The Storm Prediction Center has much of the state in a Marginal Risk for severe storms today, mainly for the afternoon and evening hours, with a Slight Risk up for the south and southwest portions of Central Alabama. All modes of severe weather will be possible today… a couple tornadoes, damaging winds up to 60 mph, and quarter-size hail. Here is the breakdown of major location in the risk areas.
Slight Risk: South of a line from Carrollton (Pickens Co.) to Fultondale (Jefferson Co.) to Kellyton (Coosa Co.) to just west of Troy (Pike Co.), which includes the cities of Birmingham, Clanton, Demopolis, Hoover, Montgomery, Troy, and Tuscaloosa.
Marginal Risk: Nearly all of the rest of North/Central Alabama except for locations north of a line from just north of Russellville (Franklin Co.) to Harvest (Madison Co.) to just south of Fort Payne (DeKalb Co.), and excluding locations east of a line from Cusseta (Chambers Co.) to just east of Texasville (Barbour Co.). The Marginal Risk includes the cities of Alexander City, Anniston, Auburn, Cullman, Decatur, Gadsden, Guntersville, Hamilton, Hartselle, Huntsville, Russellville, Talladega, and Troy.
Rain and thunderstorms will move from west to east across the area today and tonight, with the main timing for the threat of severe storms coming from around 12 pm in the far west and northwest and ending around 8 pm in the extreme southeast.
We’ll also have to watch for rising water levels in poor drainage areas, as we could see a few flash flooding issues due to heavy rainfall. A Flood Watch is in effect through 9 am Friday morning for all counties in North Alabama and for nearly every county in Central Alabama except for Barbour, Bullock, Pike, and Russell counties. 1 to 3 inches of rainfall is expected from now through Friday morning, with locally higher amounts under heavier thunderstorms.
If that wasn’t enough, as the system is exiting the area, much colder air will be moving into North/Central Alabama, and we could see a brief window of freezing rain mainly over the northwest corner of the area from around 3 am to 8 am Friday morning. A light glaze of ice is possible which may make bridges and overpasses slippery during that window, mainly along and west of a line from Vernon (Lamar Co.) to Double Springs (Winston Co.) to Lexington (Lauderdale Co.).
I’ll be with you throughout the day with updates. Remember, you can follow my Twitter feed at @ScottMartinWx for watch and warning information as it comes out, but don’t let this be the only way you receive warnings. Have multiple ways, including your NOAA WeatherRadio, smartphone apps, and local TV station. Also remember for those who read my Facebook posts on my Meteorologist Scott Martin page, if it gets busy with multiple warnings today, all posts will be made on The Alabama Weather Blog website and on its Facebook page.