Beautiful today, storms return Thursday

Thursday brings wind, hail and tornado risk to parts of Alabama

Nice weather Wednesday, but strong storms return Thursday

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - A bright, beautiful and warm Tuesday is in the books! Sunshine took temperatures into the upper 70s and lower 80s areawide. Montgomery reached 81 degrees, a few degrees above normal.

Expect more pleasant weather tonight and tomorrow. Clouds will gradually increase, and a few scattered showers are possible late Wednesday and Wednesday night.

Then we get to Thursday.

It must seem like a broken record, but central and southern Alabama are once again facing a risk for strong and severe thunderstorms.

First, a wave of storms will sweep across the state early Thursday. Temperatures will be a bit on the cool side, and many of these storms will be “elevated” - basically, the storm will sit atop a layer of cool, stable air near the Earth’s surface. While this reduces the tornado risk, “elevated” storms often produce large hail and/or damaging wind gusts.

So, with the first wave of storms Thursday morning, the chief concerns will be hail and wind. South of Montgomery, there’s some chance we get enough warm air near the surface to allow these storms to become “surface based.” If that occurs, some tornado risk could evolve.

Nice weather Wednesday, but strong storms return Thursday
Nice weather Wednesday, but strong storms return Thursday (Source: Nice weather Wednesday, but strong storms return Thursday)

Then, Thursday midday and afternoon, a second band of thunderstorms *could* develop. If it does, these storms will have access to very high instability levels. This argues for a substantial risk of hail and damaging wind in any afternoon storms that develop. These storms will not be widespread; they’ll be scattered. But, they’ll also be intense. As of this writing, the low-level wind field Thursday seems to only be marginally favorable for tornadoes. Still, that could change. So, we’ll mention a risk of hail, wind and a tornado or two Thursday afternoon.

We’ll get more, higher resolution model data tonight and tomorrow. This new data will go a long way in clearing up the complex Thursday scenario.

Nice weather Wednesday, but strong storms return Thursday
Nice weather Wednesday, but strong storms return Thursday (Source: WSFA 12 News)

Beyond Thursday, we could see a few showers or storms Friday night into Saturday, but that system does not seem to pose a severe weather threat at this time. We’ll watch, though.

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