The Weather Authority: Warm first day of spring, strong storms Saturday

The Weather Authority: 7-Day Planner (

From James Spann and the ABC 33/40 Weather Blog:

HELLO SPRING: The vernal equinox was at 5:29a CDT this morning; today we have approximately 12 hours of daylight, and 12 hours of darkness as the sun is directly over the equator. We should mention, “sunrise” is defined as the moment the upper edge of the sun’s disk becomes visible above the horizon – not when the center of the sun is visible. In the same sense, ‘sunset’ refers to the moment the sun’s upper edge, not the center, disappears below the horizon. The time it takes for the sun to fully rise and set, which is several minutes, is added to the day and subtracted from the night, and therefore the equinox “day” lasts a little longer than 12 hours.

Today will be partly to mostly sunny with a high between 75 and 79 degrees for most communities. Tomorrow will be even warmer as we surge into the 80s. A cold front will push into the state tomorrow night, and it could bring a few strong storms to the far northern counties, but most places will stay dry. We note SPC has a “marginal” risk of severe storms tomorrow just north of Alabama, over most of Tennessee.

WEDNESDAY THROUGH FRIDAY: We will mention the chance of a few isolated showers Wednesday and Thursday with a weak surface front nearly stationary over Central Alabama, but most of these two days will be dry with highs back in the 60s for most places. Friday will be dry and mild with a partly sunny sky and a high close to 70 degrees.

ACTIVE DAY SATURDAY: SPC has already defined a severe weather risk for much of Alabama on their “Day 6” outlook for Saturday…

A surface low will be northwest of the state, supported by a fairly deep upper trough with strong wind fields. This, combined with a moist, unstable, airmass, will set the stage for the potential for strong to severe thunderstorms across Alabama Saturday. Way too early to be specific with timing, or the greatest threats, but it certainly looks like an active weather day with showers and strong storms likely with potential for heavy rain. The high Saturday afternoon will be in the low 70s.

An upper low will pass over Alabama Sunday; the day looks mostly cloudy with a chance of lingering showers, but the severe weather threat will be over by then. Sunday’s high will be in the 60s.

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