Outlook

Aiming To Prepare, Not To Scare

The Alabama Weather Prediction Outlook is an element our Team puts together based off of NWS forecasts, Hazardous Weather Outlooks and Storm Prediction Outlooks. We aim to update our Outlook at least once a week but tend to do it more frequently when inclement weather is imminent or occurring. 

Outlook Table

HAZARDTIMINGCONFIDENCE NATURE
No hazardous weather is expected over the next seven days.

A more thorough look at what each section of what the Outlook means can be found from this section down. Click on the button above the value to be taken to the specific section for that value (ie, clicking the Hazard button will take you to the section that explains what is placed in Hazards and what it means.)

Hazard
Timing
Confidence
Nature

Hazard

The following values can be used in Hazards:

  • Tornado
  • Severe Thunderstorm
  • Flash Flood
  • Winter Weather
Tornado
Severe Thunderstorm
Flash Flood
Winter Weather

A violently rotating column of air capable of producing widespread wind damage. Tornado strengths vary from weak to catastrophic. The Enhanced Fujita Scale defines the strength of the tornado

A thunderstorm is considered severe when it has half of at least quarter size (0.75") AND/OR winds of 58 MPH. Hail of this size and winds of this magniture can cause damage to trees, roofs and outbuildings.

Flash flooding occurs when rainfall rates of 1 inch or more fall over the same area within an hour or less.

Snow/ice accumulations could make travel dangerous or impossible. Accumulations of at least .10" need to be expected for this to occur.

Timing

The specific time we expect the potential hazard to occur. The timing will get more specific as confidence increases and as we get closer to an event. Something such as MON. AM or FRI PM will be used. If it is expected into the overnight hours then FRI PM-SAT AM  will be used.

Confidence

This is basically how certain or uncertain we are about the hazard to occur. We will use the following values for confidence: VERY LOWLOWMEDIUMHIGH, and VERY HIGH. Confidence generally becomes more certain as we get closer to an event and as model data gets more consistent. It is important to note that forecasting can be very challenging and sometimes even hours before an event there can be low confidence in a hazard occurring.

Nature

The following values can be used:

  • Isolated
  • Scattered
  • Numerous
  • Widespread
Isolated
Scattered
Numerous
Widespread

The hazard may appear now and then in some areas, but not everywhere. It will also be brief and short-lived. For example, a damaging wind event may occur in northwest Alabama then again in southern-middle Tennessee. This is a good example of an isolated severe thunderstorm. A pop-up tornado may occur in one place and then another.

The hazard will happen in quite a few places but again not everywhere. Another example: Large hail and damaging winds occurred in Decatur and Athens, but not in Huntsville. 2 severe thunderstorms were scattered, and did not last very long. One or two tornadoes may touch down but given the severe weather parameters they should not last very long and should not be significant.

Quite a few areas have the potential to see the hazard. Some of the hazards may be long-lasting, depending on the hazard. For a tornado, it may be a little bit stronger and last a little longer, and there may be quite a few severe thunderstorms.

Everyone has a pretty high chance of seeing the hazard, and the hazard may be long-lasting and significant.

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