The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

October 30, 2013

Bad weather in Halloween forecast

By Rebecca Croomes
news@athensnews-courier.com

— If The Great Pumpkin appears on Halloween night, he’ll be hard to spot among the storms predicted by the National Weather Service in Huntsville.

Meteorologist Kurt Weber said a strong band of showers and thunderstorms will be making its way across the Tennessee Valley during peak times when families would prefer to be out scoring sweets. The early evening hours between 4 and 8 are when Limestone County residents can expect to see the worst of the weather, Weber said.

“It’s probably not going to be a good Halloween to go out there trick-or-treating,” he said. “I wouldn’t really recommend people going out there.”

The main threats are going to come from heavy rain and damaging wind gusts between 45 and 65 miles per hour, Weber said. There’s also the isolated chance of spin-up tornadoes along the squall line expected to impact the area.

If there are any twisters, Weber said, they would be rain-wrapped, meaning they will be almost impossible to see.

Weber apologized for the bad forecast, possibly spoiling the plans of many, but said the forecast models have been “consistent” over the last few days, so no significant change is expected.

“If anything, the (severe) weather could come later,” he said. However, he qualified that statement saying moderate to heavy rain would precede and follow the storms. Rain is expected to last through Friday morning.

Thursday highs are expected to be in the mid-70s with breezy conditions and gusts up to 15 and 25 miles per hour. Chance of rain is 70 percent, with severe weather expected later in the evening. Friday, temperatures will fall to the lower 70s, with cloudy skies and a 20-percent chance of rain.