Thunderstorms Again Today

| June 18, 2013 @ 7:02 am

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Many people in Central Alabama got a nice wet down from numerous thunderstorms yesterday. The pattern is changing very slowly, so it looks likely that we will see another round of numerous thunderstorms today. A few of the thunderstorms verged on marginally severe conditions resulting in a number of warnings. Most of the storm reports that I saw were relatively minor with trees down here and there and damage from wind to a few roofs.

The upper trough is expected to sharpen just a tad today as it slowly moves by. This should be enough to force the boundary that has been lingering in and just north of Central Alabama further to the south. We are likely to see another round of numerous thunderstorms today. While we may see a few storms once again reach marginally severe criteria, the atmosphere has been worked over a good deal, so the potential for severe weather should be less today than yesterday.

The tropics heated up yesterday with the development of a tropical depression in the western Caribbean. That depression has moved onto land and has weakened considerably but it is still responsible for tremendous rainfall and flooding that comes with that. The track of the depression suggests that it will not emerge into the Southwest Gulf, so the likelihood of any further strengthening of this system is quite small.

Upslope flow will keep the front range of the Rockies active once again today with the potential for severe thunderstorms. The Ohio Valley could also see some severe storms thanks to a combination of afternoon heating and the upper trough swinging through that area. The best severe weather risk shifts northward on Day 2 and 3 as an upper ridge builds from the Lower Mississippi River Valley into the eastern Great Lakes.

While the boundary in our area shifts southward, don’t look for a big change to the air mass. About all we can expect is slightly drier air, and by that, I mean dew points dropping from the lower 70s to the lower and middle 60s. But that is likely to be enough to make Wednesday and Thursday shower free around Central Alabama as the upper trough shifts to the Southeast US coast with the strengthening of the ridge from Texas into Iowa. With more sun, though, look for the highs to climb quickly back to 90 degrees.

Friday through Sunday, the upper ridge should be the main player in the upper air pattern. This means that we will return to those daily showers and thunderstorms primarily during the heating of the afternoon. Next Monday and Tuesday, the GFS is suggesting a flattening to the upper ridge with weak disturbances propagating through the flow. For now, the forecast will stick with just daily chances of rain until we see if that weak feature will have much impact on shower development.

Long range look has flipped yet again. Yesterday the GFS had a substantial trough developing for early July over the eastern half of the country. The latest run has done away with that in favor of keeping the ridge well established over the eastern two thirds of the US. I liked the pattern the GFS showed yesterday because it would keep the heat in check. The latest run looks hot! Let’s hope it flips again tomorrow.

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I had a wonderful time yesterday speaking to a group of folks from Alabama Power at their meeting at Regions Field. I had not been to the new ball park, and it is certainly very nice. With James on vacation, we are on a one a day schedule for the Weather Xtreme Videos this week. Next edition should be here by 7 or 7:30 on Wednesday morning. And if you have a big interest in the weather, don’t forget that the Central Alabama Chapter of the National Weather Association will be holding it’s quarterly meeting on Thursday evening at the BJCC. Read all about it here. Godspeed.


Category: Alabama's Weather

About the Author ()

Brian Peters is one of the television meteorologists at ABC3340 in Birmingham and a retired NWS Warning Coordination Meteorologist. He handles the weekend Weather Xtreme Videos and forecast discussion and is the Webmaster for the popular WeatherBrains podcast.

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