Monday Afternoon Weather Discussion 5:07 PM

I just returned from a nice week long vacation and I’m sure you may be getting geared up for the big upcoming holiday weekend. The weather around here has finally undergone some subtle changes thanks to the passage of a rare summertime front. This boundary has cleared our area and now lower dewpoints are migrating in on a pleasant northwest wind. It is feeling hot out there however, it doesn’t feel nearly as humid and oppressive. This change will be more noticeable tonight, as lows will be dropping into the 60s. Tomorrow and Wednesday will also be days with less humid air in place. An amplified upper air pattern will allow another front to drop in late Wednesday, but this will be a dry frontal passage. This will send a reinforcing shot of less humid air, making for more dry weather through the middle of the week. We could use a little rain around here and unfortunately many locations stayed dry yesterday. Less than a tenth of an inch of rain was measured at the Tuscaloosa Airport.

Moist air will begin a slow return northward starting on Friday and we could have a shower or thunderstorm in the vicinity Friday afternoon. Much like the past 3-4 years, the threat for a shower or thunderstorm will return late on Saturday, but the activity should dwindle just in time for fireworks. A more benign weather setup will persist on Sunday and Monday, with partly cloudy skies and scattered afternoon thunderstorms. At this time there are no tropical weather concerns. In fact, we will have a beach forecast posted on the weather blog soon. Have a great evening!
Wes Wyatt
WVUA Chief Meteorologist

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Fourth of July Travel Forecast

Here is your July fourth weekend travel forecast.   For those of you heading to the Gulf Shores and Mobile area this weekend you can expect partly to mostly cloudy skies Friday through Sunday.   There is a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms each day; but overall it looks like a gorgeous weekend on the coast with highs ranging from the upper 80’s to low 90’s.   Through the night time hours you can expect lows in the upper 70’s.   As far as the water temperature goes, you can expect the water to be around 88 degrees.

If your heading to Panama City this weekend you can expect partly cloudy skies with highs in the low 90’s.   In the evening you can expect lows around 80 degrees.   For Friday and Saturday there is about a 30 percent chance of rain with only an isolated chance of a shower in the evening hours.   On Sunday rain chances will increase to around 40 percent.   The water temperature for this area will be around 87 degrees.  

In Destin this weekend you can expect partly cloudy skies each day with highs in the upper 80’s.   In the evening you can expect lows in the upper 70’s.   There is an isolated chance of a shower or thunderstorm each day.   In Destin this weekend the water temperature will be about 89 degrees.  

 So get the grill out this weekend and shoot off some fireworks.   Hope you all have a great Fourth of July weekend and Be Safe wherever your travels take you.

Zac Sewell
WVUA Weather

Coping With Extreme Heat

As you can imagine the summer heat can grow quite extreme from time to time. Last week was a classic example as heat index values soared above the century mark. Temperatures locally soared into the middle 90s while heat index values soared above 100.

Conditions were more extreme for areas to our south and along Florida and Alabama’s Gulf Coast. Last Monday, on June 22, one fatality was reported in Dothan as a result of the hot weather. In southeast Alabama the average temperature in late June is 91 degrees. Dothan actually reached a temperature of 100 degrees on multiple days, prompting state health officials to warn Alabamians to take precautions during the hot summer months ahead. In Gulfport, MS officials opened a “heat shelter” for elderly citizens.

Tips for avoiding heat related injuries includes staying hydrated, wearing light colored clothing, avoiding caffeine/alcohol, and staying indoors. Also, children and pets should never be left in a closed, parked vehicle. Sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher should be applied liberally and used when exposed to the sun. Keep these tips in mind as the upcoming holiday weekend approaches.

Cecilia Reeves
WVUA Weather