FIRST ALERT: Heat waves continue, isolated storms possible in the afternoon and evening hours

First Alert Weather 9p 7-18-20

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - THE OVERNIGHT AND TOMORROW: At the time of this update an isolated shower was tracking west across Walker County. Most of the area remains very hot and dry. Forecast guidance still shows temperatures in the 80s for parts of the area as late as midnight. The heat wave will continue for the remainder of the weekend, so expect very little change for Sunday. We will have another good supply of sunshine, with highs in the middle to upper 90s and lows in the 70s. The heat index will once again rise into the triple digit range by lunchtime on Sunday. There will be more isolated storms in the afternoon and evening, with the greatest chance for storms in areas east of I-65. A couple of storms on Saturday were very strong, with high wind gusts, and intense lightning. This risk for a few stronger storms will return on Sunday so keep an out out for possible advisories on the WBRC First Alert Weather App.

HEAT WAVE CONTINUES INTO NEXT WEEK: The dog days of summer have arrived and the weather story for the start of next week will continue to be the extreme heat. We will have a partly to mostly sunny sky for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, with isolated storms and showers possible during the peak heating of the day. The heat index will soar to triple digit levels each day so try to get an early start on big outdoor projects. The greatest chance for afternoon pop-ups will be over eastern locations for the start of the week, with an increasing rain chance further west through mid-week.

THE LONG RANGE: The high pressure ridge responsible for the heat and lower rain chances will remain persistent through late week, especially in the low to mid levels of the atmosphere. By the end of the week, a boundary could drop south due to storm development upstream. This could bring an increasing threat of afternoon storms on Thursday or Friday. As these periods of extremely hot weather materialize, many times we end up with a more widespread round of storms that help to normalize the temperature pattern. The GFS Model is hinting at a boundary and outflow from storms moving south and bringing some heat relief by next Friday evening. That said, long range guidance still shows temperatures quickly rebounding back into the 90s next Saturday, with another big drop in the chance for rain. So for now I would plan on a gradual increase in the number of afternoon storms through next Friday, with another big drop in the chance of rain for next weekend.

Things remain quiet in the tropics but we will be tracking a disturbance moving east to west across the Gulf of Mexico, and around the base of the high pressure ridge next week. This system will be a fast mover, and tracking across the central Gulf by mid-week, with a low chance for development. However, it wouldn’t surprise me if the National Hurricane Center adds this feature to their Tropical Weather Outlook for a small percentage of development. I will be sharing more specifics on the long range in my forecast starting at 9PM on WBRC Fox6.

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