Severe storms are likely as a cold front approaches later today and this evening. The National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Watch in effect for the following Alabama counties until 9pm this evening: Bibb, Blount, Calhoun, Cherokee, Cleburne, Colbert, Cullman, DeKalb, Etowah, Fayette, Franklin, Greene, Hale, Jackson, Jefferson, Lamar, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Morgan, Pickens, Shelby, St. Clair, Sumter, Talladega, Tuscaloosa, Walker, Winston.

The forecast also prompted a Hazardous Weather Outlook to be issued by the NWS in Birmingham. The statement reads: "There will be a chance for severe thunderstorms today and tonight... mainly from 12pm until 10pm... For all of Central Alabama. The primary threats will be damaging straight line winds and large hail... possibly  up to 2 inches in diameter."

There is an elevated risk for significant hail in storms that develop this afternoon across inland southeast Mississippi and southwest/south central Alabama. This NOAA NWS Storm Prediction Center graphic shows the probability of 1+" diameter hail within 25 miles of a point. The black hatched area indicates that there is a possibility of 2+" diameter hail in storms that develop. (noaa.gov)
This graph from NOAA shows the likelihood of certain severe weather events today and tonight (noaa.gov).

Get more from our Chief Meteorologist James Spann by checking out his Weather Blog.