HOT AFTERNOONS: Mostly sunny weather continues across Alabama today and tomorrow with highs in the low 90s for most communities. We will bring in a chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms Thursday as a weak surface front approaches from the north; SPC has placed parts of North and West Alabama in a low end “marginal risk” (level 1/5) of severe thunderstorms for the potential of hail and strong, gusty winds.
The rain Thursday won’t be especially widespread, and some spots won’t see any rain at all. With a mix of sun and clouds, the high Thursday will be in the upper 80s.
FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: A surge of drier air enters the state Thursday night, and that will bring rain-free weather to Alabama Friday and over the weekend. Friday will be very pleasant… the high will be in the mid 80s with lower humidity. And, many places will drop into the 50s early Saturday morning with a clear sky. Then, expect a good supply of sunshine Saturday and Sunday with highs in the 86-90 degree range.
NEXT WEEK: Most of the week looks dry, but we will mention some risk of scattered showers or storms Wednesday as another weak front approaches. Highs through the week will be pretty close to 90 degrees… See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.
TROPICS: The remnants of former eastern Pacific Hurricane Agatha will move into the southern Gulf of Mexico over the next 48 hours, and NHC is now giving it a 60 percent of becoming a tropical depression or storm again. The system will likely bring lots of rain to parts of South Florida (the peninsula, not the panhandle) over the weekend; the name will be “Alex” if it reaches tropical storm strength.
It will remain far south of Alabama and the central Gulf Coast (Gulf Shores to Panama City Beach), but it could bring an increased threat of rip currents late this week. The rest of the Atlantic basin is quiet; the hurricane season “officially” begins tomorrow.
ON THIS DATE IN 2013: A large, violent tornado occurred over rural areas of Central Oklahoma near the town of El Reno. This rain-wrapped, multiple-vortex tornado was the widest tornado ever recorded and was part of a larger weather system that produced dozens of tornadoes over the preceding days. Remaining over mostly open terrain, the tornado did not impact many structures; however, measurements from mobile weather radars revealed extreme winds up to 302 mph within the vortex; these are the highest observed wind speeds on Earth. As it crossed U.S. 81, it had grown to a record-breaking width of 2.6 miles.
The tornado killed four storm chasers, the first known deaths in the history of storm chasing. Although the tornado remained over mostly open terrain, dozens of storm chasers unaware of its immense size and erratic movement were caught off-guard. Near U.S. 81, TWISTEX scientist and engineer Tim Samaras, along with his son Paul and research partner Carl Young, died in the tornado. Local resident Richard Henderson, who decided to follow the storm, lost his life in that same area. He snapped a picture of the tornado from his cellular phone before it struck him.
BEACH FORECAST: Click here to see the AlabamaWx Beach Forecast Center page.
WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly weather show all about weather anytime on your favorite podcast app. James Spann and a team of meteorologists from around the nation bring on interesting guests; a great podcast for weather geeks/dweebs/weenies.
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Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 3:00 this afternoon… enjoy the day!
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