A MIGHTY FINE START TO THE WORK WEEK
High pressure dominates our weather for Monday… we’ll have plenty of sunshine through much of the day, but a few clouds will move into the northern parts of the area by the evening. Afternoon highs will be reaching the lower to mid-70s.
Tuesday will be another fine day across North/Central Alabama as skies will be partly to mostly sunny throughout much of the daylight hours. Clouds will start to move in late as a cold front will be approaching the area from the west and rain moving in after midnight. Highs will be in the upper 70s to the lower 80s.
POTENTIAL FOR SEVERE STORMS ON WEDNESDAY
A strong trough of low pressure and an associated cold front will move through Central Alabama on Wednesday that will bring a chance of strong to severe storms to the area at what looks like at this point in two waves.
We’ll have the first wave of storms moving into and through the area during the morning hours that will be in a weakening trend, but a strong storm with gusty winds or small hail cannot be ruled out. This first round looks to come to an end just after sunrise.
The potential for a second round of strong to severe storms looks to be conditional at this point because of where the atmosphere destabilizes during the main heating of the day and where a boundary between stable and unstable air materializes. At this point, it looks like that may form along or just south of the I-59 corridor.
Cold air aloft along with instability values rising into the 1000-2000 J/kg range and shear around 40-50 knots shows that thunderstorm development will be possible. Dewpoints will be in the lower to mid-60s across the area with highs reaching the mid-70s to the lower 80s. Systems that have a cold westerly flow up at 18,000 feet are usually decent severe storm producers. For now, the main threats will be from damaging winds and large hail. We’ll also have a very small threat of a brief tornado or two, but overall chances for a tornado is not likely.
As of now, this is a low-confidence forecast. We’ll get a better picture of what to expect as the higher-resolution convection-allowing models come into focus at 60 hours away from the event. While this does not appear to be a major severe weather threat, always be prepared. We have seen over the past few weeks that damaging straight-line winds from severe thunderstorms will cause as much damage on a larger scale as an EF-1 tornado. With the soils remaining relatively saturated from the past few systems, trees will be a little easier to be blown over by strong winds.
A VERY NICE END TO THE WORK WEEK
High pressure starts to build back off to our west which will have us in a dry continental flow on Thursday. We’ll have mainly sunny skies with highs topping out in the lower to mid-70s across the area.
That high will be hanging out just to our south over the Gulf Coast on Friday, keeping us dry with sunny skies. Highs will be in the mid-70s to the lower 80s.
OUTLOOKS FOR MAY
The Climate Prediction Center has released its outlooks for the next 3 months starting on May 1st and ends on July 31st. We’re looking at a 40% chance that our temperatures will be above normal along with a 40% chance that our precipitation will be above normal.
ON THIS DATE IN WEATHER HISTORY
2011 – An estimated 305 tornados between the 27th and 28th set a record for the largest outbreak ever recorded, including two EF-5s, four EF-4s, and 21 EF-3s. Arkansas through Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, southern Tennessee, Virginia to Pennsylvania and New York were all affected. An estimated 300 died including 210 in Alabama alone. This brought the April total past 600, the most in any month in recorded US weather history.