Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Hot Tomorrow, Then Some Rain Chances, Then a Calm and Mild Next Week

Tonight (Low 74): Partly cloudy. Somewhat muggy.

Tomorrow (High 97): Mostly sunny. Very hot and humid.

Friday (High 93, Low 73): Partly cloudy, hot and humid, with widely scattered showers and thunderstorms possible. Rain may become more numerous at night.

Saturday (High 83, Low 69): Widely scattered showers and thunderstorms still possible, mainly in the morning. Becoming partly to mostly sunny in the afternoon and turning mild.

Sunday (High 86, Low 62): Sunny.

Monday (High 88, Low 63): Sunny.

Tuesday (High 90, Low 65): Mostly sunny with a 20% chance of showers/thunderstorms. 

Wednesday (High 89, Low 67): Partly cloudy with a 20% chance of showers/thunderstorms. 

As we get close to 2 PM, we have light rain and mist clearing up over Cullman and a temperature of 72 degrees. That is also the dewpoint, 100% relative humidity. Visibility came down to five miles with that rain shower. Pressure is 1022.94 millibars, or 30.24 inches, and falling slowly at the moment. Winds are from the Northeast at 14 miles per hour. With summer showers and storms, you can get a little bit of a breeze. 

We had quite a bit of wind damage in North Alabama and up through Tennessee, especially Northwest Tennessee, yesterday, with one of those MCS's we get in a certain type of summer pattern. And that rotation that showed up on radar yesterday up in Madison County actually did verify with an F-0 tornado with winds estimated about 80 mph in Monrovia. Did not hear of any serious injuries from either that tornado that spun up (fairly rare for summer unless we get a landfalling hurricane) or the much more common damaging straight-line thunderstorm winds. But a lot of people had to deal with trees and power lines down. And I actually saw where the roof was damaged heavily at a big building in Guntersville, on the top floor there, really scared a lot of people, but fortunately, heard of no injuries there either. 

We probably won't see much more rain the rest of today, if any. We have high pressure in the region and a stalled front out in the Midwest. And our upper-level winds are staying mainly Northwesterly, so it'll bring some showers and storms down this way randomly each day. They usually weaken more than they did yesterday. I actually have an old friend who had some serious damage in Kansas City within roughly the past week, had to vacate a home for a while because of no power. And that's usually where our Mesoscale Convective Systems start, if you watch the radar throughout the day, Missouri or Arkansas. I think yesterday's may have started more in Kentucky and then drifted southward into Tennessee. But I honestly have not kept up with the weather closely enough lately to tell you for sure. I paid attention when my weather radio went off for a Severe Thunderstorm Watch yesterday, when the storms were already approaching the Alabama state line. 

I see that the National Weather Service in Birmingham has issued a Heat Advisory for its counties tomorrow, while Huntsville has opted not to. So I won't bother posting the text of it. Just be aware that in the heat and humidity this time of year, we all have to remind ourselves to be careful sometimes. And it's great how many people have central air conditioning now. When I was a kid, we did not have that, and we usually got the most we could out of regular fans and opening windows, even at night. Sometimes I think with a/c all the time, people forget the common sense stuff. And that's why you have people who end up getting very sick or even dying from the heat, stuff like getting left in a hot car. But just use common sense, and you'll be fine. 

The only soapbox I will get on is that I saw a homeless girl one time stop in a laundromat to buy a big bottle of Mountain Dew with the little money she had, on a really hot day. And that can dehydrate you if you're out in the heat a lot walking around, if you don't balance it out with some plain old water or some juice or something. One grocery store I worked at and spent a lot of time outside pushing buggies, I drank plenty of Coke on my breaks or at lunch. But I also drank a lot of water. This time of year, if you've got a sweet tooth, why not give the ice cream shops or the Dairy Queen some business? But seriously, in the days before air conditioning, people knew to drink enough water. And it's like we've lost knowledge from a lot of the modern conveniences. And with the faster pace of modern life, that's why I'll remind people sometimes: Please don't leave your kid in a hot car, even if it's only for a few minutes, you're going in to grab something. It is too easy for them to get cooked out there. Besides, even if they're being annoying, you'd probably rather than be with you anyway, that's just safer all around. We had an Amber Alert the other night, at some point when I was totally off this blog for a while. The girl was found safe within the hour. But you know, stuff happens like that. And it could easily happen to your family . . . including someone getting a heatstroke because of a lapse in judgement. So I say, use the old-fashioned wisdom, and appreciate the beauty of this time of year. Like even those storms yesterday were a welcome relief to a lot of people after all the heat. A lot of us didn't have any trees down. And that's just part of it. Summer is probably our most boring weather months here. But even this time of year, there are tradeoffs for the kind of weather you like. Would you rather complain about the heat or hailstones and trees down . . . I wouldn't like it if one of trees fell on my house, but in general I love the variety. Loved the rain yesterday and today. 

And I'm not sounding too scientific. So let's get into the scientific side now. 

If we see any more rain today, it should stay isolated on the map, about a 1-in-5 chance of any one spot getting any. High should be about 90, but of course we are humid this time of the year, and had rain earlier. 

Tomorrow probably also stays dry. The model trends in this overall pattern make it look like rain will be scarce, so forecasting mostly sunny conditions with a High near 97, Low in the lower 70's, about 73 or 74. Hot and humid tomorrow, please use your good sense about it. 

That front will get close enough to us on Friday that a 30% chance of rain seems reasonable. Highs should back off to lower 90's with Lows still in lower 70's. 

And the models are actually showing another cold frontal passage Friday night into Saturday. Which I'd normally be skeptical of, but we've seen several this summer that verified. It's been a weird weather pattern at times this summer. So taking that into account, will buy into this model solution. Will maintain a 30% chance of rain, but most of it will probably come in the early parts of the day. We'll come under longwave troughing, and it looks like daytime Highs will cool off by about 10 degrees. The Low should be in the upper 60's, probably not as high as 70. 

Thought about . . . for Friday night into Saturday morning a 40% chance of rain might be more apt. But think in the official forecast up top will default to just blanketing both days with a 30% chance of rain, widely scattered rain and thunderstorms possible. 

Then things look unusually cool for this time of year and also calm weather. Sunday looks like sunny skies with a High in only the mid-80's, Low in the lower 60's. That's some really low humidity weather for late July. Then on Monday, we're looking at upper 80's again but still Lows down in lower 60's probably. Then Tuesday and Wednesday, looks like enough moisture will creep into the region again along with the High pressure to bring isolated rain back, 20% chance, High temperatures climbing back to about 90 and Lows rebounding into at least mid-60's, maybe upper 60's by Wednesday of next week. 

And for anybody who did follow me on Twitter, I'm trying that out again. That platform has survived many buffoonish things, and at least Elon Musk seems open to listening to people and learning from his mistakes sometimes. Someone in my family has one of those Tesla cars, and I could only love it more if if was mine. Social media has gone down the drain over the past several years, but sometimes when one thing goes down the drain, something else takes its place or improves. I hope Daryl Herzmann's accounts with automated weather alerts can survive this era. Because that was a wonderful thing he came up with. I'm wanting to say he's with the University of Iowa, but I can't remember for sure. I knew a lab instructor from Iowa who spoke very highly of him one time. 

If you're headed to the beach, looks like Highs in lower 90's, Lows in upper 70's next couple days. Should have plenty of sunshine, little to no rain. The heat and humidity could get a little much down there too, I see where Gulf Shores has a heat advisory today and tomorrow. Then on Saturday showers and thunderstorms will become likely. Looks like that will continue into Sunday, bringing High temperature down into upper 80's. And then Monday through Wednesday, gradual return to a more typical pattern of partly cloudy skies and the rain being more scattered in nature each day. And with that, Highs will return to 90 or so. But unfortunately the weekend does not look like a great beach trip unless you like storms. And I kind of do like seeing storms at the beach. 

The tropics are pretty well-behaved. We do have Tropical Storm Don, but that's expected to stay well offshore before dissipating on Monday. 

And then there's that weak tropical wave a few hundred miles South of the Cabo Verde Islands. It might do something in the long-term, over about the next week, but for now, is just a bunch of clouds and showers moving Westward at about 20 mph. 

Out in the Pacific, Tropical Storm Calvin has clipped the southern Hawaiian islands. Looks to move due West and then dissipate over water by Friday.

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