Midday Nowcast for Central Alabama: Sunshine for Many, Clouds in the Southeast

While all eyes are focused on now category four Hurricane Delta, the weather across Central Alabama is really nice as we are making the run-up to the 12:00 pm hour. Skies across the northern half and the southwestern quarter of the area are clear with plenty of sunshine, while clouds are over the southeastern quarter of the area blocking out the sun at times. Temperatures as of the 11:00 am official roundup were in the upper 60s to the mid-70s across the area. Eufaula was the cool spot at 68 degrees with cloudy skies. Tuscaloosa is the warm spot at 76 degrees with sunny skies. Birmingham was at 75 degrees with mostly sunny skies.

Skies will continue to stay sunny to mostly clear for three-quarters of Central Alabama through the afternoon and into the early evening hours, but clouds will continue to hang out over the southeastern quarter of the area and a few isolated showers may be possible just south of the I-85 and US-80 corridors. Highs will be in the upper 70s to the mid-80s across the area. Clouds will continue to linger in the southeast while the rest of Central Alabama will have mainly clear skies. Overnight lows will dip into the lower 50s to the mid-60s, with the warmer temperatures occurring under the cloud cover.

Skies will be mostly sunny on Wednesday and temperatures will be warmer. No rain is expected, but we’ll continue to look southward to see when Delta starts the curve to the north and head toward the northern Gulf Coast. Afternoon highs will be in the mid to upper 80s for most.

Hurricane Delta is really outperforming the expectations at the moment has it has reached category 4 strength with maximum sustained winds at 130 MPH and pressure down to 954 MB. I don’t believe we have seen the end to the intensification at this point as well, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the 1:00 pm update from the NHC has it even stronger. Environmental conditions of low vertical wind shear, deep warm waters, and sufficient mid-level moisture are expected to support additional rapid intensification through today, and the only reason that the strengthening could slow is if a difficult-to-predict eyewall replacement cycle begins. The latest SHIPS model continues to show the potential of up to a 30 MPH increase before Delta reaches the Yucatan Peninsula on Wednesday morning, which would make Delta a category 5 hurricane.

There is the potential for heavy rain and flash flooding across portions of the central Gulf Coast, Tennessee Valley, and the southeastern United States as Delta moves inland later this week. Also, there is a likelihood of life-threatening storm surge and dangerous hurricane-force winds, especially along the coasts of Louisiana and Mississippi, beginning on Friday. Residents in these areas should ensure they have their hurricane plan in place and monitor updates to the forecast.

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey has issued a State of Emergency for all of Alabama ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Delta.

We’ll keep you posted on any updates that come out of the NHC, along with our thoughts on what to expect on the impacts to Central Alabama’s weather. Also, we are seeing that several highs schools across the state are moving their scheduled Friday night football games to Thursday night due to the threat of strong winds and heavy rains from Delta. The Southeastern Conference is also monitoring the developing situation and will remain in contact with the member schools in preparation for athletics events for later this week and weekend.

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