Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Alberto rains on the Mid-South, then summertime heat returns!

Showers today courtesy of Subtropical Depression Alberto

We have started the day with plenty of cloud cover, helping to keep our temps a few degrees cooler than they have been. Our high today will be around 82°, which is actually a few degrees below average for the end of May - a rarity this month! This cloud coverage is associated with Subtropical Depression Alberto, which is currently located over central Alabama.

Satellite imagery from 10:30 AM shows Subtropical Depression Alberto located over central Alabama giving way to cloud coverage across the southeast. (College of DuPage)
This subtropical system will continue moving northward today, with the center of low pressure moving through Tennessee just to our east. While the center won't move directly over us, it will bring enough moisture for us to see showers and possibly a few thunderstorms later today. Outer bands associated with this storm will reach portions of our area later this afternoon. Alberto will be weak enough that we don't expect any major wind issues as it passes by to our east.

HRRR loop now through late tonight has showers reaching our area this afternoon and scattered showers continuing into the evening. (WeatherBell)
Overnight temps will fall into the low 70s. We could have a few scattered showers remain, but these should begin to move off as we move through the overnight hours.


Tomorrow we will begin to transition back to a somewhat summer-like pattern. High temps will rebound back to 90 with dew point temps coasting near 70°. Scattered clouds will hang around through most of the day, but expect much more sunlight tomorrow than we will see today.

As we move into the afternoon, our shower coverage will begin to increase. Scattered showers and thunderstorms can be expected, with some of us seeing these showers while others will not. Any showers that develop in the afternoon will begin to dissipate when the sun goes down. 
NAM 3km shows scattered showers and thunderstorms across our area tomorrow afternoon. (WeatherBell)

Thursday into the Weekend

By the second half of this week, we will begin to return to our summertime "norm". A somewhat zonal flow at the 500 mb level (a west-to-east wind at 18,000 feet - the level which typically drives our storm systems) will begin to turn into a more ridge-dominate flow. A high pressure system appears to build over Texas, leading to a ridge pattern over the Central U.S. We will be right on the edge of this ridge, which will help influence our overall weather pattern.

GFS 500mb loop from early Thursday through late Sunday night shows a high pressure building in over the Texas area with mid-level ridging across much of the Central U.S. (Pivotal Weather)
So what will this summertime norm look like for the second half of the week? Hot with a slight chance of an afternoon thunderstorm in short.

High temps look to coast in the low to mid 90s Thursday through the weekend with heat index values nearing or just over 100° on some of those days. We will also have plenty of moisture in the air to get that sticky feeling accompanying the above average temps. Dew point temperatures will rise into the low 70s, which will add that uncomfortable sticky feeling.

As for our rain chances, currently carrying everyone's favorite 20% chance Thursday through the weekend. These days will be our typical summertime rain lottery, where some of us will get lucky and steer clear of the showers, where others will have showers develop right on top of them. Luckily, any shower activity should occur primarily in the afternoon and thunderstorm activity will diminish greatly once the sun goes down each night. 

Caroline MacDonald
MWN Meteorologist Intern

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