Skies are partly cloudy across much of Central Alabama as we are making the run-up to the midday hour and we already have some spotty showers forming west of the I-65 corridor in the southern half of the area. This satellite view also shows Tropical Storm Hanna making her approach to the Texas Gulf Coast as she is expected to make landfall on Saturday.
Temperatures across Central Alabama as of the 11:00 am Round-Up were in the lower to mid-80s. Tuscaloosa was the warm spot at 85 degrees. Birmingham was at 82 degrees. Five locations were tied as the cool spots at 80 degrees.
Not much change in the forecast for today as scattered to numerous showers and thunderstorms will form with the heating of the day with most of the activity being over the western and southwestern parts of the area. Afternoon highs will be a little cooler only making it into the lower 90s across the area, but with the added humidity from the influx of tropical moisture, heat indices will still top out in the 100-105 degree range. Some showers and storms will linger into the evening hours, but we should dry out by the late night and overnight hours as skies will become partly cloudy. Lows will be in the lower to mid-70s.
There must be some scratches on this forecast record as it seems that Saturday’s forecast looks to be nearly identical to what we expect for today. We’ll have a decent amount of sunshine to start, then clouds will build and scattered to numerous showers and thunderstorms will form as early as the late morning hours and continue through the afternoon and into the late evening. Afternoon highs will be in the lower 90s with heat indices right back up in the 100-105 degree range.
Tropical Storm Hanna continues to show a little strengthening as she heads west-northwestward toward the southern Texas coastline. The maximum sustained winds are at 45 MPH. The center is expected to move onshore Saturday evening as Hanna is still expected to be at tropical storm strength. The main story will be heavy rains across portions of southern Texas which could result in flash flooding and isolated minor to moderate river flooding.
Tropical Storm Gonzal is having trouble maintaining consistent strength at this point as maximum sustained winds have fallen to 50 MPH. He continues to move westward toward the southern Winward Islands. At this point, it now looks like Gonzalo may not become a hurricane and could potentially dissipate within the next 3-4 days. Gonzalo is expected to produce heavy rain over portions of the southern Windward Islands. This could lead to life-threatening flash flooding.
We also have a tropical wave located about 300 miles southeast of the Cabo Verde Islands is producing an area of cloudiness and disorganized thunderstorms. The disturbance is expected to move westward across the tropical Atlantic during the next several days, and some gradual development of this system is possible by early next week when it reaches the western tropical Atlantic.