Alabama’s severe weather risk for Tuesday increases: Tornadoes and heavy rain possible


The risk for severe weather on Tuesday has increased for Alabama.

Tornadoes, wind gusts as high as 80 mph, hail and heavy rain will all be possible.

Storms could enter the northwest part of the state as early as 2 p.m. Tuesday and drop southeastward through the afternoon, into Tuesday night and possibly into early Wednesday morning in southeast Alabama. (More specific times for storm arrival are at the bottom of this post.)

Storms could enter Alabama from the west as a broken squall line. Forecasters, especially those in north and west Alabama, will also be watching in case supercells develop out ahead of the main line.

NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center has elevated and expanded the severe risk for Alabama on Tuesday.

Forecasters have added a Level 3 out of 5 risk for storms for north Alabama, including Huntsville, Florence, Decatur and Muscle Shoals. A Level 3, or enhanced risk, means that “scattered to numerous” severe storms are expected. It will also be the most favorable area for tornadoes in the state.

The rest of north Alabama and a large part of central Alabama will have a Level 2 risk on Tuesday, which means that scattered severe storms will be possible. Cities included in the Level 2 risk area are Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Anniston, Gadsden and Talladega.

Nearly all of the rest of Alabama, except for slivers of south Alabama, will have a Level 1 risk on Tuesday and could have isolated severe storms. The Level 1 area includes Mobile, Montgomery, Auburn, Troy and Greenville.

Here are the severe weather levels as defined by the Storm Prediction Center:

Severe weather risk levels

North Alabama will have a Level 3 risk for severe weather on Tuesday.SPC

The National Weather Service expects storms to develop and move into Alabama starting on Tuesday afternoon ahead of a cold front. Forecasters said the better potential for severe storms will be across north Alabama. There is still some uncertainty about how far south severe storms will be possible.

The weather service in Huntsville said forecasters expect damaging winds to be a big concern, and gusts could be as high as 70-80 mph in a few areas on Tuesday, which is hurricane force.

There is medium confidence in hail for north Alabama, and it could be as big as 1 inch in diameter.

A tornado threat has also been added with Tuesday’s storms, but the weather service said that as of Monday morning there was low confidence in tornadoes developing. That doesn’t mean they can’t happen, but they are more uncertain.


North Alabama storm timing

Severe storms could make it to northwest Alabama by 2 p.m. on Tuesday and move eastward through the rest of the afternoon into the nighttime hours.NWS


Central Alabama storm timing

Storms could enter the northwest part of central Alabama by 4 p.m. on Tuesday and push southeastward.NWS

Storms are expected to clear out of Alabama on Wednesday, and cooler and drier weather is expected through Friday. Some frost will be possible across parts of central and north Alabama later this week.

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