First Alert Weather: Code Orange Air Quality Alert for Jefferson & Shelby counties on Friday

Published: Jun. 8, 2023 at 6:34 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 8, 2023 at 10:25 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - After a hazy start to the day, a Code Orange Air Quality Alert has been issued in Jefferson and Shelby Counties for Friday. Ozone levels at the surface will reach unhealthy levels for sensitive groups tomorrow, so limit your time outdoors if you deal with respiratory issues like asthma or COPD. The combination of the smoky haze and lack of moisture will continue to keep our rain chances limited overnight despite a front stalled to our south. Most of us will end up staying dry, but areas in west Alabama -- where more moisture is around -- could see an isolated shower or storm move in from the northwest. Temperatures will stay mild with light northeast winds under a partly cloudy sky.

Isolated Showers Possible Friday Morning: The latest change in the forecast is the chance to see a few thundershowers tonight into Friday morning. The front will likely stall a bit and we could see a few showers move into west Alabama before 10 a.m. Friday. I think we’ll start tomorrow morning off in the 60s. By Friday afternoon, I think most of the moisture will push into south Alabama leaving us dry. We should see a partly cloudy to mostly sunny sky Friday afternoon with highs in the mid to upper 80s. Winds are forecast to come in from the north at 5-10 mph. If you have any evening plans Friday, the weather will be very nice with temperatures cooling into the 70s with humidity levels dropping.

Mostly Dry Saturday: Saturday will be the best day to enjoy the outdoors this weekend. Morning temperatures will bottom out near 60 degrees, which will feel even nicer with the lower humidity around. I think a good bit of Saturday will end up dry with a mostly sunny sky. Temperatures are forecast to heat up into the lower 90s. A few models hint that humidity levels could increase in our far southwestern counties Saturday evening and night. It wouldn’t surprise me if an isolated shower develops late Saturday in parts of Sumter, Greene, and Hale Counties. If models speed up the next weather system, we may have to increase our rain chances for Saturday evening and Saturday night.

Next Big Thing: The best chance to see showers and thunderstorms will likely occur Sunday evening into Monday. The first half of Sunday will likely start out warmer with temperatures in the mid to upper 60s. Clouds and humidity levels will likely increase ahead of our next disturbance. A few showers can’t be ruled out Sunday morning, but I think the greater chance for showers and storms will likely occur Sunday evening and into Monday morning. A strong or severe storm can’t be ruled out on Sunday. The main threats will be heavy rainfall, gusty winds, hail, and frequent lightning. High temperatures Sunday afternoon are forecast to warm into the upper 80s and lower 90s.

Unsettled Weather Next Week: We will enter an active weather pattern next week called “Northwest Flow”. It is where storm clusters develop to our northwest and sweep to the southeast. These complexes can form during the morning, afternoon, evening, and overnight hours. Long-range models hint these storms forming throughout most of next week. These systems are notorious for producing strong/severe storms capable of damaging winds, so it will be something we’ll have to watch closely. Next Monday could be stormy during the first half of the day. The rest of next week we will hold on to at least a 30-40% chance for rain. I would plan for adjustments in our rain chances as we get new data. We will have a better handle of the overall pattern by this weekend and early next week. Just note that we’ll have opportunities for rain going into the middle of June.

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