Hot Days With Scattered Storms… Tuesday Afternoon Forecast Update – 4:50pm

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Good Tuesday afternoon! It has turned out to be a hot summer day, with highs in the lower 90s. A few afternoon storms have developed, but there’s not enough rain to cool temperatures. The risk of rain at your house through sunset is only at 20%, so don’t count on a soaking rain today. If you get a quick downpour, it will last less than 30 minutes. Temperatures will gradually fall back into the 70s by 10pm tonight, with a low between 70 and 73. I don’t expect any rain during the overnight hours, but it will be very muggy tonight.

A strong upper air ridge developing west of Alabama will nose in here on Wednesday. This will keep our rain chances rather low on the western side of the state, with only a 20% risk of rain at your house or event during the afternoon. There is a better chance of scattered storms east of I-65, but it won’t be a washout anywhere in Alabama. Highs will reach the lower 90s on Wednesday and Thursday. Look for lows to continue into the lower 70s each night this week.

A sharp upper air trough will dig into the eastern US, and we’ll be placed under a northwest flow aloft. This means we’ll have to keep a close eye on thunderstorm clusters that develop northwest of Alabama. I wouldn’t be shocked if an MCS develops and moves through Alabama sometime Friday or early Saturday. These are very hard to forecast, so keep an eye on any changes. Expect an increase in rain chances on Friday and Satuday, but I don’t expect rain all day. The risk of rain is at 40 to 50% on Friday and Saturday. Rain chances will drop to 20% on Sunday, as some drier air moves in from the north. The drier air will be short-lived, as rain chances increase quickly on Monday and Tuesday.

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It’s almost time for the Dog Days of Summer! We want to see your pet pics over the next month, so send them in. This is what we’re looking for: How your dog is staying cool in the summer heat. Send the picture to weather@wvuatv.com or you can tag us on facebook and twitter. Facebook: wvuaweather, Twitter: Richard_wvua. Be sure to include your name, your dog’s name, and your town name. We will start showing these on WVUA-TV news next week and continue through the Dog Days.

nd us your weather pictures! Send them to weather@wvuatv.com. Also, look us up on facebook and twitter. Like us on facebook by searching facebook.com/wvuaweather or WVUA-TV Weather. You can find us on twitter by searching weather@wvuatv.comor WVUA-TV Weather. Great way to get weather updates! Plus, facebook is a great way to send us weather pictures. Simply tag us!

Join us live on WVUA-TV weekdays at 4, 5, 6 and 10 pm and weekends at 10pm for the very latest on your news, weather and sports.

Richard Scott
WVUA Chief Meteorologist
rscott@wvuatv.com
Twitter: Richard_wvua

 

US Drought Monitor Update: 6-25-13

drought updateThe US drought monitor is indicating some extreme to exceptional drought levels in the southwest and  into the central US. The dark red color stands for D4 drought intensity that is the most extreme drought level. D4 is also known as “Exceptional” Intensity. The lack of rainfall in that region plus hot summer temperatures induces the intense drought for the summer months that can cause wildfires like the one being battled in Colorado.

On the other side of the country conditions are much better shape with the exception of a D0 drought in areas of South Alabama and into the panhandle of Florida. Though this drought level is on a much lower intensity than the one out west it still has an impact in Alabama. D0 notes the area is abnormally dry compared to normal rainfall amounts.

Tuscaloosa is not in the drought indicated region but is slightly below average rainfall levels for this month. So far this year Tuscaloosa has received 26.91 inches of precipitation just 0.25 inches below the 27.16 inches to be expected for this time of year.

Emory Stringer

WVUA Weather Intern

 

Lightning Awareness Week – Tuesday, June 25th 3:35 pm

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PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BIRMINGHAM AL

600 AM CDT TUE JUN 25 2013

…THIS WEEK IS NATIONAL LIGHTNING SAFETY AWARENESS WEEK…

TODAY`S TOPIC IS THE SCIENCE OF LIGHTNING.  LIGHTNING KILLS—WHEN IT ROARS, GO INDOORS! ALL THUNDERSTORMS CONTAIN THUNDER AND LIGHTNING.  AS LIGHTNING PASSES THROUGH THE AIR, IT RAPIDLY HEATS THE AIR TO 50,000 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT, MUCH HOTTER THAN THE SURFACE OF THE SUN.  DURING A LIGHTNING DISCHARGE, THE SUDDEN HEATING OF THE AIR CAUSES IT TO RAPIDLY EXPAND AND CONTRACT.  THIS IN TURN CAUSES A SHOCK WAVE THAT WE HEAR AS THUNDER.

LIGHTNING CAN OCCUR COMPLETELY WITHIN THE THUNDERSTORM CLOUD, BETWEEN CLOUDS, OR BETWEEN THE CLOUD AND THE GROUND.  CLOUD-TO-GROUND LIGHTNING CAN BE CATEGORIZED AS NEGATIVE FLASHES AND POSITIVE FLASHES.  PRIOR TO A NEGATIVE FLASH, AN ALMOST INVISIBLE NEGATIVELY CHARGED CHANNEL OF AIR FORMS NEAR THE CLOUD BASE AND SURGES DOWNWARD NEAR THE GROUND.  AT THE SAME TIME, STREAMERS OF POSITIVE CHARGES SHOOT UP FROM TREES, BUILDINGS, AND OTHER HIGH OBJECTS ON THE GROUND.  WHEN THESE MEET, THE CONNECTION IS COMPLETE, AND A SURGE OF ELECTRICAL CURRENT MOVES FROM THE GROUND TO THE CLOUD CAUSING THE VISIBLE RETURN STROKE CALLED LIGHTNING.

POSITIVE FLASHES USUALLY OCCUR BETWEEN THE POSITIVELY CHARGED UPPER LEVEL OF THE STORM AND THE NEGATIVELY CHARGED AREAS UNDER THE STORM.  THE PROCESS OF A POSITIVE FLASH IS SIMILAR TO THAT OF THE NEGATIVE FLASH.  HOWEVER, BECAUSE THE DISTANCE BETWEEN THE GROUND AND THE STORM TOP ANVIL IS MUCH GREATER, A SIGNIFICANTLY LARGER ELECTRIC POTENTIAL IS NEEDED TO INITIATE A POSITIVE FLASH OF LIGHTNING.  FOR THIS REASON, POSITIVE FLASHES ARE INFREQUENT AND WIDELY SCATTERED AROUND THE STORM, BUT THEY GENERALLY INVOLVE THE EXCHANGE OF MUCH GREATER CHARGE AND ARE MUCH MORE DESTRUCTIVE.

THE GREATEST DANGER ASSOCIATED WITH POSITIVE CHARGES, HOWEVER, IS THAT THEY STRIKE IN AREAS WHERE MOST PEOPLE THINK THEY ARE SAFE FROM THE STORM.  THEY CAN STRIKE WELL BEYOND THE AREA WHERE RAIN IS FALLING AND WELL BEYOND THE AREA WHERE LIGHTNING AND THUNDER ARE OCCURRING–AS MUCH AS 10 MILES AWAY!  CONSEQUENTLY, MANY VICTIMS ARE CAUGHT COMPLETELY OFF GUARD. DO NOT BECOME A LIGHTNING VICTIM—GET TO A SAFE PLACE SOONER AND STAY THERE LONGER.  REMEMBER, IF YOU CAN HEAR THUNDER, YOU ARE CLOSE ENOUGH TO GET STRUCK!

WEDNESDAY`S TOPIC WILL BE OUTDOOR LIGHTNING SAFETY. FOR MORE INFORMATION ON LIGHTNING SAFETY, GO TO WWW.LIGHTNINGSAFETY.NOAA.GOV.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, VISIT OUR WEB SITE AT WWW.WEATHER.GOV AND THEN CLICK ON CENTRAL ALABAMA, OR CONTACT JIM STEFKOVICH, METEOROLOGIST-IN-CHARGE, NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BIRMINGHAM, AT 205-664-3010, EXTENSION 222, OR JOHN DE BLOCK, WARNING COORDINATION METEOROLOGIST, AT EXTENSION 223.

Camille Manning

WVUA Weather Intern

Source: NWS Birmingham