Bill Murray is the President of The Weather Factory. He is the site's official weather historian and a weekend forecaster. He also anchors the site's severe weather coverage. Bill Murray is the proud holder of National Weather Association Digital Seal #0001 @wxhistorian
Skies are partly cloudy across the eastern half of the area this afternoon, and beautifully clear over the western half of the area. I-65 is the rough dividing line.
The trough that has brought us the cooler weather has closed off into an upper low over South Carolina. That upper low and its cooler air aloft is producing a nice stratocumulus field over the eastern half of the state.
Heavier clouds are over the southern half of Georgia, closer to the upper low.
Radars are clear across the region however, and you have to travel to south of Orlando over the Florida Peninsula to find showers and storms this afternoon.
Highs today will top out in the middle and upper 70s although Montgomery may touch 80F this afternoon. Highs on Monday will be in the lower 80s.
The new work week will start off with partly cloudy skies and pleasantly cool temperatures in the lower 50s Monday morning. At daybreak, a cold front will be near St. Louis, powered by a strong upper level system over the Upper Midwest.
Clouds will increase through the afternoon, and by nightfall, that front will be near Memphis. Showers and thunderstorms will be breaking out across Mississippi and western Tennessee and will move into northwestern Alabama during the night, pushing southeastward through the area by morning.
It does appear that the system will be weakening however, and by the time it reaches I-59, showers will be lighter and will be falling apart.
An approaching cold front brought showers and storms to the state during the overnight after a very warm Friday afternoon. The storms weren’t strong, but there was enough instability for lightning. They also produced heavy rain and gusty winds. Our cold front is positioned over far South Alabama this morning. A few leftover showers are over Northeast Alabama, near the center of the upper level disturbance that has helped to trigger them. The rest of Central Alabama is dry except for some patchy drizzle.
SATURDAY’S SLOW SUNSHINE RETURN: Clouds will slowly break up this morning and be just an evaporating field of stratocumulus clouds as drier air moves into the state behind the front. It may be a little breezy at times behind the front, with a fresh northerly wind, and temperatures will be cooler, topping out in the middle 70s in the I-20 Corridor, ranging to near 80F in the US-80 Corridor. Temperatures will fall quickly after sunset. But all in all, great weather for the many events going on across Alabama today, like the Barber Vintage Motorcycle Festival out at the Barber Motorsports Park, and Homecoming at the Capstone.
FOOTBALL FORECAST: Alabama will host Arkansas at Bryant-Denny Stadium this evening (6:00p CT kickoff)… the sky will be mostly fair, with temperatures falling from 68 degrees at kickoff into the low 60s by the final whistle. Some will want a light jacket or sweater walking from the stadium back to your car after the game. Auburn has a bye this week.
SUNNIER SUNDAY: Tomorrow will get off to a refreshing start, with lots ranging between 46F at Hamilton, 55F at Birmingham and 58F at Montgomery. Skies should be mainly clear. The trough that delivered this dose of delightful October weather to us will be trying to close off into one of those pesky upper lows tomorrow over the Carolinas. It might be able to wrap a few clouds back into Alabama from the east tomorrow. Can’t even rule out a shower over eastern sections Sunday night, but the chance looks very small.
THE WEEK AHEAD: Another trough will begin pushing toward Alabama on Monday and we will see increasing clouds during the day. Highs will warm to near 80F. Showers should arrive in the state around 9 p.m., but they will find very little instability to work with, so thunder should be limited. Rainfall amounts will be very light. They will be over by Tuesday morning. Skies should clear fairly quickly during the day Tuesday. Like today, Tuesday will be slightly cooler, with highs between 75F and 80F. The trough that brings this second front will be deep but weakening. It will set the stage for a shallow, broad trough to occupy the eastern half of the United States. A flat surface trough will dominate Alabama and the Gulf Coast’s weather. This should keep us in fine, seasonable weather into the weekend. Skies will be generally clear to partly cloudy. Highs will range between 77F and 80F. Lows will be in the very comfortable 50s. Wednesday morning will be the coolest morning, with widespread 40s across the northern half of the area.
WEEKEND SNEAK PEEK: High pressure over the Ohio Valley will sink southward for the weekend, keeping us in fine weather. There could be a little more cloudiness though, as some moisture gets caught under the dome of high pressure. Highs will be in the lower 70s, lows will be in the 50s.
TROPICS: The 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season is not over yet. By Wednesday, we will be tracking a tropical wave into the western Caribbean. This wave should make it to the Yucatan by the weekend, steered around the subtropical high east of Florida. Once again, low pressure will form over the Peninsula by late Sunday and move into the southern Gulf of Mexico. This low could become tropical, and be a depression or even a tropical storm, but it should get swept east northeastward by another strong trough. It could threaten the Florida Keys but shouldn’t become strong.
GULF COAST WEATHER: Great weather today and tonight for the National Shrimp Festival and all of the long weekend beach goers along the beautiful beaches of Alabama and Northwest Florida. With a good supply of sunshine today through partly cloudy skies, beach highs should top out in the lower and middle 80s. The cold front will make the Gulf Coast later today, pushing highs back into the lower 80s again. Lows will be in the comfortable upper 50s. Water temperatures are running 75F-77F. Seas will run 1-2 feet through the weekend, and around 1 foot next week. This should lead to a low rip current threat through the rest of the week. See the complete Gulf Coast 7 Day Planner here. The Gulf Coast Beach Forecast is presented by Gulf Shores Plantation by Mandoki Hospitality Vacation Rentals. Escape to Gulf Shores Plantation where memories last a lifetime.
WEATHERBRAINS:. Great show this week with the incredible Dr. Chuck Doswell. Revere him or revile him, you have to respect him. Check out the weekly netcast that’s all about weather at www.WeatherBrains.com. You can also subscribe on iTunes. You can watch the show live at live.bigbrainsmedia.com You can also see the show on the James Spann 24×7 weather channel on cable or directly over the air on the dot 2 feed.
From superheroes to hot-air balloons and “swiftnadoes,” something was in the air at Alabama NewsCenter this past week. These are some of our favorite good news stories from across our state:
Recent Alabama happenings include girls scoring touchdowns, Alabama producers making waves on Broadway, fast go-karts, festivals and lots of opportunities for fun!
Football preview: Saban says cancel the hearse as Alabama welcomes Razorbacks to Bryant-Denny – Alabama NewsCenter looks at select college and high school games in the state this week.
Can’t Miss Alabama: Enjoy your pick of reading activities to motorcycle shows – Make your fall weekend complete by choosing one of our picks.
Capes, crowns and courage: Books-A-Million brings Superhero Month to Children’s of Alabama – Heavy doses of smiles and excitement at kickoff of month-long celebration.
Holy squeegee, Batman! Superhero window-washers delight at Children’s hospital – Wall-crawling heroes part of monthlong event.
Go-karts that go fast: Autobahn brings indoor racing to Bessemer – Company claims largest indoor cart facility in Alabama.
Alabama girl scores a touchdown in middle school football game – Pleasant Grove seventh-grader takes home game ball for accomplishment.
Girls on the Run: Alabama women leaders answer, ‘What would you do if you were not afraid to fail?’ – Women Who Inspire and “The Empowerment Project” events set for this week in Birmingham.
Hot-air balloons provide different view from above Railroad Park – Perspective reveals how much park has become a catalyst for growth.
100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die: Heaton Pecan Farm’s pecan pie – Pecans are everywhere at this popular Clanton travel stop, but the pie takes the cake.
Alabama Bright Lights: Andrew Freear continues the legacy of Sambo Mockbee and the Rural Studio in Alabama’s Black Belt – “The initial sketch is always an emotion, not a concept.”
Producers of ‘Dames at Sea’ navigated from Birmingham to Broadway – Tony winners Martin Platt and Louise Beard helm unlikely revival in the Big Apple.
Alabama Power launches Small Business Solutions – “Small businesses are the heart and soul of Alabama’s economy,” Tony Smoke, vice president of Marketing, Alabama Power
Airbus sponsorship brings private support for Mobile’s Riverside Ice to $80,000 – Downtown ice skating project coming to Port City in November.
UAB study to help Black Belt residents improve health, longevity – Efforts will focus on high blood pressure among people in nation’s poorest counties.
Return of the shrimp – Alabama to host the Annual National Shrimp Festival.
This party has a purpose – Event designed to address needs of west Birmingham communities.
Fiesta brightens a rainy day in downtown Birmingham at Linn Park – Celebration shares culture of 20 Latin American countries through art, dance, music and food.
Korean logistics company LogisAll to open Alabama facility – This multimillion dollar investment translates into new jobs for the region.
Still time to catch the ‘swiftnado’ – Swiftnado alert! No, you don’t have to seek immediate shelter. But, if you are in the Birmingham area and want to witness summer’s swirling, twilight-hour aerial dance of thousands of tiny chimney swifts over the city, time’s running out.
The upper low that is causing historic and catastrophic flooding in South Carolina is pushing eastward out of southern Georgia this afternoon. Some parts of the Palmetto State have received over twenty inches of rain in the past few days. One COCORaHS observer near Mount Pleasant SC, near Charleston, has received over 24 inches of rain in the past four days. There are numerous reports of life threatening flooding across South Carolina, including dam failures, washed out bridges and building collapses.
Nothing like that here, although the moisture wrapping around the low is he;ping to enhance the clouds across our area. Other moisture has been wrapping down from the north and covers West Central Alabama and much of Mississippi. In between, some sinking air on the left side of the low has allowed for some clearing. In areas that have seen more clearing, some stratocumulus clouds were forming under the cold temperatures aloft, which make for slight instability.
Not enough for showers though. And the only precipitation has been some light rain over Northeast Alabama.
Temperatures are in the upper 60s to lower 70s.
Expect increasing sunshine as we head into Monday. Temperatures will be heating up as well and we should see a seasonable, dry week ahead.
Hurricane Joaquin is 125 miles west southwest of Bermuda at this hour. Top winds are still 105 mph, making it a Category Two hurricane. Winds have gusted to 55 mph on the island. The barometer is down to 29.35. Hurricane warnings are in effect, but I think the island may escape without officially measuring hurricane force winds.
Our partners at Alabama NewsCenter had a busy week reporting on the good news of the state. Here are some of our favorite stories from the past few days.
Football preview: No. 13 Alabama painted into a crimson corner, facing No. 8 Georgia Saturday in Athens – Complete college and select high school games from across Alabama
Can’t Miss Alabama: Fiesta, reggae music and a food festival like none other – See this week’s top choices for entertainment – and good food – across Alabama.
Alabama firefighters answer long-distance call – Battle underway to contain deadly drought-fueled blazes.
Sending help for Hurricane Joaquin – Alabama Power employees head to Virginia to “pay it forward” for storm restoration assistance.
Update: Joaquin heads into the Atlantic – crews to stay in Alabama – The deployment to Virginia has been called off.
Prestigious Newsweek Top Cancer Doctors 2015 includes UAB cancer specialists – “We know that our physicians are some of the best in the world, but now the world knows.” Edward Partridge, UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center
Mobile’s Infirmary Health wins national Pink Glove Dance competition – Video to Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” benefits American Cancer Society.
Children’s of Alabama doctor says this is the truth about vaccines: They are safe, and they save lives – An in-depth look at where we are today, through the eyes of a pediatrics expert.
Tapping Out childhood cancer – “I just wanted to do something. I wanted to give back.” Alex Swader, Dancers Fighting Cancer
Birmingham actress Anna Grace Barlow goes from Red Mountain Theatre to primetime TV – ‘Scream Queens’ role is taking her young career to a new level.
Magic City mythology helps make ‘Big Fish’ an inspiring tall tale – Author Daniel Wallace comes back to Birmingham for opening night at Red Mountain Theatre Company.
Alabama Innovation Fund awards $4.5 million for promising research – It’s a financial boost which could generate new ventures – and jobs.
Andrew Yang: Venture for America aims to show world what’s possible in Birmingham – Birmingham is the latest city to win program’s distinction as a growth city.
Worlds of Opportunity provides look into future for Southwest Alabama students – Career fair exposes eighth-graders to options.
Southern Research chosen for major solar project – See how innovation is driving improvements in efficiency.
AIDT’s Alabama Workforce Training Center up and running in Birmingham – The “service center for workforce development” aims to prepare students for careers in construction, manufacturing and entertainment.
Deontay Wilder defeats French challenger Johann Duhaupas with 11th round TKO – Nearly 8,500 and a national television audience saw Alabama native defend his title.
Deontay Wilder is giving ‘my full attention’ to challenger Johann Duhaupas as second title defense nears – Challenger is 32-2 with 20 knockouts
ALABAMA BRIGHT LIGHTS: Helping to warm hearts of visitors and residents in Dothan – Mit Kirkland’s dedication to this Alabama Wiregrass town is making a difference.
Breakin’ Bread for a good cause – When local chefs unite, great things happen.
Reading (and eating) between the wines – Emmet O’Neal Library benefits from vino event.
100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die: All Steak orange rolls – Here’s how this mouth-watering side dish was created at one Alabama restaurant.
Anchors aweigh: GulfQuest National Maritime Museum of the Gulf of Mexico now open in Mobile – Mobile attraction is projected to draw 300,000 visitors annually.
Tom Joyner meets fans, entertains crowd – “It’s my passion. I love what I do.” Tom Joyner, host of the Tom Joyner Morning Show
Fall into savings with these five energy-saving tips – Autumn’s arrival means chillier temperatures will soon follow.
Are ash ponds headed to the dustbin of history? – New environmental guidelines will likely force more expense in the costs to generate power.
Well, the excitement meter has shot up rapidly last night and this morning on Joaquin.
The storm became a hurricane this morning with winds of 80 mph and it continues to strengthen. Air Force reconnaissance found a central pressure of 972 mb after 7 a.m. You can see it tracking southwestward perilously close to the Bahamas with the hurricane watches and warnings outlined in peach and red.
The system is developing an eye now and will continue to strengthen over warm water. Sea surface temperatures in the vicinity of the hurricane are well over 30C, which is sufficient for rapid strengthening.
It is quite impressive on visible satellite imagery, with intense thunderstorms wrapping around the developing eye and good outflow. Joaquin is expected to become a major hurricane over the next 48 hours. Indeed, with very low wind shear and the warm temperatures, it is not unthinkable that it could become even stronger.
Hurricane Joaquin is 300 miles east southwest of Nassau in the Bahamas, moving SW at 5 mph. It is expected to turn sharply west, then northwest and then north and northeast over the next 24 hours. It will bring tropical storm conditions to the southern Bahamas tonight and Thursday, and hurricane conditions to San Salvador. Hurricane warnings are in effect for the southern Bahamas. A hurricane watch is in effect for the rest of the Bahamas including Nassau, but I think that is out of a measure of caution, since only the island of Eleuthera should receive tropical storm conditions late Thursday night into Friday morning.
With the northeast turn, you would think it would turn on out to sea and bother no one. But not so fast my friend. Strengthening high pressure to the north of the hurricane may very well deflect it back to the west by the weekend and Joaquin poses a big threat to the U.S. East Coast. (Think Hurricane Sandy from 2012.)
The GFS and the Canadian, as well as the GFDL and HWRF models have been bullish on a solution that takes Joaquin into the Mid-Atlantic Coast between eastern North Carolina and the Delaware/Maryland/Virginia area (DELMARVA). The European model still takes it out to sea without affecting land. But the ensembles (multiple runs of the model with slightly different data to generate a variety of solutions) underscore the uncertainty. The GFS ensemble has members that carry it out to sea with others that bring it ashore. The positions from the various members of the European ensemble actually average out to be closer to the coast as well. The Canadian overnight was right with the American GFS.
So, there has been an increasing trend toward a landfall on the U.S. East Coast in the Mid-Atlantic region. The morning run of the GFS model now shows a landfall near Morehead City, NC Saturday night.
The overnight run of the GFDL pegged Virginia Beach as the landfall Saturday night as a 115 mph hurricane with a central pressure of 943 mb. That would be a disaster for the Hamptons and the Chesapeake Bay including Washington DC and Baltimore. The HWRF brings it to near Cape Hatteras as a 100 mph hurricane early Sunday morning and on into southern Virginia.
It is too early to say specifically where Joaquin will end up, but all interests along the East Coast of the United States from the Carolinas to New England need to be paying attention to the latest forecasts, official advisories and watches and warnings.
Heavy rains will continue to plague the area from the Carolinas to New England. Flood watches are in effect for a large area of this region. Much of the Mid-Atlantic region is forecast to get 8-10 inches of rain from this storm. Serious flooding was reported this morning in Portland ME.
Coastal flood advisories are in effect along much of the East Coast from the Florida Keys to Massachusetts. High astronomical tides caused flooding around Charleston SC this morning, closing some streets.
We will be tracking Joaquin carefully here on the blog through the weekend as it decides what it is going to do.