Big heat, big humidity, big storms

Tropical development likely in the Gulf soon

Josh's Tuesday evening update

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Evening showers and thunderstorms continue to prowl around the area. Some cells are intense with localized heavy rain, frequent lightning and gusty winds - so keep your WSFA First Alert weather app handy to stay ahead of the storms.

Besides the heat and humidity, the other big weather headline is the tropics: a broad low pressure system will soon start to become more organized as it heads into the warm waters of the northern Gulf.

The National Hurricane Center has a high chance of development as this system acquires tropical characteristics, enough to possibly become a Tropical Depression or even Tropical Storm Barry within the next few days.

Models steer this energy westward later week, passing near or just offshore Louisiana. It’s important to note, we have no “center” to define at this point; there is a broad area of low pressure, where a more defined smaller area of circulation will eventually get going.

Models don’t know where that will be, and until it forms, track confidence should be taken with a grain of salt. To a large extent, the exact track isn’t overly important... weaker systems will have impacts that range far from the “center” in the form of rain and rough surf.

Speaking of, we expect there will be at least some impacts to local beaches Thursday, Friday and into Saturday. The rip current risk will be high and rain coverage will increase with gusty thunderstorms accompanying generally breezy conditions. It will be a less-than-ideal beach forecast, but it won’t rain all day.

If you’re looking for a tan, you’re going to be disappointed... but it’s not a washout of a forecast, so if it were me I wouldn’t change any plans. More rain and perhaps even a low-end risk for a brief waterspout or tornado, but not quite a soaker.

Even though we’re well north of the low, we’re on the moist side of the system and deep tropical moisture will still be plentiful in our atmosphere... that will help produce higher rain chances locally late week. Some of this rain will be locally heavy, especially across south Alabama. We’ll have to see what the exact track looks like beyond that to see if there’s anything left over into the weekend.

7 day forecast
7 day forecast (Source: WSFA 12 News)

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