Showers and thunderstorms possible throughout the weekend
Update: Saturday afternoon, July 7th, 2018
Meteorologist: Ryan Stinnett
WATCHING THE RADAR: A very warm and muggy day is underway. Temperatures at midday are in the mid and upper 80s and we are seeing a mix of sun and clouds. At the writing of this forecast, not much showing up on the radar with the exception of a few showers. As we continue through the afternoon, we should see scattered to numerous showers and storms develop. as we see each day, storms will produce gusty winds, tremendous amounts of lightning, and very heavy rainfall which can result in localized flash flooding. Highs today should be near 90 degrees in most locations and lows tonight settle in the 70s. Showers and storms will remain a threat into the overnight hours.
ELSEWHERE IN THE USA: A dangerous heat wave is persisting across the Desert Southwest into southern California, including the Los Angeles and San Diego metro areas. Most of the region is under Excessive Heat Warnings, while Heat Advisories are increasing from Montana into North and South Dakota. Practice heat safety this summer wherever you are!
NIGHT-SHINING CLOUDS IN THE USA: High above Earth, bright clouds of frosted meteor smoke are spilling over populated areas of Europe and--for the first time this season--the USA. During the 4th of July holiday, observers in Washington state spotted night-shining (noctilucent) clouds bright enough to see even from urban-lit places like Seattle. This could signal a spread of the clouds to more states which, in years past, have been sighted as far south as Colorado and Utah.
BERYL: At 1100 AM AST, the center of Tropical Storm Beryl was located near latitude 12.1 North, longitude 51.1 West. Beryl is moving toward the west-northwest near 14 mph. A west-northwestward motion with an increase in forward speed is expected during the next few days. On the forecast track, the center of Beryl will approach the Lesser Antilles over the weekend, cross the island chain late Sunday or Monday, and move south of the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Monday and Monday night. Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 65 mph with higher gusts. Additional weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours, especially once Beryl reaches the eastern Caribbean Sea on Monday. The system could degenerate into an open trough by the time it reaches the central Caribbean Sea and Hispaniola on Tuesday. Beryl is a small tropical storm. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles from the center. The estimated minimum central pressure is 999 mb (29.50 inches).
WAITING ON CHRIS: At 1100 AM EDT, the center of Tropical Depression Three was located near latitude 33.1 North, longitude 74.8 West. The depression is moving toward the north near 2 mph, and little motion is anticipated during the next 2 days. The depression is forecast to begin moving toward the northeast by Tuesday. Maximum sustained winds remain near 30 mph with higher gusts. Some strengthening is forecast during the next several days, and the depression could become a tropical storm later tonight or on Sunday. An Air Force reconnaissance plane is currently approaching the depression. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1015 mb (29.98 inches).
FOR OUR SUNDAY: The weather will remain unsettled; occasionally cloudy tomorrow with scattered to numerous showers and thunderstorms. Highs will be in the 80s with only a limited amount of sun. Like today, storms could be strong where they develop, but organized severe weather is not expected.
THE WEEK AHEAD: The stalled front will slowly dissipate, but we will remain in a very humid airmass through the weekend, with sufficient instability for scattered showers and storms on a daily basis. The GFS model had suggested an upper high would strengthen over Alabama late in the week, but the latest runs keep the core of the upper high west of the state. Highs through the week will be mostly in the 88-92 degree range, right at seasonal averages.
WEATHER ON THIS DATE IN 1981: Montana was in the midst of a snowstorm that dumped ten inches at Glacier National Park, and produced winds to 90 mph. Meanwhile, Denver, CO, set a record high with a reading of 101 degrees.
After the cold front pushed through nearly all of Central Alabama during the day on Friday, we will find it across the very southern edge of the area this morning. Even though the front will cool the high temperatures down for the day, showers and thunderstorms will continue to be likely, mainly during the afternoon and early evening hours. Precipitable water values will continue to be in the 1.70-2.00 inch range, meaning that any storm that forms has the possibility of heavy downpours that may lead to a brief period of ponding or localized flash flooding. The good news is that damaging thunderstorm wind gusts look to be less likely, so heavy rain and dangerous cloud-to-ground lightning will be the main threat. Highs will be up in the upper 80s to right at 90 degrees. Scattered shower and storm chances remain during the late night and overnight hours, but not as high as the daytime as the cold front stalls out over South Alabama. Lows will be in the lower to mid-70s.
Shower and thunderstorm chances climb right back up in the likely category for much of the day on Sunday. Sunshine may be a little hard to come by as skies will be mostly cloudy. Afternoon highs will be held back some as we are expecting to see mid to upper 80s. Same as Saturday night, rain chances will diminish some for the late night through the overnight hours, but a few showers could linger. Overnight lows will be in the upper 60s to the lower 70s.
THE WORK WEEK AHEAD
We'll remain in a humid airmass with plenty of instability to fire off scattered showers and storms on each day. The good news is that an upper high that was expected to build over the state late in the week now looks to be held back to our west. That means we will not see the oppressive heat that will take place over the Plains States and just east of the Rockies. Afternoon highs throughout the week will be in the upper 80s to the lower 90s, while lows will be in the upper 60s to the mid-70s.
LOOK BEFORE YOU LOCK
Never leave children, disabled or elderly adults, or pets in parked vehicles. Studies have shown that the temperature inside a parked vehicle can rapidly rise to a dangerous level for children, pets and even adults. Leaving the windows slightly open does not significantly decrease the heating rate. The effects can be more severe on children because their bodies have not developed the ability to efficiently regulate internal temperature. Heat related deaths are preventable, so look before you lock.
AN UPDATE ON THE TROPICS
Hurricane Beryl continues to move across the central Atlantic Ocean as it is headed directly towards the Lesser Antilles. At this point, Beryl is expected to remain a hurricane as it reaches those islands on Sunday evening into early Monday morning. After that, will wind shear win out and cause Beryl to dissipate, or will the mountainous island of the Dominican Republic rip it apart. We will see in the days to come.
Tropical Depression Three is located a few hundred miles southwest of the North Carolina Coast and is expected to slowly strengthen into a tropical storm, where it will gain the name of Chris. It is expected to meander around in nearly the same location through Sunday night before it finally starts to move northeastward. There is a slight possibility that it may strengthen into a hurricane, but it will be a fish storm and no threat to land at this point.
ON THIS DAY IN WEATHER HISTORY
1987 - Thunderstorms spawned eight tornadoes in Colorado, and three in West Texas. Thunderstorms also produced softball size hail at Bula, TX. In the midst of a record thirty-nine day string of 100 degree days, the temperature at Tucson, AZ, dipped to 66 degrees, marking their third straight record low for the date.