Heavy showers, gusty winds possible through late this evening

Pea-sized hail reported in Fort Payne Thursday afternoon (Photo: Casie Hulsey)

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The risk of severe storms in north Alabama remains extremely limited through late Thursday evening.

A large area of rain and storms developed along the Gulf Coast earlier today and all but eliminated our chance of widespread strong or severe storms.

A broken line of showers and a handful of storms (well below severe limits) are forming over north Mississippi along the cold front. These showers and storms have struggled to stay together, but we still expect this line (in some form) to move across north Alabama later tonight.

A team from VORTEX-Southeast launched a sounding near Hollywood in Jackson County around 5 p.m. Thursday. A sounding allows meteorologists to see different characteristics (like temperature and dewpoint) throughout the entirety of the atmosphere.

(More: What is VORTEX-Southeast?)

This particular sounding gives us even more confidence that the likelihood of severe weather happening in north Alabama is extremely low. While there is still some instability present (CAPE), the lowest levels of the boundary layer (near the ground) have become quite mixed out. Look at the red and green lines on the left side of the page; near the bottom (ground level), the two lines are spread pretty far apart. This indicates drier low-level air, which is not very favorable for classic severe storms.

How to program a NOAA Weather Radio
WHNT.com’s Maps & Radar Page
Live Alert 19 and the WHNT News 19 App
Baron Saf-T-Net (phone/text)

Any leftover showers come to an end shortly after midnight tonight and the weather gets quiet for a few days leading up to another wave of locally-heavy storms (some potentially severe) early next week.

We like to handle these systems one at a time, so expect to start hearing more about Monday’s chance of storms in coming days.