Wednesday June 14, 2023
Forecaster: James Spann
ACTIVE DAY: The weather pattern across Alabama today is more like spring. A band of strong winds aloft is undercutting an upper low over the eastern Great Lakes, and with good dynamic support we expect multiple rounds of strong to severe thunderstorms through tonight. SPC has now defined a "moderate risk" (level 4/5) for parts of Central and South Alabama, including cities like Demopolis, Grove Hill, Selma, Monroeville, Montgomery, Greenville, Andalusia, Auburn, Troy, Eufaula, and Ozark. Lower level risks cover the rest of the state.
Heavier storms today will be capable of producing large hail and damaging winds. A few tornadoes are possible as well, mainly in the "moderate risk" area. We note SPC has defined a hatched area through parts of Central, South, and Southeast Alabama where a significant tornado (EF-2 or higher) is possible.
The higher risk of a tornado will come during the afternoon and evening hours. Be weather aware today and be sure you have a reliable way (NEVER an outdoor siren) of hearing warnings if they are needed. It is very rare to have a tornado threat in Alabama in June without a tropical system involved, so this is an "out of season" event. I would also encourage you to pay close attention to severe thunderstorm warnings today since some thunderstorms could produce damaging winds in excess of 65 mph, which could produce damage like a small tornado.
We also note a flash flood watch is now in effect for much of Alabama south of I-20; rain amounts in the 2-4 inch range are possible through Friday, with totals exceeding 5 inches in many areas over the next seven days.
TOMORROW/FRIDAY: Scattered to numerous showers and storms are likely statewide tomorrow, but the severe weather risk will be limited to the southern quarter of the state, and we are not expecting a tornado threat. The weather trends drier Friday, but widely scattered storms are possible, and they could be strong where they form.
THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: We will need to mention scattered showers and thunderstorms Saturday and Sunday, but the weekend won't be a wash-out. We note SPC has defined a risk of severe storms over Northwest Alabama Sunday. There will be intervals of sun with highs in the 80s.
NEXT WEEK: For now we expect fairly typical summer weather with partly sunny days and "scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms" on a daily basis. Highs will be in the 88-91 degree range most days.
ON THIS DATE IN 1903: Major flash flooding along Willow Creek destroyed a significant portion of Heppner, Oregon on this day. With a death toll of 247 people, it remains the deadliest natural disaster in Oregon.