[caption id="attachment_4748" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Lightning captured by viewer Brady Bunt"][/caption]
This image was upload to myfoxal.com by our viewer Brady Bunt from Ashville in northern St. Clair County. Brady captured this image of a cloud-to-ground lightning bolt during a storm in Steele last Saturday night.
Fox 6 Meteorologist
Numerous showers and thunderstorms have developed over the Fox 6 viewing area this afternoon. The greatest coverage of rain and storms has become more focused over central and southern sections of the area. In fact, we had a thunderstorm over downtown Birmingham and now this activity has drifted southwest into the Helena area. The good thing is that so far there have been no severe weather advisories for our area.
We are also monitoring Hurricane Alex which should be making a landfall shortly. JP and I were discussing the fact that this system seems to be going through a quick strengthening phase just before landfall. The latest 4:00 p.m. advisory revealed that maximum sustained winds have increased to 90 mph. Alex will make a landfall south of Brownsville, Texas; however, outer precipitation bands associated with the storm are impacting southern Texas. Numerous tornado warnings have been issued in the Brownsville area because of these outer feeder bands. Hurricane warnings are up for the mouth of the Rio Grande northeast to Baffin Bay and tropical storm warnings are in place between Baffin Bay and Port O’connor .
Some of the clouds associated with Alex and a front over the region will keep temperatures in our area from getting too out of hand. The sky will be mostly cloudy overnight, with the chance for a shower or thunderstorm. Tomorrow will be much like today in central Alabama, with scattered storms developing during the afternoon hours. The greatest coverage of thunderstorm activity will shift into southern sections of the area. This will be most noticeable over the holiday weekend thanks to a 1024 MB high building into the Mid-Atlantic region. The front over Alabama should be forced southward, although the boundary will eventually stall. Model data suggest a low will develop along this front and given the time of year, we will have to monitor this area for the possibility of tropical development. Looking ahead to next week, we will have a better supply of sunshine during the first half of the week. As temperatures rise there will be enough instability for a pop-up thunderstorm or shower late in the day, especially south of the I-20 corridor. Be sure to join Fox 6 Chief Meteorologist J-P starting at 5:00 p.m. for the latest forecast details!
[caption id="attachment_4737" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Winfield Storm "][/caption]
Over the past several days we’ve been quite busy tracking scattered thunderstorm development across our area. Some of the storms have been very strong with torrential rains, high wind, lightning, and hail. The picture I have included was the last image captured by our Winfield Webcam from around 7:00 a.m. Saturday morning. This was definitely a storm that meant business!
Fox 6 Meteorologist
Our first hurricane of the 2010 season is now only hours from landfall just south of Brownsville, Texas. Further intensification possible just before landfall. Here's the latest update from the National Hurricane Center
HURRICANE ALEX ADVISORY NUMBER 20
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL012010
1000 AM CDT WED JUN 30 2010
...ALEX HAS NOT STRENGTHENED YET...BUT FORECAST TO DO SO TODAY...
SUMMARY OF 1000 AM CDT...1500 UTC...INFORMATION
ABOUT 145 MI...235 KM E OF LA PESCA MEXICO
ABOUT 190 MI...310 KM SE OF BROWNSVILLE TEXAS
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...80 MPH...130 KM/HR
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NW OR 320 DEGREES AT 7 MPH...11 KM/HR
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...961 MB...28.38 INCHES
WATCHES AND WARNINGS
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY...
SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT...
A HURRICANE WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* THE COAST OF TEXAS SOUTH OF BAFFIN BAY TO THE MOUTH OF THE RIO
* THE COAST OF MEXICO FROM THE MOUTH OF THE RIO GRANDE TO LA CRUZ
A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IN IN EFFECT FOR...
* THE COAST OF TEXAS FROM BAFFIN BAY TO PORT OCONNOR
* THE COAST OF MEXICO SOUTH OF LA CRUZ TO CABO ROJO
FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA IN THE UNITED
STATES...INCLUDING POSSIBLE INLAND WATCHES AND WARNINGS...PLEASE
MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR LOCAL NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
FORECAST OFFICE. FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA OUTSIDE
UNITED STATES...PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR NATIONAL
DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
AT 1000 AM CDT...1500 UTC...THE CENTER OF HURRICANE ALEX WAS LOCATED
BY A RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT NEAR LATITUDE 23.8 NORTH...LONGITUDE
95.5 WEST. ALEX IS MOVING TOWARD THE NORTHWEST NEAR 7 MPH...11
KM/HR...BUT A TURN MORE TO THE WEST SHOULD BEGIN LATER TODAY. ON THE
FORECAST TRACK...THE CENTER OF ALEX WILL MAKE LANDFALL IN THE
HURRICANE WARNING AREA LATE TONIGHT OR EARLY THURSDAY MORNING.
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS REMAIN NEAR 80 MPH...130 KM/HR...WITH HIGHER
GUSTS. ALEX IS A CATEGORY ONE HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON
HURRICANE WIND SCALE BUT HAS THE POTENTIAL TO BECOME A CATEGORY TWO
HURRICANE PRIOR TO LANDFALL. A GRADUAL WEAKENING SHOULD BEGIN AFTER
THE CENTER CROSSES THE COASTLINE.
ALEX IS A LARGE CYCLONE AND THE HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD
UP TO 60 MILES...95 KM...FROM THE CENTER...AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE
WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 200 MILES...325 KM PRIMARILY TO THE
NORTHEAST OF THE CENTER.
LATEST MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE REPORTED BY A RECONNAISSANCE PLANE
WAS 961 MB...28.38 INCHES.
HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
RAINFALL...ALEX IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE TOTAL RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS
OF 6 TO 12 INCHES OVER PORTIONS OF NORTHEASTERN MEXICO AND SOUTHERN
TEXAS...WITH ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF 20 INCHES. THESE RAINS
COULD CAUSE LIFE-THREATENING FLASH FLOODS AND MUD SLIDES...
ESPECIALLY IN MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN. RAINBANDS ASSOCIATED WITH ALEX
ARE SPREADING ONSHORE IN NORTHEASTERN MEXICO AND SOUTHERN TEXAS.
WIND...HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO REACH THE COAST WITHIN
THE HURRICANE WARNING AREA TONIGHT. HOWEVER...TROPICAL STORM WINDS
SHOULD BEGIN SOON...MAKING OUTSIDE PREPARATIONS DIFFICULT OR
STORM SURGE...A DANGEROUS STORM SURGE WILL RAISE WATER LEVELS BY
AS MUCH AS 3 TO 5 FEET ABOVE GROUND LEVEL ALONG THE IMMEDIATE COAST
TO THE NORTH OF WHERE THE CENTER MAKES LANDFALL. THE SURGE COULD
PENETRATE INLAND AS FAR AS SEVERAL MILES FROM THE SHORE WITH DEPTH
GENERALLY DECREASING AS THE WATER MOVES INLAND. NEAR THE COAST...
THE SURGE WILL BE ACCOMPANIED BY LARGE AND DESTRUCTIVE WAVES.
TORNADOES...ISOLATED TORNADOES ARE POSSIBLE OVER PORTIONS OF EXTREME
SOUTHERN TEXAS TODAY AND TONIGHT.
NEXT INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY...100 PM CDT.
NEXT COMPLETE ADVISORY...400 PM CDT.
A slow moving frontal boundary moving across cental Alabama will give us another good chance of showers and thunderstorms today. Look for another chance of showers from this sytem on Thursday as it slowly slinks toward the Gulf coast. Expect drier weather Friday through the 4th of July weekend under partly cloudy skies.
The Gulf coastal areas continue to experience the outer bands of rain and heavy surf from Hurricane Alex. Alex is expected to make landfall early Thursday morning just south of Texas.
Mickey Ferguson, FOX6 Weather
90 Or Not? We have a chance to break a significant streak - we have hit 90 degrees the previous 26 afternoons. The last day we did not hit 90 was June 3. Included in that streak: a remarkable stretch of 18 consecutive days above 95 degrees, from June 10-27. Highs today will likely top out in the 88-92 range, so there's at least some chance that we could end the streak today.
More Rain: More storms will form today than during a typical summertime afternoon. We have a deep layer of tropical moisture in place over Alabama, with a weakening surface front drifting southward through the state. That's a recipe for a good coverage of showers and storms today and tomorrow.
Rain chances will gradually taper off as we approach the holiday weekend, with afternoon highs stayin fairly steady in the 87-93 range.
Hurricane Alex... The first June hurricane in the Atlantic basin since 1995 will make landfall tonight or early tomorrow along the upper Mexican coastline. It will probably do so as a category one or two hurricane. It's impact on Alabama's weather will be minimal, although the swells coming out from the storm will likely hinder the oil containment efforts ongoing in the northern Gulf.
A slow moving cold front will keep the threat for isolated showers and thunderstorms in the forecast for this evening and tonight. Widespread severe weather is not likely. However, a few storms may be strong, producing gusty winds, heavy rain and frequent lightning. Overnight lows will fall into the low 70s. The front will linger across central Alabama Wednesday keeping a 20% chance for showers and storms in the forecast. The best chance for showers and storms will be south of the Tennessee River. Afternoon highs will be in the upper 80s Wednesday with slightly cooler overnight lows in the middle 60s. Look for slightly cooler, less humid and drier air to stick around for Thursday and Friday with mostly sunny skies and highs in the upper 80s. 90s should return by Saturday and stick around for the rest of the 4th of July holiday weekend. We should stay dry through Sunday with a few storms possible again by Monday and Tuesday.
Alex is slowly getting stronger in the SW Gulf of Mexico now at 70 mph and is expected to make landfall as a category one hurricane just south of Texas late Wednesday night. You can get the latest WAFF live Doppler 48 radar image and a look at our exclusive Tropics Tracker online at www.waff.com.
Have an excellent night!
WAFF 48 Storm Team
We Track Storms
[caption id="attachment_4720" align="alignleft" width="460" caption="VIPIR computer model"][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_4719" align="alignleft" width="460" caption="Official NHC Track"][/caption]
I thought I'd share the comparison between the National Hurricane Center's track of Alex and our VIPIR computer models forecast. Found it interesting that VIPIR is bringing Alex onto land between Brownsville and Corpus Christi, TX. The official NHC track keeps the storm positioned farther south in Mexico. Landfall is expect tomorrow afternoon. We'll continue to monitor the storm's track. There will be no direct impact of Alex on the Alabama Gulf Coast. Alex is expected to become a Cat 1 Hurricane.
The front just isn't moving as quickly as I thought and that means rain will continue to be in the forecast even through Wednesday thanks to a slow-moving front. In fact, rain chances may be a bit greater Wednesday afternoon - epecially south of I-20. The primary threat with any storm that develops is frequent cloud to ground lightning and gusty winds. I'm still confident will have have slightly cooler and less muggy conditions late week and heading into the weekend. At this point, I will keep most of the 4th of July weekend dry. We'll keep you updated.
Fox 6 Chief Meteorologist
We have good chances for rain the next couple of days, with scattered showers and thunderstorms an almost certain bet for our area through Thursday. Most of the storms will be confined to the afternoon and evening hours. This being summer, we’re not expecting a lot of severe weather, other than the occasional small scale, straight-line downburst wind that can do minor damage. Some of the storms will contain a good deal of lightning, so plan accordingly if you wind up outdoors when a storm approaches.
By Friday, computer models are still indicating a brief surge of drier, slightly cooler air into Georgia and Alabama behind a weak front. How far south this can go is questionable at this time, since it will be the beginning of July and any front from the north is a refreshing and rare midsummer treat. Even if it makes it to Columbus, we’re only expecting a couple of dry days before the air mass is modified by flow off the Gulf and the humidity returns.
The 4th of July holiday weekend right now looks warm but not extremely hot, and the chance for thunderstorms will start picking up again Independence Day and Monday.