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Tropics Heating Up

| August 19, 2011 @ 6:03 am | Reply

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BRING ON THE WEEKEND: Eyes are on the MCS over southern Missouri this morning; if that thing holds together it might make a run at North Alabama later today… otherwise we will maintain the standard summer forecast today with hot, hazy conditions and the risk of only isolated showers and thunderstorms this afternoon and early tonight with highs in the low to mid 90s.

We won’t change the forecast much over the weekend; showers and storms will remain rather widely spaced unless a surprise MCS is involved. Highs hold in the low to mid 90s with hazy sunshine.

NEXT WEEK: A weak front early in the week will fizzle out, most likely, before really giving us any major rain event or heat relief. We will go with the persistence forecast until late in the week, when the GFS is advertising a deeper eastern U.S. trough with a surface cold front moving in here one week from today; that could bring the next decent coverage of showers and storms.

TOPIC: TROPICS: As you might expected in mid to late August, things are getting pretty active.

TD8: The eighth tropical depression of the season is nearing the coast of Honduras this morning; if the center can stay just north of the coast it still has a little time to become Tropical Storm Harvey. The main impact will be heavy rain and flooding over Central America over the next few days.

INVEST 98: This is a large, organized wave that emerged off the coast of Africa yesterday. Due to a weakness in the ridge north of the system, this is expected to move northwest, and the higher latitude should mean a recurving path with on impact on land.

INVEST 97: This wave, in the Atlantic about halfway between the Lesser Antilles and the coast of Africa, will produce lots of weeping and gnashing of teeth in coming days. Be sure and watch the Weather Xtreme video for all the graphics and details.

Most of the tropical models bring this to Hispaniola in a few days, with the potential of this becoming another “Emily”… being torn apart by the mountains of that island. On the other hand, if it moves north of the Hispaniola it could be a significant hurricane as it recurves over the Bahamas and just off the East Coast of the U.S. The ECMWF suggests this, and I get the gut feeling that is the correct solution. But, a gut feeling is not a forecast and there is no skill in forecasting the ultimate destination of this one now.

We do note the 00Z GFS shows the system coming through the Florida Straights and into the Gulf of Mexico, with ultimate landfall near Gulfport, Mississippi August 28. This situation, needless to say, would be very bad for Alabama’s coast. But, again, we stress the ECMWF at the same time has the hurricane over in the Atlantic recurving off the East Coast.

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Category: Alabama's Weather

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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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