Here's the write up from the Climate Prediction Center:
Hit-or-miss showers dotted the region, resulting in a mix of deterioration and improvement. Moderate drought was introduced in a few areas, including parts of western Kentucky, central Alabama, and southern Georgia.
USDA commentary for south-central Georgia for the week ending July 27 indicated that hot, dry weather is “taking a toll on crops. Cotton and peanuts are at a critical stage of water requirements in order to make yield. Corn needs rainfall... Hay and pastures need rain for [the] next cutting.” From June 1 – July 29, rainfall totaled less than half of normal in locations such as Tallahassee, Florida (6.13 inches, or 42.6% of normal), and Valdosta, Georgia (6.08 inches, or 49.6%). Substantial June 1 – July 29 rainfall deficits were also noted in locations such as Bowling Green, Kentucky (4.25 inches, or 53% of normal), and Birmingham, Alabama (5.73 inches, or 64%). Topsoil moisture shortages became more acute in some areas, rated 51% very short to short in Kentucky by July 27. Other Southeastern States reporting topsoil moisture at least one-quarter very short to short were South Carolina (44%), Virginia (33%), Georgia (32%), and Arkansas (27%).
Jill Gilardi Fox 6 Meteorologist
ANALYSIS OF CURRENT CONDITIONS:
Radar, with surface features and general flow...
It looks like it's raining in Mississippi but if you scroll down and look at the circled areas on the surface map, you'll see that not all of that rain is reaching the ground.
FORECAST SOUNDINGS AND SIMULATED RADAR/CLOUDS ANALYSIS:
Here's a look at the morning sounding...
Notice at low levels that the red (temperature line) and the green (dew point line) are far apart from one another. That's an indication of dry air or low humidity. Where the lines are close together the air is saturated and that's the clouds you see outside. Any rain falling from those clouds into the drier air below is evaporating.
FUTURECAST: Shows little if any rain this afternoon or today in general because the air is too dry. Just a mostly cloudy day with readings in the lower 80s.
The forecast sounding for Friday afternoon doesn't look that impressive either.
FRIDAY FUTURECAST: Doesn't look impressive at all and so rain chances look fairly low due to a couple factors. Lack of substantial lift and moisture.
Saturday, the air is a little closer to saturation and so rain chances look a little better.
SATURDAY PM FUTURECAST: Looks a bit more promising for rain though models are trending lower with precipitation amounts.
Best lift in the atmosphere appears to set up on Saturday hence a better chance for rain. Doesn't look like a washout weekend at this time just spotty chances for rain and storms.
We'll continue to keep you updated!
For now, we enjoy the cooler temperatures due to extra clouds and continue to water the lawn and garden.
Jill Gilardi Fox 6 Meteorologist
"Start your rain dance...."
Look for mostly cloudy skies today with temps in the mid-80s.
After several days of dry air, look for moisture to begin increasing across Alabama...that as a ridge of high pressure begins to erode. Initially, all we are expecting is an increase in cloud cover.
While we could see a few islolated sprinkles this afternoon, our best rain chances will come Friday and into the weekend. Don't expect substatial rainfall, just a few scattered showers for Friday through the weekend.
By our next workweek, we begin to dry out again with temps beginning to warm into the 90s by midweek.
Have a great day!
Mickey Ferguson, FOX6 Weather
We shattered several long standing records today with morning lows in the 50s. The low temperature in Montgomery was 59º and this tied the all time record low for the month of July. Here is a list of new record lows along with the old record temperatures:
While the weather is unusually cool for this time of the year this is actually the 4th time since 2000 that highs have only reach the mid to upper 80s on the 30th of July. The setup however is quite unique with a cold front that managed to dive as far south as the Gulf of Mexico. Most of the time these fronts stall before reaching us or they simply dissipate in the summer. The stronger north flow has pushed the deeper tropical moisture well south of here, so dry weather has been the story this week. Clouds associated with a disturbance to our northwest will be sliding southeast this evening and this will bring us a partly to mostly cloudy sky tonight. It is possible temperatures could drop to near record lows in parts of our area tonight. The record low for Tuscaloosa stands at 62º and in Anniston 60º. Right now we are forecasting an average low of 62º and clouds will play a role in the cooling process overnight.
MORE CLOUDS TOMORROW/RAIN CHANCES RETURN FRIDAY: More clouds are expecting to move in from the west tomorrow so we’re forecasting a partly to mostly cloudy sky. Our dew point, which is an excellent gauge of the moisture in the air, is extremely low today. This level will be on the rise tomorrow with 50º dew points today rising into the 60s tomorrow. This drier air has made it feel very comfortable but the rising dew points will make it feel more humid in the days ahead. This moisture will help fuel a few scattered showers and possibly and thunderstorm on Friday as temperatures rise into the mid 80s.
WEEKEND OUTLOOK: One of the big weather highlights heading into the weekend will be the noticeable increase in the humidity across the area. An upper level trough will remain over the region so this feature coupled with daytime heating with spark scattered showers and thunderstorms on Saturday and Sunday. For now this does not look like a setup that will bring any long duration-soaking rain but a setup that could bring a passing downpour. We will have plenty more details on the weekend forecast and what is ahead in our updated 7-day on Fox6.
TROPICAL UPDATE: While it appeared the disturbance over the Atlantic was growing into a tropical cyclone, the system has become poorly organized. The National Hurricane Center has reduced the probability of development to 50%. A couple of days ago one of our medium range models was showing a well organized tropical system over the western Atlantic in about eight days. However, that system has since disappeared from the data set. We will continue to monitor the disturbance closely but no worries for now if you have plans to travel to the Gulf Coast this weekend. There will be a chance for a few scattered showers and thunderstorms this weekend.
Fox6 Meteorologist Wes Wyatt
Rainfall departures for the month:
Abnormally dry conditions have set in across Central Alabama including the counties of Tuscaloosa, Bibb, Chilton, Jefferson, St. Clair, Talladega, Clay, Cleburn, Randolph, Tallapoosa and Chambers according to the Climate Prediction Center.
Thankfully, a wetter pattern develops as August begins...
An upper level trough will remain entrenched across the eastern U.S. and we'll see disturbances moving through the base of the trough from Friday and through the weekend. These disturbances will enhance lift across the area and interact with moisture in the atmosphere to cause showers and storms to develop.
STEERING WINDS AT 500 MB OR HALF WAY UP IN THE ATMOSPHERE
How much rain could we see between now and the weekend?
Both computer models show widespread amounts of .50" to 1.50". Looking at the precipitation patterns below you can clearly make out the influence of the trough. The GFS is a bit more aggressive with rainfall amounts than the NAM and there is still some uncertainty regarding the future strength of the trough which will mean the difference between lighter and heavier amounts.
NAM ACCUMULATED PRECIPITATION
Overall, it looks unsettled with a decent chance for a passing shower or storm between Friday and Sunday. Early next week, a typical summer time pattern develops with afternoon pop ups possible each day.
We'll continue to keep you posted on upcoming rain chances on Fox 6 and on the blog. Plan on watering the lawn and garden the next two days.
Jill Gilardi Fox 6 Meteorologist
It was a cool, dry morning with record breaking lows for this date in weather history. Temps were in the 50s to low 60s across Alabama.
This afternoon should see highs in the mid-80s under partly cloudy skies.
A ridge of high pressure has been keeping the southeast dry, but that ridge is expected to erode by Thursday causing clouds to stream back into the area.
By Friday evening we have a chance of moisture returning. Look for a chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms to be with us Friday everning and throughout the weekend.
We begin to dry out again by early next week.
Mickey Ferguson, FOX6 Weather
In an earlier blog, I pointed out that our air is coming from Lake Michigan today, and we expect record lows tonight.
In this blog I want to talk about how rare it is to have three separate bona fide cold fronts in the month of July that bring us cool temperatures. This year, the first one came in over the 4th of July weekend, with lows dropping to 58 degrees even in town at the airport on the morning of July 5. It was a cool evening for fireworks the night before. The second one moved in on the evening of July 15, then we had two days with highs only in the lower 80s, and most of central Alabama dropped into the 50s again (I had 59 at Bluff Creek on the Warrior River). The third one moved in yesterday (July 28), with brisk NW winds. It dropped to 63 this morning, and today despite partly sunny skies the temperature is only 80 in BHM right now. We should reach the 50s again tomorrow morning.
Looking back at weather records in BHM going back to 1896, this is pretty rare. Cold fronts come in July and drop temperatures into the upper 50s. On July 15, 1967, we dropped to 51 degrees, the coolest July temperature ever here. But, to have three separate cold fronts in three different weeks is extremely rare.
In 1918, BHM dropped to 58 on July 2 (with a high of only 83), then more cool air moved in on 7/9 and was reinforced on 7/13. However, it only dropped into the 50s one night.
In 1940, the month started off with cool air (lows in the 60s and highs in the 70s) that lasted for a week, then another cool shot came in on 7/11 and a third on 7/18. But, it never dropped into the 50s in July 1940 either.
1947 may have been the most like this year, except a little cooler. The first cold front got temperatures down into the 50s on 7/3, a second cold front pushed it down to 55 degrees on 7/9, then a third pushed it back to 52 on 7/23.
In 1967 it dropped to 60 on July 4, then a big time cold front dropped it down to 51 on 7/15, with highs only in the 70s for two days. That cool air lingered for several days, then one more shot dropped it down to 64 on 7/30.
The only other July close to these was 1976. July started off cool with a low of 60 on 7/2, and that cool air lingered for a week. Then another cold front brought lows in the lower 60s later that month. But, no lows in the 50s.
So, this kind of pattern, with three totally separate cold fronts coming in July, has happened 4 or 5 times since 1896. It's rare, but it happens. This does not necessarily mean we're going into an ice age, will have a cold winter, or even a cool August. And it's hard to blame it on climate change since it's been happening since at least 1918.
Dr. Tim Coleman