Alabama appears to be the big winner today as far as the clouds, showers, and storms; they are affecting our state more than any other southeastern state. Numerous and widespread showers and storms continue to impact many locations as they track from southeast to northwest this afternoon. Storms are producing some gusty winds, lots of lightning, and heavy rainfall. No severe weather is expected, but we could see a few isolated reports of flooding due to the slow movement of the storms. These showers and storms will continue through the evening and into the overnight hours.
Because of the increased cloud cover this afternoon, and where the rain is falling, we are seeing cooler temps and many locations have fallen back down into the 70s. However, where it is not raining, we continue to see upper 80s and lower 90s. Tonight, we should all settle back down into the lower 70s.
SUNDAY: We will see a mix of sun and clouds tomorrow, and we will continue to mention the chance for showers and storms, however, the coverage will be a bit less. You may have to dodge a few rain drops tomorrow, and if heading out to church in the morning, I would grab the rain gear just to be safe. Highs tomorrow will be in the mid to upper 80s, but where the rain falls, 70s can be expected.
ERIKA NO MORE: Well wind shear and land have helped finish Erika off and she is nothing more than an open wave. This afternoon, wind shear continues to rip apart the remnants of the system. The general movement of the remnants is towards the northwest and the Gulf of Mexico. Will it redevelop, we don’t think so, the Gulf of Mexico is a highly sheared environment right now, and not at all favorable for tropical cyclone development, but of course there is always a chance. Regardless of re-development, the remnants of Erika are expected to spread locally heavy rains and gusty winds across portions of the Bahamas, central and eastern Cuba, and central and southern Florida during the next couple of days.
Widespread showers and storms are ongoing across much of North-Central Alabama this afternoon. No severe storms, but storms today are producing gobs of lightning, and the slow movement is allowing for very heavy rainfall. There may be a few areas of localized flooding under some of the storms. However, not everyone will see rain today.
General movement of storms today is from the southeast to the northwest. These showers and storms will continue through the afternoon and evening, and some showers will continue through the overnight as well.
While nobody wants to be hit by a tropical storm or hurricane, there is no doubt that these systems do provide some needed assistance. Tropical weather systems can produce moderate to heavy rain events which help ease drought conditions. Of course, we want and look for a good soaking and not too much rain to produce flooding. As the map below shows, South Florida is rated a D3, or extreme drought, so they can really use a good soaking event.
According to projections by HPC, Hydrometeorological Prediction Center, Florida could see on the order to 3 to 5 inches (see map below) over the next five days. As long as that rain does not come down all at once, but is spread out over much of the next 3 to 4 days, it should help to ease the drought conditions currently affecting South Florida.
Tropical Storm Erika has completely fallen apart this morning, the victim of wind shear and the mountainous terrain of the island of Hispaniola.
Reconnaissance into the storm was unable to find evidence of a closed circulation.
The system will continue northwest into the Gulf of Mexico and bring heavy rain to the Florida Peninsula and the Gulf Coast. Regeneration does not look likely.
Let me start off by stating that my confidence in this forecast is not particularly good! Why, you may ask? Well, we’ve got a tropical storm that the models have not been handling well in either intensity or track. Add to that the presence of a weak upper low spinning in the vicinity of Mobile, and you come up with a low confidence factor considering the weak intensity of all of these features. But, we dive into what we’ve got knowing that we’ll probably have to make adjustments down the road – but that’s the nature of meteorology!
A weak upper low was situated above Mobile early this morning, and that weak upper low will be spinning for the next several days as it meanders around the northern Gulf coast and the Lower Mississippi River Valley. It should provide enough lift over Central Alabama to make showers and thunderstorms likely this afternoon and evening. Showers were few and far between this morning, but as the day wears on, I think we’ll see showers become more numerous with increased coverage. Temperatures should stay down somewhat because of the presence of clouds and showers with highs in the middle 80s.
Storm Prediction Center (SPC) is not forecasting any areas of severe weather today with only marginal areas in parts of South and Southwest Florida because of the presence of Erika – or what may be left of Erika.
If you have plans to head to the beaches of Southwest Alabama and Northwest Florida you will have to contend with daily shower chances for the week ahead. Temperatures along the beach from Dauphin Island to Apalachicola will be mainly in the upper 80s with morning lows in the middle 70s. Sea water temperature was running in the lower 80s with 85 being reported at Dauphin Island.
Then there’s Erika. Erika continues to defy forecasters as it moves nearly due west overnight. Erika remained disorganized as it continued to fight a hostile environment with substantial wind shear as well as the problems associated with moving over the rugged terrain of Hispaniola. The present projected track also means that Erika will have to deal with continued interaction with land as it basically moves northwestward right along Cuba. Erika is not presenting much of a wind or surge threat, fortunately, however, Erika presents a big threat in the heavy rainfall it will produce which may trigger landslides in Hispaniola and Cuba. If you can, read the forecast discussion from NHC which is peppered with words like “low confidence” and “difficult to locate.” NHC also did not issue any kind of watch or warning for Florida because of the tremendous uncertainty in the forecast of Erika, but I do expect to see some type of watch or advisory issued later today. Hopefully, an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft will be investigating Erika later this morning and that data will help provide a clearer picture of Erika’s physical condition.
Getting back to the GFS and Central Alabama, moisture levels drop somewhat as seen by precipitable water charts, so the level and coverage of showers should drop back after today and Sunday. It will be difficult if not downright improbable to be able to pick which days have the best chances of rain. The weak upper low will meander around the Lower Mississippi Valley for much of the week ahead plus we’ll have to contend with Erika, where it goes and just how strong it will be. So the forecast for much of the week ahead will include a mention of showers as a possibility nearly every day.
The good news from this scenario is that temperatures should stay mainly in the 80s. We could hit 90 or 91 again but that will depend on just how much cloud cover we have and how many showers develop in the heat of the afternoon.
The forecast uncertainty is not limited to the GFS guidance either. I browsed through a little of the ECMWF output and found that it, too, was having trouble discerning a track for Erika.
I’ll be keeping a close eye on our weather today, so you can check back here for later updates on what the weather holds for us. The next Weather Xtreme Video will be posted here on Sunday morning. Have a great day and Godspeed.
Strong storms over northern Shelby County near Pelham are moving northwest into the southern part of Jefferson County.
The peach colored polygon is a Significant Weather Alert.
They are not severe, but they are causing lots of lightning. The thunder is very loud. Rain is torrential as well, potentially causing some minor flash flooding.
It is affecting the Hoover HS game at the Met right now. Same for the Pelham-Thompson game.
It will take at least half an hour for the storm to move out of the area.