Tropical Trouble in the Gulf? Wednesday Night Update – 10:35 PM

We’ve been watching the NAM over the past couple of days. This is the 0Z run of the high resolution NAM, one source of data we use when building a forecast. It continues to develop an area of low pressure just off the gulf coast over the next couple of days. This model run is valid for 7pm Friday evening, which develops a 1008mb low. While I don’t think a major system will get organized, I wouldn’t be surprised if a tropical depression or weak tropical storm develops between now and Saturday. This will be a small feature either way, and will bring us a good chance of showers and storms to our state. This feature will move northwest through the weekend, and will continue to enhance our rain chances. It will die out by Sunday and Monday.

We’re looking for your pictures of a cool summer dish. The theme this season is Taste of Summer. We want to know how you stay cool in the summer heat. If you have a treat you make during the hot summer days to stay cool, we would love to know about it. Send us a picture of your home-made dish, along with your name, town name, and recipe. You may be featured on WVUA-TV during our 5, 6 and 10 O’clock broadcast. Be sure to send your pictures to weather@wvuatv.com. We look forward to seeing your pictures, but be sure to hurry so you have a better chance of being featured on WVUA-TV. We’ll continue to show these pictures through the end of July.

WVUA Chief Meteorologist Richard Scott

rscott@wvuatv.com

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Wednesday Afternoon Forecast Update – 4:15 PM

A good Wednesday to you! Many of us are dealing with showers and storms this afternoon, with locally heavy rain in spots. Some of the storms have grown strong to severe, but many of us are just getting a good rain. Any storms will produce lots of cloud to ground lightning, so go indoors if you get under one of these storms. Look for 1 to 2 hours of rain on average this afternoon and evening. Because of the extra clouds and rain, temperatures are cooling off nicely. In-fact, Tuscaloosa is sitting at 78 degrees.

The big upper air ridge continues to slide to the west and the heat continues to back down. Sure, temperatures will still continue to get hot each day, with middle 90s for highs over the next couple of days, but rain will cool conditions off each afternoon and evening. As the ridge continues to back away from Alabama, temperatures will continue to come down a few degrees. Expect highs in the lower 90s over the weekend. Plus, extra soil moisture from afternoon storms will help to bring temperatures down a bit. This is a cooling process. Instead of using the sun’s energy to heat the ground, most of the sun’s energy goes into evaporating the moisture out of the soil.

There is an upper air disturbance hanging out in the southeast, and looks to continue to stick around. This will help to lift the air each afternoon, so storms will become a good bet. While there could be a storm or two overnight or during the morning hours, the better chance of rain will happen between lunch and 10pm. The reason for the better rain chances after lunch is from afternoon heating. This adds to the instability and gets air wanting to rise more.  Look for highs to top out in the middle and upper 90s on Thursday and Friday, but temperatures will cool into the lower 90s on Saturday and Sunday.

The upper air disturbance will slide into the northern Gulf of Mexico over the next few days. Some data tries to develop it into a small tropical system. While it’s uncertain if a tropical depression or storm will develop, this feature will enhance our rain chances through the weekend. The environment isn’t very conducive for a tropical storm, so I wouldn’t be too concerned with a dangerous system. If anything, it will serve as a blessing, as the beneficial rain continues to help out our drought.

The ridge will nose back in early next week, so temperatures begin to rise and rain chances will drop into the 30% category.

Be sure to join me on WVUA-TV at 4, 5, 6 and 10 for the latest on your forecast.

We’re looking for your pictures of a cool summer dish. The theme this season is Taste of Summer. We want to know how you stay cool in the summer heat. If you have a treat you make during the hot summer days to stay cool, we would love to know about it. Send us a picture of your home-made dish, along with your name, town name, and recipe. You may be featured on WVUA-TV during our 5, 6 and 10 O’clock broadcast. Be sure to send your pictures to weather@wvuatv.com. We look forward to seeing your pictures, but be sure to hurry so you have a better chance of being featured on WVUA-TV. We’ll continue to show these pictures through the end of July.

WVUA Chief Meteorologist Richard Scott

rscott@wvuatv.com

Radar Update – Wednesday at 3:34 PM

The radar image above tells the story. Many of us are dealing with scattered to numerous showers and storms this afternoon. These storms are drifting southward at 10 to 25 MPH. If you get under one of these storms, look for heavy rain, lots of cloud to ground lightning and gusty winds. The storms won’t last very long; look for an hour worth of rain on average. There is one severe thunderstorm warning for Jefferson Co right now, but any one of these storms could get close to severe limits. We need the rain, so we’ll take what we can get.

Look for a similar setup through the weekend, with scattered to numerous afternoon storms. There’s lots of rich tropical moisture in place, and we’re on the edge of an upper air ridge. Several small scale upper air features will bring good rain chances each day through the weekend.

Be sure to join me on WVUA-TV at 4, 5, 6 and 10 today for the latest on your forecast. Have a great day!

WVUA Chief Meteorologist Richard Scott

rscott@wvuatv.com