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Bill Murray

Bill Murray

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

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I-59 Showers

| 2:25 pm July 26, 2015


The semi-permanent subtropical high over the Atlantic Ocean that we usually see near Bermuda in mid-summer is displaced to the east on this July Sunday. There is a surface high over the Atlantic to the east of New England. That high is ridging down the East Coast of the U.S.. There is a trough of low pressure eating into the southwestern side of the high.

Over Alabama, you can see the effects of the trough, which contains drier air, extending into Southeast Alabama. The rest of the state has fairly normal summer time moisture over it.

As a result, in all parts of the state expect for the Wiregrass of Southeast Alabama, a beautiful field of fair weather cumulus clouds have formed. Temperatures are hot, in the 90s at all first order observing stations across the state except over the higher elevation of Northeast Alabama. It is 82F at Fort Payne and 86F at Valley Head. Readings range from 90F at Auburn and Alexander City to 96F at Huntsville. It was 91F at Calera and Birmingham and 94F at Anniston and Tuscaloosa.

The cooler temperatures over Northeast Alabama are thanks to developing showers and thunderstorms. At 2:20 p.m., showers covered much of DeKalb County in northeast Alabama and were developing around Decatur. We still expect a fairly good coverage of showers and storms within about a 120 mile wide band on either side of I-59. The chance you will get a cooling shower is about 1 in 3 this afternoon. They will die out quickly after sunset.

Showers should be few and far between tomorrow and Tuesday, but will start to increase again by midweek. Temperatures will continue to be summerlike with highs in the 90s and lows in the 70s.

A Hot July Sunday

| 10:37 am July 26, 2015

Sorry for the scheduling mishap this morning that has made us late, but here is your Weather Extreme video and narrative for Sunday, July 26th.

Saturday was a dry day across Central Alabama with very few isolated light showers. I finally got a reprieve after eight consecutive days of rainfall in Vestavia Hills and was able to stain my deck. Moisture has returned today and there should be enough around to scare up a few widely scattered showers and thunderstorms this afternoon, despite the presence of high pressure at the surface and aloft. High temperatures this afternoon will top out well into the middle 90s with a few upper 90s thrown in for effect.


Not much change in the thinking this morning about how the week will go. The GFS is still bullish on the idea of increased showers and storms by next weekend as a front drifts down into Alabama, producing over 2 inches of rain for the area. The European does not buy this wet concept for Central Alabama, spotting out only .4 inches of rain.

One interesting development in the Euro output is the development of a surface low over northern Florida that retrogrades, or moves westward, back along the north Gulf Coast. That could spell more showers and storms for beachgoers along the beautiful beaches of Alabama and Northwest Florida, but it remains to be seen if that will pan out.

It will be just a tad hotter than normal this week across Central Alabama, with highs in the middle and upper 90s. Heat index values could flirt with heat advisory levels through midweek, but nothing we aren’t used to here in Alabama. Temperatures will back off a bit by the weekend, especially if the GFS is right about the rainfall.

James will be back with the next edition of the Weather Xtreme video on Monday.

Have a great Sunday and try to stay cool!

Fewer Showers

| 8:12 am July 25, 2015

Temperatures will be trending to hotter across the area through the weekend and into the workweek thanks to fewer showers and storms.

FEWER SHOWERS TODAY: First, the much advertised reduction in showers and storms has finally started to happen. It has rained for 8 straight days at my home in Vestavia. At the Airport, it has only rained for three straight. It seems that the rain gods have known that I have been trying to stain my deck all week! Although some areas received heavy rains again Friday afternoon, the coverage was less than Thursday.

And today, you should see a dramatic reduction in the coverage. We won’t be able to eliminate them completely from the forecast, especially south of I-59, but they will be widely scattered in nature. The chance of any one spot seeing an afternoon shower is about 10% north of I-59. 10-15% south of I-59 and about 20% south of US-80. Highs today will be in the middle and upper 90s, with an emphasis on upper. There will be a few 100 degree readings in the black Belt down around Demopolis and Selma.

THE REASON BEHIND the reduction in showers and storms is drier air. The precipitable water values over North Central Alabama have dropped from over 2 inches yesterday to nearly half of that this morning.

RINSE, REPEAT: Sunday land Monday look like they will be a lot like today, but with even fewer showers and storms and more hot temperatures. Highs should be in the middle and upper 90s both days with rain chances coming in at nearly zilch.

RAIN CHANCES RAMP BACK UP: By midweek, we will be watching an approaching cool front to the northwest. Look for scattered showers to return to your local radar on Wednesday, increase a bit on Thursday and by Friday, rain will be likely. Look for highs Friday not to get out of the 80s. Those rain chances will remain high through the weekend and temperatures will remain on the more comfortable side.

GULF COAST WEATHER: A trough of low pressure will lie across the northern Gulf of Mexico through the weekend and into the early part of the new work week. This means lots of showers and storms out over the Gulf. But the beaches should be mainly dry through midweek before an approaching front ramps up shower and thunderstorm chances along the beautiful beaches of Alabama and Northwest Florida. But if this is your week to head to the beach, take heart. Even late in the week, it won’t rain all day and there will be decent periods of sunshine each day. The rip current threat should be fairly low all week. The water temperature at Pensacola is a toasty 87F. 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.


DANNY A THREAT TO THE EAST COAST? Look for low pressure to develop over the coast of the Carolinas by Tuesday. This system will be tropical in nature and should become Hurricane Danny as it skirts the Outer Banks and heads northeast. The most likely path looks like it will carry it just east of Long Island and Cape Cod, staying far enough at sea to preclude serious impact for the Northeast and New England, but recent runs of the operational European have included an impact on Long Island and eastern Massachusetts. We will be watching.

WEATHERBRAINS:. Fantastic show this week with Dr. Jason Persoff, a Medical Doctor from Denver who is an accomplished storm chaser. He gave a riveting account of his experience in Joplin, Missouri during the deadly tornado from 2011. Check out the weekly netcast that’s all about weather at You can also subscribe on iTunes. You can watch the show live at 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.

Interesting Alabama NewsCenter Articles

| 1:50 pm July 24, 2015

Here are some of our favorite recent stories from our partners over at Alabama NewsCenter.  You can find Alabama WX forecasts there as well as many great stories and videos telling the good news of Alabama.

Peaches pack prosperity potential for Chilton County.  


World Cup champions to play at Legion Field Sept. 20.

United States' Carli Lloyd (10) chases down the ball during the first half of the FIFA Women's World Cup soccer championship against Japan in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, on Sunday, July 5, 2015. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

United States’ Carli Lloyd (10) chases down the ball during the first half of the FIFA Women’s World Cup soccer championship against Japan in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, on Sunday, July 5, 2015. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

SEC Football Media Days: From Skywriters Tour to unimagined new heights.


Power restored before hottest temperatures arrive in Birmingham.


Monroeville celebrates ‘Go Set a Watchman’.


It’s time to beat the heat in Alabama


Other recent articles from Alabama NewsCenter include the following:

Scammers don’t take a summer vacation – This quick guide will show you how to avoid becoming a victim.

Preteen poets: Middle schoolers embrace creative writing – “I am lightning.  My brother is thunder.  My sister is rain.  I am a symbol of speed, of power, of pain.”  (by Jordan from Montevallo Middle School)

The domino effect tells about the 2015 World Championship Domino Competition in Andalusia, Alabama.

Coach Pearl and the pros delight, enlighten at Barbasol Junior Clinic tells about how students learn lessons about golf and the game of life.

Alabama Power seeking up to 500 megawatts of renewable generation, including solar explains how a boost in renewable power options would allow Alabama Power to offer its customers more solar power than it has ever offered before.

Vestavia Hills home to young rising fashion design star tells of a local 14-year-old’s early successes, including winning first prize on the LifeTime Channel’s “Project Runway: Threads.”

Sloss Fest is latest note in Alabama music scene’s long resonance explores the rich musical heritage in Alabama and showcases some of the recent performers.

Gov. Bentley said new incentives are already spurring economic development activity:  “Creating jobs always should be our number one goal.”

Alabama poised to grow in the distribution center industry – See why the state’s unique location boasts a number of benefits.

Alabama Commerce Department adding new division, revising state economic development plan – “This is about meeting the needs of business and industry.”

Carla Davis: Turning disability into ability – “She’s a good example of someone who focuses on abilities and not disabilities.”

Homes for Our Troops benefits Noah Galloway and other veterans in Alabama.

Our RSS Feeds Have Changed

| 1:26 pm July 24, 2015


The audience for AlabamaWX continues to grow and grow. We thank each and every one of you for turning to us for weather information.

We know that many of you use RSS readers, apps and widgets to follow the blog. We have made a made in our feed server today, which may necessitate you changing the address that you follow.

Here are the various feeds:





Please adjust your feed settings and get ready for lots of exciting new content on AlabamaWX.

Storms in Birmingham Metro

| 11:19 am July 23, 2015


Thunderstorms on the southern edge of a rain shield are dropping into the Birmingham Metro right now.

Storms with heavy rain and frequent lightning, but not severe, are across the northern parts of Jefferson County and over St. Clair County from Ragland to Pell City.

Everything is pushing east, but developing southward as well. Areas from eastern Jefferson across much of St. Clair, Talladega, Calhoun, Cleburne, as well as northern Clay and Randolph Counties can expect this activity to move over them over the next couple of hours.