Hot & Sunny Tomorrow, Rain Chances Slowly Return. Elsa Likely Stays East of AL | Central AL Forecast

Forecast

We’ve been very fortunate in Central Alabama with gorgeous summer weather for our Independence Day Weekend. All of us have managed to stay rain-free all weekend long, with dry conditions persisting overnight tonight. Great forecast for some fireworks this evening! Please remember to celebrate the 4th of July safely & responsibly.

For our Monday, we’re looking at more sunshine to start off our work week. Temperatures will go right back to hot, as we usually see in early July, with afternoon highs in the lower 90s. With slightly muggy conditions expected, the heat index during the hottest part of the day will be in the mid to upper 90s–remember to stay hydrated & limit your outdoor time to reduce exposure! Can’t totally rule out a few stray summer showers tomorrow across our Southern counties…rain chances 10 to 20%.

In the tropics, we’re still keeping a close eye on Tropical Storm Elsa–the 5th named Atlantic tropical cyclone of 2021. As of Sunday afternoon, this storm has slowed its forward speed down to NW at 14 mph, and has lost much of its coherent structure over the past 24 hours. It has now started spreading out into a large batch of heavy rain, thunderstorms, & strong winds across the Caribbean–mostly across Jamaica & Cuba.

The latest forecast track for Elsa from the National Hurricane Center has Elsa continuing its NW track over the next 24 hours, making landfall in Cuba during that time. After crossing over the island, it will keep going through the straits of Florida while gradually turning to the right towards due North. By late-Tuesday/early-Wednesday, Elsa will make its closest approach to the US mainland passing near Tampa, Florida. Tropical storm conditions, as well as 1 to 2′ of storm surge, will be likely in the area by that time.

As we head into late-Wednesday/early-Thursday, Elsa will move inland into Northern Florida, likely still producing heavy rain & tropical storm-force winds. As it continues to gradually turn right towards a NE heading, it will likely pass near cities like Jacksonville, Savannah, and Charleston…still producing either tropical storm or tropical depression conditions. By Friday, the storm will begin accelerating Northeastward into the open Atlantic & away from the US.

Fortunately for us in Alabama, we will be positioned to the West of Elsa, where rainfall totals are normally much lower than on the storm’s Eastern side. For that reason, little to no impacts are expected in Alabama from this storm.

Despite the fact that we are not expecting much of any impacts from Elsa, we are expecting more scattered showers & thunderstorms to start developing later this coming week, as tropical moisture associated with the storm begins lifting into our area from the South. Rain chances for the Birmingham area will go up to 40% on Tuesday, followed by 60 to 70% for Wednesday through Friday.

Because of our elevated rain chances, temperatures beyond tomorrow are expected to be near or just below average for this time of year. Early July, traditionally speaking, is the hottest time of year on average in Alabama with the average highs near 90°. For much of the week ahead, we’re looking at highs in the mid to upper 80s.

That’s all for now…stay in touch with me on social media! You can always find the latest on our forecast in Central AL on Twitter by following me, @GriffinHardyWX. You can always reach out to me with forecast questions anytime by sending an e-mail to ghardy@cbs42.com.

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