Gloomy Again Sunday for Alabama. Harvey Now Below Hurricane Strength. Saturday Forecast Update, 7:30p.m. #wxal @wvua23

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Good Saturday evening! This Saturday has remained fairly gloomy with many low hanging clouds over central Alabama. There is lots of available moisture aloft in the atmosphere but right now at the surface there is so much dry air. Radar is trying to pick up on that upper level moisture because there is some precipitation falling, but most of it is evaporating before it reaches the surface. Tonight, those few showers that are getting any rain to the surface will come to an end. Skies will continue to remain mostly cloudy, though, overnight. The increased cloud cover will mean lows will remain in the 70’s and any outdoor plans this evening will feel very mild. Sunday will close off the weekend with another chance for a few stray showers, but many will remain dry. We will continue to see upper level moisture present as we go throughout the day but at the surface there will continue to be much dry air.

The dry air will further be locked in as we head into Monday as a surface low develops over Florida. The surface low will push dry air from the east into Alabama at ground level. In the upper levels of the atmosphere, a trough will be resting over the Tennessee Valley bring in winds from the west. Despite the dry air at the surface, I think the more humid air mass to the west will over power and spark a few isolated showers for mainly west Alabama. East Alabama should remain dry though. By Tuesday, the surface low over Florida will be traversing northward, causing a surface high to develop in its place. That surface high to the east and the low left over from Harvey to the west will work together to funnel moist air into Alabama from the south. With this happening, all of central Alabama will see the chance for an isolated shower on Tuesday. By Wednesday, the pump effect will be fully felt and rain chances increase.

Every day starting Wednesday through the rest of the work week will see the opportunity for numerous stray showers and a few storms with so much warm, humid air coming in off the Gulf. Meanwhile, the upper level trough will continue to remain stalled over the Tennessee Valley to aid with initiating and lifting storms. Rain chances are still a little “iffy” on a day to day basis since it is still some time out. The locations of the low and high will determine potential shower and storm amounts.

Next weekend, the pump action will continue to take place. Harvey’s low pressure remains will be trapped in place until a synoptic scale process can move it from Texas. Also, the high will continue to remain to the east of Alabama. Shower and storm activity will be likely; time is needed to get a better idea on exact rainfall totals since that is a long time out and the forecasted strengths and locations of the two pressure systems could change by then. That said, I expect the chance of numerous stray showers during the day Saturday and Sunday and a few lingering showers at night.

Looking to the tropics-

Harvey has now been downgraded to a tropical depression since making landfall last night as a Category 4 Hurricane. Rain totals across eastern Texas’ coast have steadily risen prior to the storms official landfall when outer-bands were already reaching the coast. Some measurements have now exceeded 15 inches. Flooding is now the greatest concern with the storm since rainfall totals are expected to continue to rise with Harvey not wanting to go anywhere over the next several days. Rain totals could exceed 30 inches in areas with 15 inches still on the way . Along with the unbelievable rainfall totals, the storm has sparked numerous, more than fifty, tornado warnings and the winds during landfall caused significant damage to structures several miles inland. Unfortunately, one death has been confirmed so far and that number could still go up…

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Reggie Roakes
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