Storms today could yield winds, flooding

By ED HOWELL
Posted 4/14/18

The National Weather Service (NWS) office in Birmingham is warning that Walker County could potentially get 3-5 inches of rainfall and even tornadoes from a system of strong thunderstorms today, with …

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Storms today could yield winds, flooding

Posted

The National Weather Service (NWS) office in Birmingham is warning that Walker County could potentially get 3-5 inches of rainfall and even tornadoes from a system of strong thunderstorms today, with the biggest impact expected by the afternoon.

A flood flood watch was issued late Friday afternoon for Walker County  and the surrounding area, effective from 7 a.m. today (Saturday) until 1 a.m. Sunday morning.  It covers central Alabama, along and west of a line from Oneonta to Clanton to Selma. 

NWS meteorologist Nathan Owen said late Friday afternoon that the line of storms could be severe at times, especially in West Central Alabama and west of U.S. Interstate 65. "So Walker County is included in that," he said. 

The largest threat is tornadoes and damaging winds up to 60 mph, Owen said, noting that Walker County was under an enhanced threat area, as was most of the office's service area from the Mississippi border to a line from Gadsden going south. 

"For your area, the timing is a little uncertain overall," he said. "It could be probably early in the afternoon to mid-afternoon for a timeframe. It could be there as early as 2 o'clock or it may be closer to 4 or 5. It is hard to say." 

That system could last "probably for a couple of hours, say to 7 or 8 p.m. Then it will be moving out," he said. 

Aside from wind and tornado damage, meteorologists are also watching for large rain and flooding issues, Owen said.

"It is certainly possible for some small streams and creeks in low-lying areas to see some flooding issues," he said. Updated figures at 4 p.m. Friday indicated that over the course of rains parking into Sunday, the area may see 3 to 5 inches fall. 

The high for Jasper Saturday is expected to be 75 degrees, although the high for Sunday and Monday will be 62 degrees, with lows at about 36 degrees. Tuesday will begin a warming trend back into the 70s. 

Owen asked residents to have their weather plans in place Saturday if tornado warnings are issued. "Have your weather plan in place and be ready to act on it," he said. 

The Birmingham office's website can be reached at www.weather.gov/bmx.