We've already had our first handful of strong to severe storms across the area. Strong wind and hail were reported, along with some broad rotation as the storms tracked out of Tennessee into Alabama. Still, the main severe threat will be in the form of a line of storms ahead of a cold front dropping into North Alabama from out of the northwest. For the Shoals to Lincoln County in Tennessee the leading edge will arrive around midnight tonight.
All types of severe weather are possible with tonight's thunderstorm line. The primary and most likely severe threat is damaging straight-line winds, followed by a damaging hail threat, along with a low end tornado risk. All of North Alabama is included in either Slight Risk (2 out of 5 on the Storm Prediction Center's scale) or the higher end Enhanced Risk for severe weather (3 out of 5 on the Storm Prediction Center's scale).
One of the big causes of concern is the fact that this is another overnight event. You'll need a way to receive warnings that's going to wake you up from a deep sleep. Download the WAAY 31 StormTracker Weather App AND have at least one other source for warnings, like a NOAA weather radio. The timeline right now looks like storms arrive out of Tennessee by midnight in the Shoals and Lincoln County, then track southeastward. They'll reach the Huntsville area by 2 AM and the southern fringes of the area (Morgan and Marshall Counties, etc.) between 4 and 6 AM Thursday morning.
The rest of Thursday is quiet and colder. Highs only reach the 60s, rather than the 80s of previous days. For the most part, we get a break from the active weather until the second half of the weekend. Rain rolls in by Sunday, when we can pick up one to two inches. The chance for storms is back, too. Models aren't in great agreement with the timing of this system Easter Sunday, which would impact the severe threat. As of this morning the Storm Prediction Center is highlighting a severe risk for central and southern Mississippi, Alabama but over the next 4 days that risk could be extended further north.