FIRST ALERT: Pop-up storms possible Saturday afternoon; Smaller Rain Chance Sunday
We had to deal with some cloud cover this morning, but we have stayed fairly dry. Storms are still expected to fire up this afternoon. Shortly before noon, we are already seeing pop up showers developing in Marion, Winston, Fayette, and Lamar counties. Storms will likely form to the southeast and move to the northwest this afternoon and evening. Storms that fire up will have the potential to produce heavy rain, gusty winds, and lightning. Remember that if thunder roars, go indoors. Temperatures are expected to climb into the upper 80s and lower 90s this afternoon. Feels like temperatures could climb into the mid to upper 90s when you factor in the high humidity. Rain will likely taper off late this evening. Plan for a partly to mostly cloudy sky tonight with temperatures dropping into the low to mid 70s. Areas that see rain today could experience patchy fog Sunday morning.
First Alert for Pop Up Storms Sunday: Rain chances tomorrow look lower than today across Central Alabama. The greatest chance to see rain will likely occur in west and northwest Alabama. We should see a partly to mostly cloudy sky tomorrow with a 30% chance for widely scattered showers and storms. Temperatures should climb near 90°F. Feels like temperatures will once again climb into the mid to upper 90s.
Weekend Beach Forecast: If you plan on heading down to the Alabama Gulf Coast this weekend, plan for showers and storms. Temperatures are expected to climb into the mid to upper 80s. Rip current threat will go from moderate to high this weekend. Probably a good idea to stay out of the water. Rain chances around 60-70% Saturday and Sunday.
Tropical Depression Nineteen: Tropical Depression Nineteen continues to spin across southern Florida Saturday morning producing sustained winds near 35 mph and heavy rain. Satellite imagery indicates storms blowing up near the center of the storm. The depression looks fairly organized, and it is expected to strengthen later today once it moves over the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The National Hurricane Center is forecasting Tropical Depression Nineteen to strengthen into a tropical storm later today or tonight. The next name on the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane list is Sally. If and when Sally forms, it will be the earliest 18th named storm on record in the Atlantic. The old record for the earliest 18th named storm occurred on October 2, 2005 (Stan). The latest forecast shows the depression slowing down as it approaches the Gulf Coast Monday into Tuesday. The center of the storm could make landfall anywhere along the Louisiana coastline to the Florida Panhandle. The most likelihood of a landfall could occur in southeast Louisiana or Mississippi Monday night into Tuesday.
Next Big Thing: Our next big thing is watching the track and evolution of Tropical Depression Nineteen as it approaches the Gulf Coast. It is very possible we could see outer rain bands move into Central Alabama as we head into Monday and Tuesday. The highest potential to see rainfall and flooding will likely occur across the Florida Panhandle, southeast Louisiana, and the southern half of Mississippi and Alabama early next week. The slow speed and uncertainty of the track and intensity of the storm will add some question marks regarding when and where we will see the greatest rain chances. Models are hinting Tropical Depression Nineteen could stall in southeast Louisiana and produce heavy rains across the Southeast going into the end of next week. It might not move out of our area until Friday or Saturday when a cold front approaches us. I think our rain chances ramp up Monday and Tuesday and quite possibly by Thursday and Friday of next week.
Rainfall Potential: Rain and flooding will be the main concern for the Southeast thanks to Tropical Depression Nineteen. Latest rainfall totals could add up around 2-4 inches between now and next Friday evening. Totals could end up higher especially for areas south of I-20 depending on the track of Tropical Depression Nineteen.
Tropical Update: We continue to monitor Paulette and Rene in the Central Atlantic. Paulette has the potential to strengthen into a Category 2 hurricane in the next day or so as it moves closer to Bermuda. Bermuda might have to deal with a powerful hurricane by Monday and Tuesday. Rene will continue to spin over open waters. It is expected to remain weak and not impact anyone.
Tropical Waves: We continue to watch two tropical waves moving off the coast of Africa. One wave has a high chance to develop into a tropical depression or storm in the next 48 hours. It will need to be watched as it moves to the west towards the Caribbean. The other system to the north has a medium chance to form. If it does develop, it will likely move northwards and should not pose a threat to any land areas. September is the peak of the hurricane season. The season does not officially end until November 30th.
Make sure you download the WBRC First Alert Weather App for the latest weather information.Have a safe and relaxing weekend-
WBRC First Alert Meteorologist Matt Daniel
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