Saturday, June 24, 2023

Strong Storms Possible Tomorrow/Tomorrow Night, Then Drying Out and Turning Hot

(Forecast)

Sunday (High 87, Low 67): Partly to mostly cloudy with scattered showers and thunderstorms possible during the day. More widespread rain and storms will become likely by the night hours, and some thunderstorms may reach severe limits. 

Monday (High 89, Low 70): Becoming mostly sunny. An isolated, lingering shower or thunderstorm is possible in the morning. 

Tuesday (High 91, Low 66): Sunny. Hot.

(Extended Outlook)

Wednesday (High 94, Low 65): Mostly sunny.

Thursday (High 96, Low 71): Partly cloudy with a 20% chance of a shower/thunderstorm.

Friday (High 98, Low 73): Partly cloudy with a 20% chance of a shower/thunderstorm.

Saturday (High 97, Low 74): Partly cloudy with a 20% chance of a shower/thunderstorm. 

(Beach Forecast)

Sunday (High 86, Low 77): Mostly sunny. An isolated shower or thunderstorm is possible. 

Monday (High 86, Low 77): Partly to mostly sunny, breezy at times. Widely scattered showers and thunderstorms are possible. 

Tuesday (High 88, Low 79): Partly cloudy and breezy. Widely scattered showers and thunderstorms are possible. 

(Notes)

The latest episode of Wx Insights is about giving people the "all clear" after hazardous weather has passed. 

And I still have not seen an official storm survey for the Owens Cross Roads severe thunderstorm that happened roughly a week ago. I think that probably means that the National Weather Service office in Huntsville staff are taking their time and doing it right, which is something I admire when I see it, especially in the era of instant everything. For anybody needing a follow-up on that, here is a video of the damage from WHNT-19. And to salute them tonight, I think I will refrain from posting a 10-Day-Forecast, even as a joke, because I think they are the only station left in Huntsville that doesn't strike a pose of being able to do that with accuracy. Which is ironic, because I remember a time they were the only station that did try it out in the market. 

Also a salute to Jason Simpson, who replaced Dan Satterfield at that station for a while as their lead meteorologist and now works in Birmingham at WVTM-13, where he replaced Jerry Tracey when he retired. Jason picked up on this heatwave we've got coming sooner than any other source I saw. 

The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency is collaborating with local NWS offices to provide weather safety information in both English and in Spanish. Not to become a total sycophant this evening, but I really applaud this too. The language gap has been acknowledged as a problem at least since the big tornado outbreak of April 2011. Some of the best meteorologists reflected that they could have done better communicating severe weather information to the Hispanic community. And without getting too far into politics (or religion), I do often feel that our culture at this point could use a dose of what Albert Schweitzer called "reverence for life". So anyway, kudos to these folks trying to make some of the right steps. 

(Discussion)





We had a mostly sunny day in the Tennessee Valley with variable winds and a bit of a breeze at times. The High in Cullman was 88 after a morning Low of 64. Jasper got all the way up to 91 after a Low of 61. Decatur had a similar temperature gradient, High of 92, Low of 62. The Huntsville/Madison County Airport saw a High of 90 and Low of 62. The Huntsville International Airport saw a High of 92 and a Low of 66. Fort Payne saw more clouds and haze today and only made it up to 86 degrees after a morning Low of 60. Up across the Tennessee state line, Fayetteville saw a High of 88, after a morning Low of 63. And Winchester had a High of 86 after a morning Low of 61. 

About the only significant, organized rain around here is down in Florida. The frontal boundary has parked itself along the Gulf Coast again, down around Mobile and Pensacola, will not be causing us any more problems. That was such a strange pattern we got in. At first I dismissed it in the model guidance, and thought even if it happened, it would not last but a day or two. And as time went on, I realized it was some of the weirdest weather we've had for early June in about 25 years. Other people, seasoned meteorologists, were saying things like that and describing it as "anomalous". The pattern we're in now, with that High pressure settling in and strong Northwest wind flow at the upper levels of the atmosphere, is far more usual for this time of the year. 



It looks like tomorrow's mesoscale convective system is probably going to happen after all. It was trending that way a couple days ago with the models, and now the idea is coming through clearer. Now who gets that, the strongest storms in our region, and the timing, still hard to nail down in summer time. But this has happened many summers. 


Guidance continues to suggest that most of our rain will come overnight Sunday night into early Monday morning. This could also be when we get the strongest storms, but it is a close call. I'd say tomorrow late afternoon through the night hours are fair game for the storms that may be strong enough to reach severe limits. 



Then we should clear out on Monday. Just real quick, for Sunday, since I managed to skip over this above, I think we'll see a High of about 87, Low of about 67. The rain chance during the day is 40% but will increase to "likely" overnight. Okay, so during the day Monday, the High should climb back to about 89-90, Low near 70 thanks to the moisture overnight. And I think any rain we see Monday will likely come as leftover morning showers or storms. Will only include a 20% chance of rain for Monday. Anything left over, I think will be isolated. 



Tuesday looks like a clear day, plenty of sunshine, and it's going to be hot, seasonably hot, but we haven't had a whole lot of that so far this year, so it may feel rough for some folks. Looking for a High of 90 or so, Low in the mid-to-upper 60's.



And even though we all know, you can technically have a shower or storm any summer day, rain chances remain slim to none for Wednesday, mostly sunny skies, High in lower 90's, Low in the mid-60's. One thing that might make this heat more bearable is lower humidity levels than usual this time of year. It has been kind of a weird, funky summer so far. I am not going to complain about the lower humidity part though. 



But it will not last long. On Thursday that heat ridge/bubble starts to build into the Southeast, and the winds around that High will bring us enough moisture return to make things quite humid, more like you'd expect this time of year. We'll have a minimal chance of an isolated shower or thunderstorm somewhere, maybe a few across the map, but very isolated, typical for summer. And this heat may become hazardous in a hurry. A lot of staying safe in the heat is common sense, but there are some things people forget, such as how quickly a pet, an older person, or even someone's kid can get sick by being left in a hot car. Unfortunately, every year we who pay attention to weather have to hear about cases where people even die from being left in a hot car. Which of course is a tragedy for everyone involved. So John Gordon who helped spin up the NWS Huntsville and now is in charge of the Louisville office has been plugging the phrase: "Beat the heat - check the back seat!" Whether you find that corny or not, please commit it to memory. And if you see anyone trying to leave a loved one, even a pet, in a hot car in this kind of weather, please stop it from happening. I think usually people plan on going in a store and just grabbing one or two things, and then they get distracted, and time gets away from them. But I wish we could see a decline in these sorts of weather-related fatalities. I don't think this is something any of us would do on purpose. Any more than rock 'n rollers wear all-black clothes to their favorite concert outdoors on a hot day and then end up collapsing and having to be taken away in an ambulance. Sometimes when the heat gets that bad, I've actually seen the bands put out statements asking fans to wear lighter clothes and try to cool off. Because they want them to enjoy the show but don't want them to get really bad sick. 

And look, we can all be absent-minded. Tonight as I was making some stew, I noticed an unopened can of salmon as I was stirring what I thought was the finished product. This stew is part of my attempt to regain those washboards abs that I (allegedly) had in the past, rather than accept the tub of lard I find myself carting around these days. Any decent stew needs more than just beans and a few veggies. And I just nearly started eating the thing without any of that delectable, trailer-park fish flavor. 

That would be trivial. I wasn't going to die of malnutrition if I didn't get that salmon flavor in there. But you can die from a heatstroke. And so can someone you forget and leave in a hot car. So please be careful as we get into the middle and latter part of this coming week. Sometimes I hear meteorologists dismissing such advice as common sense, so I'll strike a balance by reminding everyone to please use common sense. And if you see people around you who are not doing that, please try to bring some common sense back to the situation. Hot summers are a fact of life here, but we don't need people cooking in it. Our bodies are used to air-conditioning these days. It isn't like when people used to work in the fields all day and got used to the heat. You have to use good sense and be careful, sometimes keep a check on your neighbors or loved ones. Taking into account the times we live in now. 

So after that soapbox moment, back to the business at hand. Thursday should feature a minimal 20% rain chance, seasonable, but with a High in the mid-90's, could even edge into upper 90's already. I'll consider that carefully when going back and looking at the overall pattern to make this forecast and best temperature estimates day by day.



Either way, the pattern holds on Friday, and here we do expect upper 90's for Highs, Lows rebounding into the lower 70's with more humidity. And this is just going to be getting into the danger zone, with Heat Index values likely to get up to 100 degrees or higher for not only Huntsville, Muscle Shoals, or cities like Birmingham, but for smaller towns/cities in between like Cullman and Decatur. Rain chance staying on the low end, about 20%. 



And then by the end of the forecast period, next Saturday, looks like that upper-level pattern relaxes a little, and while I don't see it improving our rain chances, it might allow the High to cool off just a degree or two. It is still going to be really humid, and we're still looking at a High in the mid-to-upper-90's combined with that strong humidity. So right after all this rain and storms, it looks like we are going straight into some serious heat. 


Now let's take a look at the tropics. 


Tropical Storm Bret dissipated this afternoon as expected, but I still am showing the satellite imagery because I think it looks neat to watch a tropical cyclone fall apart from outer space. 



Tropical Storm Cindy also has a nice satellite presentation but is staying well out over the waters of the Atlantic, moving Northwest. It is a toss-up at this point as to whether it will weaken or regenerate over the next approximately three days. 


Back here at the ranch, the Storm Prediction Center has issued a severe weather outlook for tomorrow's expected Mesoscale Convective System, which will probably start to our North and West tomorrow afternoon and move into our vicinity during the evening/night hours. Notice that we are all in the Level 2 out of 5 basic severe weather risk, while parts of North Central Tennessee up into Kentucky are under an enhanced Level 3 out of 5 risk for severe thunderstorms. And folks on the fringes (over a wide area of the country outlooked for potential impacts from this MCS) get the Level 1 marginal risk. 



The areas most likely to see the really large hail (like they had in Owens Cross Roads recently) are in Western Kentucky, that hatched risk clipping parts of Northern Tennessee and Southern Indiana as well. And there is another wide area of Arkansas outlooked for that level of hail risk. Most of us are more likely to see coin-sized (rather than ball-sized) hail in any thunderstorms that are severe and sustain themselves at severe limits by the time they move down here. But that is still worth respecting. We also only have the basic 15% risk for damaging winds in thunderstorms, as opposed to the enhanced 30% they have further North up into Kentucky. But any severe weather risk is worth respecting to a reasonable degree, even in the summer months. 


If we do see a tornado threat, it'll probably be focused mainly up in the Ohio River Valley, where some turning of the winds with height is more possible, and you can see an area further into Tennessee back into Arkansas, clipping Northern Mississippi, is outlined for a minimal 2% tornado risk. Even in these areas, the threat of a tornado happening is low. We rarely see tornadoes around here (Tennessee River Valley) in the summertime unless we have a hurricane moving inland. 


Having said that, we do have a risk for thunderstorms to become severe further to our North and West tomorrow before they move in here, probably during the evening and night hours. Wherever those storms hit, they may still pack a punch. They will be capable of producing damaging wind gusts and/or large hail. These can be a threat to life and property. 

If you live in a mobile home, this is not like a tornado day in the spring time where I'd tell you that you definitely have to get out if a tornado is coming. But if you have the option, it might be a good idea to go stay with someone you trust who has a sturdier house before these storms tomorrow get into your county (if they are going to . . . distribution of these stronger storms will probably be random, usually is with these setups). And just try to follow the basic idea of being away from windows or anything electrical as any of the stronger storms are moving through. Ideally if you are under a Severe Thunderstorm Warning, you need to be in a small interior room (or hallway) on the lowest floor of a fairly sturdy house. Usually these kinds of winds and hail only do minor damage, like to trees and power lines. Which can still be a big deal, like a tree falling on someone's home or on a car with someone inside. But as we saw in Owens Cross Roads recently, sometimes you get a rogue storm that overperforms. Which it sounds like that storm did with wind as well as with the size of the hail. And there was actual structural damage. So to be on the safe side, if you can, I'd be in a sturdy house (rather than a mobile home) before the storms get to you tomorrow. And wherever you shelter, even if you are out eating somewhere or in a church building, the basic idea is to get as toward the center as you can, away from any windows, and down as low as you can, where any wind damage would affect you the least. 

And not everybody is going to get severe thunderstorms tomorrow. I usually am not going to make a big deal out of summer storms, but this looks like it could get somewhat organized, typical MCS look, and we did have a bad episode around here lately - actually several of them recently over a wide chunk of the region - but that storm that hit Owens Cross Roads really got my attention, like I feel for those folks. 


And we might get about an inch of average rainfall totals for this forecast period. A few spots may see closer to 1.5 inches. These maps are less reliable in the summer around here, because of the scattered/random nature of rain and storms (even with a more organized storm system like tomorrow's, sometimes the weather will be tearing loose in two or three counties and then everywhere around that localized stormy area, the weather is calm, not even any rain falling). But it gives you some idea. 

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