As of 12:15 pm, we are dry across Central Alabama, but there is one stray shower that has popped up just northeast of Fort Payne. Skies are mainly clear across the area and temperatures are hot. We are up to the mid to upper 90s across the are for the most part, but Haleyville and Cullman are still in the lower 90s, currently at 93 degrees. Birmingham was at 97 degrees. Tuscaloosa was the hot spot at 97 degrees, but we did just get a note on NWS Chat that NWS Birmingham just topped out at 98 degrees at the Shelby County Airport.
For this afternoon and into the early evening hours, most of Central Alabama has drier air in the mid-levels of the atmosphere that will keep much of the area dry and hot, while a few locations north of a line from Tuscaloosa to Jemison to Alexander City will have a very small risk of an isolated shower or thunderstorm. Skies will be mostly sunny with afternoon highs in the upper 90s to just over 100 degrees across the area.
Later this evening, an easterly flow will bring in more moisture especially across the northeastern quarter of the area. There will be a chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms across that part of the area with temperatures in the upper 80s to the lower 90s at 6:00 PM. The coverage of those showers and storms will decrease throughout the evening and into the late-night hours, but a few stray showers may linger in the northeast. Temperatures will be in the upper 70s to the lower 80s at 10:00 PM. All shower activity should be gone by midnight and lows will drop into the upper 60s to the lower 70s.
A combination of a weakening ridge and an easterly flow will allow for more moisture to flow into Central Alabama on Saturday. This will bring a slight increase into our risk for isolated to scattered afternoon and early evening showers and thunderstorms. Skies will be partly cloudy and highs will be in the lower to mid-90s. A few showers may linger around through the late evening and into the late-night hours, but all activity should have diminished by midnight. Lows will be in the upper 60s to the lower 70s. Rain chances will range from 20% to 40% from southwest to northeast.
POTENTIAL TROPICAL CYCLONE NINE
As of the 10:00 am update, PTC-9 continues to crawl to the northwest at 1 MPH with winds at 30 MPH. Hurricane Hunter aircraft are flying through the disturbance today and we’ll know at 2:00 pm if we have a depression or Tropical Storm Humberto on our hands. The forecast track from the National Hurricane Center shows the center of PTC-9 moving toward the east coast of Florida then curving back around to the north and eventually to the east away from the US mainland. Tropical-storm-force winds and heavy rainfall can be expected later today and Saturday over the northwest Bahamas, then over the east coast of Florida over the weekend. There is the potential for some scattered flash flooding on the Southeastern Atlantic Coast as PTC-9 could dump as much as 4.00 inches of rain through Monday night. The only effects that we could see in Central Alabama are subsidence causing any rain chances to drop and bring in a northerly wind with drier air.
THE REST OF THE TROPICS
A tropical wave is located at the midpoint between the Cabo Verde Islands and the Lesser Antilles (orange X) and will be moving into an atmosphere that will allow for some development in a few days. A tropical depression could form by early next week. We’ll have to watch this one as it continues on a similar path as the last few systems.
Another tropical wave is located well off to the south-southeast of the Cabo Verde Islands (yellow X) and is expected to slowly develop. Just way too early to know the amount of development that will occur or the eventual forecast track.