Marco Fizzles; Eyes Are Now On Laura

| August 24, 2020 @ 3:16 pm

RADAR CHECK: Rain is relatively widespread across Alabama this afternoon south of a line from Auburn to Greenville to Mobile; this is the rain shield associated with Marco, a dissipating tropical system in the far northern Gulf of Mexico. The rain and thunderstorms are well removed from the center due to strong shear. The sky is partly to mostly cloudy over the northern half of the state with just a few scattered showers.

REST OF THE WEEK: A deep pool of tropical moisture will cover Alabama tomorrow; we expect a cloudy sky with period of rain. The high will be in the 80-85 degree range, below average for late August in Alabama. Then, on Wednesday, the weather should trend drier as we will be in a zone on sinking air (subsidence) on the far periphery of the circulation of what should be Hurricane Laura in the Gulf of Mexico. Expect a partly sunny sky Wednesday with a high in the upper 80s.

Our weather on Thursday and Friday will depend on the size, structure, and intensity of Laura. The remnant circulation is expected to move north through Louisiana and Arkansas. We will be on the east side of the system, and we could very well see increased rain coverage both days as deep tropical moisture is pulled northward again. There is an outside threat of a few isolated tornadoes on the western side of the state Thursday; we can be much more specific about this in later forecast updates. No severe weather Friday, but periods of rain will be likely.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Laura will be long gone, but very moist air remains in place; we are forecasting scattered to numerous showers and thunderstorms Saturday and Sunday with highs between 87 and 90 degrees. No “wash-out”, and the sun will be out at times.

NEXT WEEK: We will roll with a typical late August/early September forecast with partly sunny days, and the risk of random, scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

TROPICS: Marco should be a tropical depression by the time you read this, in the far northern Gulf of Mexico south of Mobile Bay; it will dissipate over the next 24 hours as it drifts to the west.

Laura is over the western tip of Cuba with sustained winds of 60 mph; it is expected to become a hurricane by tomorrow night over the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Landfall is forecast on the western Louisiana coast, south of Lake Charles, Wednesday night, as a category two storm. NHC notes in their discussion: “a period of rapid strengthening is possible once Laura re-organizes an inner core after its passage over western Cuba”. There is certainly some chance Laura could become a major hurricane by the time it reaches the Gulf Coast.

CENTRAL GULF COAST: There will be a high danger of rip currents along the Central Gulf Coast (Gulf Shores over to Panama City Beach) through Thursday. Expect red or double red flags. Also, a few isolated waterspouts or brief tornadoes will be possible Wednesday and Wednesday night, despite the fact that Laura will be passing well to the west. Otherwise, the main impact of Laura will be well to the west.

On the positive side, the rest of the Atlantic basin, including the MDR (Main Development Region), is very quiet now.

ON THIS DATE IN 1992: Hurricane Andrew made landfall in southern Florida at 4:30 AM on this day. The high winds caused catastrophic damage in Florida, with Miami-Dade County cities of Florida City, Homestead, and Cutler Ridge receiving the brunt of the storm. About 63,000 homes were destroyed, and over 101,000 others were damaged. This storm left roughly 175,000 people homeless. As many as 1.4 million people were left without electricity at the height of the storm. In the Everglades, 70,000 acres of trees were knocked down. Additionally, rainfall in Florida was substantial, peaking at 13.98 in in western Miami-Dade County. About $25 billion in damage and 44 fatalities were reported in Florida

Andrew is one of only four hurricanes to be at category five strength at the time of landfall in the U.S… the others are the Labor Day hurricane of 1935, Camille in 1969, and Michael in 2018.

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Category: Alabama's Weather, ALL POSTS, Weather Xtreme Videos

About the Author ()

James Spann is one of the most recognized and trusted television meteorologists in the industry. He holds the AMS CCM designation and television seals from the AMS and NWA. He is a past winner of the Broadcast Meteorologist of the Year from both professional organizations.

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