James Spann: Occasional rain, storms for Alabama over the weekend

CLOUDS MOVING IN: The northern half of the state is enjoying a delightful February day, with ample sunshine and temperatures in the 60s. However, clouds over the southern half of Alabama will move northward this evening, and some rain could develop tonight as moisture surges northward.

WEEKEND WETDOWN: Expect occasional showers and thunderstorms across Alabama over the weekend, with potential for heavy rain at times. National Weather Service offices in Huntsville and Birmingham have issued flood watches for the northern two-thirds of the state.

Rain amounts of 1 to 2 inches are likely, but isolated totals over 3 inches are possible. With the ground saturated from recent rain, some flooding issues are possible.

We will also need to monitor the radar Sunday closely for strong storms; there will be sufficient instability and shear for organized updrafts. For now the Storm Prediction Center does not have any risk defined for the state, but I would expect it to raise at least a “marginal risk” on its future updates for Sunday.

If you are involved in an outdoor event over the weekend, there will be some breaks in the rain, but a shower or thunderstorm will be possible at any hour. Expect a few heavy downpours, and you will also deal with some lightning issues. Be very weather aware.

Temperatures will remain mild over the weekend with highs well up in the 60s; some spots could touch 70 degrees Sunday afternoon.

NEXT WEEK: A broad southwest flow aloft will continue across the Deep South next week, so there will be some risk of showers just about daily, but the showers will be fewer in number, at least Monday through Wednesday. Temperatures should remain mild for much of the week.

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