By Jim Stefkovich, Meteorologist, Alabama Emergency Management Agency
CLANTON – 8 am, December 31, 2018
The greatest risk of severe weather today will be near and west of I59 with an isolated severe storm or two possible anywhere west of I65 and north of I85.
A line of strong to severe storms will enter the western portions of the state Monday afternoon and begin to weaken by 10 pm as the line moves south of I20. In addition, a few thunderstorms may develop ahead of the line. If a watch is issued, it will be a Tornado Watch.
If thunderstorms develop ahead of the line, they have the potential to become supercells with tornadoes, and a couple of tornadoes could occur within the line itself. In addition, portions of the line will likely produce 40-60 mph straight-line winds downing trees due to saturated soil conditions. Rainfall totals for this system will be around 1 inch for the northern half of the state.
Make sure you have at least two ways to receive watch and warning information from the National Weather Service and be prepared to take quick action in a safe location, no matter where you are located.
Here is the timing for severe weather today:
Yet another system will occur from Wednesday afternoon through Friday morning. Another 1-3 inches of rain is expected across the entire state.
Many areas of Alabama have received between 3-7 inches of rain, with close to 10 inches in the southwest sections of the state during the past week. Many rivers, creeks and low lying areas are in flood, and any additional rainfall will only compound this ongoing issue.
I can’t stress enough that you need to be extra cautious and movie to higher ground if you live in areas that typically flood, and never drive around barricades or into water of unknown depth, especially when the water is moving. You and your vehicle could easily be swept away.