Alabama weather

The Chairman of Alabama’s Senate Judiciary Committee says a drunken driving charge shouldn’t cost him his job.

State Senator Cam Ward says drinking alcohol and driving was a Huge mistake on his part.

The Alabaster Republican doesn’t believe he should quit either his senate seat or his industrial job with the city.  The reason is, Ward says he wasn’t working when he was stopped by police.

A Senate leader said earlier that he doesn't plan to strip Ward of the committee chairmanship.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley has declared a state of emergency ahead of a weather system that's expected to bring freezing rain to part of the state.The National Weather Service says rain will change to freezing rain and sleet in northwest Alabama early Thursday morning.


Alabama’s Unmanned Aerial System Task Force has submitted a report to Governor Bentley. That report will lay the groundwork for regulating unmanned aerial drones throughout the state. Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries John McMillan heads that task force. He says the privacy of Alabama’s citizens was a great concern when drafting the report, but compared UAVs to another hot-button privacy topic.

National Weather Service

The National Weather Service is warning of severe thunderstorms and flash floods in in several areas of Alabama.

Forecasters said Tuesday that a storm capable of producing winds of up to 60 mph was spotted 14 miles north of Evergreen and is expected to move northeast at about 35 mph. The severe thunderstorm watch spans several areas of northeast, central and south Alabama.

Forecasters say the storm is expected to cause rain in areas where the soil is already saturated from a previous round of bad weather.

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Forecasters say there's a moderate risk of dangerous rip currents along the Gulf Coast during the Labor Day weekend.

Thousands of people are heading to the beach for the holiday, but the National Weather Service says rip currents are likely in the surf.

Forecasters say weak swimmers shouldn't get any deeper than their knees through the weekend.

Several drownings have been blamed this year on rip currents, which are difficult to detect and can quickly pull swimmers into keep water.

The National Weather Service-Birmingham

Forecasters say heavy rains could bring flash flooding to north and central Alabama.

   The National Weather Service says a slow-moving cold front will cause showers and thunderstorms across the northern two-thirds of the state on Tuesday.

   Flash floods are possible mainly along and west of Interstate 65, and forecasters say winds could gust to 40 mph.

   Rains are supposed to diminish overnight, but the system is expected to slow down and bring more heavy rains on Wednesday, mainly south of Interstate 20.

Julie Bennett/

Powerful thunderstorms that moved across Alabama have left more flooding and toppled trees across the state.

   Forecasters at the National Weather Service said rains of around 1 inch fell within 30 minutes during Tuesday's storms in the Montgomery area. That led to at least one location -- East Ogden Avenue and Norman Bridge Road -- impassable as water flowed across the road.

   The weather service also received reports of several trees down and some minor structural damage in the Cloverdale community of Montgomery. / National Weather Service

Strong thunderstorms caused downpours that resulted in flash flooding in parts of Alabama.

The weather service didn't report any severe weather associated with the storms on Tuesday, but the downpours created headaches for some.

Streets flooded in parts of Jefferson County and Birmingham, causing traffic tie-ups. The weather service said flash flooding was likely near Montgomery, with deluges of as much as 2 inches of rain possible in a short time.

Bob Gathany |

An unconfirmed tornado has knocked down trees, flipped Dumpsters and damaged the roof of the nearby WalMart in Athens.

A forecaster at the National Weather Service in Huntsville said the suspected tornado started about a mile south-southeast of Athens and moved in a line toward southwest Ardmore Friday.

The unsettled weather system continued to concern forecasters as it moved north toward Tennessee.

Athens Police Chief Floyd Johnson says he saw the backside of a wall cloud that had a tail. Police followed as it moved up Route 31 to Interstate 65.

Forecasters say severe storms are possible in southwestern Alabama, and strong winds are likely in north Alabama.

A cold front is moving in from the west, and a warm front is pushing north out of the Gulf of Mexico.

The National Weather Service says the colliding systems are creating a risk of severe storms in Mobile and the surrounding area on Monday. Rainfall totals could exceed 4 inches.

Wind gusts up to 30 mph are possible in central Alabama, along with heavy rains.

Forecasters say a cold front approaching Alabama could bring snow flurries to some parts of the state.

Low temperatures are projected to drop below freezing in the Huntsville area Friday night. The National Weather Service is forecasting a slight chance for snow flurries in that area on Saturday.

A crew from the National Weather Service plans to inspect storm damage in southwestern Alabama to determine whether damage to homes in the area was caused for a tornado or high winds.

Preliminary reports from the weather service indicate that homes were damaged near the small community of St. Stephens, a few miles outside Jackson. Survey crews were planning to assess the damage on Monday.

Forecasters say more than 4 inches of rain has fallen in parts of the Alabama -- and the totals are continuing to climb.

Forecasters say the threat of freezing rain is over for most of north Alabama.

Temperatures are well above freezing in the Tennessee Valley, and the National Weather Service has canceled a freezing rain advisory for the region.

Forecasters say light coatings of ice are still possible in the east Alabama counties of Cherokee and Cleburne along the Georgia line. But any problems should be gone by mid-morning Friday.

Dozens of schools delayed opening as a precaution against slippery roads.

Forecasters say north Alabama could be in for another round of wintry weather.

The National Weather Service says as much as one-quarter inch of freezing rain is possible across the Tennessee Valley and as far south as Sylacauga in eastern Alabama.

Forecasters have issued a freezing rain advisory in effect from midnight Thursday until 9 a.m. Friday.

The advisory includes the cities of Huntsville, Florence, Gadsden, Fort Payne, Anniston and parts of metro Birmingham.

A spokesman says Alabama state troopers were caught off guard by last week's snow, which caused an overnight traffic jam on Interstate 65.

Trooper spokesman Curtis Summerville says road conditions worsened faster than officials expected once the snow began coming down.

Summerville tells The Decatur Daily ( ) authorities are looking at ways to do things better in case of a repeat. He says possibilities include using billboard or twitter to inform motorists of blocked roads.

Temperatures are expected to plunge into the mid-20s early Wednesday morning across much of northern Alabama, with freezing temperatures forecast for the central part of the state.

Forecasters at the National Weather Service say arctic air is in place over much of the nation, and temperatures are expected to be well below average over the next week.

Low temperatures are expected to be around 23 degrees in Huntsville and around 27 degrees in the Birmingham area early Wednesday. In the Montgomery area, the low is expected to be around 31 degrees.

North and central Alabama are trying to get back to normal after a winter storm dumped as much as 4 inches of snow on the area.

Dozens of school systems, businesses and government offices planned to open late Friday to let roads thaw out after an overnight freeze. The delays extended from the Tennessee line as far south as metro Birmingham.

But many people won't forget about the storm for a while.

Forecasters say they expect two to three inches of snow to accumulate in parts of Alabama, with some isolated amounts of up to four inches.

Much of the state -- including large parts of northern and central Alabama --- was under a winter storm warning Thursday morning.

National Weather Service officials said periods of heavy snow will be likely, with the heaviest snow falling Thursday morning.

The weather service said dangerous travel conditions would continue through Thursday morning, with the possibility of bridges and overpasses becoming snow and slush covered.

Rivers are rising and flooding continues to be a threat as rain keeps falling in Alabama.

A flood warning is in effect for most of northern and western Alabama, and a flood watch covers the rest of the region.

The National Weather Service says as much as 1 inch of additional rain could fall Wednesday, increasing flooding problems since the ground already is saturated with water.

Forecasters say the Flint River is more than a foot above flood level in Madison County, and the Paint Rock River is 2 feet above flood level in Jackson County and rising.

School systems across northwest Alabama are opening late because of the threat of icy weather and flooding.

Schools in Colbert, Cullman, Fayette, Franklin, Lamar, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Marion and Morgan counties delayed opening for at least two hours Tuesday as a safety precaution.

City school systems in Florence, Muscle Shoals, Sheffield, Tuscumbia and Winfield were among those delaying opening.

Forecasters say temperatures were around freezing in areas, creating the possibility of road icing after days of rain. Freezing rain was reported in spots.

The mix of heavy rains and colder temperatures is causing potential weather problems across Alabama.

The National Weather Service says persistent rains already have caused flash flooding in areas, and it has issued flood warnings for the Tennessee Valley region and west Alabama.

Some parts of north Alabama received up to 3 inches of rain quickly, and forecasters say additional rains will only increase runoff and cause more flooding.

There's a flood watch out for much of central Alabama.

Get out an umbrella: Forecasters say the next few days will be soggy across Alabama.

The National Weather Service says parts of the state could see as much as 5 inches of rain between Friday and early next week, and some areas could receive even more rain in small downpours.

While forecasters aren't predicting severe weather, they say brief periods of heavy rain and strong, gusty winds are both possible. So are rising streams and rivers that could lead to flooding.