Scott Martin: Alabama stays dry through Friday; tropics heating up

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Get ready for a super weekend across Alabama with tons of sunshine and nice, mild temperatures. After cool mornings, highs will be in the lower to mid-70s today and reach the mid to upper 70s Sunday. One or two locations may briefly reach 80 degrees on Sunday.

THE WORK WEEK AHEAD: Great weather will continue through the entire work week, with temperatures warming a little before taking a very small step backward at the end of the week. We will have plenty of sunshine each day, but a potential tropical system moves up from the Caribbean at the end of the week, and we may have some clouds move northward into Alabama. At this point, no rain will invade the area through Friday night. Highs will start off in the mid to upper 70s on Monday, maxing out in the upper 70s to the mid-80s on Wednesday and Thursday, then back into the mid to upper 70s on Friday.

OCTOBER TEMPERATURE AND RAINFALL OUTLOOKS: The latest Weather Prediction Center and Climate Prediction Center outlooks show below-normal values for both temperatures and rainfall projections for October. We know that October is the driest month of the year for Alabama, so it is no surprise that projections look rather dry. The good news is that temperatures are projected to be slightly below normal. Remember, one year ago today we set a record high of 101 degrees. I’m thankful for the nice temperatures, one bit of normalcy in this crazy 2020.

TROPICS: At 10 p.m., the center of Tropical Storm Gamma was about 110 miles south-southeast of Cozumel, Mexico. Gamma is moving northwest near 9 mph. A slower northwestward motion is expected during the next couple of days, followed by a turn to the west or west-southwest. On the forecast track, the center of Gamma should be near the northeastern Yucatan Peninsula today. Maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph with higher gusts. Some strengthening is expected before Gamma moves inland today. After landfall, slight weakening or little change in strength is expected.

Gamma is expected to produce heavy rainfall that could result in life-threatening flash flooding over portions of the Yucatan Peninsula, far western Cuba and well away from the center in the Mexican states of Campeche, Tabasco and northern Chiapas. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect.

A tropical wave is producing widespread cloudiness, showers and thunderstorms over the eastern and central Caribbean Sea, with locally heavy rainfall and gusty winds affecting portions of the ABC Islands, the Lesser Antilles, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Environmental conditions are expected to become a little more conducive for development, and a tropical depression could form next week while the system moves westward or west-northwestward at about 15 mph across the central and western Caribbean Sea. Formation chance through five days is 40%.

Shower activity has increased since yesterday in association with a tropical wave about midway between the coast of Africa and the Lesser Antilles. Some slow development of this system may occur during the next several days as it moves generally westward to west-northwestward. Formation chance through five days is only 10%.

ON THIS DATE IN 1992: A strong low-pressure system moving northeast out of the Gulf of Mexico spawned several tornadoes in the Tampa, Florida, area. One person was killed and 23 homes were destroyed as an F2 twister moved through Largo. Three people were killed and 75 were injured in Pinellas Park as an F3 tornado ripped through. Total damage was estimated at $32 million. Heavy rain spread over northern Florida and Georgia and continued into Oct. 4. Jacksonville, Florida, recorded 8.69 inches of rain and Brunswick, Georgia, was deluged with 10.14 inches in 24 hours. Strong winds and a long fetch pushed tides 4 to 5 feet above normal along the west coast of Florida. Major beach erosion occurred at Egmont Key and all along the coast of Hillsborough County.

BEACH FORECAST CENTER: Get the latest weather and rip current forecasts for the beaches from Dauphin Island to Panama City Beach, Florida, 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.

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