Storms Remain a Good Bet

| July 16, 2017 @ 6:59 am

Showers remain a good bet again today, and according to the latest radar, showers were already underway across parts of South Alabama at sunrise. Many locations in and around Central Alabama saw rainfall amounts in the 1 to 2 inch category yesterday afternoon and evening. Our SkyWatcher at Bessemer saw some extremely heavy rain at his location with a final total of 4.06 inches. That dwarfed my 1.76 inches.

In addition to the echoes this morning, there is a good deal of clouds from all of the convection and patchy fog was reducing visibilities to a half mile or less in spots.
And the SkyWatcher in Black Creek reporting dense fog with visibility about 50 yards. The fog should burn off by mid-morning giving way to some sunshine before showers start developing again in the early to mid afternoon hours. Look for the high temperatures today to reach to near 90, upper 80s if the clouds hold longer at your location.

There is an area of cloudiness in the South Central Atlantic this morning that is being watched as it progresses steadily westward. There is a good deal of dry Saharan air nearby, so any development of this area is likely to be slow over the next several days.

As we noted yesterday, the upper trough along and over the East Coast for the start of the week ahead will be eased eastward as the strong upper ridge to the west pushes eastward. The influence of the upper ridge becomes stronger at mid-week and stronger yet by Friday as the 594 height contour eases in over the Southeast US. This will likely signal one of the warmest days of the summer for us so far.

Yesterday the flow aloft was also bringing in some drier air as seen on the precipitable water charts. While that trend still remains in the latest run, values are not quite as low as seen on the charts yesterday. Values for the middle and end of the week are likely to reach values around 1.4 inches across North and Central Alabama. This signals a reduction in the number and coverage of showers and thunderstorms, but these values do not support removing all mention of showers. So our forecast is going to have to keep a mention of afternoon storms mainly in the 20 to 30 percent range. I also note that the NWS forecasters in the Birmingham office have mentioned the potential for heat indices to reach or exceed 105 in some areas toward the end of the week. GFS MOS guidance values are in the middle 90s and these values may be a trifle low. We’ll have to keep a close eye on just how hot it gets with that upper ridge nosing further into the Southeast US at the end of the week and start of the weekend.

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 out into voodoo country, or Week 2, the week begins with the upper ridge holding over the Lower Mississippi River Valley. But like we have seen over the last couple of weeks, strong troughs moving across Canada force the large ridge back to the west by July 28th. This signals some lower temperatures for the eastern third of the country. The GFS remains set on this solution for July 31st with an interesting pattern that features a closed low over the Southeast US. This pattern would suggest some unsettled weather for the eastern portion of the Southeast US if it comes to fruition. We’ll see. At least the GFS is not going crazy with any tropical systems.

James Spann will be back on Monday with the next edition of the Weather Xtreme Video. I hope that you have a great day, stay dry, and Godspeed.

-Brian-

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About the Author ()

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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