Central Alabama’s Most Detailed Seven Day Forecast

Friday afternoon, June 23, 2017
Forecaster: Ryan Stinnett

ACTIVE AFTERNOON: A tornado watch is in effect for much of North/Central Alabama through 8PM this evening. The watch includes areas roughly along and North of Interstate 20, including Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, Pell City, and Gadsden. Shear associated with the remnant circulation of Cindy, tracking across Tennessee, is providing a favorable environment for rotating showers and storms, very typical of left-over tropical systems. The SPC maintains much of North and Central Alabama in a “slight risk” for severe weather, essentially from Clanton off to the north, with a “marginal risk” as far south as Greenville. The risk includes the threat for tornadoes and damaging wind gusts. Like yesterday, any tornadoes that may develop, will tend to be short-lived, and warning for them is very challenging. Warning lead times will be very short, and in some cases there will be no warning. Pay very close attention to the weather the rest of today and early tonight.

Along with the severe weather threat, flash flooding will continue to cause concerns, and a flash flood watch remains in effect through at least 7PM this evening. Due to the tropical nature of the airmass in place, torrential tropical downpours are possible the rest of today…Always remember, if you encounter floodwaters to TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN!!!

RADAR CHECK: At the writing of this forecast, just before 1PM, showers and storms were developing in West/Central Alabama, while the main band of convection was crossing the state line. There are several severe thunderstorms warnings in effect and we have seen a few tornado warnings as well. This line of storms is moving east, while individual cells are racing towards the northeast within the line. Once again, very heavy rainfall, damaging wind gusts, and a few, quick spin-up tornadoes are going to be possible. Stay weather aware and be sure to check the blog frequently for updates through the afternoon and evening hours.

IMPROVING WEEKEND WEATHER: A surface front pushes into the state late tonight and will gradually push south through the state tomorrow. This will enhance uplift across the state, and with the moisture-rich airmass in place, scattered to numerous showers and storms are expected along and ahead of the front tomorrow; good news is that we don’t expect any severe weather tomorrow. No way of knowing when the rain will start and stop for any given point, but just be ready for a few passing showers and thunderstorms. Through the day, into tomorrow night and Sunday, drier air slips into North Alabama and the chance of showers will be confined to the southern portions of the state. Sunday should feature more sun overall. Highs for the weekend will be in the low to mid 80s.

FINALLY A CHANCE TO DRY OUT: Next week will feature a completely different and much needed, dry, continental air mass. Monday through Thursday, we are going to see mainly sunny comfortable days, clear cool nights, and low humidity. Certainly a breath of fresh air and there is a decent chance we see lows down in the 50s early Monday and Tuesday morning. Late next week, our pattern begins to change and out flow switches back from the south meaning moisture will begin to return, and a few widely scattered showers are possible by Friday with more humid conditions.

JELLYFISH SPRITES OVER EUROPE: We all know what comes out of the bottom of a thunderstorm: lightning. But do you know what comes out of the top? On June 20th, an amateur astronomer photographed incredible jellyfish-shaped ‘sprites’ flickering above a storm system in Austria. Such upper atmospheric lightning is a form of space weather that is being seen and photographed by increasing numbers of sky watchers.

BEACHBOUND: Much better weather is returning to the Gulf Coast. The sun is out, but rip currents and scattered storms will be a concern through the weekend. For a detailed look at the weather from Fort Morgan over to Panama City Beach, 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!

WORLD TEMPERATURE EXTREMES: Over the last 24 hours, the highest observation outside the U.S. was 120.4F at Nokkundi, Pakistan. The lowest observation was -114.7F at Concordia, Antarctica.

CONTIGUOUS TEMPERATURE EXTREMES: The highest observation was 123F at Death Valley, CA. The lowest observation was 27F at Lake Yellowstone and West Yellowstone, WY.

WEATHER ON THIS DATE IN 1944: Four tornadoes killed 153 persons and caused five million dollars damage in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Maryland. The tornadoes formed during the evening and moved southeast along parallel paths flattening everything in their way. The town of Shinnston, WV was leveled, and was left with the majority of the causalities. Until that time it was believed that damaging tornadoes did not travel across mountainous terrain.