Forecast Blog


Hot Today, Stormy Friday, Less Humid and Drier for the Weekend

Today is going to be the last day in the stretch of really humid and oppressively hot days we have been dealing with.  We will again be mostly sunny overall, but a few isolated showers or thunderstorms will be possible.  Like we saw in the Birmingham metro yesterday, folks that get under one of the storms may see some heavy rain, but most folks in the coverage area will stay dry.  As we said, though, it will be hot again… with afternoon highs in the mid 90s and heat index values creeping up near 104 to 105 degrees.  So, like the past several days, please be sure to stay hydrated if you have to stay outdoors.

The weather begins to change later tonight, and especially on Friday.  A “cool” front will approach from the northwest, and this will increase the chance of showers and thunderstorms across the area.  The new outlook from the Storm Prediction Center trims back the Slight Risk area, and now has our entire coverage area in a “Marginal Risk” (Level 1 out of 5) of severe storms for Friday.  This is NOT a tornado situation.  The main threat with the strongest storms will be frequent lightning and locally heavy rainfall that may cause some isolated flash flooding… but we sure can’t rule out a few storms being able to produce wind gusts of 45 to as high as maybe 60 mph, and maybe some small hail.  It appears that the main risk of the stronger storms is shifting to the east a bit, and this may be a hint at the idea that showers and storms may move into the area during the first half of the day on Friday, instead of waiting until peak heating in the afternoon.  If this is indeed the case, that wouldn’t allow the atmosphere to grow as unstable as it otherwise could.  Showers and thunderstorms may continue into Friday evening before diminishing overnight and into early Saturday morning.

The big story for the weekend will be a noticeably less humid air mass, and cooler temperatures, as the front moves through and ushers in drier air.  Afternoon highs on Saturday will be down as low as the mid 80s… about five degrees below our average high in the Shoals for this time of year.  Overnight lows will also get down into the mid 60s this weekend, thanks to the drier air in place.  A chance of isolated showers and storms will return as we go into early next week, but as of now, we don’t see any organized rain or a large-scale washout during that period.


The Pattern Continues: Rain, Heat, Strong Storms, and… Cooler Weather?

The week will begin with some scattered showers and storms across the Shoals Weather coverage area as a weak disturbance from the north slowly slugs its way southward towards the area. Today, expect a weak boundary to kick off scattered showers and thunderstorms. But, as has been the theme for the last several weeks, the highest coverage should stay across the eastern portion of the coverage area with more isolated activity further west. However, everyone has a chance of rain today. The highest chance should just come in areas such as Limestone, Morgan, and Cullman counties.

After today, the pattern simply reloads and we go through another multi-day stretch of hot weather accompanied by the chance of an isolated heat-activated shower in the afternoon and evening. It won’t be as brutal as last week, but we could still see a day or two of heat indices break the century mark, particularly on Wednesday.

After Wednesday, rain chances will gradually begin to climb back up as a large scale synoptic disturbance approaches from the west. This could kick off a round of heavy rain and thunderstorms as we approach the end of the workweek. We’ll have to monitor this closely as this is a very textbook setup for a strong to severe complex of thunderstorms to move in from the northwest with ridging centered over the Four Corners region, and troughing over the Eastern half of the U.S with Northwest Flow present over the Tennessee Valley.

IF this were to occur, the primary hazards would be damaging winds, frequent to almost constant lightning, and localized flash flooding.

After this clears out, a potentially unseasonably strong cold front will approach from the north. This could bring some flat out gorgeous weather for next weekend, with afternoon highs only in the mid 80s accompanied by much drier air! It could get a little chilly at night, with overnight lows falling to near 60 degrees. This could be our first taste of early fall if this manages to hang on, and it will create an amazing weekend for outdoor activities. HOWEVER, this is still 7 days out and there’s plenty of time for it to change, especially as models have been rather inconsistent lately. We’ll have to keep a close eye on this and the associated heavy storm threat for Friday to see how things evolve, and if this idea can hang on.

As always, keep checking back to Shoals Weather for the updated info as we head into the week.

 


Rain Chances Increasing….

Friday will go down as the hottest day this summer so far.  Widespread upper 90s verified across the region with heat indices at or above 105 degrees.  Saturday will be more of the same, but a few degrees cooler as an isolated rain chance will be introduced back into the region.  A heat advisory has been issued for heat indices possibly reaching 105 during the day Saturday (as shown by the orange coloring in the map below).  A 30% chance of rain is expected, mainly in the afternoon.  Overnight low will struggle to drop below the mid 70s.

We will introduce a more scattered shower and thunderstorm coverage for Sunday as the trough sharpens over the Great Lakes.  This will force a boundary to approach the Shoals from the north.  With abundant moisture in place and a trigger mechanism, we’ll see scattered coverage with highs in the low to mid 90s.

Monday will likely feature the highest rain chance of the period.  We’ll have to keep an eye on any ongoing complexes of thunderstorms in the upstream northwest flow.  These would tend to head southeast with time and could enhance/cut off rainfall coverage given a location.  This will be further assessed closer in the time, but have opted with a 60% chance of rainfall.  Highs will be around 90 degrees.

Tuesday will feature a slightly lower rain chance and more cloud cover that will keep the highs near 90 degrees.  Coverage will be about 40-50% rainfall.  Wednesday through Friday, the boundary will shift south of the Shoals, and take the better focus for storms with it there.  Will advertise a 20-30% chance of rain each of those days with highs returning to the low to mid 90s.