As I write this, I am flying to Nashville, where I will rent a car and drive as far as Clarksville, Tennessee. I will spend the night there and finish my morning forecast package and do radio weather forecasts for stations in Lynchburg, Virginia, Atlanta, Brunswick, Georgia and Jacksonville, Florida.
I will drive to Madisonville, Kentucky for a meeting Monday morning and then back to Nashville in the afternoon so that I can fly to Cleveland, Ohio. I will have a series of meetings there during the day on Tuesday before the fun part of my trip begins. I will get to go to Jacobs Field and watch the game between the Indians and the New York Yankees Tuesday night.
Wednesday morning, it will be a drive down to Cincinnati, Ohio, for two days of work. Part two of my busmanís holiday will occur Thursday night. I will get to see my beloved Atlanta Braves take on the Cincinnati Reds in the Great American Band Box (I mean Ballpark.)
Airfare to Cleveland: $95. Rental Car: $267. Two major league games in ballparks I have never been to: priceless.
Much of central Alabama got rain yesterday as evidenced by the Storm Total Precipitaiton graphic from the Birmingham radar. But even with fairly numerous showers around, not everyone got rain. After complaining about the shower that formed just south and west of me yesterday afternoon, I got a brief shower around 4:30 which gave me all of one hundredth of an inch.
Not much change to our weather pattern today so look for those showers to fire once again this afternoon.
GFS promises another front approaching North Alabama next weekend which will keep showers in our forecast. Warm, moist air all week will mean showers just about every afternoon.
In the tropics we're watching those two systems, one in the vicinity of Hispaniola and one in the southern end of the Leeward Islands. Neither has done much to become better organized since yesterday, and it doesn't appear that conditions favor much chance for organization at least through the next day or two. So we'll just have to keep our eye on these two areas of disturbed weather to see what evolves.
And speaking of the tropics, today marks the first day since July 5th that we have not had an active named storm. The next named storm will be Harvey.
Stay dry and cool during the upcoming week. James Spann will be on vacation so I'm going to fill in for him on the web map discussions. I'm going to make every effort to have them posted by 8:30 am and 4:30 pm. Have a great week.
The weekend of July 31-August 1, 1976 was the Centennial Celebration of Colorado Statehood. Thousands of hikers and campers crowded into the Canyon to enjoy a busy summer weekend of recreation.
On that fateful Saturday afternoon, easterly surface winds were blowing warm, humid air up the Front Range of the Rockies. As the unstable air rose, it condensed into a huge thunderstorm over Estes Park. Winds aloft were very light and the storm remained stationary over the same area for hours. Beginning at 8:30 p.n. that Saturday evening, as much as 12 inches or rain was dumped directly on the canyon by the thunderstorm. Eight inches fell in just two hours at Glen Haven and Glen Comfort.
The rock walls of the steep canyon did not soak up any of the rainfall and the river quickly rose. A 20 foot wall of water poured down the canyon, taking everything in its path, including unwitting campers and residents.
139 people were killed in the flood and the bodies of 6 people have never been found. Before the flood event, the stream flow on the river was a meager 127 cubic feet per second. At the peak of the flood, it was an unthinkable 31,200 cubic fet per second. It took over a year to rebuild Highway 34. Damage totalled over $35 million.
Visitors to Front Range canyons now find signs warning them to climb to safety in case of flash floods.
Today is different. I've already noted in a blog post below about the movement from northeast to southwest. But today, the showers do seem to have some definite motion to them. And they seem to be moving along at a steady pace though not particularly fast. The net result, though, is that most locations getting showers are not getting extremely heavy rain. The Birmingham WSR-88D storm total precipitation estimates showed around 3 pm that the heaviest rains were on the order of 6 tenths of an inch to one inch - and those heavier spots were mighty small. Most estimates were less than 3 tenths of an inch.
And so far my rain gauge has remained dry. A small shower developed just to my south and southwest but with the movement toward the southwest, all I got was some thunder - nary a drop! Still a long time to sunset so perhaps a boundary from the showers nearby will aide in producing a shower that will give me some rain. I love to sit on the porch and watch/listen to the rain.
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Looking at the upper air charts, a small rotation at 500 millibars has formed right over central Alabama. The center of the counter-clockwise rotation seemed to be located around Montgomery, so storms northwest of Birmingham were moving northeast to southwest while storms in east central Alabama along both sides of Interstate 20 were moving westward.
And none of these were barn burners. Most were moving slowly at less than 20 mph or so.
So today is one of those days that you don't want to watch the western sky for the approach of storms, but rather the eastern or northeastern sky.
The weather can be just downright fascinating at times. As JB says, life goes on.
Our walk was fairly uneventual but just as Molly had paused to do her "major business" a low-flying bird came by and Molly took off like the NASA Shuttle. She paused later and finished her business, then I had to backtrack 25 yards and scoop the first.
The Mimosa blossoms are finally beginning to fade along the walking track. They were unusually pretty this year. When my wife's folks from Layton, Utah visited us recently, they wondered if they took a Mimosa sprig home and planted it in the Salt lake Valley, would it grow? They had never seen it. I also suggested a tiny sprig of Kudzu but they immediately declined.
If you are reading this from way up in the NW corner of Alabama, could you tell it was more comfortable this morning? The dew point should have been about 65 as compared to low 70s further south. Places like Waterloo, Wright, Gravelly Springs, Riverton, Murphy's Crossroads and Cherokee. (Yes, the town of Cherokee is in Colbert County, not Cherokee County on the opposite side of the state.) One of these days, I must take that long winding drive (County Road 1) up the east side of Pickwick Lake from Margerum to Riverton. Has to be a beautiful drive. And, I have never been to Waterloo--very high on my wish list.
NOTE: Please scan down to see Brian's morning discussion and an earlier story on summer being 2/3 gone. Always remember that the last story posted on this blog is on top but there are many other stories lower down that are still current. Have had a lot of emails wanting a weekend story about Molly. Some say they need a "Molly fix" seven days a week. I am always afraid that I am "overdoing" the Molly material. Actually, there is a category on this blog called "Miss Molly" It is on the right-side menu. James provided it when he established the blog and I appreciate it. We have now received over 2,500 emails about Molly since beginning "My Tiny Corner" Only one email has been negative although I did get two complaints because I murdered a "pot-gutted" spider with my little blue scoop along the track. Life goes on...
It is unusual for us to see a cold front reaching northern Alabama in July, but one did that late this week and the effects are still being felt across northwest Alabama. At this writing, dewpoints were in the lower 70s across central Alabama while Tupelo and Muscle Shoals were reporting mid 60s. What a difference a few degrees in those dewpoints can make. The result is that northwest Alabama will be dry today. Showers will be most numerous from the Birmingham area to the south and east.
Tropics are nervous but no signs of any real development at the moment. Franklin still churning through the North Atlantic while there are two disturbances in the South Atlantic. One is over the area of Puerto Rico and Hispaniola and the second is located southeast of the Leeward Islands. Neither are well organized and conditions do not appear favorable for any rapid development. Both will need to be watched as the track forecasts bring them closer to the United States.
Not much change in our weather pattern through the upcoming week. This mornings run of the GFS does bring the promise of another unusual summer cold front approaching the area around August 12, but much can change before we get to that point.
Stay cool and don't work too hard in the afternoon heat. And by all means, be careful when outside as these showers develop. We don't need any more lightning deaths this year!
Have a great weekend and God bless.
But the old thermometer sometimes has a mind of its own and it doesnít always turn out that way. It can be very hot, not only in August, but well into September. In a normal year, the four weeks from mid-July through mid-August is our hottest time of the year. During that time the normal high temperature for Birmingham is 91. It drops back to 90 on August 16 and to 88 by the end of the month.
In past history, September has occasionally thrown the book at us. September has the unusual distinction of being the one single month that Birmingham recorded the largest number of days of temperatures 100 or higher which was 12 in 1925. The most 100-degree days in August was 8 in 1995.
In that September 1925 heat wave, the hottest temperature of all time for the whole state of Alabama occurred at Centrevilleóa blistering 112 degrees. It was a long drawn out heat wave with extremely high temperatures re-occurring at several times of the month. It was also during the period of a major drought. A major heat wave and drought are first cousins.
In 1925, air conditioning was virtually unheard of. For sure there had to be a great deal of suffering and probably a lot of heat strokes during that terrible period. Of course weíre thankful for air conditioning. Donít know how we could do without it. Even this past week when we had mid 90s for several days in a row. But life goes on through heat and cold and through drought and flood.
This swelled the July total to 9.38 inches which is almost double the normal for July. And, we have two more days to add to the total.
It brought the total for the year so far to an even 37 inches. That is an excess of 3.16 inches.
Wasn't too long ago that we were five inches in the hole.