Severe thunderstorms by late tonight

Showers and thunderstorms are possible Wednesday afternoon but the main severe threat arrives in North Alabama late tonight.

Posted: Apr 8, 2020 8:56 AM
Updated: Apr 8, 2020 8:57 AM

Low clouds, light showers will linger through the early afternoon today.  If enough sunshine is able to break through this afternoon, North Alabama may warm to the low 80s Wednesday.  The afternoon heat will lead to some isolated to scattered thunderstorms through this evening.  Any thunderstorms this afternoon and evening are not expected to be severe.

The main severe threat will be in the form of a thunderstorm line ahead of a cold front dropping into North Alabama from out of the northwest.  For the Shoals to Lincoln County in Tennessee the leading edge will arrive around midnight tonight.  

All types of severe weather are possible with tonight's thunderstorm line.  The primary and most likely severe threat is damaging straight-line winds, followed by a damaging hail threat, along with a low end tornado risk.  All of North Alabama is included in either Slight Risk (2 out of 5 on the Storm Prediction Center's scale) or the higher end Enhance Risk for severe weather (3 out of 5 on the Storm Prediction Center's scale).

One of the big causes of concern is the fact that this is another overnight event. You'll need a way to receive warnings that's going to wake you up from a deep sleep. Download the WAAY 31 StormTracker Weather App AND have at least one other source for warnings, like a NOAA weather radio. The timeline right now looks like storms arrive out of Tennessee by midnight in the Shoals and Lincoln County, then track southeastward. They'll reach the Huntsville area by 2 AM and the southern fringes of the area (Morgan and Marshall Counties, etc.) between 4 and 6 AM Thursday morning.

The rest of Thursday is quite and colder. Highs only reach the 60s, rather than the 80s of previous days. For the most part, we get a break from the active weather until the second half of the weekend. Rain rolls in by Sunday, when we can pick up one to two inches. The chance for storms is back, too. Models aren't in great agreement with the timing of this system Easter Sunday, which would impact the severe threat.  As of this morning the Storm Prediction Center is highlighting a severe risk for central and southern Mississippi, Alabama but over the next 4 days that risk could be extended further north.

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