First Alert Weather: Warm and breezy before storms arrive late Friday night

Published: Mar. 30, 2023 at 6:18 AM CDT|Updated: Mar. 30, 2023 at 9:16 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - After a picture perfect day across Central Alabama, First Alert AccuTrack Satellite and Radar shows clouds from the west beginning to stream into the state. We expect to stay mainly dry and comfortable overnight with temperatures falling into upper 50s and low 60s, holding on to a south wind at 5-10 MPH. We expect a few off-and-on showers for Friday morning and afternoon. The good news is that the atmosphere should remain fairly stable, so I doubt we’ll see any strong or severe storms during the daytime hours. We will hold on to a 40% chance for scattered showers Friday with highs in the upper 70s. Winds will be breezy at times from the south at 10-20 mph with gusts up to 30 mph. Friday will likely remain mostly cloudy with storms developing Friday night into Saturday morning.

Next Big Thing: The big story over the next 24 hours is the threat for severe storms across the Midwest and into parts of the Southeast Friday. The Storm Prediction Center has issued a moderate risk - threat level 4 out of 5 - for parts of Iowa and northwestern Illinois. They also have a moderate risk issued for northeast Arkansas, southeast Missouri, and far western Tennessee. It includes the city of Memphis. Areas in the moderate risk have an increasing chance to see a significant damaging wind and tornado threat. An enhanced risk - threat level 3 out of 5 - includes a good bit of the Midwest and extends into Arkansas, northern Mississippi, and northwest Alabama. Other areas just northwest of I-20/59 in Central Alabama are under a slight risk - threat level 2 out of 5. The main threat will be damaging winds up to 60 mph, isolated tornadoes, and large hail. I think the most organized threat for severe storms will remain to our northwest, but we have to be weather aware Friday night for stormy weather. We believe the greatest chance to see storms will likely occur Friday at 10 PM and it will all come to an end by 7 AM Saturday. Flooding appears unlikely as moisture is somewhat limited with this system. Make sure you have multiple ways to receive warnings. I recommend a NOAA Weather Radio with fresh batteries and to monitor our First Alert Weather app. If any tornado warnings are issued, we will go live on television and through social media. I still think the greatest concern will occur in northwest Alabama.

Severe weather threat for Friday, March 31, 2023.
Severe weather threat for Friday, March 31, 2023.(WBRC)

Weekend Forecast: Most of the weekend is looking dry and quiet once the stormy weather moves through early Saturday morning. I think Saturday afternoon will end up partly cloudy to mostly sunny with highs in the mid to upper 70s. Saturday afternoon will likely end up breezy as drier air filters into the state. If you have any Saturday evening plans, you might want to grab a jacket. Temperatures will likely cool into the 60s and 50s after 7 PM. We are forecasting low to mid 40s by Sunday morning. Sunday afternoon will likely remain dry with a partly cloudy sky.

Unsettled Pattern Next Week: It looks like the first week of April is going to remain unsettled and stormy for the eastern half of the country. Long-range weather models are showing a dynamic system developing across the Central United States that could result in several severe threats. The big question is the timing of this system and the placement of moisture. The latest trends are showing widely scattered storm chances for Central Alabama Monday through Friday. The exact timing and coverage remains a big question mark. I do think we’ll see temperatures climb above average. Highs on Monday are forecast to climb into the low 70s. We could end up in the lower 80s next Tuesday and Wednesday. Any storms that form could become strong or severe thanks to unstable air and some wind shear. The Storm Prediction Center is already highlighting a enhanced threat for severe storms Tuesday (April 4th) for parts of Arkansas and southern Missouri. A slight risk has been issued for northern Mississippi, western Tennessee, and far northwest Alabama Tuesday.  I think we will have a better handle on this setup once we get through Friday night’s severe threat. I would plan for storm chances each day next week with a cold front trying to move into Alabama late next week.

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