Heavy rain, potentially severe storms arrive tonight


Unusually warm and humid conditions prevail this evening in the Tennessee Valley as temperatures continue to hover in the mid to upper 60s even after night fall.

A southerly breeze continues to pull soupy air into the region as a cold front approaches from the northwest. The cold front is sparking up strong to severe thunderstorms throughout the Mid-South into Middle Tennessee, and these storms will slowly approach the Tennessee Valley late tonight.

Storms start as early as 9 or 10 PM in far Northwest Alabama, and push through Decatur, Athens, and Huntsville around 11PM-Midnight. The line approaches Sand Mountain between Midnight-1AM, and clears Lookout Mountain a little after 2 AM.

Potential Severe Storm Threat?

The Storm Prediction Center has outlined a **SLIGHT** risk of Severe Thunderstorms for the Tennessee Valley, particularly the northwest Alabama counties from I-65 to the Mississippi state line.

A SLIGHT RISK means that a few thunderstorms may be capable of producing damaging wind gusts (58+ mph or greater), as well as 1+ diameter hail, and even a tornado. These severe storms are not expected to be widespread, however if a storm were to be severe, it has the potential to produce damage.

The timeline for the severe thunderstorms in North Alabama would occur well into the night, after 10pm and extend into 2 a.m.

Because this is a night time situation, be sure to have multiple sources of information that can wake you in the night, including a NOAA Weather Radio and the Live Alert 19 app on your phone or tablet.

Note: The Huntsville NOAA Weather Transmitter is undergoing repairs, so additional sources of information during this time would be necessary.

Flash Flood Threat

As much as 3-5 inches of rainfall is possible Sunday night through Monday afternoon with this round of heavy rain that will slowly move through the Tennessee Valley. Rainfall this high may produce flash flood conditions, which is why the National Weather Service in Huntsville has issued a Flash Flood Watch through Monday for the majority of North Alabama and South Tennessee.

Remember, flooding is one of the main causes of weather-related deaths, as people underestimate the strength of flood waters washing away roadways or sweeping away vehicles. Never attempt to drive through floodwaters: Always Turn Around, Don’t Drown.

– Christina

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