Rain has moved out of Central Alabama and should be out of Southeast Alabama by noontime. Temperatures will be tricky today since the highs for the day have already occurred and the lows for the day will likely occur just before midnight tonight. Look for temperatures to stay in the 50s until dark with only a little up and down motion in the values. After sunset temperatures will plummet with readings by midnight in the upper 30s. If you are heading to the Birmingham Bowl this afternoon, rain has moved out of the Birmingham Metropolitan Area so it will be dry for the 1:00 pm CST kickoff between South Florida and South Carolina. Clouds will be diminishing so the sky will become clear for the afternoon. Temperatures at kickoff will be near 54 degrees and holding nearly steady until the final whistle. It will be quite breezy at Legion Field with a northwest wind averaging around 15 mph with gusts up to 25 mph.
Plans for the beach? Cloudy skies with a good chance of showers today. Friday should be sunny before clouds move back in on Saturday and keep things dreary well into the first of next week. Highs today will be in the lower 70s dropping into the 50s Friday. Highs recover into the 60s Saturday and into the lower 70s Sunday and into next week. See the complete Gulf Coast 7-Day Planner here.
Football games ahead: Alabama is in Atlanta for the Peach Bowl against the Washington Huskies for the Saturday afternoon 2:00 pm kickoff inside the Georgia Dome. The day looks cloudy and rain is expected to move into the area during the evening hours on Saturday. Highs will be in the lower 50s in Downtown Atlanta. Auburn is heading to New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl against the Oklahoma Sooners, for a 7:30 pm kickoff inside the Super Dome on Monday, January 2. The weather looks rather wet and unsettled in the Big Easy with temperatures in the 70s. Neither game will be affected by the weather since both area indoors.
Friday will be a chilly day with a morning low around 32. Sunshine will help to warm things up a bit with the afternoon high reaching the lower 50s. Then we begin to see some big changes.
The upper flow will come around to the southwest late in the day Saturday as a strong closed low digs into southern California. This will set up a moist flow of Pacific moisture right into the Southeast US. As the surface high moves off the Southeast US Coast, we’ll see the necessary lift for clouds and rain to break out across the Lower Mississippi River Valley. We should start the day out Saturday pretty chilly with lows around 30. Precipitation is not likely to begin until Saturday afternoon, but the temperature profile may be cold enough for precipitation to begin with as sleet. I don’t believe there will be enough sleet to produce any serious travel issues as the lower levels of the atmosphere warm well into the 40s during the day.
For Sunday and Monday the conveyor of moisture out of the Pacific continues along with a series of upper air disturbances keeping the Southeast US and Central Alabama wet. Besides being wet, it will also be mild with lows in the 50s and highs mainly in the 60s Sunday through Tuesday.
Late Tuesday and Wednesday the upper flow goes close to zonal. As the surface low moves northeast into the Great Lakes, a cold front will clear Alabama bringing an end to the rainy weather. Rainfall amounts are expected to be in the range of 2 to 4 inches across Alabama with the heaviest amounts of nearly 4.5 inches in Southwest Alabama. This should help to put a sizable dent in the drought conditions affecting Alabama – but it won’t end it since we are ending 2016 12 to 16 inches below our typical rainfall.
By Thursday the pattern begins to repeat as the upper flow starts to go southwesterly once again with broad troughiness over the Central US. This time the pattern is not expected to be quite as strong as the one coming up, so rain is not expected to be as widespread nor as heavy. Temperatures are expected to be coolish but not extremely cold with lows in the 30s and highs around the 50-degree mark.
Looking into voodoo country, the GFS remains pretty bullish on an active pattern. A strong trough moves across the eastern US on January 8th promising another round of rain with a pretty good chill down. A deep trough digs into the western US around the 11th of January pumping up the ridge over the eastern US and promising a couple of days of warm weather. But that does not last with the approach of another strong trough around the 13th of January. So it does not look like there will be many lulls if the weather department for the foreseeable future.
Enjoy the day and Godspeed.
For more weather news and information from Brian Peters and the rest of the James Spann team, visit Alabama Wx.