James Spann: Strong to severe storms possible in Alabama Thursday night

James Spann has the Alabama forecast for midweek from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

ONE MORE DRY DAY: Expect a good supply of sunshine across Alabama today with a high in the low 80s this afternoon. To the west we will be watching developments from Texas to the Great Lakes as severe storms are forecast to develop late today and tonight ahead of a potent weather system.

THURSDAY: Most of the day will be warm and dry across Alabama, but clouds will increase and southerly winds will increase, averaging 15-25 mph by afternoon with higher gusts. The high will be in the upper 70s.

SEVERE STORMS POSSIBLE THURSDAY NIGHT: A band of strong to severe thunderstorms will push into Alabama Thursday night. The Storm Prediction Center has an enhanced risk (level 3 out of 5) defined for parts of west and southwest Alabama, with a slight risk (level 2 of 5) for the rest of the state.

While shear values will be very high, instability could be a limiting factor for severe storms over the northern half of the state.

TIMING: While a storm might approach the western border of Alabama as early as 4 Thursday afternoon, the core threat comes Thursday night, after 6. Storms will exit the state after midnight.

THREATS: Storms will be capable of producing strong, possibly damaging winds and a few tornadoes. The best combination of helicity and instability for tornadoes will be over the southern half of the state. The hail threat is not especially high.

RAIN: Rain amounts of around 1 inch are forecast, so no flooding issues.

This type of severe weather threat is common for Alabama in April. Just be weather aware and have a way of getting warnings if they are required. Know your safe place if you are in a tornado warning polygon, and have helmets there for everyone in the family.

FRIDAY: A deep, cold-core upper low will pass over Alabama Friday. The day will be cloudy and colder; temperatures will hold in the 50s all day with periods of rain. We might even get some small hail from light rain showers because of the very cold air aloft.

EASTER WEEKEND: The weekend will feature sunshine in full supply both days along with a warming trend. The high Saturday will be in the 65- to 68-degree range, followed by mid to upper 70s Sunday.

NEXT WEEK: The weather looks warm and dry Monday through Wednesday. Showers and storms return Thursday, and some lingering light rain is possible Friday. The following weekend (April 27-28) looks dry and pleasant.

ON THIS DATE IN 1922: Southern Illinois and western Indiana saw two rounds of severe weather, including tornadoes. The first significant tornado occurred just before midnight on April 16 near Oakdale, Illinois. This tornado killed four and injured 22 others. Five additional tornadoes took place between midnight and 3 a.m. on April 17. During the midmorning and early afternoon, two estimated F4 tornadoes caused devastation in Hedrick and near Orestes in Indiana. A postcard from one farm near Orestes was dropped near Mt. Cory, Ohio, 124 miles away.

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