James Spann: Clouds hang over Alabama tonight; a few spurts possible



COLD WINTER DAY: Clouds cover much of Alabama this afternoon, although we’re seeing some sun over parts of eastern and southern Alabama. Temperatures have been falling slowly since this morning; We have 40’s over the northern counties of the state and 50’s in the south. We’ll keep the chance of a few splashes or snow flurries over north and central Alabama tonight, but if we see a snowflake or two there won’t be any repercussions.

Thursday will feature a mix of sun and clouds with highs in the 40’s over northern Alabama and 50’s in the south.

FRIDAY AND WEEKEND: Friday will be sunny. After a sub-freezing start, highs will be in the 50’s and 60’s. Dry weather will continue on Saturday with seasonal temperatures but a disruption will bring rainy spells on Sunday. There might be some thunder but there is no risk of severe thunderstorms.

NEXT WEEK: For now, it looks like we’re going to get caught in the rain on Monday, but occasional rain is likely nationwide on Tuesday and Wednesday. Colder, drier air will roll into the state Thursday and Friday.

TWO YEARS AGO TODAY: An EF-3 tornado moved through Fultondale, north of downtown Birmingham, killing one person (14-year-old Elliott Hernandez) and injuring about 30 others.

The parent storm was first tracked near Interstate 55 in central Mississippi. As the storm moved across Mississippi and into western Alabama, it exhibited episodes of rotation, but none strong enough to produce a tornado.

As the storm entered Jefferson County, its structure became organized. A rotational signature matured quickly and at 10:34 p.m. a tornado warning was issued. About 10 minutes later, the tornado began causing damage.

The tornado started along the Chapel Hills Parkway where minor gravel damage occurred. It headed northeast across Ellard Road and directly over the Walker Chapel Road overpass on Interstate 65. At this freeway exit, the tornado began to rapidly intensify, breaking numerous utility poles and causing extensive damage to a hotel.

It continued northeast, crossing US 31 and doing mostly tree damage along the freeway. As the tornado advanced into residential areas along Fulton Drive and Lykes Boulevard, significant damage occurred, destroying several homes and ripping at least one from its foundations.

As the tornado continued northeast, it paralleled Carson Road and caused extensive damage to homes along Meida Circle, Darlene Drive, and New Castle Road. Buildings in an industrial area along Carson Road sustained damage, including a fleet of Hurst Towing vehicles. Damage along New Castle Road was widespread, with some trees being debarked or snapped halfway up the trunk and debris from houses being hurled considerable distances.

The tornado was down 10.4 miles, and the maximum path width was 900 yards.

NEXT WEEK: For now, it looks like we’re going to get caught in the rain on Monday, but occasional rain is likely nationwide on Tuesday and Wednesday. Colder, drier air will roll into the state Thursday and Friday.

BEACH FORECAST: Click here to view the AlabamaWx Beach Forecast Center page.

For more weather news and information from James Spann and his team, visit AlabamaWx.

Source