Archive for April 28th, 2012
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Looks like the big news is how warm we are expected to be over the next several days. Record highs for Birmingham are 89 for the next couple of days with 91 for April 30th. As we get into May, the record highs are 92 for May 1 and 2 and 93 for May 3. Looks like Sunday and Monday we could be pushing the 90-degree mark pretty hard so that means pushing near record highs as well.
With a surface high pressure off to our east, we stay in a southerly flow pattern together with an upper ridge that moves slowly across the eastern half of the country. A front along the Ohio River Valley remains the nearest focus for rain and thunderstorms for the next several days along with the risk of severe storms in that area, too. But it looks like we should stay essentially dry through the middle of the week and warm with highs in the mid and upper 80s. Those highs, by the way, are about 10 degrees higher than the average highs for this time of year.
About Wednesday we see the development of a disturbance in the vicinity of Tampa, FL. This upper level disturbance is likely to create a widespread area of rain over Florida and the eastern Gulf of Mexico. The disturbance moves to the vicinity of Apalachicola on Thursday which brings reasonably good rain chances to the area just east and south of Central Alabama. The disturbance begins to get caught up in the overall westerly flow on Friday nudging the rain away from us. As that happens, the upper ridge over the eastern US is replaced by a deepening trough bringing us back under a northwesterly flow regime. The should spell a cool down with highs dropping back somewhat into the lower and mid 80s.
The northwesterly flow pattern also means we will need to keep a watchful eye on what happens well to our northwest. Large scale convective clusters can develop several hundred miles away and come southeast in that kind of flow bringing us a good soaking. There is not an indication of that in the current GFS run, however, this kind of small scale feature is often overlooked in the synoptic models. So just something to keep an eye out for.
Looking into voodoo country, the overall pattern remains fairly benign for us until we get out around May 12th when the GFS develops a very deep trough over the eastern half of the country. This could spell some wet weather along with a tremendous cool down for us. But we are dealing with voodoo country so we’ll see how it looks in future model runs.
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