MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - After several days of scorching heat and humidity, the pattern will slowly change over the next few days. More clouds and a greater coverage of rain and rumbles will knock temperatures down into the upper 80s to lower 90s. Still hot, for sure, but not as hot as the past few days. We actually reached 100 degrees Tuesday in Montgomery, so we can call this a cooldown - relatively speaking.
The increase in clouds and rain is due to a developing tropical system in the northern Gulf of Mexico. It will be named “Barry” soon, and confidence is increasing that it will bring a threat of catastrophic flooding to parts of Louisiana and Mississippi.
Rainfall amounts in excess of 10 inches are likely in places like Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Natchez and Vicksburg - and that rain will fall into the already swollen Mississippi River. Throw in some storm surge potentially “backing” some water back up the Mississippi River, and there is the potential for some life-threatening flooding for parts of southeast Louisiana, including the city of New Orleans.
For central and south Alabama, the impacts will be much, much lower. Minimal, in fact. We expect an increase in the coverage of rain and storms Thursday through Saturday. No all day rain, no wind damage, no widespread flooding risk. And, frankly, we NEED the rain. I’d expect a general 1-3″ of rainfall for most of our area Thursday through Sunday, but it will come in spurts and will be unevenly distributed.
Along the Alabama and Florida beaches, the primary concerns will be the rough surf and rip currents. If you have beach plans Thursday through Saturday, I would plan on not swimming in the Gulf of Mexico, as conditions will likely be too dangerous. Scattered to numerous showers and storms will develop each day - but, it will not rain all day. The wind will be more of a nuisance than a danger - breezy conditions are likely, but wind damage is not. Some localized flooding could occur under the heaviest bands of rain, but nothing widespread or long-lived.
Barry will slowly track inland, moving into southern Arkansas and weakening quickly. We will slip back into a more typical Summer pattern next week, with highs returning to the low and mid 90s. There is growing evidence of even hotter weather by late next week and into next weekend, but it’s too early to nail down numbers at this point.