FIRST ALERT: Cooler morning Friday; tropical system could impact the Gulf region next week

Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 5:37 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 22, 2022 at 11:18 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The autumnal equinox has arrived, and the cooler air is right on time! A north wind continues to transport cool/dry air into the state tonight. A chill will be in the air for locations to the northeast, where low temperatures could tumble into the low 50s. You can expect beautiful weather for Friday, with highs in the upper 70s north, with low 80s south. You can expect plenty of sunshine, with the wind out of the northeast at 5 to 10 mph. If you plan on attending high school football games Friday evening, the weather will be picture perfect. The sky will be clear, with low humidity, and temperatures cooling from the low 70s at 7 PM into the 60s by 10 PM.

Saturday will be the pick of the weekend. Saturday starts with temperatures in the 50s. Saturday afternoon will be sunny, with high temperatures climbing into the upper 80s. Humidity levels should remain comfortable during the afternoon hours. If you plan on attending the Auburn Football game Saturday at 11 AM, plan for sunshine and kickoff temperatures in the upper 70s. Temperatures will likely warm into the mid 80s by the end of the game. I would recommend wearing a hat, sunglasses, and applying the sunscreen. If you plan on attending the Alabama game Saturday evening, temperatures will likely start out in the lower 80s and cool into the 70s. Perfect weather for SEC Football in the state.

Next Big Thing: A second cold front is forecast to move into Central Alabama Sunday. We’ll start Sunday out a little warmer, with temperatures in the mid 60s. Cloud cover will likely increase Sunday afternoon and we will see a 30% to 40% chance for widely scattered showers and thunderstorms Sunday afternoon and evening. Highs in the mid to upper 80s. Not everyone will see rain on Sunday. Humidity levels will briefly climb Sunday, so it won’t feel as dry. Once the front moves in, our humidity levels and rain chances drop going into early next week. The first half of next week is looking beautiful with sunshine, highs in the lower 80s, and morning temperatures in the 50s!

The tropics remain very active as we finish out the month of September. Hurricane Fiona remains a powerful Category 4 storm, with winds up to 130 mph. Conditions are deteriorating in Bermuda as Fiona approaches. The risk for significant wind, storm surge, and heavy rainfall is increasing for the Atlantic side of Canada this weekend.

Tropical Storm Gaston continues to spin in the northern Atlantic Ocean. It will meander in that region and eventually move out into the northern Atlantic. It will not impact the United States. We are also watching two other tropical waves located in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. One tropical wave will move off the coast of Africa in the next 24 hours and has a medium chance to develop in the next 48 hours. This system could also receive a name. We are also watching another wave in the eastern Atlantic that has a 30% chance to develop in the next five days. Hurricane season officially ends on December 1st.

We continue to watch a robust tropical wave in the far southeast Caribbean. It has a lot of spin, but interaction with South America and northeasterly wind shear is preventing it from developing quickly. The chance of formation over the next 2 days has increased from 70% to 80%. Once it moves into the central and western Caribbean, it will likely have a good opportunity to develop and intensify into a bigger storm. The combination of warm waters and lower wind shear should help develop the storm. Models agree it will develop in the Caribbean, gain latitude, and could move into the Gulf of Mexico. The highest uncertainty is determining where the storm will go from there. We do believe that if this storm impacts the Gulf Coast region, it will likely occur next Wednesday-Saturday. Texas all the way to the Florida Peninsula should watch this system over the upcoming week. Odds look higher that it could impact the eastern Gulf of Mexico vs the western Gulf. Forecast can change once the low forms, so please stay with us for updates. It’s simply too early to determine if the Alabama Gulf Coast will see any impacts from this storm. If you own property along the coast, I encourage you to start developing a plan just in case the storm impacts you.


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