SUNDAY NIGHT: Downpours fizzle through the evening, and we dry out by 10 pm. Becoming mostly clear and muggy. Patchy fog will be possible, especially in spots that saw rain earlier in the day, as well as near bodies of water and valleys. Lows again drop into the low to mid 70s.
MONDAY/TUESDAY: No major changes to this overall pattern. This is standard late-July weather for Central Alabama, and with a very high moisture content to the air, we’ll see daily thunderstorms develop in the heat of the afternoon. Where those storms don’t pop up, temperatures could approach the mid-90s, but many spots will get enough influence of rain-cooled air to keep high temperatures in the low 90s and the heat index just a bit below 105°.
WEDNESDAY/THURSDAY: The middle of the week may be a hair drier and hotter. We expect highs to reach the mid 90s both Wednesday and Thursday, with a heat index approaching 105°. With ample moisture still in place, we expect at least isolated downpours despite a strengthening upper-air ridge overhead which will help to limit the coverage of showers and storms. Rain chances may trend up a bit Thursday afternoon and evening as the upper ridge weakens a bit.
FRIDAY & THE WEEKEND: Rain chances trend up fairly dramatically as the upper-air ridge flattens out and weakens a bit as a trough swings across the Great Lakes and Midwest. There appears to be some subtle troughing that develops to our west as this feature moves across the Great Lakes, and at the surface a cold front appears likely to stall near or over Central Alabama Friday evening into Saturday. This will provide additional lift, and with ample moisture in place, should be plenty to lead to more widespread shower and storm coverage both Friday and Saturday.
While we’re still too far out to determine exact threats, sufficient instability (>2,000 J/kg) will likely be in place to support at least some stronger storms, despite the overall wind profile being (typical of late July) less than supportive for severe weather, with bulk shear values under 30 knots.
Additionally, slow storm motions coupled with very high precipitable water (over 2″) could lead to flash flooding issues if slow moving thunderstorms train over flood-prone areas. The best chance for heavier rain this week will be along and north of I-20 where the most moisture will pool ahead of the front, but heavy downpours will likely lead to uneven rainfall totals across the state.
Confidence in any specific threat this far out will preclude a Weather Aware at this time, but it will be something we will closely monitor through the next several days. If trends continue, a Weather Aware could be needed Friday and Saturday.
GULF COAST FORECAST: Scattered showers and storms are likely through the first half of this week. Yellow flag conditions are most likely on Alabama beaches through mid-week, with purple flags also a possibility due to the presence of jellyfish. The rip current risk remains limited through Wednesday.