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Update: Severe Thunderstorm Watch in place; Main threat is high wind and large hail

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Approximate timing for line of storms in Central Alabama Thursday night. (NWS Birmingham) Approximate timing for line of storms in Central Alabama Thursday night. (NWS Birmingham)

A severe thunderstorm watch is up until 7p CT for the Tennessee Valley of North Alabama, along with Cullman County. Showers and storms are forming quickly over the northern half of the state, and we expect those storms to become severe over the next few hours.

Storms have the potential to produce large hail, and damaging straight line winds, possibly exceeding 50 mph in many places. It is likely another severe thunderstorm watch will be issued farther to the south soon that will include places like Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Anniston, and Gadsden.

While storms are possible at just about anytime this evening, the main organized band of storms will drop south; they should be along the I-20 corridor in the 5:00-7:00 p.m. time frame. Then, the band will reach Montgomery around 10:00 p.m. on the journey south. They storms should arrive on the Gulf Coast after midnight, but they should be weakening then.

The overall, broad window for the primary severe weather threat is from 4:00 until 9:00 p.m. As discussed this morning, we encourage everyone to be in a position to hear severe thunderstorm warnings, and listen to the specific information in the warning along with the call to action… remember, some storms with strong straight line winds can produce damage like a tornado.

The storms will also produce lots of lightning and brief heavy rain.

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