The Weather Authority | Alberto’s Rains Could Start As Early As Late Sunday Morning
Update: 7:30 p.m.:
TODAY/TOMORROW: Routine late May weather continues for much of Alabama this weekend. Of course, all eyes are focused to the south as we wait on Alberto. Until it begins to impact Alabama, our weather is very warm and humid with our daily round of showers and storms beginning to show up on the radar. Temperatures this afternoon are in the 80s. As we have seen the past week or so, most of the showers/storms will come during the afternoon and evening hours, but a late night or morning shower can’t be ruled out completely. Highs will remain in the 80s.
ALL EYES ON ALBERTO: The latest update from the NHC: At 1100 AM EDT, the center of Subtropical Storm Alberto was located near latitude 21.6 North, longitude 84.9 West. The storm is moving toward the north near 10 mph. A northward or north-northeastward motion is expected today, followed by a turn to the northwest on Sunday. On the forecast track, the center of Alberto is expected to move near the western tip of Cuba this afternoon, track across the eastern Gulf of Mexico tonight through Monday, and approach the northern Gulf Coast in the watch area Monday night. Maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph with higher gusts. Gradual strengthening is forecast until the system reaches the northern Gulf Coast by Monday night. Winds of 40 mph extend outward up to 140 miles mainly to the east of the center. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1005 mb (29.68 inches).
ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS: The system should become better organized tomorrow, transitioning from a sub-tropical to a fully tropical storm. Some strengthening is possible, but the system is still expected to remain below hurricane strength.
As of now, the official track from the NHC has landfall shifting slightly to the east, and now near the Pensacola area late Monday night. The primary impact will be along and east the circulation center. Heavy rain, flooding, and rip currents remain the primary threat from Alberto. Also, isolated short-lived tornadoes are possible on the Gulf Coast Monday afternoon and Monday night.Red flags will continue to fly on the coast; do not get in the Gulf waters. Double red flags are beginning to be put up along the Coast as well, and those mean the Gulf waters are closed.
IMPACTS FOR NORTH/CENTRAL ALABAMA: The main rain associated with Alberto will begin to impact our part of the state Tuesday and Wednesday. Rain amounts of 2-4" are likely and it will be breezy as well. With any land-falling tropical system, if we remain on the east-side of the circulation, there is a tornado threat. So for now, with the current track, we will mention a low end threat of a few isolated, short-lived tornadoes Tuesday.
JELLYFISH SPRITES OVER OKLAHOMA: Last night in Oklahoma, a swarm of jellyfish sprites flashed above an intense thunderstorm approaching Oklahoma City. A photographer caught the display at nearly point-blank range, only ~80 miles away, which is unusually close for these forms of upward-directed lightning.
REST OF NEXT WEEK: The remnant of Alberto will be picked up by the westerlies and move off to the northeast on Wednesday. The moist air mass stays in place, so we don’t dry out completely, and return to a typical summer-like pattern of afternoon and early evening showers and thunderstorms. Our highs for the latter half of the week will inch upward, too, with upper 80s returning and the potential for lower 90s.
THE ALABAMAWX BEACH FORECAST CENTER: On the coast from Gulf Shores east to Panama City Beach, the main rain shield associated with Alberto will come Monday and Monday night. Extreme threat of flooding exists through late Tuesday as rainfall amounts of 6-12 inches are possible with locally higher amounts possible. Winds around Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, and Pensacola Beach could gust as high as 40/50 mph at times Monday night. The weather on the Gulf Coast will improve during the day Tuesday, and on through the rest of the week with just the routine chance of scattered storms and a decent amount of sun each day.
WORLD TEMPERATURE EXTREMES: Over the last 24 ours, the highest observation outside the U.S. was 118.4F at Makkah, Saudi Arabia. The lowest observation was -98.7F at Dome C, Antarctica.
CONTIGUOUS TEMPERATURE EXTREMES: The highest observation was 108F at Rio Grande Village, TX. The lowest observation was 29F at Leadville, CO and Bryce Canyon, UT.
WEATHER ON THIS DATE IN 1988: There was "frost on the roses" in the Upper Ohio Valley and the Central Appalachian Mountain Region. Thirteen cities reported record low temperatures for the date, including Youngstown OH with a reading of 30 degrees. Evening thunderstorms in North Dakota produced wind gusts to 75 mph at Jamestown.
Original: From Brian Peters and the ABC 33/40 Weather Blog:
Clouds covered parts of Alabama this morning. This is not surprising due to the tremendous amount of coverage of showers and thunderstorms that we saw yesterday. Little has changed in our atmosphere as it remained very wet as seen in the sounding last night. Precipitable water value stood at 1.81 inches. That helps to account for the 2.04? of rain in my rain gauge in Helena.
The best forecast for today is a persistent one as showers and thunderstorms will again have a pretty significant coverage across Alabama. Highs with all the clouds and storms should be held in the lower 80s.
All eyes, of course, are on developing subtropical storm Alberto still in the northwestern Caribbean. The future course of Alberto should take it generally northward into the eastern Gulf and then curve it slightly westward with landfall along the Central Gulf Coast on Tuesday morning. Alberto is forecast to arrive on the coast as a subtropical storm, so high wind should not be an issue. Heavy rain along with strong rip currents will be issue for coastal residents and visitors. Sunday and Monday do not look like good days on the beach, but conditions should improve after that. As James noted yesterday, you might not want to cancel plans because of some rough weather for a couple of days – it all depends on what you go to the Gulf Coast to experience.
The big issue will be heavy rain and flooding with 6 to 10 inches of rain forecast along the Gulf Coast and just inland from about Panama City to Mobile. 4 to 6 inches will be possible along and just east of the track of the storm along the Alabama-Mississippi line with 2 to 4 inches over a very large portion of the Southeast US. See the NHC graphic below.
Alberto is forecast to move into Northeast Mississippi on Tuesday and then get picked up by the strong westerlies on Wednesday. Unfortunately this leaves the moist air mass in place, so we don’t dry out completely as we return to a typical summer-like pattern of afternoon and early evening showers and thunderstorms. Our highs for the latter half of the week will inch upward, too, with upper 80s returning and the potential to hit 90 or the lower 90s.
But the GFS does promise a bit of a break by Saturday. A strong upper closed low is forecast to dig into the Mid-Atlantic area by Saturday. If this happens as depicted, we should see a big change in our weather with drier and cooler air coming into the Southeast US from the north and northwest. But since we’re verging on voodoo country here, we’ll temper the forecast for the time being but keep a hopeful eye on the potential change.
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Thanks for tuning in to the Weather Xtreme Video. I am providing weather support to the SEC Baseball Tournament at the Hoover Met today and Sunday, so I will be watching the radar for much of the next two days. I will have the next Weather Xtreme Video posted here on Sunday morning. Godspeed.