Our next big weather maker is a storm system that will bring widespread heavy rain to the Tennessee Valley Thursday afternoon through Friday morning. Plan accordingly for post-Christmas travel. Be ready for limited visibility, slippery roads, and occasional localized street flooding.
That storm system heading our way brought some Christmas snow to the Central Rockies. That storm system will intensify over the Great Plains as it tracks toward Alabama and Tennessee. Warming ahead of the approaching storm system will occur on Wednesday. Spotty areas of rain Thursday morning will gradually build to widespread heavy rain. While more lightning and thunder than we've had with previous storms can happen, severe thunderstorms are currently not expected.
The heavy storms will arrive just after noon on Thursday, tracking across the Shoals and toward I-65 and Huntsville by 3 PM. The heavy storms will track eastward across Sand Mountain through 6 PM. The heaviest rain will ease a bit, but widepsread rain will fall through Thursday night and Friday morning. The rain will gradually diminish between 6 AM and noon Friday and come to an end Friday afternoon.
While severe thunderstorms are unlikely, the storms will be capable of 35-45 mph wind gusts. The heavy rainfall will be the biggest issue. Rainfall amounts of 3-5 inches are possible. That can mean localized flash flooding. It will also likely mean rising rivers that will need to be watched in the days to follow.