Overrunning precipitation has begun to the west of us with some light to moderate rain already in west central Alabama according to radar. Clouds exist across most of the state with the exception of the southern third of Alabama and the Northwest Florida Panhandle. Spring break folks at the beach should have a mostly sunny day today.
But as we get into tonight and Sunday precipitation will pickup and we expect a chilly, wet day for Sunday.
The Storm Prediction Center has outlooked much of the Southeastern US for a slight risk of severe weather on Monday and Monday night. As James noted over the last couple of days, the severe weather will depend on the quality of the air mass as it changes and we get into the warm sector. I feel certain there will be a severe weather risk Monday afternoon and evening primarily south of the Birmingham metro area. That risk could extend further north if we get good advection of warm, moist area with dewpoints into the mid 60s. The NAM output shows a CAPE approaching 500 and an LI close to -2, so these indices are not especially indicative of severe weather. The NAM was also not generating much precipitation either, so I'm a bit suspicious of the output.
Current model output suggests the threat of severe weather for Central Alabama should come in the Monday afternoon and evening time frame. Afternoon heating if we get some significant breaks in the clouds could help with destabilizing the atmosphere. So it will all depend on the quality of the warm sector air we can get into our area and just how far north it extends.
The rest of the week will be dry and cool. Colder air could invade the area Friday and Saturday as the ridge to our west strengthens and we come under increasingly stronger northwesterly flow. As the ridge dampens Sunday the colder air will shift eastward and we begin to come back to a west-to-southwest flow aloft and temperatures moderate.
The really long range forecast for April 3 shows an interesting pattern with a strong short wave approaching the area from the west. This could present a severe weather threat and we're probably all familiar with the events of April 3 and 4 back in 1974. I'm not saying we will see another record breaking severe weather outbreak - I'm saying that the current models suggest the potential for some severe weather - remember, 384 hours is really a looooong way out for anything more than trend watching.
Hope you have a good weekend. Tomorrow is my Sunday to usher at church during the early morning service, so I'll try to get the map discussion posted before I head out.