Thursday Afternoon, April 22, 2021
Chief Meteorologist Jason Simpson

‘Blackberry Winter’ ends quickly as rain and storms return

It got cold early Thursday!

Huntsville International set a new record low (only the fourth record low temperature in the past decade, by the way) at 33ºF this morning. Many other thermometers read upper 20s and lower 30s including:

  • 25ºF at Little River Canyon
  • 27ºF at Huntland, Tenn.
  • 28ºF in Hazel Green and Green Hill
  • 29ºF at Alabama Fork (Limestone Co.) and Russellville
  • 30ºF in Scottsboro
  • 31ºF in Falkville, Albertville and Arab
  • 32ºF in Madison
  • 35ºF in Guntersville

It does not get nearly as cold tonight, so there’s no more need to cover up or bring in plants: lows in the upper 30s to lower/middle 40s as clouds thicken and the wind shifts more to the southeast tonight.

Friday looks milder – and a little more gray as well. Clouds become thicker as a storm system cranks up west of us Friday afternoon and evening. A wave of severe storms develops over Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana late Friday and comes blasting eastbound into Alabama early Saturday morning.

Weekend rain and storms

There is a chance of some rain on Friday night, but the best chance of widespread soaking rain and a few storms in North Alabama and Southern Tennessee comes after midnight through about sunrise Saturday.

At the same time we are getting a chilly rain, more intense thunderstorms are likely across Central and South Alabama: bringing a threat of strong winds, hail and tornadoes.

While there is a slim chance a morning storm could be severe in Cullman, Blount, Marshall, DeKalb, Etowah and Cherokee Counties (and points south through Central Alabama), we do not expect widespread severe weather up this way Saturday morning.

By Saturday afternoon, storms developing along a cold front in a very unstable airmass could get heavy again; this second round of scattered storms could have some hail and strong gusty winds with them around here in the Tennessee Valley region.

Total rainfall will be in the neighborhood of 1/2″ to 1″ by Saturday afternoon with some locally-heavy stripes of 1-2 inches mainly south of the Huntsville area.

Once the front passes Saturday night, the weather on Sunday looks much nicer for Panoply and the races at Talladega!

Saturday won’t be a total washout for Panoply, but the weather on Friday evening and Sunday look much better over-all for outdoor events in the Huntsville area.

Looking into next week

We’ll start next week on a warm note! Temperatures soar back to the 80s for highs on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday ahead of a storm system that could pose a threat of a few stronger storms again by Wednesday night and Thursday.


TENNESSEE VALLEY FORECAST

THURSDAY NIGHT: Mostly clear and chilly. Lows in the upper 30s/lower 40s.

FRIDAY: Increasing cloud cover, with a few rain showers arriving late in the day. Afternoon highs in the mid to upper 60s. Wind: SE 10-15.

FRIDAY NIGHT: Widespread heavy rain and thunderstorms. As much as 0.5″ to 1″ of rain possible through sunrise. Overnight lows in the mid 50s. Wind: SE 10-15.

SATURDAY: Rain and storms likely in the morning. More scattered thunderstorms develop ahead of a cold front in the afternoon. A few could be strong with hail and gusty winds. Breezy. Afternoon highs in the upper 60s to low 70s. Wind: WSW 10-15 shifting NW late evening.

SATURDAY NIGHT: Mostly cloudy and cool. Wind: NNW 6-12.

SUNDAY: Becoming mostly sunny. A nice day! Highs in the lower 70s. Wind: N 5-10

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