TODAY: Here’s a look at the satellite as of 6 a.m., and as you can see we are starting off the morning with a good bit of clear skies across the state, with only a few clouds over the western locations. Radar shows a clean slate at the moment, but I have a feeling we’ll see some scattered activity later this afternoon.
As we take a look at the 06z run of the Global Forecast System valid at 1 this afternoon, the dome of high pressure that has brought the higher heat levels to the state is now being forced off of the Carolina coast as a cold front has pushed its way south and stalled out just north of the state. That will bring us the risk of some scattered showers and thunderstorms mainly for the north and northwestern parts of the state, roughly west of the I-59 and I-59/20 corridors. East of that, there is a very small chance of an isolated shower or two, but much of the area will remain dry. Highs today will top out in the upper 80s to the lower 90s. Shower activity will diminish somewhat for tonight, but with the front close by, a few showers will be possible for the northwestern parts of the area, with lows dipping into the upper 60s to the lower 70s.
FOOTBALL WEATHER: Alabama takes on Texas A&M today at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The temperature at the 2:30 p.m. kickoff will be around 90 degrees. There is a small chance of a passing shower or thunderstorm throughout the game. Otherwise, skies will be mostly sunny, and temperatures will be dropping into the mid-80s by the fourth quarter. Winds will be out of the south at 5-10 mph.
Arkansas pays a visit to the plains to take on the Auburn Tigers with kickoff at 6:30 p.m. Skies will be mainly clear throughout the game. A stray shower is possible during the first half, but chances are so low that it’s almost not even worth mentioning. Temperatures will start off in the lower 80s at kickoff and drop into the upper 70s by the fourth quarter.
UAB has a bye week.
SUNDAY: That cold front inches just a little bit farther south for Sunday but continues to stay just north of the state, keeping a risk for scattered showers and storms in the forecast, mainly for the northwestern quarter of the area. A few isolated showers or storms may be possible for the rest of central Alabama. Highs will be in the mid-80s to the lower 90s across the area.
NEXT WEEK: The front sort of washes out just to our north for the beginning of the work week, keeping us in an unstable air mass through Wednesday. Monday we’ll have scattered to numerous showers and storms, with highs in the mid to upper 80s. The story will be much the same Tuesday, with highs in the mid to upper 80s, and again on Wednesday with highs in the 80s. It will not be a complete washout on any of these days, but rain can be expected at any time, most likely during the late morning through the early evening.
A cold front starts to move through the area on Thursday, bringing with it some cooler temperatures, but we continue to have scattered to numerous showers and storms. Highs throughout the area look to top out in the lower to mid-80s for most, with upper 80s in the extreme southern portion of the area.
On Friday, it looks like the troughing retreats back northward and we start to see heights starting to rise again in the southeast. This means temperatures will begin to warm once again into the mid to upper 80s for most, with a few lower 80s possible in the extreme northern parts of Central Alabama. We’ll continue to have a chance of scattered showers and storms, but coverage will be less than what we have seen through the beginning of the week.
VOODOO LAND: Ridging builds over the southeast next Saturday and strengthens on Sunday. Unfortunately, the big cool-off that we were looking for may be pushed back just a little. The good news is that the latest GFS ensemble temps through Oct. 7 show a cooling trend in high temperatures once we pass this weekend. Highs for the Birmingham area drop down into the lower to mid-80s by the end of this cycle, with lows in the lower to mid 60s. That means the colder spots may see some 50s for lows.
ON THIS DAY IN WEATHER HISTORY: On Sept. 22, 1989, Hurricane Hugo quickly lost strength over South Carolina, but still was a tropical storm as it crossed into North Carolina, just west of Charlotte, at about 7 a.m. Winds around Charlotte reached 69 mph, with gusts to 99 mph. Eighty percent of the power was knocked out to Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. Property damage in North Carolina was $210 million, and damage to crops was $97 million. The strongest storm surge occurred along the southern coast shortly after midnight, reaching 9 feet above sea level at ocean Isle and Sunset Beach. Hugo killed one person and injured 15 others in North Carolina. Strong northwesterly winds ushered unseasonably cold air into the north central U.S. in time for the official start of autumn at 8:20 p.m.
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