Archive for August 1st, 2012
By the time you have breakfast in the morning, tropical depression number 5 may be Tropical Storm Ernesto. Or, if you listen to the European model, it may be well on its way to weakening back into a tropical wave.
Air Force reconnaissance will fly into the system tomorrow. It is a little more than 600 miles east of the islands, moving west northwest at just under 20 mph. This means it will reach the islands in less than 48 hours and tropical storm watches have already been posted.
It will track across the Caribbean, encountering less wind shear as it goes, and strengthening should ensue by early next week, if it holds together.
Where it eventually goes is up in the air, but the Yucatan and southern Mexico look most likely.
Most of Alabama (95% or more) is high and dry at this hour.
The storm that moved into Cherokee County from Georgia weakened considerably. There is still a small strong cell near Pleasant Gap in southern Cherokee County. It is moving SSW in the general direction of Piedmont. It will affect extreme northwestern Cleburne and northern Calhoun Counties.
The storm that moved from Itawamba County MS literally fell apart as it approached Marion County.
The storm near Columbus AFB looks like it hit the Alabama/Mississippi border and bounced back.
The storm over the northwest corner of the state is also weakening.
Did someone turn on the storm shield over Alabama this afternoon?
A severe thunderstorm watch does continue until 10 p.m. for much of Northwest and West Central Alabama. There are some strong storms still over eastern Mississippi and it remains to be seen if they will hold together into Alabama.
Photograph by Kathy Bell, owner of kbella photography.
Welcome to August in Birmingham. We are on the downhill run of summer now. The days are getting shorter. And with the lessened solar energy, the temperatures will be going down.
July is our hottest month, but there is really very little difference from mid-June to mid-August. Then things start to cool off. Right now, the normal high is 91F, the normal low 70F. By the end of the month, the normal high will be 88F and the normal low 67F.
The hottest it has ever been in Birmingham in any August is 105F on August 15th and 23rd in 2007 The coolest August reading is 51F on August 31, 1946.
It generally rains on ten days in the month, with storms on nine. The normal monthly rainfall is 3.48 inches. 13.83 inches fell in Birmingham in 1901, to set the mark for the most ever in any August. In 1989, only 0.38 inches of rain fell in the month.
August is the least cloudy month in Birmingham, with the sky being cloudy only 19% of the time. This fact is a little misleading, as there are months, including September and October with a lower percentage mean sky cover.
- Bill Murray
Tropical depression number five has formed in the Atlantic about 800 miles east of the Windward Islands.
It is moving WNW at 18 mph.
Top winds are 35 mph. Slow strengthening is forecast despite the fact that the system is in a rather hostile environment thanks to wind shear. TD #7 should become Tropical Storm Ernesto overnight.
The big models don’t agree on intensity. The GFS strengthens it south of Hispaniola by next Monday and moves it slowly toward the Yucatan and into southern Mexico later that week as a pretty formidable hurricane. The official forecast makes it a hurricane by next Monday.
The European weakens it to a wave and never develops it further.
The Canadian strengths it before it reaches the Lesser Antilles and carries it northwest toward Hispaniola then across the Bahamas in the general direction of South Florida.
We will have plenty of time to watch it.
A severe thunderstorm capable of producing damaging winds and large hail is just across the state line from Marion County. This cell is expected to move into Marion County and the National Weather Service is keeping a very close eye on this storm on whether or not to extend the warning into Marion County.
Even if the warning is not extended, expect frequent cloud-to-ground lightning, gusty winds, some hail and the chance for some flash flooding.