It got cold on Monday morning! Temperatures plunged as low as 35ºF at the Black Warrior Work Center in South Lawrence County, 37ºF at Valley Head and 38ºF in Muscle Shoals, and a light light, scattered frost developed on rooftops in the usual cold spots. It won’t get quite as cold tonight; a strong ‘high’ right overhead Monday afternoon slides to the east, and the coldest air slides away with it overnight. Expect lows in the lower to middle 40s by sunrise Tuesday: still chilly, but not far off average for this time of year (‘average’ lows around 49ºF-50ºF.
Tuesday and Wednesday look like nice days: milder afternoons, pleasantly crisp, cool mornings, and no significant rain. High temperatures recover to the upper 70s both days with a south wind beginning to drag moisture northward again ahead of our next major Spring storm system. That one will stir up some more heavy rain and thunderstorms later this week, and some of them could be severe Thursday evening.
Thursday’s stormy weather potential: Almost every single forecast model pictures at least some risk of severe storms between 6 PM Thursday and midnight (12 AM Friday). There is one glaring question, though: instability (fuel).
The lack of a very unstable atmosphere over Alabama and Tennessee limited the storms somewhat late Saturday/early Sunday of this past weekend; the same thing could happen Thursday. In this case, don’t confuse ‘limited’ with ‘everything’s fine and nothing will happen at all.’ Even a small amount of instability can go a long way in producing heavy rain, gusty winds, and tornadoes.
Thursday’s Storm Prediction Center outlook covers a broad area of the South and the Ohio Valley region. We’ll watch this throughout the week to see how the specific details emerge. Here’s what we can tell as of now:
When? Storms are most likely in North Alabama and Southern Tennessee between 6 PM Thursday and midnight (12 AM Friday).
What? A band of heavy storms similar to those that produced at least two tornadoes and multiple reports of wind and hail in North Alabama last Saturday night/Sunday morning. There are many, many similarities in the over-all set-up; however, the tiny details of exactly how a single storm will behave will be very, very different.
What should you do now? Be prepared for some heavy rain: around 1-2” possible Thursday night. Be ready to receive a warning should one be required for your area. How? NOAA Weather Radio, Live Alert 19, and WHNT News 19 will be on top of making sure you’re in-the-know about any severe storms.