MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The headline says it all. Spring has sprung! Temperatures are expected to spike upward as we head into the weekend, melting away any fleeting memories of winter cold. But we could end up getting the full Spring experience, severe weather and all.
TODAY: Temperatures this morning were still on the cool side with many locations starting in the 30s. Skies are clear, which means we'll be completely sunny all day long. Expect temperatures to climb to around 60 degrees across central Alabama and into the lower 60s across south Alabama. You'll be hard pressed to find a cloud in the sky.
THIS WEEKEND: High pressure slides off to our east, allowing southerly winds and a warmer airmass to take hold. High Saturday climb into the upper 60s and could flirt with 70 degrees Sunday. For our final January weekend, this is about as good as it gets.
This warm air will be a pleasant development while the sun is shining. But next week, we'll introduce a strong cold front into mix. At that point, warm air is the last thing we want to see.
SEVERE WEATHER THREAT TUESDAY: It's not often the Storm Prediction Center highlights a severe weather risk a week in advance. Models have been remarkably uniform in developing a strong surface low to our north and dragging a cold front through the region later Tuesday. From a large scale perspective, this model consensus has uniformly pointed toward a severe weather threat developing. This far out, that large scale only goes so far. There are many variables that occur on a smaller scale that still need to be ironed out that will play a large role in how this evolves.
At this point, I think our entire region will be under the gun for severe weather. There appears to be an enhanced area of concern falling across far north and northwest Alabama where the ingredients will be a bit more potent. Tornadoes, damaging winds and heavy rain all look possible with this.
Now for some real talk. It is unusual to be discussing a severe weather threat with this much confidence this far out in time. That in and of itself will make it sound like Tuesday will be a really bad day. I want to emphasize that this early warning we're discussing is (at least in part) the product of computer models having been in amazing agreement. That is rare. But increased agreement does not necessarily mean increased severity. What I mean to say is we are confident we will have severe weather issues somewhere in Alabama. But that doesn't necessarily mean we're calling for a massive outbreak for us. I don't want those two elements confused.
The concern is there for this to potentially be a big deal for someone...but we need to concern ourselves with central and south Alabama. Time is still needed to detail just how significant of a severe weather threat will materialize. And this out, we can only get a general feel of the lay of the land. Specifics and adjustments will come with time.
We'll stay very warm through Tuesday until the front clears and cooler air filter in. Enjoy the weekend, but more importantly, stay up to date with next week's storm system.