MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Fresh model data is continuing to come in... although some new information has become available, our overall opinion remains largely unchanged. For now, we'll maintain a generic risk for low-end strong to severe storms that will move through the state starting Saturday early afternoon (in far western counties) through Sunday morning (for eastern portions of the state). There is still some time to figure how the weekend forecast and how it pans out, and in the meantime things remain quiet for the next 24-36 hours...
Tonight: Surface high pressure continues to slide eastward and moves away from the area tonight; because of that we'll see a slight uptick in the wind from the south during the overnight, but temperatures are still seasonable. We're back into the 50s by early tomorrow morning.
Friday: Like today's forecast, but want it to be a few degrees warmer? Well then, you are in luck! Sunshine dominates again for our Friday, and temperatures will easily make their way into the low 80s.
Weekend: There is still plenty of uncertainty regarding the timing and magnitude of Saturday/early Sunday's severe weather threat. Showers and thunderstorms will develop along a cold front late Friday afternoon, and the system will slide closer to Alabama by the weekend.
Here's what we know - by early Saturday morning clouds have already filled the sky. This happens ahead of a complex storm system will be approaching from the west. The potential is there for all modes of severe weather, including damaging winds, hail and isolated tornadoes.
Here's what we don't know - the GFS continues to be the fastest of all the computer models. It opens our window of opportunity as early as noon on Saturday. Not all other models are in agreement with that timing though... the NAM is the slowest model (per usual with set-ups like this) with showers/storms rolling through by the evening, and the Euro/Canadian are spiting the different arriving in the afternoon. In all honesty, it will likely be another 12-24 hours before we can truly say we have a good handle on the weekend forecast and the type of impacts it will include. For now, the forecast calls for periods of heavy rain and at least some risk for severe weather across our far western counties by Saturday afternoon.
The rest of the afternoon will hinge greatly on this questionable eastward progress. Eventually, this line of storms will get an eastward nudge; that may take until later on in the afternoon and even into our Saturday night. As the line moves eastward into the overnight hours, at least some risk for severe weather will continue. The Storm Prediction Center currently has our area to an "Enhanced" risk, which on their scale of 1 to 5 is in the middle at 3.
A cool and dry air mass will move in behind the front Sunday, and we settle back into a quiet and calm pattern by early next week. It will take a few days, but temperatures look to finally rebound by midweek next week.