TODAY: A couple of showers have managed to maintain themselves early this morning as the air mass over the Southeast remains fairly wet. Precipitable water values are likely to stay fairly high for the next week or so, keeping the chance for showers in the daily forecasts. Look for a mix of sun and clouds today with scattered showers a good likelihood, but not everyone will get rain. The highs today should be in the middle to upper 80s, a little above the 30-year average of 82 for Birmingham.
THE WEEK AHEAD: Weak ridging begins to take hold for the eastern U.S. Sunday, while we do note a weak upper low once again over Georgia. This will keep the better rain chances east of Alabama during the first of the week, but by Tuesday this weak feature is moving out toward the east. By Wednesday the upper ridge is along the Mississippi River. This keeps us in a summer-like pattern with afternoon heating driving the production of afternoon and early evening showers along with isolated thunderstorms. Highs for the first half of the week will be in the middle 80s, but as the upper ridge becomes stronger from Wednesday through Friday, I expect to see highs climb into the upper 80s.
Rainfall during the next five days could be around an inch, but rain will come in the form of showers, so not everyone will see this amount of rain, while isolated spots could see a bit more.
By Saturday, a fairly strong trough moving across the Great Lakes region will dampen down the ridge over the eastern half of the country. This does little to change our weather pattern as moisture levels remain elevated, allowing for afternoon showers and thunderstorms with highs mainly in the 85 to 89 range.
Both the Global Forecast System and the ECMWF bring some tropical mischief into the picture next weekend, but in very different locations. The ECMWF brings a surface low into the northwest Gulf while the GFS brings it across the Florida Straits. It’s very hard to take either of these solutions seriously when they are producing such divergent results. And with each model run, they both seem to keep the development of this tropical mischief about a week out. But it is fun to watch.
LONG TERM: Looking further into the future in voodoo country, the GFS has a very nice surprise in store with a very deep trough forecast to dig into the eastern U.S. by May 30. This could spell a nice day or two of some rather chilly weather. As you might expect as we enter June, that upper trough does not last long, as it is replaced by an upper ridge over the Central U.S. by June 2.
BEACH FORECAST: Click here to see the AlabamaWx Beach Forecast Center page.
WEATHER BRAINS: You can listen to our weekly 90-minute netcast any time on the web, or on iTunes. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including meteorologists at ABC 33/40.
For more weather news and information from James Spann, Brian Peters and other members of the James Spann team, visit AlabamaWx.