6:50AM March 8, 2019

UPDATE: LOW-END SEVERE WEATHER RISK FOR INLAND AREAS… Shortly after I produced the morning forecast video, the Storm Prediction Center completely dropped the Level 2 risk for south Alabama and northwest Florida. We’re now at a Level 1 (out of 5), low-end risk zone for parts of our region. Strong to severe thunderstorms will be possible across parts of Alabama and on Saturday into Sunday as a strong, dynamic weather system moves by to our northwest. The greater issues will likely happen across north Mississippi and northwest Alabama where the greater combination of “severe weather ingredients” will set up, although we all have a low risk of strong to severe storms even in the southern half of Alabama and northwest Florida. Before we get there, a nice, warm Friday is on tap for the area. Let’s look at details…

INCREASING CLOUDINESS TODAY… Clouds will be on the increase throughout the day across our region before rain chances rise later this evening into early Saturday morning. High temperatures will be quite a bit warmer today compared to the last few days. Most spots will hit the mid-70s by 2PM under a mix of sunshine and clouds. There could be a shower or two around this evening, but I’m not expecting widespread rain today.

LEVEL 3 RISK FOR NORTH MISSISSIPPI… The northern part of Misssisippi is now included in the Level 3 “enhanced risk” zone where the tornado risk will likely be a bit greater (compared to areas to the south) on Saturday. Tupelo, Grenada, Greenwood, Oxford, Starkville, and Memphis (TN) are included in this higher risk zone. If you’re traveling to this area on Saturday, be aware that the tornado risk will be slightly greater in those areas.

LEVEL 2 RISK FOR NORTHWEST ALABAMA… Areas along and north/west of Interstate 59 are included in the standard Level 2 (out of 5) risk zone to potentially see a few scattered severe storms. An isolated tornado or two will be possible in this risk zone. This includes places like Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Huntsville, Jasper, Fayette, Hamilton, Russellville, Muscle Shoals, Florence, Moulton, Athens, Cullman, and Decatur.

LOW-END, LEVEL 1 RISK FOR WEST ALABAMA… Monroeville, Beatrice, Thomasville, Jackson, Leroy, Grove Hill, Coffeeville, Millry, Chatom, Fruitdale, and Wagerville are included in the low-end, marginal, Level 1 (out of 5) severe weather risk zone valid for Saturday evening. The main concern will be a decaying line of thunderstorms that approaches Saturday evening or early Sunday morning. Atmospheric instability will be quite limited. Any storms that can ramp up to strong/severe levels could produce potentially damaging straight line winds. The tornado risk is now very low across our local area. The greater tornado risk will happen over north Mississippi and the far northwest corner of Alabama.

LEVEL 1 RISK FOR PLACES SOUTH/EAST OF I-65… All of the remainder of our local area is included in the low-end, Level 1 marginal severe weather risk zone for Sunday morning. These areas have a risk of strong storms, but the overall severe weather risk is quite low. (Quite low does not mean zero, and there still could be an isolated severe storm or two.) The following communities are involved in the Level 1 risk zone: Brewton, Flomaton, Atmore, Poarch, Huxford, Castleberry, Century, Jay, Andalusia, Opp, Florala, Milton, Pensacola, Mobile, Daphne, Fairhope, Spanish Fort, Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Foley, Perdido Key, Destin, Niceville, Bay Minette, and Saraland.

STORM TIMING FOR SATURDAY… The core risk for strong to severe storms locally in west Alabama will happen from 3PM to 9PM on Saturday. There likely will be a lower-end risk that lingers into Sunday morning. Have a way to receive urgent weather warnings on Saturday AND on Sunday. Much of the day on Saturday could feature mostly cloudy skies with scattered showers. This means there is a chance that most events Satruday may end up being dry for much of the day!

RAIN LIKELY SUNDAY… After the storms move by on Saturday into the early part of Sunday, there likely will be lingering showers and thunderstorms during the daytime hours of Sunday. While our area remains in a Level 1 severe weather risk zone valid for Sunday morning, this will be more of a damaging wind gust & hail threat as opposed to a widespread tornado threat. The tornado threat should be very low by Sunday morning as better shear values in the atmosphere will have moved far north of the Deep South. High temperatures will again be in the 70s as much of our area remains in the warm sector ahead of a stalling cold front.

PREVIEW OF NEXT WEEK… Scattered showers will persist into Monday as temperatures remain above our climatological averages for this time of year. Next week looks unsettled with another chance of rain and storms Wednesday into Thursday.

APP ALERTS… Thank you so much to everyone who has set up your customized alerts in our free RedZone Weather app. redzoneweather.com/app is the link where you can download the free app. Once you have the app downloaded to your iOS or Android device, be sure to tap the Alerts tab and toggle ON the alerts you’d like to get from me.

See all the graphics and details in your Friday #rzw forecast video… Have a great weekend!

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