FIRST ALERT: A nice stretch of crisp, fall mornings!
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Temperatures have been falling quickly into the 50s and 60s tonight, and by tomorrow morning, more of us should be in the 50s and even 40s in some spots! We should see plenty of sunshine tomorrow with low humidity levels. Temperatures will likely remain below average with highs in the mid to upper 70s. Tomorrow is going to be an absolutely beautiful fall day. It will likely remain breezy at times with north winds at 10-25 mph. The air moving in is very dry, so you may need to grab the chapstick and run the humidifier the next couple of nights if you have more sensitive sinuses.
The middle half of the week we will continue to watch Ian as it approaches Florida. Upper-level clouds associated with Ian could begin to stream into Central Alabama Wednesday into Thursday due to the large size of the storm. We will remain dry on both of these days with morning temperatures in the 50s and highs in the low to mid 70s. Both days will likely end up breezy thanks to high pressure to our north and Ian to our southeast.
Watching Ian: Ian will likely remain to our southeast as it impacts Florida and moves into Georgia by the end of the week. With us remaining on the left side of the storm, we will also end up on the drier side of the storm. Models hint we could see some of the outer rain bands impact the eastern half of Alabama Friday into Saturday, but this is not a guarantee. Severe weather appears unlikely since we are on the calmer side of the storm. We’ll hold on to a 40% chance for rain Friday with rain chances looking limited for west Alabama. The showers could linger into the first half of Saturday. If Ian decides to shift farther west once inland, we may have to increase our rain chances a little for Saturday. If the storm shifts farther east, we may lower our rain chances. Right now, a track much farther to the south and east of our area looks more favorable, so we may very well end up staying fairly dry.
Ian Strengthening: As of 10 p.m. CDT Monday evening, Ian is still a Category 2 hurricane with sustained winds up to 105 mph. Ian continues to move to the north-northwest at 13 MPH. Ian will continue to strengthen as it moves into a favorable environment with very warm ocean water and low wind shear after shortly making landfall in western Cuba tonight, eventually emerging into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico Tuesday. The National Hurricane Center is forecasting winds to increase to 140 mph by tomorrow night, which would make it a Category 4 hurricane.
The latest guidance continues to show Ian slowing down as it approaches the Florida Peninsula, which means heavy rainfall, storm surge, and constant winds could impact the western coast of Florida for the second half of the week. The forecast cone now favors the Florida Big Bend and Gulf Coast along the Florida Peninsula for a hurricane strike. With slower movement, heavy rainfall and flooding could be a significant concern for the state of Florida as it remains on the “wet” side of the storm. They will also have to worry about spin-up tornadoes farther inland. As Ian approaches the Big Bend area of Florida, it will begin to encounter high wind shear and dry air from the north. The combination of these two elements should greatly weaken the storm as it moves into north Florida late week. It could weaken from a major hurricane to a Category 1 hurricane. Unfortunately, prior to this happening, Tampa could see some of the worst weather. Just because it could make landfall as a weaker hurricane doesn’t mean the threat is over. It still poses a significant threat of flooding and storm surge Wednesday-Friday. Ian will likely continue to move northwards and weaken into parts of Georgia Friday into Saturday as a tropical depression. The forecast cone has shifted eastward away from Alabama, so our impacts are expected to be minimal. If the storm did happen to track farther west, our rain chances will increase Friday into Saturday. But the more likely scenario will be an easterly track-- one that would limit our rain chances locally. The forecast could still change over the next several days, so please check in with us frequently for important weather updates.
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