Central Alabama’s Most Detailed Seven Day Forecast

Thursday afternoon, September 21, 2017
Forecaster: Ryan Stinnett

THE LAST FULL DAY OF SUMMER: We have mostly sunny sky and very warm temperatures across Central Alabama early this afternoon. A quick look at the radar, most of Central Alabama is dry at this point, but there are thunderstorms that have fired up over in the northeastern part of the area where those clouds were located. This activity is moving to the south-southwest, along the Interstate 59 corridor, and is putting down very heavy rainfall at the moment. For the rest of today, we’ll have a chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms across much of the northern and southern parts of Central Alabama, while there is a wedge of slightly drier air caught in between across the central parts of the area, where only isolated showers are possible. It will continue to be hot and muggy out there today even in the drier air, with highs reaching the upper 80s to the lower 90s and dewpoint values in the lower 70s. Some showers may linger for an hour or two after we lose the sunlight, but patchy fog may develop in areas where it had previously rained during the day and near some bodies of water. Overnight lows will be in the mid-60s to the lower 70s.

FIRST DAY OF FALL: Fall “officially” arrives tomorrow afternoon at 3:02p CT, which is the autumnal equinox. That is when the sun is directly over the equator; we have approximately 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness. Tomorrow’s weather will feature more of the same as we will continue to have muggy conditions throughout Central Alabama, and we can expect isolated to scattered afternoon showers and thunderstorms to form. Most of the day will have a mix of sun and clouds and highs will be back up in the upper 80s to the lower 90s.

THE FIRST WEEKEND OF FALL: It is not going to be feeling like fall this weekend as the weather will remain very warm and muggy for the state. Both Saturday and Sunday will feature partly sunny, warm days with highs in the upper 80s, along with widely scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: For Friday night’s high school games, it will be warm and humid with temperatures falling from the low 80s at kickoff, into the upper 70s by the final whistle. Just a slight risk of a shower during the first quarter.

Alabama will be in Nashville Saturday to take on the Vanderbilt Commodores (2:30p CT kickoff)… the sky will be mostly sunny with a kickoff temperature near 88 degrees… falling into the mid 80s by the fourth quarter. Just a small risk of a brief shower.

Auburn is also on the road; they play Missouri in Columbia Saturday evening (6:30p CT kickoff)… we expect a clear sky with temperatures falling from 84 degrees at kickoff into the upper 70s by the final whistle.

And, UAB is also traveling this weekend; they play North Texas Saturday evening (5:30p CT kickoff) in Denton. The weather will be dry with a fair sky; about 90 degrees at kickoff, falling through the 80s during the game.

INTO NEXT WEEK: Not much change in the overall pattern so we will stick with a persistence forecast. Highs will be well up in the 80s with only widely scattered afternoon showers. We do see a sign that the ridge will break down late in the month, opening the door for cooler temperatures as October begins.

JOSE, JUST KEEPS SPINNING: At 1100 AM AST, the center of Tropical Storm Jose was located near latitude 39.6 North, longitude 68.2 West. Jose is stationary, and the system is expected to meander well offshore of the coast of southeast New England for the next few days. Maximum sustained winds remain near 60 mph with higher gusts. Gradual weakening is forecast during the next couple of days, and Jose is forecast to become post-tropical tonight or on Friday. Jose is a large system. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 205 miles from the center. A sustained wind of 36 mph with a gust to 48 mph was recently reported at the Nantucket Airport. An unofficial observing site in Vineyard Haven on Martha’s Vineyard recently reported a sustained wind of 39 mph with a gust to 52 mph. The minimum central pressure recently reported by an Air Force reconnaissance aircraft is 984 mb (29.06 inches).

MARIA GAINING STRENGTH: At 1100 AM AST, the large eye of Hurricane Maria was located near latitude 20.2 North, longitude 69.1 West. Maria is moving toward the northwest near 9 mph, and this general motion is expected to continue through tonight. A turn toward the north-northwest is forecast early Friday, with that motion continuing through early Saturday. On the forecast track, Maria’s eye will continue to pass offshore of the northern coast of the Dominican Republic today, and then move near or just east of the Turks and Caicos Islands and southeastern Bahamas tonight and on Friday. Data from an Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds remain near 115 mph with higher gusts. Maria is a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some strengthening is possible during the next day or so. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles from the center, and tropical-storm- force winds extend outward up to 150 miles. The minimum central pressure based on aircraft data is 960 mb (28.35 inches).

REMNANTS OF LEE: Shower and thunderstorm activity associated with the remnants of Lee remain disorganized. Upper-level winds are expected to be unfavorable for significant development during the next few days. The low is forecast to move north-northwestward or northward over the open waters of the central Atlantic Ocean for the next several days. Formation chance over the next five days…10 percent.

BEACHBOUND: The weather is fantastic down at the beach this week. Tons of sunshine each day, temperatures in the 80s during the afternoon, and a brisk sea breeze makes it very nice. The showers and storms are remaining just inland and staying off the beaches. For a detailed look at the weather from Fort Morgan over to Panama City Beach, Click here to see the AlabamaWx Beach Forecast Center page. The Beach Forecast is partially underwritten by the support of Brett/Robinson Vacation Rentals in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. Click here to see Brett/Robinson’s Hot Deals now!

WORLD TEMPERATURE EXTREMES: Over the last 24 hours, the highest observation outside the U.S. was 116.2F at Basrah-Hussen, Iraq. The lowest observation was -102.3F at Dome A, Antarctica.

CONTIGUOUS TEMPERATURE EXTREMES: The highest observation was 103F at Colorado City, Cotulla, and Laredo, TX. The lowest observation was 30F at Mullen Pass, ID.

WEATHER ON THIS DATE IN 1989: Hurricane Hugo slammed into the South Carolina coast about 11 PM, making landfall near Sullivans Island. Hurricane Hugo was directly responsible for thirteen deaths, and indirectly responsible for twenty-two others. A total of 420 persons were injured in the hurricane, and damage was estimated at eight billion dollars, including two billion dollars damage to crops. Sustained winds reached 85 mph at Folly Beach SC, with wind gusts as high was 138 mph. Wind gusts reached 98 mph at Charleston, and 1S09 mph at Shaw AFB. The biggest storm surge occurred in the McClellanville and Bulls Bay area of Charleston County, with a storm surge of 20.2 feet reported at Seewee Bay. Shrimp boats were found one half mile inland at McClellanville.