Excessive Rain Through Thursday; Severe Storm Potential Starting Late On Wednesday

Areal Flood Advisory Issued For Parts Of North/Central Alabama
Ahead of the start of the excessive rain we will see this week, NWS Birmingham and NWS Huntsville have issued Areal Flood Advisories starting at 6:00 am Monday and is set to expire at 6:00 pm Tuesday.

Central Alabama counties included are Bibb, Blount, Calhoun, Cherokee, Clay, Cleburne, Etowah, Fayette, Greene, Hale, Jefferson, Lamar, Marion, Pickens, Randolph, Shelby, St. Clair, Sumter, Talladega, Tuscaloosa, Walker, and Winston.

North Alabama counties included are Colbert, Cullman, DeKalb, Franklin, Jackson, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Madison, Marshall, and Morgan.

A Very Wet Start To The Work Week
The cold front will be in the process of making a very slow approach toward Central Alabama on Monday, as warm, moist, and unstable air will be pulled up into the area out ahead of it, setting the stage for rain and thunderstorms. Those will be likely over the western and northwestern parts of the area during the morning and eventually moving into the rest of the area during the afternoon hours. Rain could be heavy at times and some flooding issues are possible, especially with the already well-saturated soils. anywhere from 1/4 inch to as much as 3.50 inches of rainfall could fall throughout the day from southeast to northwest ending at midnight. Highs will be in the lower 60s to the lower 70s across the area.

On Tuesday, the front stalls out over Central Alabama and that will keep rain and a few thunderstorms likely across the area through much of the day. Another surface low will form well out to the southwest of us that may allow some of the moisture to be pulled northward which may allow some locations across the area to be rain-free for a few hours during the late-night and overnight hours. We could see another 0.50 to 2.00 inches of rainfall across the area through midnight. Highs will be in the lower 60s to the mid-70s.

Strong To Severe Storms Possible For Wednesday Evening Through Thursday Morning

The latest Day 4 Severe Weather Outlook from the Storm Prediction Center has a good portion of North and Central Alabama in a 30% chance of severe thunderstorms occurring within 25 miles of a point, potentially equalling an Enhanced Risk. The rest of the area is in a 15% chance of severe thunderstorms which would translate to the standard Slight Risk. The outlook is valid from 6:00 am Wednesday morning to 6:00 am Thursday morning.

It is too early at this point to determine the full potential of this severe threat, but a stalled front will begin to move northward as a warm front as a surface low will be moving northeast from the northwestern parts of the Gulf of Mexico towards Tennessee and Kentucky through the day.

A line of stronger to severe storms looks to form out to our west and move through North and Central Alabama during the late-night hours on Wednesday night and continuing through the pre-dawn hours on Thursday morning. We could have supercells develop out ahead of the line and may move through the area during Wednesday afternoon and evening. We’ll have unstable air over the area, and combining that with strong shear, there is the potential for damaging winds and a few tornadoes.

We’ll really need to be prepared on this severe event as the ground will be soaked to the core with the excessive rainfall that will have already occurred before the event, the root systems on all trees may be very weak. We’ll probably need to treat Severe Thunderstorm Warnings the same as Tornado Warnings due to the fact that it won’t take that much to blow down plenty of trees.

We’ll also continue to have the threat of flash flooding as this particular system will also dump a good bit of rain over the area. Rainfall totals for both days look to be around 0.50 to 2.50 inches from southeast to the northwest by 12:00 am Friday.

The good news is that the system will be out of here completely right around or just after midday on Thursday and we’ll finally get a chance to dry out for a little bit. Wednesday’s highs will be very warm, reaching around 70 degrees to the upper 70s. Thursday’s highs will be in the mid-50s to the upper 60s.

Valentine’s Day And The Central Alabama Weekend
Cupid must have works some kind of deal with Mother Nature to allow Friday to be rain-free. We’ll have near-maximum sunshine throughout the day that will help those cooler temperatures feel a little warmer. Highs look to reach the upper 40s to the mid-50s across the area for northwest to southeast.

We’ll get one more dry day on Saturday but the wave of showers look to move in during the late-night and overnight hours. During the daylight hours, skies will be mostly sunny, but those clouds will start to move in during the evening and late-night hours. Highs will be in the mid-50s to the lower 60s.

It looks like more heavy rain is in store for us on Sunday as the next system will move through the area throughout the day. We may have to watch for the potential for stronger storms, but at this point, nothing is screaming severe weather threat. Highs will be in the 60s throughout the area.

After Sunday, it looks like we’ll continue with multiple waves of showers and storms moving over the southeast until late next Thursday the 20th.

On This Day In Weather History
1973 – A major snowstorm struck the southeastern U.S. It produced as much as 18 inches in Georgia, and up to two feet of snow in South Carolina.

1990 – Thunderstorms developing ahead of a cold front continued to produce severe weather across the southeastern U.S. through the morning hours and into the late afternoon. There were a total of twenty-nine tornadoes in twenty-nine hours, and 245 reports of large hail or damaging winds. Pre-dawn thunderstorms produced high winds which injured at least seventy persons in Alabama and Georgia and caused more than twelve million dollars property damage. A tornado at Austell GA prior to daybreak injured two persons and caused two million dollars damage.

NWS Birmingham SKYWARN Storm Spotter Training
The National Weather Service office in Birmingham will be offering several online Basic Spotter Courses and a single Advanced Spotter Course over the next few months. These online courses are FREE and are open to anyone who would like to learn more about what it takes to be a spotter and what to look for. More information can be found on the NWS Birmingham’s website, just CLICK HERE to visit the site.

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