Numerous Thunderstorms Again

| July 21, 2013 @ 6:54 am

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If you are a fan of reruns, you will probably like today since it is going to be pretty much a rerun of yesterday, but perhaps with thunderstorms being a bit more numerous. The current radar already has a few thunderstorms occurring over the area from Tuscaloosa to Montgomery. Upper air flow has changed, too, with movement of the storms more typically toward the northeast.

The upper low that was over southwest Louisiana yesterday has continued to move away from us, but at the surface we maintain a good south to southwest flow keeping moisture high across Alabama and all of the Southeast US. Add to that the reasonably strong shortwave coming through the Central Plains, and we should see numerous showers and thunderstorms today. I do not expect a total washout much like yesterday where the showers come and go. This is true for the weather at the beach, too. The afternoon highs will depend on the amount of cloud cover as well as shower development so again expect a range of highs in the mid and upper 80s, still not bad for late July.

The short wave trough moves across the Mississippi River on Monday, so I expect to see a continuation of numerous showers and thunderstorms. Monday they might begin in the early morning hours with the approach of the trough. Temperatures should be similar on Monday to those today. That short wave trough moves by on Tuesday, so we will probably see a reduction in the number and coverage of storms, but I still expect to see some. We will than be in a northwesterly flow pattern aloft, so we will need to watch for the development of mesoscale convective complexes (MCCs) over the Central Plains states with any embedded short wave troughs in the flow. The northwesterly flow keeps the heat in check though with few clouds and slightly lower humidity we could get to around 90.

The trough over the eastern US weakens somewhat by the end of the week, but a strong short wave coming out of the northwestern US on Friday is forecast to deepen the trough over the eastern US on Saturday and Sunday. As the GFS paints the picture, we could see a non-typical cold front actually make it into the Southeastern US by Sunday. This would change our air mass with much drier air coming into the state. But we are verging on voodoo, but there is an encouraging sign in the close agreement on this by the ECMWF. It is also suggesting a weak frontal system with drier air moving into and through the Southeast US on Sunday and early Monday.

Severe weather threat today remains primarily in the North Central US. I do not expect any organized severe weather here, however, a few isolated thunderstorms might be strong, but with the high moisture content of the air, briefly heavy rain in spots like we saw yesterday could produce localized flash flooding. Skywatchers in Gardendale and Fort McClellan reported rainfall of about 3 inches with two different storms. Tropics also remain quiet.

Beach goers should once again see periods of sunshine but also periods with passing showers. Water temperature at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab was sitting around 84 degrees. Highs at the beach should be around the middle 80s.

The outlook for week two starts out nice with the trough continuing to hold tough over the eastern half of the US and keeping the heat at bay. But the Bermuda high begins to make a play of moving in on August 2nd as we transition to an upper ridge over the Southeast US. Good to note, however, that the closed height contour was only 5910 meters, so it would be hotter but not to an extreme. I also note that Atlantic storm we say on the GFS yesterday is no where to be seen.

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Enjoyed filling in for Ashley Brand yesterday. James Spann will have the next Weather Xtreme Video Monday morning. Have a great day, and 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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