Severe weather may reach Calhoun County on Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.
Forecasts show a cold front arriving from the west Thursday, according to Gary Goggins, a meteorologist at the weather service’s station in Calera, near Birmingham. Mixed with moisture coming in from the Gulf of Mexico, the front may bring on high winds and potential tornadoes, Goggins warned, starting in the afternoon and continuing overnight into New Year’s Day.
“It’s not in a great shape for folks ringing in the New Year,” Goggins said by phone Monday morning. “We do have some ingredients that could take shape for severe storms.”
The worst of Thursday’s weather should be focused on the southern half of the state, according to Goggins, with areas south of Birmingham and Alexander City at “slight” risk for winds up to 60 mph and tornadoes.
Calhoun, Talladega and Cleburne counties have been placed in a “marginal” risk area, the lowest of five categories used by the weather service, although the same high winds and severe storms are possible.
Goggins said the state has had a fairly rainy year, and that Calhoun County received as much as 2 inches of rain in early November when Tropical Storm Zeta passed over. Oversaturated soil makes it easier for strong winds to push down trees, he noted.
“We’ll be watching out for … strong winds outside of thunderstorms as well,” Goggins said. “That includes gusts up to 35 mph in the afternoon and overnight. We may issue a wind advisory ahead of the system for further awareness.”