Your Wednesday is starting off mild with temperatures already in the low 50s. Despite thick cloud cover all day long, expect a modest warmup into the mid 60s this afternoon thanks to a persistent southeast breeze. Sustained winds of 10 to 15 miles per hour could gust closer to 25 miles per hour at time today. Although it looks gloomy, we will stay dry until late tonight. That's when we expect a few spotty showers to move into northwest Alabama. Everyone else remains dry through New Year's Eve morning.
The weather setup for your New Year's is coming into slightly more focus, but some uncertainty remains. Scattered showers to last throughout the day Thursday. However, it does not look like a washout. Temperatures stay warm with cloudy skies and highs back in the mid 60s. After sunset, rain coverage will be on the increase and a few embedded thunderstorms will also be possible. It will be a 50/50 shot for showers and storms when the clock strikes Midnight to kick off 2021. If you still have any New Year's plans, keep the umbrella nearby.
Our main concern looks to be during the overnight hours and into Friday morning. We will be keeping a close eye on a cluster of thunderstorms across Mississippi that will slowly approach North Alabama overnight. Should these thunderstorms hold together, we could see strong to perhaps severe storms early Friday morning. Our main window to see stronger storms looks to be 3 AM through 9 AM Friday morning. Heavy rain is the top threat, with one to two inches of rain expected through Friday. In addition, gusty winds will be something to watch. We also can't completely rule out a brief isolated tornado, but that threat is quite low. Thunderstorms clear out by midday, leaving us with much quieter and drier weather Friday afternoon. Even so, highs still reach the upper 60s before the cooler air moves in Friday evening.
We will continue to keep a close eye on the forecast for Thursday night and Friday morning so stay with WAAY 31 for updates. Since this could be an overnight severe weather threat, be sure to have multiple ways to get warnings before you go to bed Thursday night. Download the WAAY 31 Weather App to get live radar, watches, and warnings for your location. Make sure you have your NOAA Weather Radios ready to go as well. The first weekend of the new year looks quiet, with sunshine and seasonable temperatures in the low to mid 50s.