MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - You see what I did there? "Marches" on? As in...it's still March (and technically still Winter) but our weather couldn't be more Spring-like. The warm streak continues today as sunshine dominates. Active weather just west of Alabama is in no hurry to nudge eastward. That should give us a little while longer before we have to worry about our next round of wet weather.
TODAY: As I type this at 9:30am, Montgomery temperatures have already warmed above the 70 degree mark. It should be pretty easy to top 80 degrees by afternoon. We'll get breezy by that point with SE winds in the 10-15 mph ballpark.
HOW LONG DOES IT LAST? You know, there really isn't any evidence of an impending cooldown anytime soon. I think we have a good shot at hanging out around the 80 degree mark through Friday. While the weekend will technically be "cooler", it's still on the warm side with highs into the middle 70s at least.
The big forecasting challenge centers around the timing of rainfall. It's a mess to our west where severe weather and flooding are affecting parts of Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana. A potent piece of upper level energy is the culprit for all those westward problems. That energy is expected to become cutoff from the main flow. When I say "cutoff", the energy is no longer connected to steering currents. It's essentially orphaned from the steering winds that would typically push it eastward. In situations like this, these things can just sit & spin, generating waves of heavy rain over the same areas. Cutoff lows are notoriously difficult to forecast given their somewhat stubborn nature to resist following a predictable path.
Futureview insists on bringing heavy rain into western Alabama as early as Thursday night. Other models are pretty much bone dry. In fact, a few models hint at rain holding off until the weekend. It's all about the positioning of that cutoff low. For the time being, we're far enough east to benefit from the pleasantly persistent southerly flow removed from significant cloud cover and rainfall. Patterns like this can be great for extended warm & dry spells. But a few hundred miles west, the stagnant pattern results in serious flooding concerns. We luck out with this one.
I've lowered rain chances slightly Friday to accommodate the uncertainty in this eventual eastward progression. I've left rain chances elevated Saturday and even into Sunday. The Friday element could still swing both ways, but the greatest rain chances Friday should favor western Alabama one way or another.