Stormy Saturday: what to expect from the next wave of rain and storms

The big March chill is gone, but it’s not quite ‘warm’ yet.  Expect lows in the 40s by sunrise Friday under a cloudy sky. Rain also moves in overnight into Friday morning; most of it will be light and spotty, but we’ll see as much as 0.2” to 0.6” of rainfall through Friday and Friday evening.

The Storm Prediction Center outlines a risk of severe weather for a large part of Alabama and Tennessee on Saturday. Rain and thunderstorms are likely Saturday; that’s a given. The severe weather risk depends heavily on how unstable our atmosphere becomes between noon Saturday and midnight (afternoon and evening).

What we expect on Saturday: Saturday looks breezy and warm; occasional wind gusts over 25 to 30 miles per hour are possible as a strong storm system approaches from the northwest. That warm breeze draws in a lot of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico, and that humidity serves as fuel for rain and storms Saturday afternoon and evening.

  • When? – (1 PM Saturday to midnight Sat. night/Sunday morning) – Showers are possible all day Saturday; however, there appear to be two primary waves of wet/stormy weather. One somewhat disorganized batch of rain and storms develops by early afternoon, and a more widespread wave of rain and thunderstorms develops in the late afternoon and evening.
  • Where? – The risk of severe storms is equal across all of North Alabama and Southern Tennessee. There is a limiting factor that could reduce or even eliminate the severe weather threat for some of the region; that is the energy available for storms in the atmosphere: instability.

The borderline nature of the fuel for the storms means that while rain and thunderstorms are LIKELY, the severe weather threat is still somewhat of a question for North Alabama and Southern Tennessee.

As it stands now, this is how the threat levels pan out for this weekend:

 

Check back for further updates as we get closer to Saturday. We’ll have a better idea on the severity of the storms and timing as well. It’s important that you have multiple ways to get warnings including our Live Alert 19 app.

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