It is always fun to watch the visible satellite light up on summer days as the cumulus field develops. That happened on cue this morning as the convective temperature was reached.
The best moisture is south and west of US-78/280 this afternoon, and that is where the shower development has been so far.
Further south, radars have been busy along the Gulf Coast, where a surface trough has triggered showers and storms all morning.
All of the activity will start weakening around sunset and will be gone by 9 p.m.
Temperatures range from 87F at Calera to 89F at Tuscaloosa and Anniston to 90F at the Birmingham International Airport.
Highs will only rise a degree or two more in most spots. Tuscaloosa has actually reached 91F just before 1 p.m.
The coming week will feature more heat, with high temperatures running some 5-10 degrees above normal, between 90-94F. Showers and storms will be hard to find.
The drought isn’t helping. One forecasting adage pertaining to rain chances is, “When in drought, leave it out.” Unfortunately, we will be leaving them out this week.
It’s a warm and humid last Sunday of August across Central Alabama. Temperatures are approaching 90F at the noon hour, heading toward highs between 91F-94F. With dewpoints in the lower 70s, heat index values are in the middle and upper 90s.
Skies are partly cloudy and regional radars are mostly quiet. High pressure at the surface and aloft is pretty much putting the kibosh on any showers and storms. A few isolated ones will form over a few lucky spots and continue into the mid-evening hours.
If you find yourself under one, count your lucky stars, then watch out for lightning!
QUICK CHECK ON THE TROPICS
…Gaston is a 105 mph hurricane east of Bermuda. It is drifting WNW but should recurve before affecting the island.
…99L is passing through the Florida Straits this afternoon. A circulation center is evident south of the Florida Keys. Key West NAS has a NE wind at 14 gusting 23 mph. The models believe 99L will become a tropical depression over the southern Gulf of Mexico. The GFS moves it out into the Middle Gulf by late Tuesday before turning it northeast toward the West Coast of the Florida Peninsula by next weekend. That would have little impact on Alabama’s weather, just some rough surf and showers and storms along the Gulf Coast. The European run from last night also depicts a move toward the Big Bend area of Florida. The Canadian does carry it to the Mobile/Pensacola area by Thursday night. It is too early to tell what specific course might occur or how strong it will become. Suffice to say, we will be watching.
LONG TRACK CAPE VERDE STORM IN THE CARDS?
The models are predicting a long track hurricane will move across the Atlantic over the next two weeks. This is the GFS output for Tuesday morning the 13th.
Output has consistently carried it to the mid-Atlantic Coast, as far south as Jacksonville or up into Virginia. But the morning run of the GFS brings it across the Caribbean and into the GUlf of Mexico. We will also have to pay attention to that possibility.
2-4 inches of rain has fallen across much of Cullman County this evening.
Heavy thunderstorms are about to move over the City of Cullman now.
One hour rainfall rates between 1.5-2 inches are possible.
Flooding will be likely.
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN HUNTSVILLE ALABAMA HAS ISSUED A
* FLASH FLOOD WARNING FOR…
NORTHWESTERN CULLMAN COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL ALABAMA…
* UNTIL 1145 PM CDT
* AT 845 PM CDT…DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED THUNDERSTORMS PRODUCING
HEAVY RAIN FROM GOOD HOPE AND CULLMAN WEST TO THE WINSTON COUNTY
LINE. UP TO TWO INCHES OF RAIN HAVE ALREADY FALLEN IN THESE AREAS
WITH AN ADDITIONAL 1 TO 3 INCHES POSSIBLE. FLASH FLOODING IS
EXPECTED TO BEGIN SHORTLY.
* SOME LOCATIONS THAT WILL EXPERIENCE FLOODING INCLUDE…
CULLMAN…GOOD HOPE…BALDWIN…VINEMONT…WEST POINT…LOGAN…
CRANE HILL…JONES CHAPEL…PHELAN AND SMITH LAKE.
A strong thunderstorm is over northern Jefferson County at this time. It is strongest from just north of downtown up through Tarrant, Fultondale, Gardendale and Mount Olive.
Nothing severe at this time, just lots of heavy rain, wind gusts to 40 mph and dangerous lightning.
John Talbot reports a large tree and power pole down in Fultondale. Cottonwood Dr and Hangle Dr.
Elsewhere, strong storms are in St. Clair County approaching Pell City.
There has been some heavy rain across Etowah and St. Clair Counties, where a flood advisory is in effect.
A strong storm is approaching Piedmont.
Storms over the Tennessee Valley have prompted a flash flood warning for Limestone and Morgan Counties.
A line of showers and storms is lifting northward through West Alabama this afternoon. At 3 p.m., it extends from Uniontown to Eutaw to Carollton to Amory MS.
It is moving north at 30 mph.
Lots of lightning and heavy rain as well as wind gusts to 40 mph accompanying the storms.
The storms will arrive in Tuscaloosa around 4 p.m.
The activity should stay mainly west of Jefferson County.
Clouds continue to break up early this afternoon across Central Alabama. Temperatures are warming through the 80s right now. The mercury reached 86F at BHM just before noon.
Convective temperatures off this morning’s balloon sounding at BMX showed that showers and storms would start forming at about 85F. That is underway, with scattered showers across western Alabama from Lamar and Fayette Counties down through Pickens, Tuscaloosa, Sumter, Greene and Marengo Counties. These storms will continue to grow through the afternoon.
In addition, an increasing area of showers and storms over southeastern Mississippi and southwestern Alabama will push northward through the afternoon hours. This activity should affect only the counties that borer Mississippi, perhaps as far east eventually as Bibb and Jefferson Counties by 5-6 p.m.
Otherwise, only isolated showers and storms are expected east of I-65 today.
THE HEAT IS ON: While Alabama is enjoying a little respite from our recent heat, it’s a different story in the Mid Atlantic and Northeast. Heat advisories, excessive heat watches and excessive heat warnings extend all the way from North Carolina to New Hampshire today. It was 95F in New York City with a heat index of 102F at noon and 92F in Boston with a heat index of 99F.
STATE OF DISASTER: That is what the headline on The Advocate in Baton Rouge is today. The Amite River is cresting at a record 46.2 feet at Denham Springs, LA, besting the previous record by nearly five feet. Flood stage is 29 feet. Downtown Denham Springs is completely under water. Over 1,000 people have been evacuated in Livingston Parish because of the extensive flooding along the Amite and Tickfaw Rivers. Interstate 12 is closed and over 1500 motorists are stranded. State police are having to drop supplies to them from helicopters.
In South Baton Rouge, homes are underwater and much of the LSU campus is flooded. Two people were reported dead in St. Helena Parish. There is extensive flooding in Youngsville and Broussard in Lafayette Parish. Baton Rouge received 19.24 inches of rain between Wednesday The flooding is tremendous in Louisiana after over 20 inches of rain fell in many areas.
Showers and thunderstorms moving northward across Central Alabama are producing brief heavy rains, gusty winds and some lightning.
They are not severe, but did produce a wind gust to 46 mph at the Birmingham international Airport at 3:49 p.m.
Power is out in Hoover and parts of Vestavia.
At 4 p.m., the strongest storms were over northeastern Jefferson County from north of Garedndale to Pinson and over eastern Alabama over Coosa County near Rockford.
Everything is moving north at about 30 mph in the circulation around the low over Central Louisiana.
The flooding is devastating over southeastern Louisiana. Baton Rouge now has recorded their wettest year in history through August 12th with 61.47 inches. They have picked up 19.10 inches over the past two and a half days.