James Spann: Strong storms possible later today in Alabama

James Spann: Very warm, humid day for Alabama, with a chance of strong storms from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

ACTIVE AFTERNOON POSSIBLE: There was just one lone shower on radar at daybreak, on the Greene/Pickens County line south of Aliceville. Temperatures were in the upper 60s and low 70s with a mostly fair sky.

There is potential for strong storms across the state later today and early tonight; the Storm Prediction Center maintains a “slight risk” of severe storms for about the northern half of the state.

Either a cluster of storms or an outflow boundary is expected to move into Alabama from the northwest later today, and forecast atmospheric conditions suggest storms that form could produce strong, possibly damaging winds in spots.

However, it is interesting to note that both of the high-resolution models, the North American Mesoscale and the High-Resolution Rapid Refresh, show absolutely nothing across Alabama this afternoon. It could very well be an “all or nothing” situation, and overall forecast confidence is fairly low on thunderstorm initiation this afternoon.

One way or another, the day will be very warm and very humid, with a partly sunny sky and a high between 87 and 90 degrees this afternoon.

TOMORROW THROUGH THE WEEKEND: We expect pretty routine summer weather on these three days — partly sunny, hot and humid with the risk of scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms. Afternoon storms will be random, with no way of knowing in advance exactly when and where they pop up; it’s the good ol’ Alabama summer thunderstorm lottery. Highs will be in the 88- to 91-degree range.

NEXT WEEK: Drier air tries to creep into North Alabama Tuesday and Wednesday, but that doesn’t happen too often in late June, and for now we will roll with a persistence forecast featuring more classic summer weather and near-average temperatures.

TROPICS: Global models continue to suggest a tropical low will form next week near the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula. The ECMWF ensemble shows the highest probability of tropical storm formation over the central Gulf early next week; both the Euro and the Global Forecast System drift it westward back toward the coast of Mexico or the southern tip of Texas. It remains to be seen whether anything develops at all, or exactly where it goes; just something to watch for now. The National Hurricane Center now shows a 40 percent chance of development.

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