Rain Chances Creeping Back, Weekend Looks Rather Wet
Water vapor imagery early on this Thursday morning shows that we are still temporarily situated under high pressure and dry air aloft, as we are sandwiched in between the upper-level low over the Four Corners and Atlantic moisture over the coastal Southeast. This high pressure is breaking down with time, and that will allow deeper moisture to gradually work its way back into the area. You will start to feel the changes today, with dewpoints creeping back toward 70 degrees. With the dry air aloft, we still expect mostly sunny to partly cloudy skies. However, with moisture increasing with time, we surely can't rule out a few isolated showers or storms across the area during the afternoon hours today. Temperatures are going to be warm once again, and maybe a couple of degrees warmer than Wednesday, with afternoon highs in the upper 80s to near 90 degrees, especially in our Alabama counties.
Friday's weather will be similar, although a few degrees cooler, back into the mid-80s for highs. Partly cloudy skies can be expected, and with deeper moisture still easing back into the area, a few isolated thunderstorms are again possible during the afternoon. They should still be very hit and miss across the area. Most folks will stay dry during the day.
As we head into the weekend, this is where we start to see bigger weather changes across our area. Much deeper moisture will be in place across the area as the upper low ejects out of the Four Corners and gets absorbed into the jet stream to our north. This will bring the stalled frontal boundary closer to our area, providing added lift for scattered to numerous showers and thunderstorms both Saturday and Sunday. It won't be a washout all day either day, but on each day, showers and thunderstorms are likely for all of the area. At some point, no matter where you are in the viewing area, you are likely to get a period of rain on both Saturday and Sunday. With the deeper tropical moisture in place, some of the rainfall may be locally heavy. The good news is that we see no signals for a severe weather threat, but you can't ever 100% rule out a thunderstorm producing gusty winds that can bring down a tree.
The departing upper low leaves behind a weakness in the ridge over the Mississippi Valley and the Southeast as we go into early next week. The good news is this means temperatures will be a little cooler with afternoon highs dropping back into the low to mid 80s, if not a few days with upper 70s for highs. The not-so-good news is that the frontal boundary stays stalled to our north and washes out. That means drier air never moves in and rain chances stay elevated for much of next week. We expect a 40% or greater chance of rain across the area from Monday through at least Thursday, and rain and storms could end up a little more widespread than that on Wednesday as a disturbance moves through the area.
The tropics in the Atlantic basin are hyperactive as we hit the official climatological peak of the hurricane season. We are currently watching Paulette and Rene out in the Atlantic, as well as a vigorous wave rolling off the coast of Africa that will likely soon be named Sally in the coming days. That system will have to be watched vigilantly since it is moving off the African coast at a lower latitude and those typically travel more westerly through the Atlantic with a much lower chance of recurving. Elsewhere, we have a weak disturbance moving through the Bahamas into the Gulf of Mexico. It mainly looks like a rainmaker, but the National Hurricane Center does give it about a 20% chance of developing into a tropical depression. There is also a similar disturbance off the coast of the Carolinas. There is definitely no short supply of action in the tropical Atlantic at this time. We are only four names away from being at the end of the list of names for the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, and then we have to switch to the Greek alphabet. That has only happened once before, the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season.