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
So, I see Scott Martin’s midday post crowing about not having to water his garden today and I am envious. We squeezed out a meager 0.17 inches at my house in southern Jefferson County after things looked promising for awhile.
Here is how my conversation went with meteorologist Sheldon Kusselson this morning:
Sheldon: You have your best shot at the most widespread rain in Alabama coming today…then each day gets less through Thursday. With a slight increase over the weekend. So, to help any parched areas, today is the day.
Me: Wishing the boundary would drop a little south and put some rain on my lawn.
Sheldon: Can you maybe move your property a little north?
The radar developed a rash of measles just after noon in an area of deeper moisture and in the vicinity of a surface trough over the northern half of Alabama.
The showers and storms have been aided by a glancing blow of upper level energy from a disturbance passing through the Ohio Valley to the north.
At 12:25 p.m., the temperature at the Birmingham Airport reached 97F, and almsot immediately fell to 84F with a 32 mph wind gust as a thunderstorm developed nearby.
The showers and storms will have a hard time growing into anything major this afternoon and will go downhill before sunset as the energy departs to the northeast. But if you are near one outdoors this afternoon, take shelter befor ethat first lightning strike.
High temperatures this afternoon have already been reached in spots like the Birmingham Airport, where that nearby shower brought the mercury down. Highs will generally be in the upper 90s today.
FOURTHCAST: Backyard barbecues and lake trips should experience fairly typical Fourth of July weather tomorrow with lots of sunshine, hot temperatures in the upper 90s and only widely scattered showers and thunderstorms. Fireworks display should go off without a hitch Monday night. Be careful of the heat. With the highs in the upper 90s and dewpoints around 70F, most locations will approach the dangerous category for heat. Use common sense principles to prevent heat related illness.
REST OF THE WEEK: Disturbances skimming along the bottom side of the stronger upper flow to the north could help enhance the chances for showers and storms on Tuesday and Wednesday, and perhaps Thursday. The morning run of the GFS indicates that showers and storms should be at least scattered to numerous through midweek. If this happens, high temperatures may back off into the lower 90s. Average rainfall amounts look pretty meager still, but some places will get lucky and get a bunch.
Bama bikes, beautiful beaches, Birmingham Barons, B&B, Brexit and Bentley were in this week’s good news from Alabama NewsCenter. And that was just the B’s! Check out the rest of the alphabet and the stories that made us feel good about our state.
Most everybody without a garden or lawn and something to do outside will like this holiday weekend forecast…except if it rains Monday during fireworks time. The chance of that is very small.
Stay safe and enjoy the Holiday weekend!
– Sheldon Kusselson
You just don’t get many July 1st mornings across Central Alabama where you just want to have breakfast outside, but this was one of them.
The 64F this morning at the Birmingham Airport ranks as the 16th coolest on record and is 6 degrees below normal.
It is also just ten degrees off the record low for the date. It was 54F on the date in 1950, and 57F in the cool summer of 1979.
It has not been this cool on July 1st since 2000.
Add in dewpoints in the upper 50s and you have a pleasant backdrop for outdoor activity early this morning.
From our Partner John DeBlock at the National Weather Service Birmingham.
Some notes from John:
1) NWS Birmingham will upgrade NOAA Weather Radio systems at Noon on Tuesday to replace aging equipment.
2) NOAA Weather Radio listeners do not need to do anything on their receivers.
At Noon on Tuesday, NWS Birmingham will “flip the switch” on an upgrade to the software and hardware systems in our office that processes our text products from text to voice, and broadcasts the messages over the phone lines to the 10 transmitters in Central Alabama.
The system currently in place (Console Replacement System, or CRS) is based on technology from the 80s, and the custom built equipment has long passed its usage time and MUST be replaced.
The new system (Broadcast Message Handler, or BMH) replaces that hardware based system with a software system that works on an off-the-shelf PC. We have already successfully tested the new BMH on both the Birmingham and Montgomery transmitters without any significant issues, and we have every reason to believe this switch will be uneventful.
Perhaps the most important piece of information for you is that NOAA Weather Radio listeners do not need to change a thing on their receiver to continue to receive our broadcasts. The way the transmitters and receivers work has NOT changed.
Having said that, with any change or upgrade, there will be an adjustment period as we fine-tune the software to our local operations. Most notably, some of the pronunciations of local towns and other geographic references may need to be adjusted. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to work out all the mispronunciations ahead of time, as automated voice software often will pronounce words differently when they are spoken in context.
We will work as diligently as possible to correct mispronunciations as we become aware of them. For instance, the system generated my last name as “Delaware Block”! I have been assured that it has been corrected.
If you have any problems, please call the NWS forecast staff at 205-664-3010 and then press option 2. Alternatively, feel free to refer them to me at (205) 664-3010, extension 223, or Meteorologist-in-Charge Jim Stefkovich at (205) 664-3010, extension 222.
Similarly, if you have questions or comments, don’t hesitate to contact our staff, Jim or myself at the numbers above.
Thanks for all you do!
Our Satellite Expert, Sheldon Kusselson, promises some rain from all this high moisture air over Alabama ahead of a cool front that will bring a little relief from the super muggies by Wednesday and Thursday.
Several strong storms are located across the Birmingham Metro at this hour.
They developed in the intense heating of the day where the mercury reached at least 98F at the Birmingham Airport and 96F at the Shelby County Airport. Intersecting boundaries and waves in the atmosphere played a role as well.
At 455, they extend from Pinson through Roebuck to Vestavia and over into northeastern Shelby County north of Sterrett then to west of Alabaster and Montevallo with additional storms near Calera.
The storm in northeastern Shelby County will have to be watched as a well defined outflow boundary is about to intersect with it, which should lead to intensification.
Watch for lightning and be prepared for strong wind gusts to over 60 mph if any of the storms briefly become severe. Heavy rain will also be possible but flooding doesn’t look like much of an issue.
Showers and storms have developed across West Central Alabama and along the Georgia border, in the more favored areas from an instability standpoint. There are numerous from Franklin County southward through Fayette, Pickens and Western Tuscaloosa Counties on into Greene and Hale Counties. Same with the storms along the Georgia border in eastern Cleburne and Randolph Counties.
Instability is high all across the area, with CAPE values expected to be over 3,000 joules/kg. Wind shear is nearly nil, so storms won’t have much organization. But here is a significant amount of dry air in the mid levels of the atmosphere. This will give the potential for damaging downburst winds this afternoon that could lead to severe weather. Preciptable water values are not especially high, but storms could produce enough rainfall to cause flash flooding, like in Cherokee County last evening. Hail should not be a threat, with freezing levels at high altitudes, around 15,000 feet.
The storms won’t move very much for sure, with steering currents blowing at less than 10 mph from the northwest, so they will drift southeastward southeastward.. It looks like about 40-50 percent of the area could see storms this afternoon.
HEAT ADVISORY: A heat advisory is in effect for West Central Counties of the state from Marion and Winston Counties southward to Marengo and Dallas. The NWS just added Autauga, Barbour, Bullock, Chilton, Jefferson, Lowndes, Montgomery, Pike and Shelby to the advisory.
MOVING AHEAD IN TIME: The high pressure ridge will shift westward and a trough will begin to develop over the eastern United States. This will allow a cold front to approach Alabama. Showers and storms will fire on Monday afternoon ahead of the cold front and will drift southward into the Central part of the state tomorrow evening. Tuesday, the front will be drifting south, and it appears the best focus for storms will be over the Central part of the state. The front should push into South Alabama on Wednesday, giving drier conditions to the middle of the state on Wednesday and Thursday. Enough moisture should return on Friday for widely scattered afternoon and evening showers and storms to return. Then another front will approach the state from the north of Saturday, increasing chances of showers and storms again.
DANCING WITH THE STATS: Anniston’s 100 degree reading yesterday was a record for the date, breaking the old record of 98F set in 1978. The 97F at Birmingham was tied for the 8th hottest June 25th at Birmingham. Interestingly, the high on June 25, 1979 was only 69F as unseasonably cool high pressure was dominating much of the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys. It was 63F at that morning at BHM and 57F at Nashville.
It’s a pretty simple pattern…best chance of rain in North Alabama today, but can limp into the Central Part later this afternoon/evening.
Then hot, hot, hot for most of the state this weekend with little or no rainfall, except a better chance the further east and northeast you are.
Will have to watch a weather system now in the Pacific NW that may increase the chance of showers either later Monday or Tuesday.
Well, its summertime in the South and living is slowing down.
Take care, drink lots of water and keep the pace SLOW!