Clouds continue to grow vertically and are developing into showers and storms that are tracking very slowly to the south southwest. There isn't any shear (wind speeds increasing with height) in the atmosphere and so activity will be slow moving and tend to pulse in nature. Due to slow movement and high water content in the air, showers and storms will be heavy rainfall producers locally.
Precipitable water values are as high as 1.8" across central Alabama.
Precipitable water is the depth of water in a column of the atmosphere if all the water in that column were precipitated as rain.
Precipitable water tends to spike during the summer and early fall so this is normal for this time of year.
So be careful when traveling today because if you get under one of these showers and storms, visibility will likely drop due to the heavy downpours. Flash flooding is also a possibility. Some of the storms across northern Alabama have produced 2-3 inches of rain already. Remember, if you approach a flooded roadway to turn around and don't drown.
Jill Gilardi Fox 6 Meteorologist
Intern Hannah Sankey and I had another great visit to Leeds today! I want to thank Mrs. Merry Tice for inviting us out this summer. This was our second trip to Leeds Elementary and this go around we had tons of fun conducting weather experiments and chatting with the students. One of the big topics of the day was severe weather safety. We also spent time outside learning about the Fox6 Storm Tracker. We will be sharing some scenes from the visit tonight and during my weather segment Saturday night. I also want to thank the Leeds Summer Camp for the basket of yummy Chilton County Peaches!
During the Summer months here in Alabama, cool fronts are usually a non-event. But, this Summer we're seeing more fronts actually make it through the state. I'm looking at two separate setups that could bring some drier air and even a dose of slightly cooler temperatures next week.
First Front: The next cool front set to roll through the area is sometime between late Wednesday and early Thursday. This front will bring some rain for the northern section of the state Wednesday night and additional rain Thursday for areas along the I-20 corridor and southward. While no severe weather is forecast with this setup, we could see a few thunderstorms. This is the NAM output for early Thursday.
Weekend Relief: I don't think we'll see cooler temperatures with this boundary. I do feel confident it will usher in some drier air. This drier airmass will mean more comfortable conditions over the weekend with lower dewpoint temperatures. Temperatures will remain hot with highs both Saturday and Sunday reaching the lower 90s.
Beach Forecast: Rain chances will be fairly low with only a 20% rain chance along the Gulf Coast. Highs will reach the lower 90s with morning lows in the mid 70s. Water temperature is 87 degrees.
Cooler Next Week: We will likely see some milder temperatures next week as a deeper trough digs into the Southeast. This system will likely mean some rain and thunderstorms Monday and Tuesday. Expect temperatures in the 80s.
Fox6 Chief Meteorologist
Sunday night I mentioned that we were entering the Dog Days of Summer. This is the time of the year often dominated by very benign weather conditions in Alabama. Each day you can normally expect extremely hot and sultry conditions. And if you open up the Fox6 Weather App, there is a good chance you will see a few showers or even a storm on the radar map during the afternoon hours.
So how was the term “Dog Days” linked to the summer season? While I’m sure our dogs would like to stay inside and enjoy the AC during this time of the year, the term Dog Days is linked to the star Sirius or “Dog Star”. This star is located within the constellation Canis Major that resembles a dog following the hunter Orion. Sirius is the brightest star in the night sky and the Ancient Greek and Roman civilizations originally linked the star to the hot summer weather. The Ancient Greeks believed the star signaled the arrival of hot and dry summers. The time of the Dog Days was marked as the period in which Sirius rises and sets with the sun which happens during this time of the year. The general time frame of the Dog Days of Summer is between July and early September.
There are several myths surrounding the Dog Days of Summer. One I’ve heard all my life in Alabama is that snakes go blind during the Dog Days and they are more prone to strike. The blindness term is linked to snakes shedding which can impair vision but this shedding happens during other months. So basically when it comes to snakes you need to watch your step on any given day in the warm season.
I think this time of the year can be the most challenging with respect to forecasting in Alabama. The main questions we try to answer are where will the storms form? What time of day will the storms form? And will see numerous or less numerous showers and storms? Sometimes, as in the year 2007, we are begging for a little rain to help cool us off. But then you have a setup like today with a good chance for a pop-up shower or storm in the afternoon. So there you have it, the Dog Days of Summer 101! Let the name also be a reminder about our little 4-legged friends. Make sure they have plenty of H20 and have a place to stay cool in the weeks ahead.
Fox6 Meteorologist Wes Wyatt
We've been busy tracking thunderstorms this afternoon. Some of the rain has resulted in street flooding in Downtown Birmingham. We also had heavy downpours in near West Blocton in Bibb County and around I-20 in the Pell City area. The storms have since disappeared. In some of the rain-soaked areas, we could see some patchy fog overnight.
The hour by hour forecast is indicating drier conditions tonight with partly cloudy skies. It looks like Tuesday morning will be mainly dry with showers and storms again during the afternoon.
With little in the way of upper-level winds, storms will move very little. A few heavy downpours are possible along with significant cloud to ground lightning.
The tropics are becoming active. We now have Tropical Depression number 2. This system could become Bertha if it continues to strengthen. Right now this area of low pressure is about 2500 miles from Miami. We'll continue to track in the coming days. Forecast models indicate a track toward Bahamas and Puerto Rico.
The extended forecast keeps us partly sunny with scattered storms through the rest of the week. Highs will reach the upper 80s to lower 90s. A late week front could bring some additional rain Thursday.
Have great evening!
Fox6 Chief Meteorologist
If you live along and east of a line from Springville to Sylacauga, there will be a good chance for a passing shower or storm through the evening hours tonight. A low pressure system has tracked across the area today and this brought quite a bit of rain to southern location earlier. Now this system has reached East Alabama and this will prolong the scattered rainfall through the early evening hours. The rest of our area will continue to enjoy a mixture of clouds and sunshine, with temperatures cooling into the 70s this evening. Lows tonight will be in the pleasant upper 60s.
UPPER LOW BRINGS MORE CLOUDS/SHOWERS: An upper level low will develop overhead tomorrow and this will bring a good chance for scattered showers beginning during the morning. By the afternoon a few storms could start popping up across the area. You can expect similar sky conditions with high temperatures in the 80s. You can expect similar conditions on Tuesday as the upper low slides east. This system will also help spark a storm or shower in our area on Wednesday; however, I do expect more sunshine to mix in with highs nearing 90°.
ANOTHER COLD FRONT APPROACHES ON THURSDAY: Basically it looks like we will need to keep the umbrellas nearby through most of the week. By Thursday our attention will turn to an approaching cold front. This system could bring a round of very active weather to the upper Midwest tomorrow. SPC has parts of Minnesota and the Eastern Dakotas under a rare moderate risk for severe weather. Needless to say, this system will be much weaker once it dives into our region. Many times we see storms develop along these fronts and then race southward out ahead of the actual front. It would not surprise me to see this type of setup late Thursday as the front stalls before reaching Alabama. So for now we are going to maintain a chance for storms late Thursday, especially over northern locations. Be sure to check in tonight for plenty more specifics on Fox6 News at 9, 9:30, and 10. Have a great evening!
Fox6 Meteorologist Wes Wyatt
There are a couple features we are tracking. The first is a disturbance located over Alabama and moving eastward towards Georgia. It caused showers and storms to develop which are ongoing this AM to the east of the I-59/20 corridor. You can see the plume of moisture evident on the water vapor image as well as the dry air coming in from the northwest. The second feature is a trough coming in from the northwest. Eventually the trough fades away and a closed low develops to our east early in the week.
11AM Simulated Radar
The organized rain continues sliding eastward this morning and will be most focused just before noon across far eastern Alabama.
4PM Simulated Radar
By the late PM, models indicate little in the way of showers and storms though strays can't be ruled out.
7PM Simulated Radar
Isolated, early evening showers and storms can't be ruled out otherwise dry and muggy.
A weak, closed low to our east starts to retrograde westward and that means the chance for rain increases, especially by Tuesday as the best lift settles in across the state.
Several opportunities for rain over the next 7 days but not the organized rain we saw on Friday. Despite the rain that passed by late last week, rainfall deficits this month remain high in Anniston (-2.75"), Birmingham (-2.11") and Tuscaloosa (-2.01").
Let us hope we get some rain because if drought develops then the threat for excessive heat increases.
Have a nice rest of the weekend,
Jill Gilardi Fox 6 Meteorologist
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