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Is Tropical Depression #2 About to Form?

| 11:49 am July 21, 2014

The National Hurricane Center has given the designation over the Central Atlantic a designation (92L). Convection has developed near the center and it appears to have a circulation. It is in an area of low wind shear, that is favorable for development.

vis_lalo-animated 92L

It could become Tropical Depression #2. The NHC gives it a 50% chance of that happening.

It will likely weaken though as it encounters more hostile conditions as it approaches the islands. It still will bring squally weather to them Wednesday night and Thursday.

There is some chance it could flare back up as it nears the United States, so we will be watching!

Droughtwatch

| 3:23 pm July 20, 2014

Lots of folks across the middle of Alabama, from Cullman County southward to Autauga County have been very dry recently.

In fact, most of the five county Birmingham metro area have only received 10-25% of their typical rainfall over the past 30 days.

Click image to enlarge

Click image to enlarge

These areas need 1-2 inches of rain just to make up for the short-term deficits.

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The GFS predicts 3-4 inches of rain over the next 16 days. We will keep our fingers crossed.

Click image to enlarge.

Click image to enlarge.

The good news is that of last week, no part of Alabama was in full scale drought conditions. Abnormally dry conditions, according to the Drought Monitor, extend in a big backwards “C”, across Jefferson and Shelby Counties, over to and down the Georgia border into the Wiregrass of Southeast Alabama.

Click image to enlarge.

Click image to enlarge.

Sunday Afternoon Update

| 1:41 pm July 20, 2014

An area of showers and storms has been moving across South Central Alabama this morning and early afternoon in response to a very weak surface low moving moving across southern Alabama. The mesoscale models picked up on this feature very well yesterday and predicted there would be showers this morning in places like Clanton, Montgomery, Greenville and Auburn.

Click image to enlarge.

Click image to enlarge.

Mostly rainfall amounts were moderate, although there were some 3 to 4 inch amounts in places like northern Bullock, Lee, western Lowndes and southeastern Dallas Counties. Auburn has picked up 1.67 inches since yesterday morning.

There was a good bit of lightning in the I-85 corridor.

The heaviest weather is now exiting northeastward into Georgia, around the Lanett/Valley exit on I-85.

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ON THE WEATHER MAPS: In addition to the surface low northeast of Montgomery, a stationary front lies generally along I-59 and most of any shower activity that develops through the afternoon should be east of this boundary. In the mid levels of the atmosphere, a powerhouse of a high is near El Paso. To the right of it, a series of disturbances is rounding the top of the high, carving out a trough over the Ohio Valley down into the Tennessee Valley. One of the disturbances was sliding into northern Mississippi and we are tracking another over southwestern Missouri.

TROFFY PATTERN: Is “troffy” a word? For our purposes it is. Those kinds of disturbances will keep us in a troffy pattern into the coming work week. In fact, the trough may close off into an upper level low by Tuesday, which could lead to increase rain chances Tuesday and Wednesday. For today, drier air covers the northern half of the state, reducing shower chances to around 10-20%. Moisture levels will rebound a bit on Monday, allowing rain chances to return to 20-30%.   If the upper low materializes as expected by Tuesday, rain chances will likely undergo an uptick. This increase in rain chances should continue into Wednesday.

TEMPS: Highs today will be generally in the upper 80s, except over East Central Alabama, where clouds and showers are limiting the rise in the mercury. By tomorrow, everyone should be in the upper 80s and this trend should continue through midweek, except there will be an increasing number of 90s thrown in each day.

Preposterous…

| 12:27 pm July 18, 2014

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64F at Haleyville, 75F at Birmingham and 78F at Anniston on July 18th.

Preposterous, right?

Not on this July 18th as clouds are thick and showers and increasing across Central Alabama.

An upper low over northern Louisiana is pumping lots of moisture northward over a warm front that is lying across the Gulf Coast. Light to moderate rain covers much of Mississippi into northwestern Alabama, extending back into Louisiana and Southeast Texas.

At least a couple of rounds of rain will overspread the state this afternoon and tonight. Rainfall amounts don’t look to be too heavy, generally less than an inch, unless heavier rain is able to develop. There could be some thunder, but for much of Central Alabama, it will be limited.

Stronger storms are possible form south of Tuscaloosa back to near New Orleans this afternoon and tonight, but the chance of any severe weather even over southwestern Alabama is small.

Quick Noon Update

| 12:13 pm July 15, 2014

Our cold front is over the northwest corner of Alabama right now. Dewpoints are falling like a rock over Arkansas and western Tenenssee and Kentucky. The dewpoint at Huntsville is 71F, while in Memphis it is 62F and in Branson, MO it is 46F!

The numbers in green are the dewpoints.

Click image to enlarge.

Click image to enlarge.

Clouds are thick along and north of I-20 with some breaks to the south which is allowing instability values to rise above 2000 joules/kg, which is moderately unstable.

Regional radars right now show moderate showers over southern Walker County with lighter showers back through Fayette and Lamar Counties. Other light showers are over southern DeKalb County. Everything is pushing east southeast and will continue to do so.

The main shower and thunderstorm development today will be primarily over southeastern parts of the area in that higher instability, mainly south of a line from Demopolis to Clanton to Wedowee. Some strong storms will form in this region, but only isolated severe weather is expected.

The area outlined in pink on the graphic has a 20% chance of getting a severe thunderstorm watch says the SPC. The yelllow polygons are severe thunderstorm warnings.

To the north, in places like Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, Gadsden and Anniston and points north. The chance of a strong storm is just about gone.

The drier air will work in this afternoon, reaching Birmingham by dark and Montgomery after midnight.

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By morning, lows will be in the 50 across the north and near 60F in the I-20 corridor. There will quite possibly be a couple of 40s in your morning round up of lows tomorrow in places like Bankhead National Forest and Valley Head.

Storms Will Build in the I-59 Corridor

| 11:28 pm July 14, 2014

Showers pushing southeast across West Central and North Central Alabama tonight have started to weaken, pushing a distinct outflow boundary southeastward toward the I-5 corridor.

Click image to enlarge.

Click image to enlarge.

Showers and storms scattered along I-59 from Tuscaloosa to Birmingham to Gadsden will grow and intensify.

A storm in the Tuscaloosa area is already producing heavy rain and lightning.

Already, persistent heavy rains have been occurring in the Etowah and eastern St. Clair County areas into Cherokee County. A flash flood warning is in effect for parts of Etowah County.

Be alert for heavy rains, lightning and gusty winds over the next few hours. The storms are not severe, but we can’t rule out an isolated severe report or warning overnight.

Heavy Rains Falling over Northeast Alabama

| 9:13 pm July 14, 2014

2014-07-14_21-03-02

Persistent thunderstorms over Northeast Alabama are producing th epotential for flooding tonight.

They have been heavy tonight from eastern Blount County across much of Etowah County into Cherokee County tonight.

The NWS has issued an areal flood advisory for parts of the area outlined in green.

Radar estimates of 1 to 3 inches are showing up on radar tonight from northeast of Reece City to near and north of Hokes Bluff.

Be alert to potential flooding and always remember, turn around, don’t drown.

Storms over northern Mississippi and southern Tennessee have weakened over the past hour or so and there are no severe thunderstorm watches or warnings in effect right now.

Showers/Storms Popping Up

| 12:18 pm July 14, 2014
Click image to enlarge.

Click image to enlarge.

Let’s take a quick look at the Alabama Weather Situation at the noon hour:

A very nice field of cumulus clouds has developed over the state early this afternoon. The clouds started to get some vertical development y late morning over Northeast Alabama. This area of enhancement is being caused by our old friend the Easterly Wedge. You know, that thing we dread in winter? Funny how things we dread in winter, like the Polar Vortex and the Easterly Wedge, seem to make us happy in summer.

The wedge is providing slightly drier air over the Carolinas which means fewer cumulus clouds. But the convergence on the nose of it over Appalachians is allowing for enhanced convective development and that means taller cumulus clouds and showers.

At noon, they are mainly over Cherokee and Etowah Counties, with development also occurring in the I-20 corridor from Birmingham to Heflin and down around Clay and Randolph Counties.

Starting to see lightning near Cedar Bluff and Centre as these storms grow to near 40,000 feet.

There will be frequent lightning, very heavy rain and gusty winds from the stronger storms. Can’t rule out an isolated severe storm, but significant severe weather is not expected.

Storms are already building over northeastern Arkansas and will build down into western Tennessee this afternoon and evening. They will push into northwestern Alabama this evening and Central Alabama overnight. There could be strong storms overnight as a strong cold front near Chicago comes our way.

POLAR VORTEX CHECK
Our upper low is centered over the arrowhead of Minnesota this afternoon. A spot check there finds that it is 52F with a cold rain in Bemidji, Minnesota and a northwest wind at 14 mph.