Scott Martin: Alabama has potential for strong to severe storms tonight through overnight

IRON BOWL SATURDAY: Rain looks to continue to hold off for much of the day across central Alabama, which will be great news for the big game down on the plains in Auburn. Skies will be mostly clear to start, but clouds will increase throughout the day. Afternoon highs will top out in the mid-60s to the mid-70s. A stray shower or two may be possible in northwestern Alabama, but it will stay dry on the plains. The kickoff temperature at 2:30 p.m. will be around 72 degrees and will fall into the 60s throughout the game.

TONIGHT THROUGH SUNDAY: A strong cold front will approach Alabama today, but warm air advection out ahead of that is expected to destabilize the atmosphere enough for strong to severe storms, with damaging winds and a few brief tornadoes possible tonight through overnight.

The Storm Prediction Center has a slight risk of severe storms for extreme west and northwest Alabama, mainly tonight through early Sunday morning, while a marginal risk is up for a good portion of central Alabama.

According to the National Weather Service Birmingham, damaging winds up to 60 mph and a few brief tornadoes are possible. To break that down further, locations west of a line from Holly Pond to Tuscaloosa to Forkland could see strong to severe storms from 7 p.m. to midnight. East of that to a line stretching from Ranburne to Alexander City to Montgomery, the greatest storm potential will be from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. East of that area, the storm window will be from 1 a.m. to 7 a.m.

While we will have plenty of wind shear and helicity in place across the entire state, the better amounts of surface-based instability will remain over the southern two-thirds. Dewpoints will be well up in the 60s throughout the night ahead of the front. That means that the higher probabilities of brief spin-up tornadoes will be south of the I-20 corridor.

Be sure to have multiple ways to receive warnings tonight through overnight, especially one that will wake you up in case a warning is issued for your location while you are asleep. Go ahead and have those safety kits and place of safety ready. Keep those batteries charged in those smartphones and have fresh ones in your flashlights and in your NOAA WeatherRadio.

Much, if not all, of the activity should be out of Alabama by mid-morning Sunday and the rest of the day will be dry, with skies becoming mainly sunny by afternoon. Highs will be in the upper 50s to the upper 60s. Winds will be gusty at times but should stay below Wind Advisory criteria. Much cooler air will move into Alabama overnight.

MONDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY: Monday will be a much cooler day with plenty of sunshine for the southern half of the state, while it will be partly to mostly cloudy for the northern half. Highs will be in the mid-40s to the lower 50s.

Tuesday will have mostly clear skies and temperatures will be a touch warmer. Highs top out in the upper 40s to the mid-50s.

Wednesday will pretty much be the same story — plenty of sunshine and a little warmer. Highs will reach the mid-50s to the lower 60s.

THURSDAY AND FRIDAY: On Thursday, we’ll have a low moving rapidly across the Southeast, which looks to bring a chance of showers into the forecast for late Thursday through Friday morning, but the rain exits by the evening and skies will begin to slowly clear out. Highs will be in the upper 50s to the mid-60s on both days.

TROPICAL UPDATE: Today is the final day of the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season and it looks like we should close out the season on a quiet note. All is quiet across the Atlantic Basin and no new tropical cyclones are expected to develop over the next five days. The next scheduled tropical update will be on June 1, 2020.

For more weather news and information from James Spann, Scott Martin and other members of the James Spann team, visit AlabamaWx.

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