TODAY AND THE NEXT FEW DAYS: There is not a great deal of change occurring for the weekend across central Alabama as the weather remains hot and humid. The National Weather Service has posted a heat advisory today for a large portion of west central and central Alabama. Heat index values will push dangerous levels as humidity values remain high, with dew points in the lower to middle 70s.
Precipitable water values remain high for the weekend and into the first couple of days of next week. These values should favor the potential for numerous thunderstorms, but unfortunately not everyone one will see rain. Five-day QPF forecasts are for around 2 inches, and it’s likely that some spots will see values that high. Isolated flash flooding will be possible since storms will be moving very little, resulting in heavy downpours in spots.
Temperatures for the weekend will continue on the hot side, with highs mainly in the lower 90s.
THE REST OF NEXT WEEK: The strong ridge aloft today will wane from Sunday into the middle of the week as it pulls back to the west to become centered in the vicinity of the Four Corners area. This changes the upper flow across the eastern U.S. into a broad trough over the East Coast. With a northwesterly flow aloft over the Southeast, the northern half of Alabama could see a substantial change in its air mass as precipitable water values drop under that northwesterly flow while the Gulf Coast remains humid. This means that by Wednesday afternoon we could see a big drop in shower potential along with highs slightly cooler, with readings in the upper 80s. That should mean we’ll be out of any excessive heat.
The Global Forecast System maintains the troughiness along the East Coast for the end of the week and into next weekend, with the potential for a cold front to come into the Southeast by next Friday as a strong trough moves across the Great Lakes region. This could bring back shower chances for the end of the week and next weekend, but the highest precipitable water values are held south of central Alabama. Highs will continue around the 90-degree mark.
LONG TERM: I like the looks of voodoo country. The GFS inches the upper ridge back toward the Southeast around July 23, and that’s not good. But after that, from July 24 through July 30, the GFS maintains the upper ridge over the Rockies and a broad trough over the eastern half of the country. This pattern favors warm weather but an absence of extreme heat. This pattern also suggests the potential for weak cold fronts to make it into the region, meaning some shower potential and relief from the excessive humidity.
TROPICS: The tropical Atlantic has gone quiet again, with just the ghost of Beryl northwest of Bermuda. It’s forecast to move northeast and gradually degenerate further as it moves over colder water.
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Enjoy the day, but remain weather aware to the dangers of lightning with thunderstorms. The U.S. has recorded 14 lightning deaths so far for 2018, and we don’t need to see that number go any higher. Have a great day and Godspeed.
For more weather news and information from James Spann, Brian Peters and other members of the James Spann team, visit AlabamaWx.