Friday February 23, 2018
Forecaster: James Spann
TWO MORE VERY WARM DAYS: The upper ridge, responsible for the record warmth in recent days, will actually ease closer to Alabama today, so the weather will stay very warm and mostly dry with only isolated showers. The high this afternoon will be very close to 80 degrees.
WEEKEND STORMS: Tomorrow will be a warm, breezy day with a high close to 80; a few scattered showers are possible. But, an organized band of rain and storms will move through late tomorrow night into at least Sunday morning. SPC maintains the standard "slight risk" of severe storms for areas west of a line from Huntsville to Blount Springs to Northport to Emelle. A "marginal risk" has been defined for Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, Anniston, and Gadsden.
TIMING: Storms should enter Northwest Alabama late tomorrow night between 10:00 and 12:00 midnight... then moving slowly to the southeast, reaching places like Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Anniston, and Gadsden between 3:00 and 6:00 a.m. The main window for stronger storms will come from 10:00 p.m. Saturday through 6:00 a.m. Sunday.
THREATS: The main issue will be strong straight line winds over Northwest Alabama, although an isolated short lived tornado or two can't be totally ruled out. Storms should slowly weaken as they move deeper into Alabama, and the overall severe weather threat for Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Anniston, and Gadsden looks relatively low for now with limited instability and the better dynamics pulling away to the north. But, you have to keep a close eye on storms associated with fronts like this in late February.
RAIN: Rain amounts of one to two inches are likely, and we can't totally rule out some flooding issues with the band of rain and storms slowing down Sunday morning.
Sunday will be noticeably cooler; some communities north of Birmingham won't get out of the 50s.
NEXT WEEK: The European global model suggests we will need to keep a chance of rain in the forecast Monday, but drier air will slip in here for one day on Tuesday. Then, more showers are possible Wednesday and Thursday, followed by even cooler air at the end of the week and into the following weekend.
ON THIS DATE IN 1975: AN EF-4 tornado tore through parts of Tuscaloosa. It first touched down in the Taylorville community and then skipped northeastward before hitting the Skyland Park area and moving on to the McFarland Blvd. exit area of I-59/20. It went on to affect parts of the Alberta City-Leland Park area and then touched down in Holt. The official path length was 14.4 miles. Along it, 289 homes were destroyed or heavily damaged, along with 20 businesses and 21 mobile homes.
The tornado nearly destroyed the new Scottish Inn motel on I-59 at McFarland. The fatality was a 23 year old housekeeper named Thelma Hill, killed when most of the second floor of the motel was sheared away by the tornado causing a wall to fall on her.
BEACH FORECAST: Click here
7-DAY FORECAST: Click here
Today's Record Temperatures