Radar at 12:15 pm shows a good bit of scattered showers and thunderstorms spread out across a large part of Central Alabama. Strongest storms are currently over parts of Shelby County and over parts of Talladega and Coosa counties. Those storms are producing very heavy rainfall, dangerous cloud-to-ground lightning, and gusty winds up to and over 40 MPH. These storms are drifting ever so slowly to the southeast. If you are in close proximity to these storms, go ahead and seek shelter indoors.
With any thunderstorm today, if you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the parent thunderstorm to be struck by lightning. A bolt of lightning can travel up to and sometimes more than 10 miles away from the parent cell. A perfect example is pictured above with the storm currently just to the northwest of Ashland. There are three cloud-to-ground lightning strikes away and in front of the parent storm that is over three miles away. When thunder roars, go indoors.
SHOWER & T-STORM CHANCES REMAIN THROUGH THE REST OF THE DAY
A stalled boundary will be the focal point for an increased risk of scattered showers and thunderstorms across much of Central Alabama for the remainder of the afternoon and into the evening hours. The highest rain chances will be along and south of the I-59 corridor down to the I-85 corridor, while the rest of the area will have a slightly lower chance of isolated to scattered showers and storms. Afternoon highs will be in the lower to mid-90s. Rain chances will range from 20% to 60% during the day. Much of the activity will die off after the sun goes down but some showers and storm may linger into the late night and overnight hours mainly in the southeastern parts of the area. Lows will be in the mid-60s to the lower 70s across the area.
SCATTERED SHOWERS & STORMS REMAIN POSSIBLE THROUGH THE WEEKEND
Not much change at this point for Friday through Sunday as we’ll continue with an active pattern across Central Alabama. Isolated to scattered showers and storms will be possible on Friday with chances ranging from 30%-40% from northwest to southeast. Highs will be in the upper 80s to the lower 90s. Rain chances will stay higher across Central Alabama on Saturday as the entire area will have a 40%-50% chance of mainly afternoon scattered showers and thunderstorms. Highs will be in the upper 80s to the lower 90s. Much of the same for Sunday as the odds of scattered showers and thunderstorms will be greater during the afternoon hours. Those rain chances top out in the 40%-50% range across the area with highs reaching the upper 80s to the lower 90s.
TAKING A LOOK AT THE TROPICS
The disturbance which used to be called Invest 95L is located over Cuba and the Bahamas will move northwest then northward bringing heavy rain and some gusty winds to the Greater Antilles, the Bahamas, and parts of the Florida Peninsula over the next few days. Conditions may become marginally conducive for development over the weekend as the system curves back out to the northeast and away from the US mainland, but the NHC is only giving it a 10% chance of developing into a depression within the next five days.
Invest 96L is currently located about 1,000 miles west-southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands over the eastern Atlantic Ocean. Some slow development is possible over the next couple of days as it moves to the west-northwest at 10-15 MPH. Conditions become more favorable for development over the weekend and a depression is likely to form well east of the Lesser Antilles. NHC has a 70% chance of tropical depression development within the next five days. Most of the models have this one curving back to the north and northeast well before reaching the US mainland.
Another tropical wave has moved off the African coast just behind Invest 96L and will need to be watched.