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Scattered Strong Storms Later Today

| 6:38 am June 27, 2016

BACK IN THE SADDLE: Thanks to my associates for filling in last week; it was a vacation week that was much appreciated.

HOT, MUGGY WEATHER: The overall weather situation won’t change much for Alabama today. Hot, humid, more scattered strong, slow moving storms this afternoon and early tonight. SPC has the northern half of the state in a “marginal risk” this afternoon; like recent days the main threat will come from wet microbursts (localized areas of damaging straight line winds) and small hail.

We note the precipitable water values are expected to be over 2 inches over North Alabama this afternoon; this means storms will dump very heavy amounts of rain, and due to their lack of motion, some flooding is very possible.

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At this early hour, there is no meteorologist, computer model, or phone app that knows exactly when and where the storms will fire this afternoon. They pop up in rather random, scattered locations. Your neighbor might see 2 inches of rain, and you won’t get a drop (or vice versa). Main window for storms will come from about 2:00 until 9:00 p.m.

We note Birmingham soared to 100 degrees yesterday; first time a 100 degree high has been recorded officially since August 23, 2013. We expect a high in the low 90s for most places today as heat levels begin to fall a bit.

TOMORROW: A surface front will push slowly through North Alabama. Highest coverage of scattered storms should be along and south of I-20, and the high will be close to 90 with a mix of sun and clouds.

WEDNESDAY THROUGH FRIDAY: Drier air will cover the northern two-thirds of Alabama on these days, meaning mostly sunny days, fair nights, and slightly lower humidity values. Showers will be confined to the southern part of the state, and even there they should be widely spaced. Afternoon highs will be close to 90 Wednesday and Thursday, with low 90s likely Friday.

FOURTH OF JULY WEEKEND: Moisture levels will slowly rise, and it looks like a very typical early July weekend in Alabama. Partly sunny, hot, humid days, and the risk of “scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms”. Highs should be in the 91 to 95 degree range Saturday through Monday, and the chance of any one spot getting wet each day will be about one in three.

TROPICS: The Atlantic basin is quiet, and tropical storm formation is not expected this week.

AT THE BEACH: We project about 6 to 8 hours of sunshine daily this week on the coast from Panama City Beach over to Gulf Shores with the chance of a passing shower or thunderstorm from time to time. Highs will be in the upper 80s on the immediate coast, with 90s inland. The sea water temperature this morning at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab is a warm 87 degrees.

Too early to be specific about next week, but for now we don’t see anything out of the ordinary. See a very detailed Gulf Coast forecast here.

WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly 90 minute netcast anytime on the web, or on iTunes. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists here at ABC 33/40. We will produce this week’s show tonight at 8:30 CT… you can watch it live here.

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Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon… enjoy the day!

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Strong Storms in the Birmingham Metro

| 4:55 pm June 26, 2016
Composite reflectivity which shows precipitation at all levels.  This look more impressive than what is reaching the ground, but shows suspended precip that can come down shortly.

Composite reflectivity which shows precipitation at all levels. This look more impressive than what is reaching the ground, but shows suspended precip that can come down shortly.

Several strong storms are located across the Birmingham Metro at this hour.

They developed in the intense heating of the day where the mercury reached at least 98F at the Birmingham Airport and 96F at the Shelby County Airport. Intersecting boundaries and waves in the atmosphere played a role as well.

At 455, they extend from Pinson through Roebuck to Vestavia and over into northeastern Shelby County north of Sterrett then to west of Alabaster and Montevallo with additional storms near Calera.

The storm in northeastern Shelby County will have to be watched as a well defined outflow boundary is about to intersect with it, which should lead to intensification.

Watch for lightning and be prepared for strong wind gusts to over 60 mph if any of the storms briefly become severe. Heavy rain will also be possible but flooding doesn’t look like much of an issue.

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East and West Storms

| 1:48 pm June 26, 2016

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Showers and storms have developed across West Central Alabama and along the Georgia border, in the more favored areas from an instability standpoint. There are numerous from Franklin County southward through Fayette, Pickens and Western Tuscaloosa Counties on into Greene and Hale Counties. Same with the storms along the Georgia border in eastern Cleburne and Randolph Counties.

Instability is high all across the area, with CAPE values expected to be over 3,000 joules/kg. Wind shear is nearly nil, so storms won’t have much organization. But here is a significant amount of dry air in the mid levels of the atmosphere. This will give the potential for damaging downburst winds this afternoon that could lead to severe weather. Preciptable water values are not especially high, but storms could produce enough rainfall to cause flash flooding, like in Cherokee County last evening. Hail should not be a threat, with freezing levels at high altitudes, around 15,000 feet.

The storms won’t move very much for sure, with steering currents blowing at less than 10 mph from the northwest, so they will drift southeastward southeastward.. It looks like about 40-50 percent of the area could see storms this afternoon.

HEAT ADVISORY: A heat advisory is in effect for West Central Counties of the state from Marion and Winston Counties southward to Marengo and Dallas. The NWS just added Autauga, Barbour, Bullock, Chilton, Jefferson, Lowndes, Montgomery, Pike and Shelby to the advisory.

MOVING AHEAD IN TIME: The high pressure ridge will shift westward and a trough will begin to develop over the eastern United States. This will allow a cold front to approach Alabama. Showers and storms will fire on Monday afternoon ahead of the cold front and will drift southward into the Central part of the state tomorrow evening. Tuesday, the front will be drifting south, and it appears the best focus for storms will be over the Central part of the state. The front should push into South Alabama on Wednesday, giving drier conditions to the middle of the state on Wednesday and Thursday. Enough moisture should return on Friday for widely scattered afternoon and evening showers and storms to return. Then another front will approach the state from the north of Saturday, increasing chances of showers and storms again.

DANCING WITH THE STATS: Anniston’s 100 degree reading yesterday was a record for the date, breaking the old record of 98F set in 1978. The 97F at Birmingham was tied for the 8th hottest June 25th at Birmingham. Interestingly, the high on June 25, 1979 was only 69F as unseasonably cool high pressure was dominating much of the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys. It was 63F at that morning at BHM and 57F at Nashville.

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Another Hot One Before a Break

| 7:11 am June 26, 2016

As the upper ridge to our west holds on across mainly the western half of Alabama, the NWS in Birmingham has gone ahead with another heat advisory for today generally west of the I-65 corridor. Look for highs to once again climb into the middle and upper 90s across Central Alabama, and the heat will again generate afternoon thunderstorms. As we saw yesterday, a few of these storms may be severe with damaging wind the greatest threat.

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Beautiful weather is in store for beachgoers to the beaches of Alabama and Northwest Florida for the next couple of days. Expect plenty of sunshine, with only an isolated afternoon and evening shower or thunderstorm. Highs will be near 90 degrees each day, while lows will be in the middle 70s. Rain chances go up at midweek, but thunderstorms will not create a complete washout. The sea water temperature at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab was 89 degrees.

SPC maintains a marginal risk for organized severe storms generally along the front stretching from the eastern Great Lakes area into the Texas Panhandle for today, Day 1. Day 2 and 3 each feature an area of slight risk in western Nebraska and eastern Colorado. And the tropical weather picture remains quiet with no specific areas of concern.

The heat ridge will slowly ebb westward Monday and Tuesday as a large upper closed low traverses southern Canada. This upper low will gradually dig out a trough over the eastern half of the US to complete a pattern shift by the latter half of the week. A surface front will be approach the Southeast US on Monday helping to increase thunderstorm coverage for us. The front moves into South Alabama on Tuesday which should also bring some better rain chances to all of Central Alabama. Rainfall totals of 1 to 2 inches will be possible in parts of Central and South Alabama over the next five days with the best chances coming Monday and Tuesday. With the presence of more thunderstorms as well as clouds, we should see the highs held to the lower 90s.

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Wednesday and Thursday we should see dry weather. With dew points forecast to be lower – generally in the lower 60s – highs in the upper 80s are possible and that lower humidity will help make it feel not quite as hot.

The upper air pattern will flatten by Friday as we see moisture levels rise once again. This means a return to those heat-driven afternoon and early evening thunderstorms as we head into the weekend. Highs should climb into the lower 90s again.

While we are under the northwesterly flow during the middle and latter part of the week ahead, we will have to be vigilant for the development of mesoscale convective systems (MCSs) over the Central US. These thunderstorms clusters can travel hundreds of miles and completely bust a forecast, but there is no skill this far in advance to specify the time and location of their occurrence. Knowing that this pattern will exist keeps us alert to their formation and makes us ready to make adjustments to forecasts as needed.

Looking out into voodoo country, the GFS maintains a trough across the eastern US until July 9th. From the 9th to the 11th, the pattern gradually morphs back into a ridge over the Mississippi River Valley. This ridge does not appear to be quite as strong as the one we’re just coming out of, but it does mean a return to warmer than typical temperatures.

James Spann is expected back from his vacation on Monday morning with the next edition of the Weather Xtreme Video. Please be aware of the heat and use common sense to stay hydrated and to not overdo it with your outside activities. Have a great day and Godspeed.

-Brian-

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Flash Flood Warning Cherokee County

| 8:47 pm June 25, 2016

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BIRMINGHAM HAS ISSUED A

* FLASH FLOOD WARNING FOR…
NORTHEASTERN CHEROKEE COUNTY IN NORTHEASTERN ALABAMA…

* UNTIL 1145 PM CDT

6-25-2016 8-48-43 PM

* AT 846 PM CDT…DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED THUNDERSTORMS PRODUCING
HEAVY RAIN ACROSS THE WARNED AREA. UP TO TWO INCHES OF RAIN HAVE
ALREADY FALLEN. FLASH FLOODING IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN SHORTLY.

* SOME LOCATIONS THAT WILL EXPERIENCE FLOODING INCLUDE…
LITTLE RIVER CANYON NATIONAL PRESERVE…BLANCHE…
LITTLE RIVER FALLS…NEW MOON…
BROOMTOWN AND LITTLE RIVER CANYON NP.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

TURN AROUND…DON’T DROWN WHEN ENCOUNTERING FLOODED ROADS. MOST FLOOD
DEATHS OCCUR IN VEHICLES.

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Severe Thunderstorm Warning Cherokee County

| 8:18 pm June 25, 2016

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BIRMINGHAM HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR…
NORTHEASTERN CHEROKEE COUNTY IN NORTHEASTERN ALABAMA…

* UNTIL 845 PM CDT

6-25-2016 8-20-56 PM

* AT 817 PM CDT…A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WAS LOCATED NEAR BLANCHE…OR
NEAR LITTLE RIVER CANYON NATIONAL PRESERVE…MOVING EAST AT 5 MPH.

HAZARD…60 MPH WIND GUSTS AND QUARTER SIZE HAIL.

SOURCE…RADAR INDICATED.

IMPACT…HAIL DAMAGE TO VEHICLES IS EXPECTED. EXPECT WIND DAMAGE
TO ROOFS…SIDING…AND TREES.

* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE…
LITTLE RIVER CANYON NATIONAL PRESERVE…GAYLESVILLE…BLANCHE…
LITTLE RIVER FALLS…FULLERTON…CHESTERFIELD…BROOMTOWN…
NEW MOON AND LITTLE RIVER CANYON NP.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

FOR YOUR PROTECTION MOVE TO AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF A
BUILDING.

TO REPORT SEVERE WEATHER…CONTACT YOUR NEAREST LAW ENFORCEMENT
AGENCY. THEY WILL SEND YOUR REPORT TO THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
OFFICE IN BIRMINGHAM.

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Observation Confirms the Heat

| 1:58 pm June 25, 2016

The observation at the Birmingham Shuttlesworth International Airport reach 97 just before the 1 pm observation time, and that temperature establishes today as the hottest day so far in 2016. And that may go even higher yet. Remember, there is a heat advisory in effect until 9 pm this evening, so be sure to factor in the heat with whatever you plan to do outside.

Radar also showed isolated showers developing in that afternoon heat across North and Central Alabama. Very few spots were getting any rain. One shower developed very close to my weather station which produced a few large drops on my driveway as well as a temperature drop of 10 degrees. Unfortunately, the humidity went up and the temperature has recovered most of those lost degrees as the shower move away from my location.

Another hot day tomorrow, but there is a pattern shift coming that promises some slightly cooler weather along with some lower humidity at midweek.

-Brian-

BMX

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Hot and Humid Alabama Weekend

| 1:33 pm June 25, 2016

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Quite the hot and steamy day across the state as temperatures are well into the 90s this afternoon. With dew points in the 70s, we are seeing those heat index values exceed 105° this afternoon and is why the NWS has issued a heat advisory until 9PM this evening. Take it easy out there today and be sure to stay hydrated.

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Not much in the way of heat relief out there, but there are a few isolated showers and storms on the radar this afternoon. These a few and far between, but are producing heavy rainfall, small hail, and of course frequent and dangerous lightning. Remember, when thunder roars go indoors!

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TONIGHT: Showers and storms will slowly wind down once the sun sets and daytime heating is lost. After that, expect a mainly clear sky, and warm and muggy temperatures. Most locations should settle in the lower and mid 70s by tomorrow morning.

SUNDAY: Tomorrow will be a near repeat of today, as it is going to be hot, humid, with scattered afternoon showers and storms. Once again, heat index values will be flirting with the 105° mark, and we will likely see another Heat Advisory issued for portions of the state. We should see a few more showers and storms tomorrow as well, as the ridge to the west shifts ever so slight west.

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Hotter Each Hour

| 10:22 am June 25, 2016

The weather observation at 10 am at the Birmingham Shuttlesworth International Airport was 91 degrees which is 4 degrees warmer than the temperature at the same time yesterday morning. So today is shaping up to be one of the hottest days we’ve seen in 2016. The hottest temperature so far this year according to National Weather Service data at the airport was 96 degrees on June 13th. Based on the morning warmth so far, it looks like we’ll probably see that fact change with a high of 97 or 98.

It’s no wonder the temperature is higher today when you consider where we started. The morning low this morning was 80 degrees in Birmingham which is THE warmest low recorded so far this year.

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Just a reminder that most of North and Central Alabama with the exception of East Central Alabama (see image above) will be under a heat advisory beginning at noon today and extending until 9 pm. Just keep the heat in mind and adjust your outside activities by taking it easy with frequent breaks and staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

-Brian-

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Hot Weekend for Central Alabama

| 6:51 am June 25, 2016

The early morning satellite image reveals just a few patches of clouds in spots across Alabama, so almost everyone will be waking up to plenty of sunshine for the morning. And just like we’ve been seeing for the past several days, there will be some of those puffy cumulus clouds forming in the afternoon sky with the potential for an isolated shower or thunderstorm, but most of us remain dry. The heat is up with the highs expected to be in the middle and upper 90s across the state. The warmth along with the relatively high humidity will result in heat indices reaching the 105 mark today, so the NWS has posted a heat advisory until 9 pm this evening for much of the western and southern sections of Central Alabama along with the Tennessee River Valley counties.

For beachgoers, this weekend promises to be beautiful along Alabama and Northwest Florida beaches. It will be seasonably hot, with highs around 90 and lows in the middle 70s. Rain chances will pick up by Monday afternoon and will stay fairly high from Monday afternoon through Wednesday.

The main focus for organized severe weather will be well north of Central Alabama in the western Great Lakes area including parts of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and eastern Nebraska. The Day 2 outlook shifts the area eastward to Michigan. By Day 3 there is a slight risk further west in parts of eastern Colorado, southwestern Nebraska, and northwestern Kansas.

Tropics remain quiet. The area of cloudiness over the Southwest Gulf of Mexico remains on a steady course west-northwestward without any signs of development.

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The 594 height contour will be centered over Mississippi today with just a small nudge westward on Sunday. But the big change starts on Monday as the large upper closed low moves across southern Canada and into the southeast part of Canada on Monday. This begins the process of initiating a pattern change that will end up with a trough over the eastern part of the US. Monday that big upper low will drag a surface front down into Ohio and Tennessee River Valleys and boost the chances for showers and thunderstorms especially just to our north. That front slowly sags into Central Alabama on Tuesday bringing our best chances for numerous showers and thunderstorms. The combination of that big ridge being forced back west, the additional clouds, and the presence of more showers and storms should result in highs in the lower 90s.

Small chances for showers linger early Wednesday, but by late Wednesday and Thursday the upper trough along with a surface high positioned over Illinois should bring another break in the heat and humidity with dew points falling off nicely to around 60. That 12 to 15 degree difference from dew points today will certainly feel nice with highs holding in the range of 88 to 91.

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As we end the week and head into next weekend, the upper air pattern is expected to remain with a trough over the easter US and a ridge over Arizona and New Mexico. There is a potential to see some short waves rotating through this trough, so we may see the potential for isolated showers and storms returning as we begin to warm back up again with highs by Saturday in the lower 90s. All good things must come to an end.

The upper troughiness sticks with us through the 4th of July, but after that the pattern slowly changes once again as a large upper ridge reestablishes itself over the Southeast US. This signals a return to hot and mostly dry weather from the 5th through the 10th of July.

I will be filling in for Meaghan Thomas today on ABC 3340 News at 6 and 10 pm, so be sure to tune in to catch the latest forecast. I plan to post the next Weather Xtreme Video here by 8 am or so on Sunday morning. Have a great day, be careful with outdoor work and play in the heat, and Godspeed.

-Brian-

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