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Tropical Air Over Alabama; Isaac To The West

| August 30, 2012 @ 6:06 am

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ISAAC THIS MORNING: The circulation center of Isaac this morning is south of Natchez, Mississippi, a little east of NHC track predictions. Tremendous tropical rains are falling over much of Mississippi and Southeast Louisiana this morning, and overnight there have been a number of tornado warnings, including a few over South Alabama. Many flash flood warnings are up for counties in South Mississippi as well. A total of 45 roads are closed in Lamar County, Mississippi alone.

Isaac’s sustained winds are down to 45 mph, and will be downgraded to a tropical depression soon. The center of circulation will move through North Louisiana and Arkansas during the next 24 hours, keeping Alabama on the wet side of the system.

The good news is that conditions have improved on the Alabama and Mississippi Gulf Coast this morning, and the rain will taper off in New Orleans later in the day.

NORTH/CENTRAL ALABAMA: We remain on the wet side of Isaac, with a deep layer of tropical moisture in place; dewpoints are in the 70s. We will forecast occasional tropical showers today and tonight, but the really widespread, soaking rain from Isaac with major flooding potential should remain over Mississippi. No doubt some places around here will see a heavy downpour or two, and we project rain amounts around one inch on an average basis during the next 48 hours. But, the flooding potential in Alabama is small. Highs will be in the 80s both days and our sky will remain generally cloudy.

TORNADO THREAT? SPC does not have any part of Alabama, with the exception of Mobile County, in a formal severe weather risk today… they have a standard “slight risk” up for much of Mississippi, and parts of Louisiana and Arkansas. The best chance of small tornadoes in spiral bands wrapping around the circulation of Isaac should remain west of our state, but we do note there have been a number of tornado warnings overnight over South Alabama, and we will need to keep a close eye on the radar today for far West Alabama just in case we see signs of rotation. You know my old saying… when it comes to thunderstorms, expect the unexpected.

The drive to Dallas tomorrow won’t be nearly as wet with the main rain bands associated with Isaac lifting north of I-20.

Tornadoes associated with decaying tropical systems tend to be short lived, low topped, and a real challenge for anyone working a warning desk. There are tornado warning polygons up now for counties over East Mississippi as I write this at sun-up.

TRAVEL WEATHER: I know many Alabama fans are headed to Dallas for Saturday’s game against Michigan, and some are driving that long stretch of I-20. If are you leaving today, understand you will be driving through tropical rain over much of Mississippi, and there have been many reports of flooding. However, I have heard of no I-20 flooding problems so far, but just be ready to take it slow and easy with heavy rain at times in the Magnolia State. The most important issue is the potential for small tornadoes in the tropical rain bands, so be sure and have your radio on and hopefully tuned to local stations that are doing weather coverage. A portable weather radio is also a great idea. The weather will improve once you get past Monroe, Louisiana.

For Auburn fans headed to Atlanta you will encounter a few showers, but nothing too heavy and severe weather is not expected.

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Showers are very possible tonight, so take the rain gear. The rain won’t be really widespread, but just be aware that a passing shower is possible during the games. Temperatures will hover around 80 degrees, and the humidity will be sky high. For tomorrow night’s games, the showers should be more scattered across North and Central Alabama, but some rain is still possible in spots.

LABOR DAY WEEKEND: Showers will be more scattered in nature around here. For Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, look for partly sunny days with a few scattered showers and storms around, mostly during the afternoon and evening hours. The weather will stay very humid with afternoon highs in the 88 to 91 degree range.

AT THE BEACH: Red flags are still flying today on the coast, but the weather will slowly improve with decreasing rain and wind. In fact, the sun might break out later today along the coast. Then, for the Labor Day weekend, we expect about 6 to 8 hours of sunshine each day from Panama City west to Gulf Shores with just a few widely scattered showers or storms. Highs will be in the upper 80s.

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Keep an eye on the blog today for updates… my next Weather Xtreme video will be posted by 3:30 or so this afternoon… enjoy the day!


Category: Alabama's Weather

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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