Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Mini Heat Wave Into Weekend, More Seasonable Weather By Fourth of July

Today (High 93): Sunny. 

Thursday (High 97, Low 69): Partly cloudy with an isolated thunderstorm possible. Very hot and humid.

Friday (High 100, Low 74): Partly cloudy with an isolated thunderstorm possible. Very hot and humid - heat will be dangerous.

Saturday (High 98, Low 73): Partly cloudy with an isolated thunderstorm possible. Very hot and humid.

Sunday (High 94, Low 73): Partly cloudy with a 30% chance of showers/thunderstorms.

Monday (High 92, Low 72): Partly cloudy with a 30% chance of showers/thunderstorms.

Independence Day (High 89, Low 70): Partly cloudy with a 40% chance of showers/thunderstorms.

Wednesday (High 90, Low 70): Partly cloudy with a 30% chance of showers/thunderstorms. 

At 7 AM, the latest observations from Folsom Field in Cullman show clear, sunny skies, with perfectly visibility of 10 miles. The temperature is 64 degrees. The dewpoint is also 64 degrees, making the relative humidity 100%. And we did have a little bit of fog earlier, in the wee hours. Winds are calm. When there has been any wind this morning, it was light from the Northeast. Barometric pressure is 30.02 inches, or 1016.6 millibars, and rising slowly. Our Low this morning was 63. 

Jasper has clear skies at this hour, but the visibility is still down at 8 miles. They've had a bit more fog and mist hanging around this morning. They too have a temperature and dewpoint of 64 degrees, relative humidity of 100%. When they've had any wind this morning, it was light from the East. Barometric pressure is 30 inches of mercury exactly, which translates to 1017 millibars, and rising slowly. 

We also have sunny skies in Haleyville, but the fog and mist have the visibility cut down to 6 miles, so hopefully people driving in to work for earlier shifts have adjusted for that. I used to hate driving while it was still dark to a Wal-Mart more than 30 minutes away, on those foggy morning. Just had to use the low-beam headlights, take it slow, and listen to some good music. The temperature and dewpoint in Haleyville are 62 degrees, 100% relative humidity. Winds are calm, but earlier in the morning, there were times they were from the North or Northwest, in the 5-10 mph range. Barometric pressure is 1015 millibars, or 30.02 inches, and rising slowly. My conversions on the Cullman and Jasper observations may be off for the millibars, but that report from Haleyville officially lists it in both inches and millibars. I'm trying to get more used to millibars again as I try to study meteorology seriously by doing this and by rereading some stuff. It will be a slow process, but I'm keeping it in mind. The Low in Haleyville was the current temperature of 62. I forgot Jasper's Low, but will add it in now. Jasper got all the way down to 61 degrees today. This is some remarkably dry air overall for summer, which allows for great radiational cooling at night. I know the humidity is high right now, but throughout the day yesterday, if you look at the observations, there were times the relative humidity was down in the 30-40% range, which is great for summer if you don't like it muggy. 

It is about to turn really hot and muggy though, and I don't mean just enough to be uncomfortable. I mean for a few days here, people could get very sick, or even get to the point of heatstroke (which can be deadly), if they do not use good sense. Or if somebody happens to be reading this who does not have a permanent home, seriously, please be careful from tomorrow through Saturday. It will probably ease off starting Sunday, but the heat in the afternoons will become dangerous to stay out in too long. So I've known some homeless people from time to time, and had some brushes with it myself, and I just want to say: Please take some breaks inside, whatever you have to do, and try to drink water more than cold drinks. I know sometimes nothing tastes better on a hot summer day than an ice-cold Coke or Dr. Pepper or something with some flavor, but this is the kind of heat where people need to refresh themselves with plain old water, or something more like old-fashioned lemonade. If you know somebody who does not have good access to air conditioning, especially if they're older, or got something wrong with 'em, maybe see if you can help them out. And of course, pets don't need to be out in this heat, not during all the hottest parts of the day. 

And I'm in great shape with all that. When I was a kid, lots of times we didn't have air conditioning, because it was too expensive to run. These days I've got the best air conditioning I could ask for. But I remember those summers where even at night, sometimes we'd open windows and turn on fans just to cool off. At night, it's more a matter of comfort. And usually the heat is not all that dangerous here, except when people get left in cars. If you've lived around here a while, then our usual summer heat is probably not going to make you sick, much less threaten your life. Because you know how to deal with it. But this heat is going to be closer to how they've been sweltering out in Texas lately. So please use some caution and common sense, and try to share that with the people around you. It looks like our "heat wave" will be a miniature one and be over after just about three days. But during those three days, we weather folks kind of hate to hear about anybody getting cooked. Just like we'd rather not have to hear about people being blown away in a tornado in the spring-time, or here in one of our recent damaging-wind events, a person in Georgia was killed when a tree fell on him (or her) outdoors. We hate to hear about that kind of stuff. So if you like reading this blog, please take good care of yourself and the people you know, while the heat really is going to reach dangerous levels. 

The National Weather Service has put us under an Excessive Heat Warning in advance of it. 

As you'd expect, rain is going to be scarce around here for a while. That frontal boundary is weak and without much moisture. Our upper-level winds have been from the Northwest lately, which often can bring us storms and showers from the Midwest in the summer months. But for right now, our main weather maker is going to be that "heat bubble", strong Low pressure system at the upper levels of the atmosphere, that is currently centered over Texas. 

We'll stay sunny around here today and have a High near 93 degrees. 

By the way, if you paid attention to previous forecast discussions, that idea of a Mesoscale Convective System dropping through today or tonight has completely disappeared. It was just a wild goose chase the models went on, both the GFS and the NAM. The ECMWF did not show it on any of the runs I looked at. We are staying dry around here. 

As that heat bubble progresses across the Sabine Valley and the Ark-LA-Tex juncture tomorrow, the temperature will jump a bit, expecting a High more like 96-98 range tomorrow afternoon, and combined with the humidity, this heat will be hazardous, as mentioned above. The Low overnight will probably be in the upper 60's. And we'll have a 20% chance of a passing shower or thunderstorm tomorrow. One thing about it, if you were to be in that small percentage of people who got a storm with this kind of heat and humidity, it could be a stronger storm with a lot of lightning, but could also dump a lot of rain in a short time, maybe even produce strong winds and/or hail. And of course hail cools the air off in a hurry. But don't count on that happening. The chance of even a brief shower is only 20% or 1-in-5 for any given point around here. 

Friday still looks like our hottest day of this mini heat wave. Will forecast a High near 100, Low in the lower 70's, rain chance only 20% again. 

The pattern will start to relax a little on Saturday, where we are under more of a ridge without the pronounced "heat bubble" showing up on the upper-air analysis. Going to keep the rain chance at 20%, High in upper 90's, Low in the lower 70's. 

Then on Sunday, the pattern really changes, with our upper-level wind flow more from the Southwest. And there will be a weak front out West. So we'll get a few more showers and storms from that pattern change, also Highs relaxing to lower 90's and Lows relaxing back down to the lower 70's. Rain chance still only about 30%. 

Basically the same thing for Monday, widely scattered showers and thunderstorms, typical summer rain, 30% chance for any one spot, High near 90, Low near 70. So by Monday it looks like things will be more typical for this time of the year. 

Looks like a weak front may wash out in our region on Tuesday, which is the 4th of July, so will increase rain chance to 40% then, High in the upper 80's, Low still roughly around 70. 

By the way, if you are headed down to Gulf Shores for this holiday weekend, looks like mostly sunny skies with Highs near 90, Lows in upper 70's through Sunday. Starting Sunday the rain chances will increase a little bit, but rain should be isolated on Sunday, and Monday and Tuesday, still pretty well scattered. And that's just typical summer rain down at the beach. Rain chance for 4th of July up here and down at the beach is about the same. Could see scattered, passing showers and thunderstorms, but overall, a mix of sun and clouds. Temperatures today and tomorrow down at Gulf Shores could be in the lower 90's, but after that, all through the weekend into the holiday, High near 90, Low in upper 70's. 

And for next Wednesday, going to trim the rain chance here back to 30%. High expected near 90, Low near 70. 

The remnants of Tropical Storm Cindy are unlikely to redevelop as they continue to move West-Northwest. The upper-level winds are strong where those are located, about 400 miles S/SW of Bermuda. Now about 400 miles S/SE of the island, there is another area of disturbed weather, where the upper-level winds are weaker and may allow for some slow development as this other system drifts Northward over about the next week. Even there, the chance of it becoming a tropical cyclone are low. 

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