A warm, southeast wind is howling across the Valley this morning. With gusts potentially reach 35 mph, a WIND ADVISORY is in effect until midnight. Wind of this strength can cause branches to break and dead or weak trees to topple. A risk of power outages is present today as a result. In addition, trash cans and Christmas decorations should be moved or protected.
Later this afternoon, a band of heavy rain arrives in the Shoals. Expect the rain to start after midday, pushing into Lauderdale County by 1 PM. It reaches Limestone County by 3 PM and Sand Mountain by 5 PM. This means heavy rain will likely impact the evening rush. Ponding on the roads and slow traffic is likely. With a total of 2 to 3 inches of rain expected on average, a FLASH FLOOD WATCH is in effect from this afternoon through early Friday morning. Low lying areas and low water crossing will be the first locations impacted and later this weekend, continued runoff can cause river and creek rises. A FLASH FLOOD WATCH means conditions are favorable for flash flooding and conditions should be closely monitored for updates.
By Friday afternoon, showers taper and we can even see some sunshine trying to break through the clouds. The rain stays farther south on Saturday, but lifts back to the north as a warm front on Sunday. We'll see scattered showers Sunday and more widespread rain with a few storms for New Year's Eve. At this point, some data suggest the rain can end right around midnight. However, you should make plans in the event the rain lingers into early Tuesday.