HAPPY SUMMMER: The summer solstice occurred at 5:07 a.m., so today will see the longest amount of daylight this year for the northern hemisphere.
RAINY DAYS: The sky over Alabama was mostly cloudy this morning thanks to a couple of waves of showers and thunderstorms moving through north Alabama and northern Mississippi. The surface pattern featured a frontal boundary that has moved closer to north Alabama this morning. Aloft, the closed low and associated trough were poised to move across the middle Mississippi River early Friday. Morning temperatures were in the lower and middle 70s – lower 70s where rain was occurring. Looks like there could be several waves of showers and storms today ahead of the trough with highs expected to reach the 80s.
The upper trough will move slowly across to our northwest today and to our north on Friday, bringing the best chances for rain and thunderstorms. The Storm Prediction Center has northwest Alabama in a marginal risk today while outlining a slight risk from northern Alabama westward into northern Louisiana and southern Arkansas on Friday. CAPE values are forecast to range from about 1,200 over north Alabama to 3,500 over south Alabama. While the primary threat is expected to be damaging wind, an isolated tornado is possible with storm-relative helicity values 150 to 200 over the northern two-thirds of Alabama.
TROPICS: The Atlantic Basin is quiet this morning, while there is one area of disturbed weather in the eastern Pacific under surveillance. It’s not expected to develop much over the next couple of days, but further development is possible in the three-to- five-day range.
THE WEEKEND AND NEXT WEEK: With the surface front in our area, rain chances will remain pretty good Saturday as the threat of severe weather diminishes. By Sunday and into the first couple of days of next week, we see some weak ridging over the eastern U.S. and the Southeast. With precipitable water values remaining fairly high, the forecast will need to maintain some chance for showers and thunderstorms each day. Highs Sunday through Thursday will likely remain stuck in the lower 90s – generally 90 to 93.
LONG TERM: Looking out into voodoo country, we see the Global Forecast System becoming very bullish on the development and establishment of a ridge over the eastern U.S. as the Bermuda high pushes into the area from the east. This seems likely to bring some hot weather to the eastern half of the country as we head into July.
BEACH FORECAST: Click here to see the AlabamaWx Beach Forecast Center page.
WEATHERBRAINS: 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.
SPANN AWAY: The forecast posts on Alabama NewsCenter are one-a-day this week while James Spann is on vacation.
For more weather news and information from James Spann, Brian Peters and other members of the James Spann team, visit AlabamaWx.