(Update) Predicted rainfall and wind speeds rise slightly in forecast updates


Update from the National Weather Service in Huntsville: A Wind Advisory remains in effect w/ wind gusts up to 40 mph possible this afternoon. Heavy rain will also move tonight, with 1 to 3 inches expected. A Flash Flood Watch will be in effect from 6 p.m. tonight thru 9 a.m. Friday.

Click here for the very latest from the National Weather Service in Huntsville.

HUNTSVILLE – Early Thursday morning, the National Weather Service (NWS) offices in Huntsville and Birmingham issued an updated forecast for Thursday and Friday, indicating slightly higher wind speeds and rainfall amount than earlier forecasts on Wednesday afternoon.

Thursday morning

  • Rainfall amounts low: less than a quarter inch from Birmingham to Huntsville.
  • Winds will already be picking up: 15-16 miles per hour from Cullman to Huntsville in the early morning, with gusts up to 24.  By late morning, sustained winds will reach 19-20, with gusts up to 30.
  • For those commuting south, early morning winds 18 mph around Birmingham, with gusts to 26.  By late morning, sustained winds will reach 20 mph, with gusts to 32.

Thursday afternoon

  • Between noon and 6 p.m., the region from Cullman to Huntsville will see just over half an inch of rain.  Birmingham will see about a quarter inch.
  • Sustained winds between Cullman and Huntsville will around 20 mph through the afternoon, with gusts reaching close to 30.
  • The Birmingham area will see sustained winds around 20-21 mph with gusts over 35.  In the late afternoon, gusts will slack off to around 32.

Thursday evening

  • Rainfall over Huntsville will reach close to seven tenths of an inch, and will be slightly over one inch around Cullman between 6 p.m. and midnight.  Birmingham will see just over an inch, as well.
  • Sustained wind speeds from Cullman to Huntsville will slack off in the evening to the 14-16 mph range, with gusts dropping to the range of 20-25 mph.
  • Birmingham will begin the evening with sustained winds around 19 mph, easing off to around 16 closer to midnight.  Gusts will reach 25-27 through the evening.

Friday morning

  • Cullman will see approximately a quarter inch of rain Friday morning, with Huntsville getting slightly less.  Birmingham will get just over three tenths of an inch.
  • Wind should become less of a factor throughout the region through the morning.  Sustained winds and gusts alike should stay at or below 10 mph from Cullman to Huntsville, with slightly higher speeds around Birmingham.

Weather alerts issued

Huntsville issues flash flood watch

A flash flood watch is in effect for northern Alabama through Friday morning, with NWS Huntsville offering the following advice:

“Low water crossings and poor drainage areas will have the highest risk of flash flooding, with minor flooding of rivers and creeks possible by this weekend.

A Flash Flood Watch means that conditions may develop that lead to flash flooding. Flash flooding is a VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION.  You should monitor later forecasts and be prepared to take action should Flash Flood Warnings be issued.”

Birmingham issues Hazardous Weather Outlook

At 4:28 a.m. Thursday, NWS Birmingham issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook.  Its notes for Thursday read:

“Windy conditions will be in place through Midnight.  Southeasterly winds of 20 to 30 mph, with higher gusts will be possible across much of Central Alabama.  Moderate to heavy rainfall will begin after noon today and continue through much of the night across Central Alabama. With the ground already saturated, this heavy rain could result in localized flooding, especially in low lying and poor drainage areas. Minor rises along flashy creeks and rivers can also be expected.”

For Friday through the weekend, NWS Birmingham’s statement read

“The moderate to heavy rainfall will continue through Friday afternoon and may lead to localized flooding, especially in low lying and poor drainage areas.  Minor rises on area rivers and waterways are expected as well, in addition to rises along flashy creeks and rivers. Rises along the rivers could continue through the weekend and possible into the first of next week depending on the exact totals of rainfall received.”

Similar Wind Advisories for both service areas

Both Huntsville and Birmingham have issued wind advisories to be in effect through midnight Thursday.  According to NWS Huntsville, “A Wind Advisory means that sustained wind speeds of at least 25 mph for 3 hours, or gusts of at least 35 mph, are expected across the affected area.  Winds this strong can make driving difficult, especially for high profile vehicles. Use extra caution. In addition, ensure all loose outdoor objects remain secure, including patio furniture and trash cans.”