It's March. Which means it's that time of year when our weather starts to transition. And transitioning weather often means severe weather in Alabama. The threat for strong to severe storms will be on our plate around the time many of you will be heading home this afternoon...
THIS MORNING: Skies are mostly cloudy, but temperatures have us feeling more like May than March. Any sunshine today will be limited (which will be a good thing), but temperatures will likely still find their way to 80+ into the afternoon. No severe weather issues this morning.
THIS AFTERNOON: All eyes will be on a developing squall line with a cold front approaching from the northwest. The latest model runs start to bring the line toward Clanton & Demopolis after 3pm and could approach Montgomery shortly after 5pm.
Not all models are on board with this quicker arrival, but it's prudent to plan for it as afternoon commuters could be significantly affected if these storms arrive in the Montgomery metro around rush hour. If you're able, leaving even 30 minutes early (before 5pm) gives you the best chance of avoiding headaches. Leaving 30 minutes late could have you driving through a mess of heavy rain. Lines like this are notorious for either outpacing or lagging behind predictions, so I encourage you to monitor our updates online and on our WSFA Weather App through the afternoon. Slower movement could spare you from needing to adjust your leave time, so before you tell your boss Eric told you to leave an hour early, make sure the timing is still jiving with predictions. Unless you just want to leave early. Then by all means.
My chief concern out of all of this is more impact-based (heavy rain & lots of people on the roads), but there could also be a lower-end severe weather risk present. Stronger cores will be capable of damaging winds and small hail, particularly storms that exhibit bowing structures on radar. The shear setup is one that does not traditionally support tornadoes, so the spinup threat is low...but perhaps not quite zero. The severe weather threat will be greatest north of 80/85. Once the line races south of there, it's getting dark and instability/shear will further decrease. While we still can't rule out a leftover Warning, most of that line is below severe criteria.
After 10pm the front has mainly cleared with cooler and drier conditions spreading in. That will set the stage for a seasonable next couple of days with sunshine.
WSFA First Alert Meteorologist Eric Snitil