ANOTHER DRY DAY: Birmingham has received only 0.02″ of rain since mid-September; the last meaningful rain here was on September 16 when just under one inch was recorded. Today will be another dry day with ample sunshine along with a high in the low 80s. Clouds will increase tonight ahead of a low pressure center and warm front over the northern Gulf of Mexico.
RAIN RETURNS: Rain is likely over much of the state tomorrow; the heaviest rain will be over the southern counties, where some spots could see 2-3 inches. The amount of rain for North Alabama is still debatable; models are not in good agreement concerning the northern extent of the rain. For now it looks like places like Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, and Anniston could see up to 1/2 inch, with only 1/4 inch for the Tennessee Valley. This could change as we see how the hybrid system develops in the Gulf.
For now Thursday looks like a dry day; the sky becomes partly sunny. Highs will be in the 70s both tomorrow and Thursday.
FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: A cold front will approach the state Friday night, and a few spotty showers are possible, but moisture will be very limited and widespread rain isn’t likely. On Saturday the sky will become mostly sunny by afternoon, and Sunday will be a sunny day as dry air continues to settle into the state. The high Saturday will be in the 70s, then falling into the 60s Sunday with a cool north breeze.
NEXT WEEK: At this point the week looks cool and dry with highs in the 60s through Wednesday, followed by 70s Thursday and Friday. Lows will be mostly in the 40s. See the video briefing for maps, graphics, and more details.
FOOTBALL WEATHER: Jacksonville State will host Liberty tonight (6:30p CT kickoff)… the sky will be mostly fair with temperatures falling from near 75 at kickoff, into the 60s by the second half. No risk of rain.
TROPICS: A small low pressure system over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico continues to produce an area of disorganized cloudiness and thunderstorms. Environmental conditions appear only marginally favorable for some additional development while the system moves slowly northward during the next day or so. The low is forecast to merge with a frontal system over the western Gulf of Mexico by tomorrow morning. Regardless of tropical cyclone development, the system is forecast to produce gale-force winds over portions of the northern Gulf of Mexico by tomorrow. NHC gives the system only a 20 percent chance of becoming a depression or storms.
And, a broad area of low pressure located several hundred miles southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands in the eastern Atlantic continues to produce a large
area of showers and thunderstorms. This activity has changed little in organization since yesterday. However, environmental conditions appear conducive for gradual development, and a tropical depression is likely to form during the next couple of days while the system moves west-northwestward or northwestward across the eastern tropical Atlantic. This feature will likely turn north and will remain far from land… NHC gives it an 80 percent chance of development.
ON THIS DATE IN 2018: Destructive Hurricane Michael made landfall near Mexico Beach with winds of 160 mph. It became the first Category 5 hurricane to make landfall in the contiguous United States since Andrew in 1992. It was the third-most intense Atlantic hurricane to make landfall in the contiguous United States in terms of pressure, behind the 1935 Labor Day hurricane and Hurricane Camille in 1969. Michael was the first Category 5 hurricane on record to impact the Florida Panhandle, the fourth-strongest landfalling hurricane in the contiguous United States, in terms of wind speed, and the most intense hurricane on record to strike the United States in the month of October.
At least 74 deaths were attributed to the storm, including 59 in the United States and 15 in Central America. Michael caused an estimated $25.1 billion in damage. Along the Florida panhandle, the cities of Mexico Beach and Panama City suffered the worst of Michael, incurring catastrophic damage from the extreme winds and storm surge. Numerous homes were flattened and trees felled over a wide swath of the panhandle. A maximum wind gust of 139 mph was measured at Tyndall Air Force Base before the sensors failed. Peak storm surge inundation was 9-14 feet from Mexico Beach to Indian Pass.
Look for the next video briefing here by 3:00 this afternoon… enjoy the day!
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