Moisture levels will remain rather high across central Alabama today as precipitable water values will be near 2 inches. Couple that with an impulse that will be moving into the area from the northwest and some drier air in the mid-levels will work in from the north. We’ll have a zone of higher rain chances mainly west of the I-22 and I-65 corridors. We’ll have scattered to numerous showers and thunderstorms, most of which will occur during the afternoon and evening. Most of that activity will die off around 10 p.m. Highs will reach the lower to mid-90s. Rain chances will be in the 40% to 70% range from northeast to southwest.
Ridging moves a little closer to central Alabama on Sunday, which will bring a shift in winds more out of the north. While the mid-levels will be drier, the lower levels of the atmosphere will stay mighty moist, especially in southern Alabama. Skies will be mostly sunny to partly cloudy with afternoon highs in the lower to mid-90s. Heat index values will approach and perhaps exceed 105 degrees along and south of the I-20 corridor. There will not be much in the rainfall department to help cool us down, as there is only a very small chance of an isolated afternoon shower or storm.
THE WEEK AHEAD: The ridge flattens out, which will crank those afternoon temperatures up, climbing into the mid to upper 90s for Monday and Tuesday. With dewpoints expected to be in the mid-70s on both days, we could approach or exceed criteria for excessive heat warnings, with heat index values near 110 degrees. Only a few isolated to scattered afternoon showers and storms are possible each day. National Weather Service Birmingham may issue an excessive heat watch as early as Sunday to go into effect for Monday and Tuesday.
Troughing will take over the eastern parts of the U.S. Wednesday and Thursday, and we may have the bottom end of a cold front pass through Alabama. We’ll see some relief from the higher heat levels, but highs will remain in the lower 90s. Precipitable water values will approach the 2-inch mark. Wednesday will feature the highest chance of scattered to numerous showers and storms (50%-60%), while those chances drop some for Thursday (20%-60% from northwest to southeast). Some gusty winds may be possible with a few of these storms, but there is no threat of organized severe weather at this point.
Friday’s weather will not be much different than Thursday, as scattered showers and thunderstorms remain possible mainly during the afternoon and evening. Rain chances will remain 20%-60% from northwest to southeast and afternoon highs will be in the lower 90s.
TROPICS: The tropics are all quiet at this point and no new tropical systems are expected to form within the next five days.
WEATHER PREPAREDNESS AND SAFETY FESTIVAL: WeatherReady Fest is coming to Huntsville on Sept. 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Family-friendly games, fun learning activities, large response vehicles and enlightening speakers will highlight this big, one-day weather festival on the campus of the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Special guests include The Weather Channel’s Nick Walker, ABC 33/40 Chief Meteorologist James Spann and Owlie Skywarn. Tours of UAH’s SWIRLL and the National Weather Service Huntsville office will be available. More information and a link to the ticket site is available on the festival website at www.weatherreadyfest.com. The tickets are free and are issued for specific hours to maximize the number of people who can visit. I hope to see you there.
ON THIS DAY IN 1924: Colorado’s deadliest tornado killed a woman and nine children in one house along its 20-mile path east-southeast of Thurman. Mennonite men had left the farm to provide possible aid, as the 200-yard-wide storm was first seen while far away.
BEACH FORECAST CENTER: Get the latest weather and rip current forecasts for the beaches from Fort Morgan to Panama City on our Beach Forecast Center page. There, you can select the forecast of the region you are interested in.
For more weather news and information from James Spann, Scott Martin and other members of the James Spann team, visit AlabamaWx.