Metro Birmingham may be facing a greater threat for tornadoes on Thursday than was thought earlier, according to the latest information from the National Weather Service.
In their latest briefing Wednesday afternoon, the NWS said that the area will be under the gun for two separate but overlapping threats: a line of severe thunderstorms coming with a cold front that will enter the area around lunchtime or a bit later, then the possibility of discrete supercell storms forming ahead of that line during the afternoon, as the atmosphere heats up.
Those supercells have the greatest potential for the formation of tornadoes, as shown by the latest run of the North American Mesoscale (NAM) computer model.
The Storm Prediction Center is projecting that nearly the entire state of Alabama will have a 30 percent chance for severe weather within 25 miles of any given point, and most of the lower two-third of the state has a 45 percent chance, including metro Birmingham.
Already, some Alabama schools systems are announcing that they will dismiss classes early. As of 4 p.m., Walker and St. Clair counties and Pell City systems have announced they will let classes out early.
We’ll update this story as more information becomes available.