Get set for a “weather rollercoaster” this weekend as a potent system drops heavy rain as well as our temperatures Saturday through Sunday. Temperatures will swell into the upper 50s to low 60s in north Alabama Friday night through Saturday morning, and a line of thunderstorms will make its way into the region.
Instability (also known as rapidly rising air) will be limited in north Alabama, so while a few rumbles of thunder and strong wind gusts are possible, overall the threat of severe weather is expected to remain very low for Saturday morning through Saturday afternoon. The threat for severe storms is marginally better south of I-22 to the Gulf Coast; the main impact would be brief strong wind gusts.
For the Tennessee Valley, the biggest impact from the rainy side of this storm system is the torrential rain that will fall late Friday through Saturday afternoon. As much as 1 to 2 inches of rainfall is possible, with locally higher amounts where clusters of rain moves more slowly.
Arctic blast behind the rain; snow flurries and single-digit wind chills likely
Behind the rain, a blast of arctic air will surge into the Tennessee Valley Saturday evening through Saturday night. Depending on the speed and arrival time of the arctic invasion, a few of the lingering rain showers may convert over to light snow showers. These light snow showers are expected to produce no more than light accumulation on grassy or metal surfaces; the roads are not anticipated to freeze over.
However, the coldest of the air will arrive Sunday morning, well after the flurries have passed. Morning lows for Sunday will be in the upper 20s to low 30s, but northwesterly winds will produce sustained wind speeds of 15 mph with gusts as high as 30 mph. As a result, the “feels like” wind chills will drop into the single digits Sunday morning; daytime high temperatures will struggle to climb above freezing, leaving afternoon wind chills in the 20s.
This is a *BIG* weather change within 24 hours — be sure to check our forecast discussion for additional information as well as forecast adjustments.