Hot and Humid Weather for the Rest of the Holiday Weekend

For Sunday, we are not expecting as many clouds or showers, so temperatures will likely once again in the lower 90s for South/Central Alabama. Rain chances are very low, but not zero, so don’t be surprised to see a few isolated showers across the Alabama landscape.

WAITING ON BONNIE: Still a tropical depression as of the 1100 AM EDT update. The center of Tropical Depression Two was estimated by an Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft to be near latitude 30.3 North, longitude 78.5 West. The depression is moving toward the northwest near 13 mph. This general motion, accompanied by a decrease in forward speed, is expected later today and on Sunday as the system nears the coast. Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph with higher gusts. Recent data from the reconnaissance aircraft indicate that the tropical cyclone remains just below tropical storm strength. However, the depression is forecast to become a tropical storm later today as it moves over the warm waters of the Gulf Stream. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1009 mb (29.80 inches). No impact for Alabama, but weather along the Georgia and Carolina Coast is only going to deteriorate the next 24 hours as the system approaches the coast.

NOCTILUCENT CLOUD SEASON BEGINS: On May 24th, NASA’s AIM spacecraft spotted wispy electric-blue clouds floating above the Arctic Ocean. This marks the beginning of the 2016 season for noctilucent clouds. Seeded by meteoroids, icy noctilucent clouds form at the edge of space where they can be seen shining in the night sky. Each year, their first detection by spacecraft is usually quickly followed by ground-based sightings. Indeed, a photographer in North Wales spotted some this morning.

MEMORIAL DAY: Not much change in the overall weather pattern. Monday, there could still be a few isolated showers possible, but many communities will remain dry with a partly sunny day. The high will be in the lower 90s Monday.

SPACE LIGHTNING OVER OKLAHOMA: Earlier this week, an enormous cluster of sprites (a.k.a. “space lightning”) appeared over a thunderstorm in Oklahoma. The outbreak was so intense, it may have warped the ionosphere above it and sparked a rare “pop-through gigantic jet.” This type of display could become more common as summer thunderstorm season unfolds across the USA.

REST OF NEXT WEEK: As we head back to work after the holiday, we are going to be talking hotter weather for Tuesday and Wednesday, with lower and mid 90s likely thanks to the upper ridge. But the pattern is expected to undergo a change late next week and into the weekend. By Thursday and Friday, a strong upper low will move across the western Great Lakes dragging an upper trough across the Southeast as the upper ridge is pushed well out into the Atlantic. This pattern change will do two things for us. First, the chances for showers and thunderstorms should go up a good deal for Friday and Saturday. Second, the upper pattern shifts to a northwesterly flow as the trough moves by, so we should see a drop in our temperatures with the afternoon highs back in the 80s on Friday and Saturday.

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