Storms Once Again Today

| July 15, 2017 @ 7:16 am

The latest drought monitor from last Thursday, July 11, showed that Alabama was very close to being 100 percent drought free. Only one very small area of extreme western Colbert County remained in the abnormally dry category. I am amazed that only seven months ago a large chunk of Alabama was in exceptional drought and we’ve been able to recover so well. Amazed but thankful.

Some clouds leftover from rather late convection last night were visible on the infrared satellite image this morning. Some patchy fog was also observed in Central Alabama with visibility reduced to a half mile in spots. Radar was free of echoes in Alabama this morning, and temperatures were fairly uniform with most locations in the lower 70s. A weak nearly stationary front was situated east to west across Tennessee, and as the upper air pattern becomes a little more northwesterly aloft that front is expected to sag into Central Alabama before washing out late Sunday and early Monday. This should bring fairly good chances for showers and thunderstorms to Central Alabama today and Sunday with highs around the 90-degree mark.

The tropical Atlantic was quiet while Hurricane Fernanda and two other areas of disturbed weather were being watched in the eastern North Pacific. None of these were a threat to land as they move west-northwest.

The upper air pattern this morning showed a weak trough axis stretching from New England southwestward into the Southeast US. The trough axis will sharpen up a bit along the East Coast keeping Alabama primarily in a northwesterly flow pattern. The GFS suggests from Monday through Thursday some much drier air will push into the northern half of Alabama. This should be enough of a change to significantly lower our rain chances to less than 10 percent for the middle of the week. I note that most forecasts that I have looked at this morning keep some small chances in the forecast. Using precipitable water values, I think we should be able to take any mention of showers out of the forecast for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Highs during this period should be fairly steady in the lower 90s while lows remain steady in the lower half of the 70s.

Friday the large upper ridge over the west will nose into the Middle Mississippi River Valley and moisture levels across North and Central Alabama will rise, so it looks like the forecast will need to mention the possibility of isolated showers and thunderstorms. With the ridge nosing our direction, I expect highs to climb into the middle 90s.

The ridge weakens a little on Saturday, but not enough to show any significant change to our weather, so isolated showers stay in the forecast with highs in the middle 90s.

The weather at the beach will consist of daily chances for showers and thunderstorms with highs in the upper 80s. You can click here to see the AlabamaWx Beach Forecast Center page. The Beach Forecast is partially underwritten by the support of Brett/Robinson Vacation Rentals in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. Click here to see Brett/Robinson’s Own Your Summer specials now!

Looking into voodoo country, the GFS remained pretty consistent with keeping us between a trough along the East Coast and the ridge along the eastern slopes of the Rockies. This pattern would favor warm weather with some daily chances for rain in the form of showers and thunderstorms. The pattern does not support any kind of extreme heat for us, but it does keep it hot over the western half of the country.

I expect to have the next edition of the Weather Xtreme Video posted here around 7 on Sunday morning. In the meantime, you can check back here for notes on Alabama’s weather. Have a great day and Godspeed.

-Brian-

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Brian Peters is one of the television meteorologists at ABC3340 in Birmingham and a retired NWS Warning Coordination Meteorologist. He handles the weekend Weather Xtreme Videos and forecast discussion and is the Webmaster for the popular WeatherBrains podcast.

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