Thursday, July 6, 2023

Pretty Typical Summer Pattern Continues, Rain Chances Increase Some This Weekend


Friday (High 89, Low 72): Partly cloudy. Widely scattered showers and thunderstorms are possible. 

Saturday (High 88, Low 70): Partly to mostly cloudy. Scattered thunderstorms are possible. 

Sunday (High 86, Low 69): Partly to mostly cloudy. Numerous rounds of thunderstorms are possible, and some could be strong. 

(Extended Outlook)

Monday (High 87, Low 68): Partly cloudy with a 40% chance of showers/thunderstorms. 

Tuesday (High 88, Low 66): Partly cloudy with a 20% chance of showers/thunderstorms. 

Wednesday (High 89, Low 67): Partly cloudy with a 30% chance of showers/thunderstorms. 

Thursday (High 90, Low 69): Partly cloudy with a 30% chance of showers/thunderstorms. 

(Tea Leaves Territory)

Friday July 14th (High 91, Low 69): Partly cloudy with a 20% chance of showers/thunderstorms. 

Saturday July 15th (High 90, Low 70): Partly cloudy with a 30% chance of showers/thunderstorms. 

Sunday July 16th (High 89, Low 72): Partly cloudy with a 30% chance of showers/thunderstorms. 

(Beach Forecast)

Friday (High 91, Low 74): Partly cloudy. Scattered showers and thunderstorms are possible. 

Saturday (High 91, Low 77): Partly cloudy, hot and humid. Scattered showers and thunderstorms are possible. 

Sunday (High 91, Low 79): Partly to mostly cloudy and breezy. Numerous rounds of showers and thunderstorms are possible. 


So we've had a fairly typical summer day with a mix of sun and clouds and then some showers and thunderstorms this afternoon. Seen some isolated stronger storms at times, but overall no big deal. As someone whose air conditioning went out twice today, it is fresh in my mind just how refreshing this summer rain can be. 

You can see towering cumulus and cumulonimbus clouds on the visible satellite imagery. And there has been quite bit of lightning with these storms today, which is typical for summer time. We had a weird start to summer, but now the pattern is more what we'd expect this time of year. 

We have weak ridging aloft influencing the region, and our winds aloft are from the Northwest. We have a cold front draped across Memphis and stretching back into Texas, up through the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes region. 

Locally we had a High of only 86 in Cullman today, before the rain cooled things down, Low this morning of 72. Jasper saw a High of 91 and Low of 72. Looks like Haleyville had a High of 88, Low of 72, quite a bit of rain there this afternoon and evening. 

Up in Decatur, they had a High of 91 and Low of 73. Huntsville also saw a High of 91 and Low of 73. Fort Payne saw a High of 90 after a morning Low of 69. Muscle Shoals got all the way up to 93 after a Low of 75. Gadsden had a High of 90 and Low of 70. Then across the Tennessee border, Fayetteville had a High of 90 today and probably a low near 75, but the time stamps for the day start around 8 AM, so it may have been a couple degrees cooler than that earlier in the morning, but the report is not showing up for that station. And Winchester's observations are not showing up at all. 

Elsewhere around the region, Birmingham had a High of 93 and Low of 75. Atlanta had a High of 92 and Low of 73. Nashville had a High of 93 and Low of 75. Memphis had a High of 91 and a Low of 73. And Tupelo saw a High of 90 after a morning Low of 73. 

Tomorrow we should see widely scattered rain and thunderstorms, a mix of sun and clouds, High of about 88-89, Low near 72 again. Just going with persistence since that seems to be the magic number lately for overnight Lows around here. Chance of rain about 30% tomorrow, so a 3 in 10 shot of any one spot getting one of these showers or thunderstorms. 

In this pattern, most our rain is coming from the Northwest, and especially over the weekend, as we get into Saturday, we'll have to watch any Mesoscale Convective Systems that form in other states and try to sustain as they drift down there, can produce some strong winds and hail. Even the random summer storms that pop up can produce wet microbursts this time of year. Usually the most those do is damage some trees and power lines, but it's still good to use common sense about the weather, any time of the year. Summer months people are more likely to get struck by lightning out golfing or on a boat, if people do get in trouble from anything besides staying out in the heat. Once in a while you'll hear about a tree falling on someone in a stronger storm though, had that happen lately in Georgia. 

Saturday looks like it'll feature about a 40% chance of rain and thunderstorms, which is still fairly scattered. Even if we do get an MCS, not everybody gets hit by it. The High should be about 88 and the Low closer to 70. 

And the models have been persistent in showing an increase in rain chances for Sunday, so will bump up the rain chance to 50% then. Showers and thunderstorms may be more numerous. Still doubt everywhere on the map sees rain. This is another day we'll have to watch out in Arkansas and Missouri to see if an MCS is headed our way and can sustain with severe-level winds and/or hail by the time it gets to us. Probably looking for a High closer to the mid-80's and a Low in the upper 60's because of more rainfall. 

Global models actually suggesting a cold front passage on Monday, but always skeptical of that this time of year. The basic idea may be right, like it might get as far South as somewhere close to Birmingham and then start to wash out. But a clean frontal passage probably isn't going to happen, even in a wacky summer like this one started out as. I actually saw where a post office worker died from the heat in Texas lately, and the post office started sending mail carriers out an hour earlier, so they could miss some of the hottest parts of the day. There have been times the heat has been brutal there lately. But right now it looks like any extra heat/humidity is confined to the Southwest part of the state, around towns like Odessa or thereabouts. Looking at these maps, can't miss that upper-level High moving into their area again on Monday. But around here, will cut the rain chance back down to 40%, expecting the High to edge back into the upper 80's with a Low in the upper 60's again. 

Now on Tuesday the models want to dry us out, but I think this is overdone, because this is showing a clean frontal passage, which almost never happens this time of year around here. Will decrease rain chance to 30% though (maybe to 20%, depending on how seriously I decide to take this guidance versus climatology/common sense in the end) and forecast a High in upper 80's, Low more toward mid-60's with less moisture in the air overnight, better cooling. 

Even the overconfident numerical forecast models (they just can't handle summer convection around here) admit that we could have at least isolated rain on Wednesday. And of course I'll put that in the forecast, might bump up rain chance just a notch from Tuesday's. High in upper 80's, Low in upper 60's . . . could even see a High of 90 depending on timing of the rain and if we are one of the spots that gets any rain. After a certain point nitpicking over summer weather is a lost cause, never going to get every detail right in this part of the world. 

Then next Thursday, we are definitely back to about a 30-40% chance of rain, High near 90, Low approaching 70. 

Looking out into the land of tea leaves, Days 8 through 10, looks like next weekend, we'll have a longwave trough over the Ohio Valley and a strong heat bubble West of the Rockies. Our wind flow locally will bring moisture in from the Southwest, so mainly from the Gulf of Mexico. And the effect will be basically the same kind of weather, chance for scattered showers and storms each day, but a good bit of sunshine too, mix of sun and clouds, not everybody gets rain, High near 90 or so, Low hovering somewhere around 70. 

While the tropics are mostly quiet, looking to the Eastern Pacific, there is a broad area of low pressure a few hundred miles South of the Southwestern Mexican coast, producing showers and thunderstorms, but nothing very organized. It is moving West/Northwest, so away from Mexico, but is likely to develop into a tropical cyclone, probably just a tropical depression, over this weekend. And then we'll see what happens to it next week if so. 

There is another area of slight concern that is not outlined on the map above. Model guidance shows where another broad area of low pressure could form due South of the Southern coast of Mexico early next week. If it does, it could also gradually develop as it moves West/Northwest. But that's getting pretty speculative. 

Average rainfall totals over about the next week could get up to 2 or 3 inches this time. 

And I'm not doing any more social media at the moment, since Elon Musk finally managed to make Twitter FUBAR on one of his petty power trips. It's not like I get paid for this anyway. And I haven't figured out how to make YouTube videos with current tech limitations. That's about the only social media I can stand anymore. 

On a much more personal note, I lost a cat this past Monday who answers to the name of Elsa. She was last seen somewhere in the vicinity of the Cullman post office and apartments near there. The lady who asked me to take care of her and adopt her told me to keep her inside for about a month, which I did, and then got fussed at for not letting her out enough after that. Her outings sometimes lasted more than eight hours. And then she'd finally come back around the time I'd given up hope of seeing her again. Sometimes that was close to midnight. This past Monday morning, she ran out right after a thunderstorm had cleared up, and . . . that's the last I ever saw of her. So if anybody happens to see this cat, unfortunately she doesn't even have a collar (I was working on that part . . . mainly just trying to get her to feel comfortable in a new home, since she'd already lived in two different homes since she got dumped off around here . . . but was about to buy her a collar and even a leash, because I worried about her staying gone so long . . . although I was told "that's just how she does, it's fine"), but please get in touch with me if you do see her. Most likely she got run over while wandering in the road somewhere, or there would have been some sign of her by now. I had a cat named Binx who died last summer of a neurological problem, and I was really hoping to hang on to this girl a while, since she was young, and give her a good, long life. But you know what they say about the best-laid plans of mice and men. Apparently it goes for the critters who hunt down mice and melt the hearts of men too. If anybody does see her, send me an e-mail or leave me a comment or something. Some foolish part of me still hopes she will be found alive. Even though the realistic part knows that's about as likely as a clean passage of a cold front here in July. Or if some kind soul has already taken her in, if she just got scared from the knuckleheads who shot off fireworks a day early and wandered too far, then . . . take good care of my . . . baby . . . as the old song says. 

As a footnote, I did see where the Storm Prediction Center has a sliver of our area outlooked for a marginal severe weather risk on Saturday, but I'm usually not going to post their outlooks in the summer months, unless things really look unusually organized and significant. If you want to nitpick over the details of how strong summer storms might get, you can go to their site yourself. It is in the links section on the left-hand side of the main webpage here, if you don't already know how to get there. Sometime between Saturday and Monday, we may get a Mesoscale Convective System. If you're into weather, you know what that means, and have the right general idea. If not, then don't worry about it. Summer storms can randomly reach severe limits at times. They are not as worrisome as tornado weather, but if you live in a mobile home and/or have trees around your house, then you might have a plan for how to stay safe if you see a really bad storm coming. Most of the time, with summer storms, as long as you stay inside, and don't use anything lightning could run in on until the thunderstorm passes, you'll be just fine. Sometimes I get tired of everything having to sound like super-danger in the media. There are enough real, tangible things that are legitimately worrisome. So there is no need for hype. If you've lived through a tornado season around here and had to take shelter, then you can take good-enough shelter from even the worst summer storms, if you need to. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi Matt. May I suggest putting one of your shirts outside—the more stinky, sweaty and “you smelling” as you have. I’ve heard people say to put a used litter box out—both things to give Elsa a scent trail home. Please check with the Cullman pound. Since they don’t usually seem to pick up cats, you wouldn’t think she was there. But check anyway. Best of luck and May she return safely.


July Heat Returns Shortly . . .

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