North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

December 19, 2013

Chance of severe storms, isolated tornadoes over the weekend

By Robert Carter
North Jefferson News

— The latest forecast from the National Weather Service warns of the possibility of severe thunderstorms and even isolated tornadoes this weekend, primarily on Sunday.

A cold front will move into northern and central Alabama late Saturday, which will cause a squall line to form along the front. As of now, the front is expected to be roughly parallel to the Alabama-Mississippi state line as it enters our area.

The squall line is expected to enter the state in the overnight hours Sunday morning, progressing eastward as the morning moves on. Areas generally north on Interstate 59, including Jefferson County, will be impacted the most.

The main threat from the squall line will be severe thunderstorms and straight-line winds, but isolated tornadoes are a possibility, the NWS forecast said.

Temperatures will be generally warm for this time of year — one of the reasons for the possibility of severe weather, as warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico collides with an Arctic air mass moving in from the northwest. Highs Friday will be in the upper 60s, and in the lower or middle 70s on Saturday. Temperatures will drop as the front passes, and highs next week will be in the 50s with lows near the freezing mark — in other words, normal temperatures for late December in Alabama.

The NWS said they expect to make adjustments in the timing and severity of the storms later.