(3:15PM 11/28/16)   Brief update on the overnight situation.  A line of thunderstorms will cross through the state tonight.  Below, future radar shows the movement of the line, through NW Alabama this evening, central Alabama late tonight and into the southeast counties tomorrow morning.


SEVERE THREAT:  Some of the storms could be strong to severe.  Greatest threat of stronger storms is in the western counties west of Marion.  A few spin up tornadoes are not out of the question.  Farther east, the “marginal” severe weather risk extends eastward to the Georgia line.  The primary threat in this area would be damaging wind gusts.


RIGHT NOW:  There’s a couple of tornado watches west of our state.  The latest one in Mississippi continues until 9PM.  There have been a couple of tornado warnings in Louisiana.


WIND ADVISORY IN EFFECT:  Strong gusty winds have prompted a wind advisory this evening and tonight.  South winds will gust to 25-35 mph at times.  This could bring down some tree limbs and power lines.  The National Weather Service says,

"It is highly probable that several trees and power
lines may fall, especially given the many months of drought
conditions and the vulnerable state of many trees."

POSSIBLE WEATHER WATCH?   SPC monitoring parts of western AL for a possible severe thunderstorm watch this evening.  
Area of concern:

ROUND 2 LATE TUES. NIGHT & WEDNESDAY:  As we talked about on this morning’s video, this is just the first of two rounds of concentrated rain and thunderstorms.  There will be another severe weather threat with round 2 starting in the wee hours of Wednesday morning and well into the day Wednesday.  We will focus more on that, along with much more on rain potential and the updated severe weather risk on your next video tomorrow morning at 5.  Make sure you have allowed notifications on our new weather app in case there are watches and warnings.  We will alert you.  If you haven’t downloaded the app yet, it’s free in your app store.  Search Rich Thomas Weather Network.


Monday Video: MAJOR STORM SYSTEM – Rain & Severe Weather Threat

It’s been more than 2 months. Finally, some good rain on the menu, as a major storm system approaches.  But, that’s not all.  Concern is rising about the severe weather potential, from a 2 part storm system that begins tonight. It may be Wednesday night before part 2 of the storm exits the area.  Please watch the video for details on strength, timing and potential rainfall and the severe weather threat window.  Please share this video so others get the word.  Download our new weather app today, before the stronger storms arrive tonight.


Much of the Drought Stricken Southeast should get a good drenching from this storm system.


SPECIAL SUNDAY VIDEO – Finally Rain on the Way!

Finally, some good rain on the way.  Perhaps some drenching rain in spots.  A Significant,  storm system, which will come in two parts, in the Monday night – Wednesday time frame.  Severe weather can’t be ruled out. This quick mini-movie will bring you up to speed on the main points, as we get you ready for an active week ahead. After 70+ days for many, our long wait for a substantial storm system appears to be over. Something to be thankful for!   Details in this morning’s special 2 minute Mini-movie.


2 part storm system:  severe threat in West Alabama Monday night, and across much of the area on Tuesday night/Wednesday AM.  Wind damage main threat.  Isolated spin up tornadoes possible.


After 70+ days with no significant rain, much excitement about the potential rain totals.  This is a blend of the models.


That won’t wipe out the drought, but hopefully it will put a dent in it.


MUCH NEEDED RAIN ON THE WAY – Updated Forecast Details

For some places, it is Day 69 without significant rain.  A severe drought is expanding.  Now, it appears, finally, a pattern change is likely, as a major storm system will finally brings some much needed rain to Alabama and the Gulf south.  And, although the models disagree on the details, it appears some folks could be in for a good soaking indeed, between Monday night and Wednesdays, as multiple surges of moisture move through the area.

SHORT TERM:   First things first.  Happy Iron Bowl Saturday.  Perfect football weather is expected today with a kick off temperature in the mid 60’s, falling to the low 50’s by game end.  Clear skies.  Winds will not be a factor.


Sunday will start out cold, with low to mid 30’s across much of the area, but the afternoon will be perfect, with a high near 70.

STORM SYSTEM IN 2 PARTS:  While the details on timing and strength vary widely with the models, it does appear that the storm system will have 2 main surges – the first Monday night into early Tuesday.  The second part, with perhaps better rain totals, will come Tuesday night into Wednesday.  There will be a lull in between, during much of the day Tuesday.

RAINFALL AMOUNTS:  There is still MUCH disagreement on how much rain could fall and where the heaviest rain band will set up.  Rather than throwing 3 or 4 maps at you, showing widely different totals, let me take another approach.  Here is a bland of the models, for now.  This could change, but generally, a lot of us from Montgomery southward could see 1-2”.  (Less in the extreme southeast)    Between Montgomery and Birmingham, the blended rainfall amounts are in the 2-3” range.  North Alabama could see a large area of 3”+ rainfall.  These amounts will be adjusted as we get closer to the event.


SEVERE THREAT:  Again the models do not agree on the potential severe threat and when the highest threat will be.  Right now, a marginal severe weather threat extends as far east as the western Alabama counties into Monday night. This will be adjusted and amended with time.  Right now I would say this.  There could be 2 windows for possible severe weather in the state.  One would be Monday night, late.  The other could be Wednesday afternoon.  Wind damage would be the primary threat.  But, an isolated spin up tornado or 2 is not out of the question.


SPECIAL SUNDAY VIDEO:  I’ll update all the important details for you on this impending storm situation in a special Sunday morning mini-video.

In the meantime, enjoy Iron Bowl Saturday!  I’ll keep you up to date with the developing details as we keep watching the approaching storm next week. It’s NICE to be talking about RAIN, finally.


PATTERN CHANGE: Rain Returning Next Week

It’s been more than 2 months, for most of us, since the last significant rain. We are in an extreme drought.  Now, it appears, a major storm system will produce some impressive rainfall totals across the state, and maybe some severe weather, sometime between Monday night and Wednesday.  The details are still emerging, and the models do not agree on the details.

SHORT TERM:   Mostly cloudy this morning. Patchy fog has been dense in spots.  A weak front is stretched across the state.  This front will get a “push” later today, which will allow cooler air to filter in by Iron Bowl Saturday. After 82 on Thanksgiving, look for upper 70’s today, Mid 40’s tonight and upper 60’s on Saturday.  At the Iron Bowl in Tuscaloosa, game time temps from 66 at Kickoff to upper 50’s at the end.  Perfect football weather. Sunday:  Mostly sunny and nice.  High near 70.

NEXT WEEK:  Significant Storm System:  Models do agree that we will see an important storm system with generous rainfall amounts. But, the details vary widely from the GFS and Euro on strength, timing, severe weather threat, and where the heaviest rainfall will be.  The rain will come in multiple waves.  The Euro appears to be fastest with part 1 arriving Monday night, while the GFS is about 12 hours slower.

Below here’s an example of the timing differences on “round one” between the GFS and Euro models.


RAINFALL AMOUNTS:  Look carefully at the maps below.  Models vary widely on how much rain and which part of the state could see the most rain.  It would be ridiculous for me to speculate.  And, I won’t.  But it’s clear that some folks could see some very beneficial rain totals, others not as much.



SEVERE THREAT:  Again the models do not agree on the potential severe threat and when the highest threat will be.  Placement of the storm system “pieces” will determine how the threat will play out.  Could be as early as Monday night, with the first round of storms.  A marginal severe weather threat would bring a threat of mainly wind damage, with isolated tornadoes not out of the question.  Details are fuzzy right now stay tuned.

NEW DROUGHT MONITOR:  This is about as bad as it gets.  82% of our state is now in a Stage 4 Severe Drought, and 35% in a Stage 5 Extreme Drought.  The statewide No Burn order remains in effect.  Drought emergency.


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Have a great holiday weekend.  I’ll keep you up to date with the developing details as we keep watching the approaching storm next week. The big news is a four letter word called R-A-I-N!