One of many challenging tasks of forecasting weather is to nail down the timing of strong to severe thunderstorms. We are still looking at the potential for just that this Thursday and Friday.
The GFS model shows a healthy line of strong to severe thunderstorms moving through Mississippi and northwest Alabama Thursday evening then crossing through the metro area overnight. The line stays healthy around midnight from Huntsville into southern middle Tennessee. The line weakens as it travels eastward from there. By Friday morning, everything is east of the area. In the this scenario, heavy rain, lightning, and gusty winds are in the forecast from Thursday evening through just before sunrise.
The European model is slower and stronger than the GFS model. Rain and storms don’t enter the Tennessee Valley until after dark and last through Friday morning. With this solution, severe thunderstorms including gusty winds and isolated tornadoes are possible. The Friday morning commute east of I-65 including Sand Mountain and Lookout Mountain would be a slow one. The red indicates very heavy rain and gusty winds for early Friday morning.
Our in-house model isn’t as strong as the European. It has a broken line of rain and storms moving through late in the afternoon Thursday. The storms continue into the overnight. Everything will be out by daybreak on Friday. In this case, just a heavy rain event with a few thunderstorms are possible.
Bottom Line: Keep a close watch on the weather Thursday afternoon through Friday morning. That is the main time frame for strong to severe thunderstorms. Heavy rain, gusty winds, and an isolated tornado can’t be ruled out. Click here to get our apps downloaded to your phone or tablet. Check back for further updates.