Mid to Upper 90s for Wednesday; A Few Storms Thursday – Tuesday Evening Forecast Update 8:55 PM


One word describes the forecast for tomorrow – HOT! We began cranking up the heat today, with many locations getting into the mid 90s across west Alabama. The heat index might exceed 100 degrees in many spots in our area as well, making it feel absolutely sweltering outside. And unfortunately, I think we’ll get a few degrees warmer tomorrow as the core of a mid-level ridge is forecast to be nearly on top of us. Many spots will see highs in the 93 to 97 range tomorrow, and the heat index could be in the 100 to 106 range. So if you have to be outside, make sure you take frequent breaks and drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.

For your Thursday, a frontal system will be approaching from the north. A lobe of vorticity is also forecast to be moving southeast on the backside of a departing trough of low pressure in the upper levels of the atmosphere. Temperatures will soar into the low 90s, and dew point temperatures will be in the low maybe mid 70s right ahead of the approaching frontal system. The frontal uplift, coupled with the heating of the day and PVA associated with the aforementioned vorticity maximum should be sufficient to initiate some thunderstorms across north Alabama Thursday afternoon. These storms should continue to drop mainly south through the mid-evening hours. Forecast soundings for northwestern parts of central Alabama show ample energy/buoyancy available for these storms, and with mid-level winds increasing from around 4pm through 10pm, some storm organization is possible. For this reason, much of central and north Alabama have been included in a slight risk of severe weather from the SPC for primarily wind damage and maybe some large hail.

The bottom line here: I think we have a fairly decent shot at seeing a few passing showers and storms Thursday afternoon and evening. I don’t think coverage will be especially high, but wherever storms do form, they could pack quite a punch and could produce some gusty, perhaps damaging wind gusts thanks to copious amounts of dry air in the mid-levels. These storms should dissipate late Thursday evening as the frontal boundary moves south across the area.

Friday should be a nice day, with relatively drier air filtering in temporarily behind the passing frontal boundary. Another ridge of high pressure in the mid-levels will be anchored over our area for the weekend, and accordingly it will be rather warm but dry for Saturday and Sunday. Some weakness in the mid-level heights looks to develop by late Sunday through the early part of the week, so a few showers and storms are possible on both Monday and Tuesday with highs in the low 90s.

Isaac Williams
WVUA-TV Weather
Twitter: @WVUA_Isaac