Nice at Midday; Delta Headed in Our Direction for the Weekend

THE TOP STORY: TROPICAL STORM DELTA

Delta continues to show better organization over the morning hours and the NHC has decided to raise the maximum sustained winds up to 45 MPH. The current motion is to the west at 7 MPH but is expected to resume the west-northwestward motion later today. The center is currently located around 265 miles southeast of the Grand Cayman Islands.

Delta’s current forecast track has the center traversing over the very warm waters of the northwestern Caribbean Sea while moving into an environment with very low wind shear over the next couple of days. Rapid intensification is expected from now through the next 60 hours while in that conducive environment, potentially allowing Delta to reach strong category two status with forecast sustained winds reaching 105 MPH, just short of major hurricane strength. After that, some weakening may occur after that due to increasing southwesterly wind shear from a developing mid to upper-level trough and cooler waters near the coast but not expecting a major drop in strength before making landfall.

The latest SHIPS model run does give Delta approximately a 60% chance of becoming a hurricane within the next 24 hours, and slightly higher than a 60% chance of becoming a major hurricane within 72 hours.

Residents along the Gulf Coast from Louisiana to Northwest Florida and inland in the deep south as Tropical Storm Delta is expected to intensify into at least a strong category two hurricane before reaching the shoreline. While there is large uncertainty in the track and intensity forecasts at this time, there is an increasing risk of dangerous storm surge, wind, and rainfall hazards along the coast. Hurricane, tropical storm and storm surge watches may be issued along the northern Gulf Coast as early as Wednesday morning.


WILL DELTA EVENTUALLY AFFECT CENTRAL ALABAMA?

The answer to that question with the current forecast trackā€¦ yes. If the forecast does not change all that much, there is the potential that we could see as much as 3 to 6 inches of rainfall mainly from late Thursday through Saturday. While we could see some flash flooding issues from these heavier tropical showers, the good news is that this system will be more of a quick mover and the heavier bands won’t sit over a certain area as long as we are used to seeing in slower-moving systems.

We could also see strong winds at times from Friday evening through Saturday as the center will be traversing through the southern and southeastern parts of Mississippi and eventually moving into western and northwestern parts of Alabama. As we’ll be on the more active side of the center, we could see one or two brief spin-up tornadoes during that same time frame. Once again, this could and probably will change with any shift in the forecast track, so stay informed and check back often.


NO PROBLEMS WITH TODAY’S WEATHER

As we have reached 11:00 am in Central Alabama, skies are sunny across the area and it feels really nice outside. If you are able, spend your lunch break outdoors and enjoy this weather today, as tomorrow and Wednesday will be warmer, and Thursday and Friday may be wet at times. Temperatures as of 11:00 am are in the mid-60s to the lower 70s. Montgomery and Troy were the warm spots at 73 degrees. The cool spot was Haleyville at 64 degrees. Birmingham was at 70 degrees.

Skies will remain mostly sunny throughout the afternoon and into the early evening hours. We’ll remain dry with lower humidity levels, allowing for today to feel really nice outdoors. Highs will range across Central Alabama from the lower 70s in the northwest to the lower 80s in the southeast. Skies will remain mostly clear during the late-night and overnight hours. Lows will be in the upper 40s to the lower 60s across the area from northwest to southeast.


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