MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - In what has become our typical once-a-week bout with strong thunderstorms, we're back in active weather mode again today. A frontal boundary is expected to slide through Alabama, sparking a line of rain and thunderstorms ahead of it. While the overall threat for severe weather does not appear to be nearly as substantial as last week's episode, we'll still have to pay attention later today...
ELECTION DAY: You know, the more I see of new model data coming in, the more I wonder if the bulk of these storms don't hold off until after polls close. The issue at hand is a line of thunderstorms will will be diving southeastward late in the day. The latest run of Futureview hints at only our northern counties being impacted by this line around 7 p.m.
That would mean polls will already be closed by the time storms arrive in Montgomery around 8 p.m. We'll have to keep an eye on the evolution of things with respect to timing. Regardless, for those who want to avoid even the slightest hint of inclement weather, try to hit the polls before late afternoon today.
Before the line of storms arrive it will actually be quite nice outside. Temperatures will soar into the upper 70s to perhaps near 80 degrees in a few spots under partial sunshine. Certainly a taste of Spring...with the Spring-like threat for strong storms to go along with it.
The threat for severe storms later today/tonight isn't exactly overwhelming. The overall look of things leans toward a fairly organized line of heavy rain with embedded stronger cores. Instability values aren't overly impressive, but there's decent shear available. The flavor I get right now would center around those stronger cores posing a damaging wind threat more than anything else. However, given shear vectors angles somewhat favorably askew from the orientation of the front, it's prudent to mention the threat for a brief tornado too.
The way I envision this playing out is a line of storms...some strong/severe...racing southward late afternoon into the early evening. Once the sun goes down, instability values (which are already marginal) will drop further. The intensity of the line and the overall severe weather threat in general should quickly decrease as storms head south of HWY 80-I-85. Still need to watch into the evening, but it's a weakening trend. Severe weather parameters appear negligible across our far southern counties as the line exits the state around midnight.
BOTTOM LINE: The greatest threat for a damaging wind gust/brief spinup tornado will favor our northern versus southern counties. And even there the threat appears rather low-end. Still, we could be dealing with a somewhat organized line of loud t-storms with heavy rain and non-severe gusty winds affecting much of central Alabama this evening. Make sure you have a way of hearing possible Watches/Warnings later today into tonight just in case.
We'll dry out and cool off tomorrow with another round of rain and (non-severe) rumbles late Thursday.