TODAY: Clouds covered parts of Alabama this morning. This is not surprising because of the tremendous coverage of showers and thunderstorms that we saw yesterday. Little has changed in our atmosphere; it remained very wet, as seen in the sounding last night. Precipitable water value stood at 1.81 inches. That helps to account for the 2.04 inches of rain in my rain gauge in Helena.
The best forecast for today is a persistent one as showers and thunderstorms will again have a pretty significant coverage across Alabama. Highs with all the clouds and storms should be held in the lower 80s.
ALBERTO ON THE WAY: All eyes, of course, are on developing subtropical storm Alberto, still in the northwestern Caribbean. The future course of Alberto should take it generally northward into the eastern Gulf and then curve it slightly westward, with landfall along the central Gulf Coast on Tuesday morning. Alberto is forecast to arrive on the coast as a subtropical storm, so high wind should not be an issue. Heavy rain along with strong rip currents will be the issue for coastal residents and visitors. Sunday and Monday do not look like good days on the beach, but conditions should improve after that. As James noted yesterday, you might not want to cancel plans because of some rough weather for a couple of days – it all depends on what you go to the Gulf Coast to experience.
The big issue will be heavy rain and flooding, with 6 to 10 inches of rain forecast along the Gulf Coast and just inland from about Panama City to Mobile. And 4 to 6 inches will be possible along and just east of the storm’s track along the Alabama-Mississippi line, with 2 to 4 inches over a very large portion of the Southeast. See the National Hurricane Center graphic below.
AFTER THE STORM: Alberto is forecast to move into northeast Mississippi on Tuesday and then get picked up by the strong westerlies on Wednesday. Unfortunately this leaves the moist air mass in place, so we don’t dry out completely as we return to a typical summer-like pattern of afternoon and early evening showers and thunderstorms. Our highs for the latter half of the week will inch upward, too, with upper 80s returning and the potential to hit 90 or the lower 90s.
But the Global Forecast System does promise a bit of a break by Saturday. A strong upper closed low is forecast to dig into the Mid-Atlantic area by then. If this happens as depicted we should see a big change in our weather, with drier and cooler air coming into the Southeast from the north and northwest. But since we’re verging on voodoo country here, we’ll temper the forecast for the time being while keeping a hopeful eye on the potential change.
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