FOX6 Chief Meteorologist J-P Dice and the FOX6 StormWarn team says we could see severe thunderstorms across northern Alabama today, especially during the afternoon hours.
Several Alabama counties are currently under a severe thunderstorm warning.
The severe thunderstorm warning is in effect until 3:30 p.m. for Lawrence and St. Clair County, until 3:45 p.m. for Blount and Jefferson counties, and until 4 p.m. for Cullman, Lawrence, Limestone, Madison and Morgan counties.
In a 3:15 p.m. update on the Fox6 Weather Blog, Dr. Tim Coleman said the line of storms has accelerated very quickly and just crossed the Warrior River into Jefferson County.
"These storms have a history of producing widespread wind damage and power outages, in addition to lightning. They will move through the Birmingham metro area in the next 30 minutes or so, with winds up to 60 mph. Stay indoors and don't drive if possible," Dr. Coleman said.
In addition, the National Weather Service says that the following counties are under a tornado watch until 9 p.m.: Autauga, Barbour, Bullock, Chambers, Chilton, Clay, Coosa, Elmore, Lee, Lowndes, Macon, Montgomery, Pike, Randolph, Russell, Tallapoosa.
Bibb and Chilton counties are under a severe thunderstorm warning until 5 p.m. Coosa County is under a severe thunderstorm watch until 4:30 p.m.
J-P says between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. today, thunderstorms with damaging winds, lighting, and large hail is possible. Hail has been reported in several areas, including Hackleburg, Trussville and Coker.
"Forecast models are showing some pretty high instability across the state to fuel the thunderstorms," J-P said Monday morning on the FOX6 Weather Blog. "With that kind of instability, I'm expecting some large hail and intense thunder and lightning."
J-P says tornadoes are not expected today.
"The wind shear and instability really aren't matching up that well," J-P said. "This means the tornado threat will be minimal. If a tornado were to develop - I think it would likely be in South Alabama and not the Northern sections of the state."
Monday morning, the nation's Storm Prediction Center issued a Severe Thunderstorm Watch for counties northwest of Birmingham and northwest of Interstate 59. Cities in the watch included Cullman, Jasper, Fayette, Winfield, Hamilton, and Vernon.
The watch was issued until 3 p.m.
J-P says the counties in the FOX6 viewing area with the greatest potential for severe thunderstorms this afternoon include Pickens, Tuscaloosa, Sumter, Hale, Greene, Perry, Chilton, Coosa, and the southern half of Shelby.
As of 4 p.m. Alabama Power reported that nearly 140,000 customers were without service in the following areas:
For continuing severe weather updates, visit www.myfoxstorm.com.
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