Warm Winter Days, Strong Storms Possible Late Tuesday
THE LAST DAY OF JANUARY: It is hard to believe we are already a twelfth of the way through 2016, and we are saying goodbye to January. The current air mass in place over the state is not helping much either as this last day of January, feels more like the last day of March. After the cool start this morning, we have seen another very mild and pleasant afternoon. Highs today have been in the lower and mid-70s. Clouds will continue to increase through the overnight, and there could be a few isolated showers especially after midnight.
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HELLO FEBRUARY: The first day of February will not be feeling like it. We start the day off in the mid and upper 50s, and highs should climb into to mid-70s again. We will see mainly cloudy conditions and there will be the chance of scattered showers throughout the day. Overall Monday, will be a mild and humid day, and will be the day we really turn our attention to the developing storm system to our west.
STORMS TUESDAY: The news about the threat of storms Tuesday continues to get better. The track of the low continues to shift towards the northwest and that is going to be displacing the best dynamics to our north. This is a typical cold season storm system with ample wind shear, but low or questionable instability. The latest Day 3 Convective Outlook from the Storm Prediction Center has the main threat area trimmed to the far northwestern part of the state. However, most of the rest of Alabama, remains in the standard “slight risk” for severe weather for late Tuesday afternoon through Tuesday night.
You may ask what does each severe weather risk category specifically mean as far as the threat of severe weather for my locations. Here is how the SPC defines the risk.
It still appears the main severe weather threat will come late Tuesday afternoon and really into Tuesday night, roughly from 6:00 p.m. Tuesday through 6:00 a.m. Wednesday. With this system, all modes of severe weather are going to be possible, including large hail, damaging winds, and a few tornadoes. However, the tornado threat for Alabama continues to decrease, but it is still there, especially over Northwest Alabama. The highest risk of a tornado with this event will be in places like Memphis and eastern Arkansas.
For Central Alabama, as the cold front approaches, the storms will evolve into a long line Tuesday night with potential for damaging straight line winds, and some hail. As the line pushes farther east into the state, the instability and dynamics will be less, and the severe weather threat will be decreasing, nevertheless, it is important that you stay weather aware and you should always review your severe weather preparedness plan before any threat of severe weather.
Additionally with this system, we are all expecting a soaking rain, and rainfall amounts of 1-2 inches are possible, which could allow for some isolated flooding issues, but widespread flooding not expected.
COLDER WEATHER RETURNS: There is a lot winter left so don’t get use to the beautiful and warm weather from this weekend. As the storms exit, a cold front pushes through the state and we are expecting temperatures to take a tumble. Highs Wednesday will be 15-20 colder than Tuesday and we are still going to have to deal with clouds and scattered showers to start the day. By late Wednesday, we will see a gradually clearing sky. Even on Thursday, a few showers will be possible across far Southeast Alabama. Thursday and Friday, highs don’t look to climb out of the 50s, then a very slow moderation in temps each day after that. Highs into next weekend will be in the upper 50s and lower 60s, while overnight lows are expected to be just above freezing. The global models show a rather dry extended forecast with rain staying out of the forecast until the second week of February.