Thursday, June 13, 2024

Summer Heat Arrives

FORECAST:

Friday (High 92, Low 65): Patchy fog possible in the morning. Otherwise sunny and seasonably hot. 

Saturday (High 95, Low 69): Sunny. Hot.

Sunday (High 94, Low 71): Mostly sunny. Hot and humid. 

EXTENDED OUTLOOK:

Monday (High 93, Low 72): Partly cloudy with a 20% chance of showers/thunderstorms. 

Tuesday (High 93, Low 73): Mostly sunny with a 20% chance of a shower/thunderstorm.

Wednesday (High 91, Low 72): Partly cloudy with a 20% chance of showers/thunderstorms. 

Thursday (High 90, Low 70): Partly cloudy with a 20% chance of showers/thunderstorms. 

READING TEA LEAVES:

Friday June 21 (High 92, Low 71): Partly cloudy with a 20% chance of showers/thunderstorms. 

Saturday June 22 (High 93, Low 72): Partly cloudy with a 20% chance of showers/thunderstorms.

Sunday June 23 (High 92, Low 72): Partly cloudy with a 20% chance of showers/thunderstorms. 

BEACH FORECAST:

Friday (High 89, Low 77): Sunny. 

Saturday (High 90, Low 79): Sunny.

Sunday (High 87, Low 80): Partly cloudy with a 30% chance of widely scattered showers and thunderstorms. 

Next Week (Highs in upper 80's, Lows in upper 70's): Partly cloudy with a 40% chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms. 

PRONÓSTICO:

Viernes (Máxima 92, Mínima 65): Posible niebla irregular en la mañana. Por lo demás soleado y estacionalmente caluroso.

Sábado (Máxima 95, Mínima 69): Soleado. Caliente.

Domingo (Máxima 94, Mínima 71): Mayormente soleado. Caliente y húmedo.

PERSPECTIVA EXTENDIDA:

Lunes (Máxima 93, Mínima 72): Parcialmente nublado con un 20 % de probabilidad de lluvias/tormentas eléctricas.

Martes (Máxima 93, Mínima 73): Mayormente soleado con una probabilidad de 20 % de lluvia/tormenta eléctrica.

Miércoles (Máxima 91, Mínima 72): Parcialmente nublado con un 20 % de probabilidad de lluvias/tormentas eléctricas.

Jueves (Máxima 90, Mínima 70): Parcialmente nublado con un 20 % de probabilidad de lluvias/tormentas eléctricas.

LEYENDO LAS HOJAS DE TÉ:

Viernes 21 de Junio (Máxima 92, Mínima 71): Parcialmente nublado con un 20 % de probabilidad de lluvias/tormentas eléctricas.

Sábado 22 de Junio (Máxima 93, Mínima 72): Parcialmente nublado con un 20 % de probabilidad de lluvias/tormentas eléctricas.

Domingo 23 de Junio (Máxima 92, Mínima 72): Parcialmente nublado con un 20 % de probabilidad de lluvias/tormentas eléctricas.

PREVISIÓN DE LA PLAYA:

Viernes (Máxima 89, Mínima 77): Soleado.

Sábado (Máxima 90, Mínima 79): Soleado.

Domingo (Máxima 87, Mínima 80): Parcialmente nublado con un 30% de probabilidad de lluvias y tormentas eléctricas ampliamente dispersas.

La Próxima Semana (Máximas en los 80 grados superiores, Mínimas en los 70 superiores): Parcialmente nublado con un 40 % de probabilidad de lluvias y tormentas eléctricas dispersas.

NOTES:

An air quality alert affects Birmingham and Nashville. 

And here is some information about staying safe in rip currents if you're headed to the beach this summer. 

And the police continue to be on the lookout for a fugitive by the name of Rodney Dale Kilgore, who was recently seen in Cullman County and is wanted for serious crimes in Georgia, the kinds you probably wouldn't want your kids reading about, to the best of my understanding. If you see this guy (whose picture can be found at the link above), please call 911 from a safe and discreet distance, and give the cops as many details as you can remember. This is not directly tied to weather, but if I'm going to report on weather stuff, I think about public safety in general. And sometimes a fugitive who isn't caught for a long period of time ends up harming some more people. The cops can only do so much. And they need our help with some cases, just to keep our eyes peeled, so to speak. I guess it's sort of like the National Weather Service can see evidence of a tornado or other things like hail on radar, but having reliable spotters sure helps too. 

As for shark attacks, I dunno . . . go back and watch that old horror movie Jaws if you're worried about that. I disclaim any responsibility for your nightmares. I am hearing a lot about shark attacks lately, and I was surprised to see a lot of people helping beached sharks back out to sea. I guess on a certain level that's noble, but that's one of those acts of charity I'm just gonna' leave to other people. I don't have that big of a heart. I'm staying away from those chompers. After a certain point it's just survival of the fittest, and none of us live forever in this world. I'm usually an animal lover, like I won't even kill a spider or snake if it's not poisonous and no threat to me, where a lot of people will just kill 'em. But this business of rescuing sharks . . . I'm not even sure if Gandhi was into that sorta' thing. That's not for me. If people can do it without getting eaten or losing an arm or a leg, I guess, more power to 'em. But sometimes these days I want to let other people be the humanitarians. Or sharkitarians or whatever. My heart doesn't bleed that much. I'd be too concerned with ending up with a bloody stump of an arm. 

DISCUSSION:





It has been a mostly sunny day in the Tennessee Valley today, and we got our first real taste of summer heat. It's going to ramp up a little more over the weekend. But it looks like our High in Cullman today was 90 (at least if you round to the nearest whole number like I do, technically was 89.6) degrees with a morning Low of 61. Jasper saw a High of 91 and Low of 59, so still low humidity levels today, good radiational cooling at night lately. Haleyville made it up to 90 degrees with a morning Low of 59. In Fort Payne the High was 88, morning Low of 64. Decatur made it up to 92 degrees after a morning Low of 64. Already got up to 93 in Huntsville today, looks like that is going to be the High for the Rocket City, morning Low was 66. Also a High of 93 in Muscle Shoals, Low of 63. 

Elsewhere around the region, Tupelo saw a High of 90 and Low of 62. Memphis saw a High of 89 and Low of 64. And Nashville, the Music City, had a High of 93 and Low of 62 today. 

So summer has arrived. I don't care what the calendar says. We got it before the solstice this year. 

This pattern we're in, looks like strong high pressure will keep us hot and mostly rain-free for this forecast period. We'll look at the details, but that's the basic idea. A lot of you might could figure that out without checking out a weather forecast. But some of us get our rocks off by analyzing the details of the weather even in a boring season like early summer. 

There is still some rain over Florida, the Peninsula, from that subtropical Low that has now moved East of the state. It did bring them some heavy rainfall, but a lot of them needed it. 



Tomorrow will be basically like today. Except there will be a little more moisture in the air, so the Low only getting to about the mid-60's tonight/tomorrow morning. And we could see some patchy fog. Otherwise skies are expected to be sunny with this strong high pressure ridge and a High temperature of about 91-92. 



The ridge of high pressure builds into the region more strongly on Saturday, and we'll have a High more like 93-95 range, Low closer to 70. It will feel muggy, but rain chances are minimal, less than 20% areawide. Most of us are not even going to see a sprinkle or two at any point. 



Then the pattern continues on Sunday where skies stay mostly sunny, High temperature gets into the mid-90's and the Low is near 70 again. So this is just hot and humid. That moisture in the Gulf probably is not going to bring us even a 20% chance of a rain shower or thunderstorm. 



The GFS wants to bring some of that Gulf moisture inland on Monday. 


But that scenario is not supported by the ECMWF. And as far as any models get it right in the extended range this time of year around here, the European tends to be the best. It isn't only for the Southeast either. I remember it picking up on some details of Hurricane Sandy in 2012 that the best I recall, all the other models missed. And that hit up somewhere around New York, can't remember exactly where at the moment, was a terrible storm. 

Okay, after I finished posting that, I scrolled forward on the European and saw that Monday evening and night, it does show some moisture getting up here, actually more than the American model. 

So I'm still going to stick to the same forecast, just have more confidence in it, which is to reintroduce a 20% chance of isolated rain/thunderstorms for Monday, a High in the lower 90's, Low in the lower 70's. 

Because climatology usually beats all the models in a pattern like this, this time of the year. 



And for Tuesday I'm going to second guess the models even more by keeping a 20% chance of rain in there and keeping the High in lower 90's, Low in lower 70's. The MOS temperature guidance is closer to just 90/70. 



It looks like the upper-air pattern may change Wednesday to let some more moisture in here from the Gulf of Mexico. But I really don't take what the models say to the bank this time of year, especially the GFS. I wouldn't even fixate on that tropical disturbance it has near Mexico on Wednesday. A lot of things it shows this time of year never happen like that, turn out to be one of its wild goose chases. And it does a lot of those in hurricane season. So for Wednesday I'll just keep a 20% chance of rain in there and adjust temperatures to High near 90, Low near 70. 



Even by next Thursday, not seeing enough evidence to raise the rain chance above 20%. I think with the ridge moving to our Northeast, definitely need to keep that typical low-end summer rain chance in there though. Still expecting a High near 90, Low near 70 for Cullman County. 



And if we peek ahead beyond seven days, Days 8-10, looks like the same basic pattern. Again I would not get hung up on these phantom tropical systems the GFS comes up with at this time range. The majority of them don't happen. Sometimes it is picking up on something though, like this thing that recently hit Florida, just a subtropical low that brought heavy rains to the peninsula there. But a week or so out, a lot of people jumped on it and thought it was going to be a hurricane. If in doubt, listen to the experienced meteorologists who know about interpreting this model data. Usually the people who tell you that the sky is falling are wrong. 

For next weekend, I think Highs may get back into the lower 90's but not sure I'll put any mid-90's back into the forecast at this point. Without such a strong ridge of high pressure, we might see an occasional shower or thunderstorm or at least some clouds to moderate the temperatures a little. Also we got a lot of rain in May. And that soil moisture can keep it from getting out of hand. 


And actually looking at the tropics, I have to eat my words about the GFS look for that potential system near Mexico next week. Let's hear the experts. 

ZCZC MIATWOAT ALL
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM

Tropical Weather Outlook
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL
800 PM EDT Thu Jun 13 2024

For the North Atlantic...Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico:

1. Offshore of the Southeastern U.S. (AL90):
An elongated area of low pressure offshore of the southeastern U.S. 
coast continues to produce some disorganized showers and 
thunderstorms. Despite strong upper-level winds, some gradual 
development is possible while the system moves northeastward 
offshore of the southeastern U.S. coast during the next day or so. 
By this weekend, the system is forecast to merge with a front over 
the western Atlantic. Regardless of development, heavy rainfall is 
forecast to continue across portions of the Florida peninsula 
through late this week. For more information, see products issued by 
the Weather Prediction Center and local National Weather Service 
Forecast Offices.
* Formation chance through 48 hours...low...20 percent.
* Formation chance through 7 days...low...20 percent.

2. Southwestern Gulf of Mexico:
A broad area of low pressure is forecast to form over the 
southwestern Gulf of Mexico late this weekend or early next week. 
Environmental conditions appear conducive for gradual development of 
this system, and a tropical depression could form during the early 
or middle part of next week while it moves slowly westward or 
west-northwestward.
* Formation chance through 48 hours...low...near 0 percent.
* Formation chance through 7 days...medium...40 percent.


Weather Prediction Center products can be found at 
www.wpc.ncep.noaa.gov and National Weather Service forecast 
information can be found at www.weather.gov

Forecaster Reinhart

So here I defer to the expertise of the National Hurricane Center. They do think this area of low pressure shown by the GFS could become a tropical depression in the Southwestern Gulf by the middle of next week. 

And I guess it is a tough balance you have to strike. We do expect a more active than usual season for hurricanes this year, since sea temperatures are at record warmth. For several months NOAA has been warning people of that. And all that record warmth probably had a lot to do with the crazy May we had, not only around here, but throughout the country, so much severe weather. Usually even in a busy year, things don't ramp up a lot until about August. But under these circumstances, we do have to keep an eye on it. Any disturbance that does form, have to keep an eye on. 

I just don't like to see people predicting catastrophe 5-10 days in advance based on one or two runs of the GFS. And that happens a lot. And there is almost never a catastrophic outcome. When I see a scary tropical look from the GFS this time of year, my knee-jerk reaction is, "Oh, here it goes again." 

It did have the right basic idea for that Low that just brought all the rain to Florida. But that did not become a hurricane or even a tropical depression. And it doesn't look like it is going to as it moves into the Atlantic. The Florida Peninsula does continue to deal with heavy rain. 


The heavy rains will stay in the Florida Peninsula over the next week, especially down around Miami. If you want a good rain, head to the Gulf Coast or Southern Florida. Most of us around here are going to see little or no rain. A lot of us may stay dry as a bone. Just muggy, but not enough moisture for rain to cool things off. Any rain we get is going to be random and isolated any time soon. 

For people who follow the cat sagas, Stormy has started to sleep with me on the futon and demand more attention. So Salem steals her spot on top of the cat tower when she does that. She still gets mad sometimes and bites me or swats and snarls if I pet her tail too much or make sudden movements. She doesn't bite hard enough to draw blood, and it's obvious she is just panicking because she has that rough history. She is unusually affectionate when she can relax. She definitely doesn't like it if she lies down on this computer, and I try to move her, or at least shut the thing off. That's about as irate as I've seen her. 

Except with Salem. He still gets the worst of her wrath. Last night was one of the funniest things I've seen yet. I actually got it on video, part of it, where she was hiding behind the bathroom door while he calmly sat like a cool, suave cat a few feet away. She was snarling and hissing, threatening him, and he just sat far enough away that she couldn't slap him and acted all chill and friendly. I think he has some sense that she's messed up and paranoid, and is trying to get her out of it. So far she doesn't appreciate his efforts, if that's really what he's doing. He's neutred, and she's spayed, so I don't think he is trying to romance her. But it is really a hoot to see. He has this silly, playful personality. And she's more of a dignified cat who wants her own space and turns hostile in a hurry. 

She is actually resting down by my feet as I type this. She has come a long way in however long I've had her. And I actually shared some salmon with her as I was starting this forecast. I made a fish sandwich. And I fried the fish in red wine. Because I like the flavor but don't really need to be drinking. Usually if it's cooked in anything like that, even regular fruit juice, the cats won't eat it. But she went nuts smelling that fish today and kept sniffing of it several times before finally taking a bite. And then she just chowed down. 

So that's the kind of animal I'd rescue . . . not the kinds of fish that could eat me instead. A lot of this girl's bites are love bites anyway. 

Some people might find this ironic, since I'm crazy enough to still do an occasional weather blog many years after dropping out of school, probably have forgotten a lot of what I learned, probably will never work in the field . . . but my weather radio I've had since about 2009 or 2010 appears to have finally kicked the bucket. Salem used to knock it in the floor a lot. Part of the antenna has been broken off for a long time. Stormy (Sweetness was her name from the animal shelter, but it just doesn't fit her personality unless she can really relax) has knocked it in the floor a few times lately. And I think it has quit picking up the alerts. Lucky that happened in the summer season. I'm not sure if I'll buy another one. Odd as it may seem, sometimes I get tired of keeping up with the weather. And I can tune to regular radio stations that cut in for severe weather. I've got one of those windup deals with a weather band if the power goes out. I guess if I'm going to buy another one, I've got some time. November seems like a million miles away right now. And this one might be salvageable. It still plays with great reception, but I think it's finally quit picking up the signals for the alerts or even the weekly tests. They only cost about $30-$35 though. And I think I got this one for closer to $25 all those years ago. Something that could save your life by waking you up at night for a tornado warning, that lasts 10-15 years even with it getting knocked around a lot, is definitely worth the investment

But I'm just saying for me personally, I don't feel like spending an extra thirty bucks or so when it's still boring summer weather. And the cats would probably swat the new one off in the floor anyway. Talk about first-world problems. 

Sort of liked this commencement speech by Robert Parham that somebody referenced on a podcast I listened to last night. He teaches at the University of Virginia. 

This post got seriously delayed by stuff I decided not to mention publicly after all. I'm not sure what possessed me to pass along that commencement speech. I guess sometimes I just need a reminder that as much as a lot of things going on in the world bother me, overall we've got it pretty good. There are many previous times in history when people had it a lot worse. I mean, good grief, one of my big daily decisions is whether to set the central cooling on 75 degrees or 78, or sometimes lower. And I consider the cats, if they seem comfortable or not. And even when I was a kid, all we had were those boxed air conditioners, which didn't always work, went out a lot or needed cleaning. We thought of those central cooling things as only for rich people. My Papaw who died at the beginning of the whole covid thing, I think the only time he lived in a place with central cooling was when he moved in with his daughter, my aunt, in his last year or two of his life. And he liked to stay cool as much as he could. Now it's just taken for granted, like every trailer, every apartment comes with central cooling and heating. And I think back to summer nights when we were so happy to get a special fan that fit in the window. So we wouldn't have to run the power bill up by running the air conditioner. And that fan was specially designed somehow so that it pulled out most of the hot air and brought in the cooler air from outside at night. And a lot of times, we stayed with our great-grandma, when the trailer people were threatening to come and take it away since nobody was making the payments (one parent couldn't, the other one had abandoned us). And our Granny only turned on the air conditioner when it got super hot, hottest parts of the day. She would probably turn it on this weekend when a lot of us will get up to 95 or so with humidity making it feel even hotter. But most of the time, she thought the ceiling fan and some cold drinks were enough. And didn't like us to play outside too long during the hottest parts of the day. 

So yeah, we've got it pretty good. And I just need to remember that sometimes. There are a lot of legitimate problems going on, but look, it's an election year. I'm gonna' let Joe Biden and Donald Trump duke that stuff out, for the most part. If I got paid for my opinion, it might be different. I'd rather joke around about shark attacks when the weather is not very exciting. When I do get into my opinions about things, it's a slip-up. Hopefully somebody gets a kick out of it. I'm afraid if I get too free-wheeling, some day I'm going to wake up to somebody who managed to track me down and wants to beat me to death with a tire iron. So I try to keep it lighthearted most of the time. After all, this is only a weather blog. If anybody ever wants to pay me to write out my opinions, I've definitely got 'em. But that takes more energy than I have these days, to really put together an argument. The blim-blammering back and forth with a short attention span, I'm going to leave to other people. It's really easy to find, if that sorta' thing turns you on. It really turns me off after a while. 

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July Heat Returns Shortly . . .

FORECAST: Friday (High 94, Low 66): Mostly sunny. Cool in the morning, hot in the afternoon.  Saturday (High 96, Low 69): Partly to mostly s...