TODAY AND TOMORROW: The satellite image this morning showed a few clouds, mainly high clouds, across the northern half of Alabama. The radar was clear over much of the Southeast, and temperatures in central Alabama were in the 60s. Not too shabby for the first day of August. July and August are the two warmest months for central Alabama, based on climatological records.
A weak short wave over Missouri today will bring some clouds to Alabama over the next couple of days, but moisture levels remain fairly low, so we should stay dry today and Wednesday. Dew points will gradually rise into the lower 60s for today and Wednesday and should reach the upper 60s by Thursday. Highs today and Wednesday should top out around the 90-degree mark.
REST OF THE WEEK: With moisture levels up on Thursday, we’ll have to mention the potential for scattered showers. I think the best chances for showers and thunderstorms comes on Friday. By then, a fairly strong short wave will be moving through the Great Lakes area. This feature will generate a surface low over eastern Iowa on Thursday that will move into Lower Michigan on Friday. This drags a cold front into the Southeast, creating the potential for more numerous showers and thunderstorms. Still, because of the nature of showers, not everyone will get wet. Highs should be in the middle and upper 80s for the end of the week and into the weekend.
The Storm Prediction Center has forecast thunderstorms over a large portion of the U.S. for the next three days, with a marginal risk area confined to the north central U.S. each of those days.
NEXT WEEK: With moisture in place and the presence of a front that should be washing out, it looks like we’ll remain with persistent chances for showers and storms through the weekend and into next week. Temperatures are projected to remain in the upper 80s for highs and lower 70s for lows. Once again, not too shabby for the first part of August, when the 30-year average highs and lows should be 91 and 72.
Rainfall will remain varied due to the nature of showers, but places that do get rain should see amounts in the range of one-half to three-quarters of an inch.
TROPICS: The Atlantic Basin is relatively quiet with the exception of Emily. Emily was downgraded to a depression yesterday after moving ashore on the Florida West Coast just west of Bradenton (Anna Maria Island). While Emily will be moving over the warm water of the Gulf Stream, it has ingested some dry air, so the prognosis for this storm is not good. The current National Hurricane Center forecast maintains the system as a depression, but as the hurricane forecasters noted, there is a good deal of uncertainty in the intensity forecast. Fortunately the system should remain away from the East Coast as it moves on a northeasterly track. Just two systems are being watched in the eastern North Pacific.
BEACH FORECAST: Another dry day for the beaches of Alabama and northwest Florida. The chances of showers return Wednesday and into the latter half of the week ahead. No complete washouts, but showers could be fairly numerous. You can expect to see highs mainly in the middle 80s. Click here to see the AlabamaWx Beach Forecast Center page.
BEYOND NEXT WEEK: The Global Forecast System maintains the pattern of a trough over the eastern half of the country. The latest run breaks down this pattern by Aug. 13 as the upper ridge over Bermuda pushes into the Southeast. The pattern returns to a trough along the East Coast again by Aug. 16. Overall, while we will see warm days, the projected pattern does not signal any excessive heat for us in Alabama.
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