Good Thursday afternoon to you! I finally got a little rain at my house in Northport just before lunch today, but I only registered 0.08” in my rain gauge. Several showers and storms developed ahead of a weak upper air disturbance across parts of central and west Alabama this morning. That wave has moved into south central Mississippi this afternoon, and much of the area is dry for now. Another disturbance is moving into central and north Alabama this afternoon, and a few storms have developed in response to that. This will move into west Alabama over the next few hours, so additional storms are possible in scattered spots. Rain will remain hit or miss, so not everyone will pick up rain.
The core of the upper air ridge is over the central Plains this afternoon, and its eastward extend can be felt parts of the deep south. Temperatures are in the upper 90s in west Alabama at this 4pm hour, so it would be nice to deal with some cooling showers. Since we’re on the eastern edge of the ridge, the risk of scattered storms will continue. Tiny upper level disturbances often ride along the outer edge of the ridge, and these will tend to enhance the risk of scattered storms. We will also have to watch out for any developing mesoscale complex over the next few days. There is a chance one could develop and move through our area. If that happens, most of our coverage area would deal with a heavy rain event, with the risk of hail and damaging winds. At this point, we don’t see any major signs of that happening, but they often slip up on us this time of the year. Keep an eye on any forecasting changes. The main forecast consensus is for hot temperatures, with the risk of scattered, mainly afternoon storms. Due to the tropical environment and weak upper level disturbances moving through, the risk of storms is even possible at night. I expect the best chance of storms to occur between lunch and 9pm. Keep the umbrella with you incase a storm pops up over your area. Storms won’t last long at all, so you can resume your normal activities after one passes your area.
Highs will cool off slightly over the next 5 to 7 days, as the core of the upper air ridge shifts west. Temperatures will top out in the upper 90s through the weekend, but middle 90s are more likely early next week. The risk of scattered storms may actually increase sometime early next week, as a weak cold front moves into the deep south. If the front can make it into Alabama, rain chances would certainly increase towards Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. Stay tuned for updates in your forecast. At this point, I’m forecasting the same setup as we’re in now. The risk of scattered, mainly afternoon storms can be expected through the weekend and early next week. Again, if you haven’t picked up a nice rain yet, you stand the risk of storms at any point over the next 5 to 7 days.
The beach forecast is looking fairly nice over the next 5 days. Highs will reach the upper 80s, with the risk of scattered storms along the Alabama Gulf Coast and northwest Florida Panhandle. Just like our local weather, storms won’t last long at all. Lows will remain in the 70s. Skies will remain partly sunny through the weekend and early next week.
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WVUA Chief Meteorologist