MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The unofficial start of Summer is almost officially here. Beach plans, lake trips and weekend cookouts are a trio of events that will be enjoyed by many as we head into this Memorial Day weekend. Titles like "Unofficial Start to Summer" are fine and dandy, but Mother Nature tends to play by her own rules. So how is our weekend shaping up? Let's discuss...
TODAY: Temperatures will climb to around (if not slightly better than) 90 degrees this afternoon. Skies will run between a mix of mainly sunny to partly cloudy with rain chances no better than 5 percent.
BEACH PLANS: Those of you headed toward the Gulf coast this weekend are in for a real treat. It's going to feel like Summer in every sense of the word. Warm air and a solid dose of sunshine will team up for a great forecast. Make sure you pack the sunscreen, however. That sun angle is very high this time of year and can get you in trouble before you ever realize you're burning. Waters will be generally quiet with rain chances running very low each day Saturday through Monday.
You'll notice I made a point to highlight Gulf waters in particular. If your plans take you to the Atlantic side, this weekend will be a different story. There is a high likelihood we'll be dealing with Bonnie off the Atlantic coast. A tropical system nearby will spell trouble for beach-goers from coast Georgia toward the coastal Carolinas. There's even a chance we deal with a land-falling tropical system later this weekend. Lots to watch if you have friends or family in that area, but soon-to-be Bonnie's impact will spare Gulf beaches.
LAKE PLANS: Lake Martin looks great Saturday into Memorial Day Monday. Rain chances will hover around 10% each day as temperatures climb into the upper 80s to around 90 degrees (especially away from the water).
Same deal applies at the lake...make sure you lather on the sunscreen this weekend.
STAYING HOME: If you're avoiding water this weekend, no worries. The forecast still looks great for those with any/all outdoor plans. Temperatures will climb as high as the lower 90s for most of central and south Alabama each day this weekend with rain chances around 10 percent.
The threat for isolated storms appears to persist even as we head into next week beyond Memorial Day, although widespread wet weather still isn't expected. If anything, next week looks even hotter than what we expect this weekend. It is the unofficial start of Summer after all, right?
Be smart and be safe this weekend!