Sunday morning, September 24, 2017
Forecaster: Ryan Stinnett
Saturday was a hot one with upper 80s and lower 90s blanketing the state, with only a handful of those scattered afternoon showers and storms. Today will be very similar as we are once again going to deal with very warm temperatures, upper 80s for most, and also the sky should feature more sun than clouds. There will be a few isolated to scattered showers/storms pop up this afternoon, and the greatest coverage looks to be confined to our western and southern counties.
FIRST HALF OF WEEK: Not much change in the overall pattern and rain chances look pretty slim Monday through Wednesday. Highs will be well up in the 80s and a few 90s will show up on the maps as well. The sky will feature more sun than clouds, with just some of those fair weather cumulus clouds floating by from time to time.
SECOND HALF OF WEEK: A cold front slowly moves across the U.S. and will approach Alabama late Wednesday or early Thursday, so a little faster than what we thought yesterday. Also, the last few models runs are trending drier as well, so at this time, any rain associated with the front, will be very light. Behind this front, drier and slight cooler air will move into the state, as highs fall into the lower and mid 80s, with lows well back down into those soothing 60s. Thursday and Friday should feature ample sunshine and lower humidity levels. Late Friday, a second front looks to deliver a reinforcing cooler and drier air mass for next weekend.
WEEKEND SNEAK PEEK: Behind the second front, an area of high pressure builds in across the Upper Plains into the Midwest which would allow a nice, refreshing northerly flow across Alabama. That flow would bring a much cooler air mass into Alabama giving us a taste of fall. At this time we are forecasting sunny days with highs in the mid 70s, and lows well down into the 50s, an absolutely beautiful weekend of weather for Alabama as we round out the month of September.
HURRICANE MARIA: As of late Saturday, the eye of Hurricane Maria was located near latitude 26.3 North, longitude 72.5 West. Maria is moving toward the north-northwest near 9 mph, but a turn toward the north is expected by tonight. A northward motion with a decrease in forward speed is forecast to then continue through Monday. On the forecast track, Maria will move away from the Bahamas and offshore of the southeastern coast of the United States. Maximum sustained winds are near 115 mph with higher gusts. Maria is a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. A gradual weakening trend is expected to begin late Sunday or Monday. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles from the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 240 miles. The minimum central pressure from a NOAA Hurricane Hunter plane is 950 mb (28.06 inches).
Swells generated by Maria are increasing along portions of the southeastern United States coast and Bermuda and will be increasing along the Mid-Atlantic coast today. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.
TROPICAL STORM LEE: The center of Tropical Storm Lee was located near latitude 32.1 North, longitude 49.8 West. Lee is moving toward the north-northwest near 3 mph. A slow turn toward the north and northeast is expected tonight, followed by a turn toward the east and east-southeast on Sunday. Maximum sustained winds are near 45 mph with higher gusts. Some strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and Lee could be near hurricane strength by early next week. Lee remains a small tropical cyclone. Tropical-storm-force winds only extend outward up to 35 miles from the center. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1007 mb (29.74 inches)
WORLD TEMPERATURE EXTREMES: Over the last 24 hours, the highest observation outside the U.S. was 113.5F at Makkah, Saudi Arabia. The lowest observation was -102.3F at Dome A, Antarctica.
CONTIGUOUS TEMPERATURE EXTREMES: The highest observation was 100F at Hill City, KS and Presidio, TX. The lowest observation was 6F at Bodie State Park, CA.
WEATHER ON THIS DATE IN 1950: A smoke pall from western Canada forest fires covered much of the eastern U.S. Daylight was reduced to nighttime darkness in parts of the Northeast. The color of the sun varied from pink to purple, blue, or lavender. Yellow to grey-tan was common.
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BEACH FORECAST: See a detailed beach forecast here.
SEVEN DAY FORECAST: See the detailed forecast for the next seven days here.
Today's Record Temperatures