Some things to consider:
Conserve electricity. Set your thermostat higher.
Limit driving. Combine errands.
Avoid use of gasoline powered lawn and garden equipment.
Refuel cars and trucks after 6 p.m.
Use household, workshop and garden chemicals in ways that limit evaporation.
If breathing becomes difficult, go indoors.
The Alert continues for tomorrow also...
The storms are producing significant lightning even at this late hour.
Storms cover much of Coosa County and southeast Talladega County from near Sylacauga to Rockford toAlex City to southwest of Rockford.
Very heavy rainfall is also occurring.
The storms should gradually weaken as we move into the late evening hours.
A new storm was forming right over the Homewood/Mountain Brook area.
The activity over Clay was fairly strong. Some nice rainfall rates have been observed here and over Northeast Alabama between Fort Payne and Gadsden. Over two inches of rain may have fallen in just one hour in some of thee areas.
Everything else was kind of slowly going donwhill...
The Weather Service did issue a severe thunderstorm warning for Clay Countyfor that storm we discussed earlier. It was near Lineville and appeared to have already collapsed and was raining itself out. Bet folks over in that area got some gusty winds and some very heavy rainfall.
Also, a severe thunderstorm warning was in effect for northeastern Hale County until 7:45 p.m.
The showers over northern Jefferson County have blossomed into a cluster of storms from about Brookside through Gardendale and over to Clay. This cluster is moving south.
Another storms was over southwestern Jefferson County near McCalla.
Our cell mergers over Northeast Alabama did flare up between Gadsden and Fort Payne, but now they are weakening. If you were lucky enough to get a storm late this afternoon, you probably got some cooling outflow and brief but beneficial rainfall.
The strongest was crossing State Route 9 between Heflin and Lineville near the Clar/Randolph County border. This storm might have a little small hail in it.
Several cells are merging over the Northeast part of the state over parts of Cherokee and DeKalb counties.
Other storms are in various states of intensity in places like western Jefferson County and southeastern Tuscaloosa County. Some showers were blossoming over northern Jefferson County. Northern and northeastern parts of the Birmingham metro might get some rain during the next hour.
The stornger storms could produce very heavy rain, dangerous lightning and strong gusty winds as thet form quickly, intensify, the rain themselves out with a huge outtflow of wind. Take cover if one is heading toward you...
This excessive heat allowed thunderstorms to form over the northern half of Alabama late this afternoon.
At 6:15 p.m. the most significant storms were....
...over Marion, Lamar and Fayette Counties
...just east of the city of Tuscaloosa
...over western Jefferson County west of downtown
...over extreme southeast Calhoun and southwest Cleburne Counties
...entering northern Jefferson County
...over eastern Franklin County
...and over Jackson, DeKalb and Cherokee Coutnies in Northeast Alabama
These are pulse type storms that form quickly, intensify rapidly, produce very heavy rain, deadly lightning and even some small hail, then collapse and rain themselves out...
By the time you read this...all the storms mentioned earlier will probably be on the downhill slide and new ones will be forming...
It will be interesting when we do the forensic meteorology after the balloons go up to see if it simply was the excessive heat, or if there were other factors at play with this afternoon's activity...and will those factors be at play tomorrow...
Isolated thunderstorms have developed this afternoon, and I must admit that I really did not expect to see isolated storms until Sunday afternoon. Just goes to show that you can't never tell about the weather!! A good friend of mine used to say that all the time - helps to ease the pain on busted forecasts.
Our pattern is not changing much for the next several days at least. In the upper atmosphere, the upper trough over the eastern third of the Nation is dampening while the ridge over the west is shrinking too. The result will be a zonal flow with the main storm track well north of Alabama across the northern tier of the United States.
Much of the northern tier of states from Colorado and Montana across the Great Lakes area will be included in slight risks for severe weather over the next three days.
The GFS continued to offer hope for some rain by mid-week, in the Wednesday to Friday time frame after July 4th. Another trough is forecast to develop over the eastern third of the country. If the GFS is right then there is a good possibility that a cold front will be dragged into the Southeastern US. A weak frontal boundary will be helpful in focusing the development of showers and thunderstorms, so hopefully nearly everyone will get some rain in that three day period or so. We'll certainly keep watching how the pattern shapes up, but at least we can hold out some hope for rain with that prognosis.
Temperatures will be hot for the next several days, so be careful as you get outside to work in the yard or take time to enjoy outdoor activities with the family. Drink lots of water, take plenty of breaks, and monitor your condition since heat stroke can sneek up on you.
I should have another web video map discussion posted tomorrow morning by 8 or so. I hope you have a great weekend - perhaps a loooong one, too - God bless.
South Marion County south and SE of Hamilton
SW Winston County
Extreme NW Walker County
A few others were near the Tennessee River.
Some of these were practically stationary...others were moving SE very slowly.
Pea size hail has been reported near Rainbow City, near the Steele exit from Interstate 59. This is SW of the Gadsden area in NE Alabama.
We did not include thunderstorms in our forecast. It was a judgement call but it got several degrees hiotter than expected...just enough to set them off.
They would dissipate soon after the loss of daytime heating.
Joe was a genuine broadcast engineer. And he loved the business. He was the Chief Engineer at WENN AM/FM in the 1970s, and moved to WATV-AM later. You can read an amazing account of those days at the Birmingham Rewound site:
Later, Joe would work with WBHM, and the ETWN shortwave radio operation.
I love being around older radio engineers. They have great stories and a real passion for the business they love. You see, as a kid I was a top 40 DJ in the 1970s... playing rock and roll music on AM radio in Tuscaloosa. I loved hanging around the engineers, listening to their stories and learning how stuff worked. Joe was mentioned many times by my friends in Tuscaloosa as one of the best in the business.
In recent years, I was curious to see who was doing re-creations of the old WSGN on the Jeff State radio station on 91.1... using the name "Russ Knight". Turns out it was Joe; he did work some air shifts in the old days (many engineers did), and that was his on-air name.
I got a call from Joe after an e-mail inquiry about the WSGN re-creation, and he told me the story of "Russ Knight", and I enjoyed a long conversation about the "good old days" in AM radio. We talked about my old station, WTBC in Tuscaloosa, and many of the big Birmingham broadcast giants like WSGN, WERC, WVOK, and WENN. I worked on a part time basis at WSGN in the mid 1970s, when it was in the penthouse of the City Federal Building downtown Birmingham.
Joe actually had a working radio station at his house on Lake Neely Henry near Ashville, and was known to crank out the hits on weekends for people within a small radius of his home. Gotta keep it legal, you know..
Listen to one of Joe's last live shows as "Russ Knight" on the link below... this show was broadcast on November 26, 2005 on his low power radio station at his home (this time re-creating WABC in New York), using mostly old tube equipment from the 1960s and 70s. He was really happy doing these shows, and the folks who listened to them were able to travel back in time and feel young again.
Funeral services for Joe are tomorrow at Elmwood Chapel at 11:00. Farewell, my friend.
I knew it has been a while since I've had measurable rain at my house, but I was stunned when I counted the days without rain - 16 consecutive days. The last significant rain at my house in Helena was June 12th - ouch!
Late but as promised I picked a couple of the almost 600 hundred photos I took while in Chicago over last weekend and used them to start the web video map discussion.
Parched - we are parched. And there is no immediate relief in sight. There is, however, some hope for the middle of next week. In the meantime, look for plenty of sunshine as we head into the weekend as temperatures climb each afternoon into the mid 90s.
The trough over the eastern third of the country will dampen today and Saturday as a large upper high develops over the eastern Gulf of Mexico and the Florida peninsula. A large surface high well east of us in the central Atlantic will help to increase moisture over the Southeast US. With increased moisture and plenty of sunshine, we should start to see scattered afternoon showers by Monday. An isolated shower could occur on Sunday, but scattered showers become more likely on Monday and Tuesday.
By Wednesday and Thursday a strong upper level low in Canada begins to carve out another eastern US trough. I'm still somewhat dubious about the trough becoming strong enough to bring a cold front into Alabama, but the GFS is being fairly consistent with doing just that. Curent model timing would suggest that a front may be approaching the area on late Wednesday and actually moving through the state on Thursday. This could bring showers and thunderstorms to Alabama and a pretty good shot at rain for just about everyone. We'll watch this feature to see if the GFS holds on to it. Oh, and if this does happen, look for high temperatures to drop back 4 to 6 degrees.
Tropics are still fairly quiet. That cluster of storms in the southwest Gulf of Mexico is expected to drift northwestward and may bring some rain to the Texas coast. Pressures remain high so there seems little chance for any development. An area of disturbed weather from just east of the Bahamas into the Lesser Antilles is still there but upper level wind is just not favorable for any kind of development.
Hope you have a great Friday. I'll be back with another map discussion video this afternoon around 4 pm or so.