up to 60 MPH and a brief tornado cannot be ruled out. The Marginal Risk is for locations west of a line stretching from Blountsville to Birmingham to Greensboro to Demopolis.
The main window for strong to severe storms will be from midnight tonight through 7:00 am Wednesday for locations in the Marginal Risk. No organized severe weather is expected for locations east of the Marginal Risk at this time.
At this point, surface-based instability may be a limiting factor, but the latest runs of the high-resolution models show an upward trend with those numbers possibly topping out around 400 J/kg. We’ll have plenty of shear and helicity values will be rather strong out ahead of the front tonight. Tonight’s action will mainly consist of a squall line moving through just ahead of the cold front, and with the ingredients mentioned above, there will be the potential for embedded supercells with damaging winds and/or a brief tornado.
We could see some showers and maybe a few thunderstorms develop during the day today as the atmosphere begins to become unstable as a few waves will be moving through. None of these storms are expected to be severe, but some could produce some smaller hail.
Skies are mainly mostly clear to partly cloudy at this point across the area, but those clouds will build from the west throughout the day. Even with the cloud cover and some showers that may form, afternoon highs are expected to reach the mid-60s to the mid-70s across the area. Humidity will be on the rise and dewpoints will be well up into the 60s during the overnight and early morning hours after starting off in the 40s at this moment.
This is not uncommon as this is our secondary severe weather season in Central Alabama. Just have your safety kits and your place of safety ready to go just in case your location goes under a warning. Keep those smartphones charged and make sure you have good batteries in your flashlights and in your NOAA WeatherRadio. There will be updates throughout the day.