Brian Peters: Dry and warm this weekend in Alabama

The Alabama sky was mostly clear this morning with some streaks of cirrus clouds making for a nice sunrise. Morning lows were in the lower 70s, but it was cooler in the East Central and Northeast areas of the state as noted by our Skywatcher in Black Creek with a report of 61. The lower temperatures were thanks to a weak backdoor cold front which has brought some drier air into the Southeast US. The sounding from the Shelby County Airport last night showed precipitable water values at 1.25 inches. So it looks like the day will be a warm one with almost no chance for showers. Any isolated showers that might occur would be in extreme West Central Alabama stretching down toward Mobile. Highs will be in the lower 90s with a little drop in humidities as dew points should be in the upper 60s – instead of the 70s.

The tropics are fairly active with three areas under surveillance. The first is tropical storm Harvey located in the eastern Caribbean. Harvey is chugging steadily toward the west-northwest, a track that is likely to take it just north of Honduras in Central America and eventually into Belize and the southern Yucatan Peninsula. It does appear likely that Harvey could reach the Southwest Gulf of Mexico. The second area of concern was about 400 miles east-northeast of the Leeward Island. This area is forecast to track northwestward and conditions area only marginally favorable for strengthening, but it could be approaching the Bahamas in 3 to 4 days. The last area was about half way between Africa and the Leeward Island, and it is forecast to move generally northwestward keeping it well out in the Atlantic.

Over the Southeast US we have weak ridging which will be in place through Monday. This will help to keep our highs in the lower to middle 90s for the weekend and into Monday while the risk of showers is nearly zero. On Tuesday, a strong short wave trough moving across southern Canada will gradually deepen the trough over the eastern US and dampen the ridge. Precipitable water values also surge upward on Tuesday and remain relatively high through Friday, so we’ll have to mention showers in the forecast from Tuesday through Friday. Additional cloud cover and the presence of showers should work in our favor along with the height falls to keep temperatures in check with highs in the upper 80s to lower 90s.

By late Thursday and into Friday a cold front is forecast to move into the Southeast US promising some drier air for the Tennessee Valley and pushing the highest moisture levels into South Alabama. This should suppress shower chances, too, as dew points could drop into the 60s once again making the warm weather feel a little nicer. But don’t get used to the better conditions as the front does not venture too far south and moisture is once again forecast to surge northward on Saturday, so shower chances return quickly with highs mainly in the upper 80s.

Looking out into voodoo country, the GFS remains bullish on keeping the trough over the eastern portion of the country through the last day of August. But as we enter September, the GFS pushes a ridge into the eastern third of the country in response to a very strong closed low and associated trough coming into the North Central US. So it looks like September could start on a warm note as August ends on a relatively cool note.

Scattered mainly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms will occur along the beaches of Alabama and Northwest Florida. No complete washouts. Highs will be dancing around the 90-degree mark for the weekend and into much of next week. 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!

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Thanks for tuning into the Weather Xtreme Video. Check back often at for notes on Alabama weather. Enjoy your day and Godspeed.


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