There was a dramatic radar loop attached to the forecast for Dothan, but, at least in that southeast Alabama town, it was for naught. The storm moved up the Mississippi Valley and left Dothan unperturbed. Accuweather had no rain in the forecast, and picked up the top forecast for the day because of it. Actuals: Wednesday, High 86, Low 74 Thursday – High 91, Low 73
The storm that’s on everyone’s mind in southern Alabama today is Gordon. What will he do and where is he going? Let’s find out!
At 1153AM, CT, Dothan was reporting brisk west winds and a temperature of 81 degrees, with overcast skies,. Tropical Storm Gordon remained a mass of rain with a few embedded lightning strikes off the coast from the Florida Panhandle. There has been some organizing through the day, but moving towards the Mississippi Delta will only work to blunt the continued development of the feature. Dothan is presently staying out of the rain associated with the system, and looks to do so until the system begins to unravel as it moves inland. Gordon will swiftly waste himself when on land. He will become part of the intake into a ranging cold front through the center of the country, which may spread far enough to the east to leave Dothan with a few showers on Thursday afternoon. Most of the activity will remain west of Dothan, as it will while Gordon is thriving, but with pressure in the storm rising, Dothan will be more reflective of a standard late summer day in southern Alabama. Tomorrow – Overcast with scattered showers, High 83,Low 74 Thursday – More sun, still some isolated showers, High 88, Low 71
TWC: Tomorrow – Scattered thunderstorms. High 86, Low 73 Thursday – Partly cloudy skies in the morning will give way to cloudy skies during the afternoon. High 90, Low 72
AW: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy skies in the morning will give way to cloudy skies during the afternoon.High 86, Low 73 Thursday – Times of clouds and sun; humid High 90, Low 73
NWS: Tomorrow – A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Cloudy High 88, Low 72 Thursday – A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 1pm. Partly sunny, High 90, Low 72
WB: Tomorrow – Cloudy with a 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, High 84, Low 73 Thursday – Partly sunny, A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. High 88, Low 72
WN: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy with scattered storms, High 88, Low 72 Thursday – Partly cloudy with isolated storms, High 90, Low 72
FIO: Tomorrow – Light rain in the afternoon. High 83, Low 75 Thursday – Mostly cloudy throughout the day. High 87, Low 72
The discussion for this forecast was put together before the numeric forecast that followed, and I can tell you, as of early Tuesday morning, Gordon has made landfall, though he never did attain hurricane status. Below is the radar imagery from the time the forecast was put together.
It’s a day and a half from southern Alabama to the shores of Chesapeake Bay, and with a cold front dragging through the country and cold air filling in everywhere, that’s not going to be as dramatic a change as it might usually be in December. Dothan won’t be much better than Baltimore! The towns are 890 miles apart, and the drive will cover the ground at a pace of 64mph. As I noted, it’s a day and a half between the two towns, with Wednesday, the full day of driving, covering 514 miles.
DAY ONE (Wednesday)
There is really no reason for this, but this is the type of pattern that drives me nuts. A cold front, now distended and much less active, will lie off the coast from New England and the mid Atlantic, but will be a stalled stationary boundary wrapping from the Carolinas and southwest through the Gulf Coast states. You get this set up, and then it never seems to want to change. So that’s where we’ll be at. Rain is likely in Dothan as we get going, and then that won’t even ever really change as we head through Georgia and into the Carolinas. The rain will be fairly light, with some breaks, but all the pavement we see will be damp, and it’s unlikely we get any sunlight. We’ll make it to Thomasville, North Carolina, which is in the Winston-Salem/Greensboro area.
DAY TWO (Thursday)
We’ll break out into the sun by the time we reach Richmond, but then we will be confronted with different concerns, namely a brisk northwest wind and chillier air temperatures. It probably won’t reach freezing until the DC area, and even then, it will be a close call, and fortunately, there has been plenty of time between the rain and the temperature drop in this part of the world, so we shouldn’t have any slick roadways. Keep both hands on the wheel because of those winds, and don a jacket when you start exploring the Inner Harbor.
The Southeastern portion of our great nation has been beaten and abused by the weather through the late summer. Fortunately, while Maria has ravaged the Caribbean for the second time this season, she has no designs on Florida, and the Sunshine State is opening back up for business. Why not a trip down to Disney World? This is going to be a short trip, covering only 358 miles and lasting just over 5 hours. We should be able to reach an average speed of 66.9mph, dspite he brief length of the trip.
Maria will be sliding through the Bahamas tomorrow, which will be quite dangerous for that nation, but is quite fortunate for Florida. Her easterly turn will be even better news for the East Coast this weekend. the northeasterly, counter-clockwise flow around Maria will be directed at our route, however. This won’t be a catastrophic wind, or torrential rain, but there will be a few isolated showers and storms over interior Florida, which we may bump into between Tallahassee and Orlando, but personally, I think the models are getting over eager with the rain threats. Orlando will not be perfect when we get there, but it won’t be bad either.
The forecast for Dothan heading into the weekend was a pretty typical summer forecast for the region, constant chances of afternoon thunderstorms. One just passed by the area on Friday, but Saturday saw a direct hit, dumping over an inch of rain in the process. It was a close battle, but WeatherNation edged out VW and the NWS by a single point.
Friday: Thunderstorm reported in vicinity. High 94, Low 76.
Saturday: 1.04″ in thunderstorm. High 93, Low 72.
Forecast Grade: B-D
Today we head down towards the Gulf Coast region to find out how the fine people of Dothan, Alabama are doing today. Is a dry start to the weekend in store or will thunderstorms dot the landscape?
At 153am CDT, the temperature at Dothan, AL was 77 degrees under fair skies. Activity has subsided during these overnight hours as per usual. High pressure founds off the Southeast coastline extends its axis into the northern Gulf of Mexico, suppressing chances of any nocturnal activity from really reaching them. Some scattered airmass thunderstorms are expected to pop up during the afternoon hours on Friday, which is pretty typical for these summer months in the Deep South (gotta love that GOM moisture!). Tail end of a boundary looks to swing into the region on Saturday, however, which is expected to increase the coverage of thunderstorms throughout the region. Constant daylong rains aren’t expected, but odds are Dothan will see some storm activity over the next couple of days.
Friday: Scattered afternoon thunderstorms. High 92, Low 75.
Saturday: Thunderstorms likely. High 89, Low 74.
TWC: Friday: Afternoon thunderstorms. High 91, Low 75.
Saturday: Scattered thunderstorms. High 87, Low 74.
AW: Friday: A thunderstorm around. High 92, Low 75.
Saturday: A stray afternoon t-storm. High 88, Low 75.
NWS: Friday: Chance of thunderstorms. High 93, Low 75.
Saturday: Chance of thunderstorms. High 89, Low 75.
WB: Friday: Increasing chances of afternoon thunderstorms. High 89, Low 75.
Saturday: Chances of thunderstorms. High 87, Low 76.
WN: Friday: Partly cloudy with scattered storms. High 93, Low 75.
Saturday: Mostly cloudy with scattered storms. High 90, Low 75.
FIO: Friday: Light rain starting in the afternoon, continuing until evening. High 90, Low 73.
Saturday: Rain starting in the morning. High 88, Low 75.
Much of the Gulf Coast region is clear tonight, but the afternoon hours the next couple days should paint a different picture as diurnal convection develops.
The forecast for Dothan, AL panned out as expected, precip-wise anyways. Saturday was pleasantly sunny, perhaps just a couple degrees cooler than expected. Sunday morning, the light rain showers moved on in, but overcast skies behind it kept temperatures WAY below what was expected. Like 10 degrees lower. Oops. Oh well, people probably weren’t going out much Sunday anyways. VW, TWC, and AW all tied for the win, albeit not with a score we’re particularly proud of.
Saturday: High 69, Low 45.
Sunday: 0.17″ of rain. High 54, Low 46.
Forecast Grade: D
Today we head off to the Deep South, someplace much warmer than VW HQ. Will they see some precip in the liquid form this weekend? Or will Spring Break start off hot and sunny?
At 1053pm CST, the temperature at Dothan, AL was 56 degrees under fair skies. A bit of high pressure continues to linger over the Southeast, but a pattern change is about to happen. There’s a ill-organized area of low pressure found pushing into the Central Plains tonight and will continue to ride the base of an upper-level trough, shifting its way into the Southeast during the early morning hours on Sunday. Some rain showers will start pushing into southeastern Alabama during the early morning hours and last until the early afternoon before continuing off to the east. Late Sunday evening should clear out precip-wise, but clouds are expected to linger. So, kind of a half-and-half weekend shaping up. Enjoy Saturday!
Saturday: Mostly sunny. High 72, Low 46.
Sunday: Cloudy, morning showers expected. High 64, Low 48.
TWC: Saturday: Partly cloudy. High 72, Low 45.
Sunday: Cloudy, scattered showers. High 63, Low 50.
AW: Saturday: Thickening clouds. High 71, Low 46.
Sunday: Cooler with showers around. High 63, Low 50.
NWS: Saturday: Sunny, increasing clouds late. High 71, Low 46.
Sunday: Rain likely in morning, then decreasing by evening. High 63, Low 51.
WB: Saturday: Sunny. High 71, Low 46.
Sunday: Showers expected. High 63, Low 52.
WN: Saturday: Mostly sunny. High 72, Low 46.
Sunday: Mostly cloudy with rain likely. High 63, Low 51.
FIO: Saturday: Partly cloudy starting in the afternoon. High 76, Low 46.
Sunday: Light rain starting in the afternoon. High 63, Low 50.
Southeastern AL is pretty quiet today, while rain showers and some thunderstorms continue to stir over the far Western GOM. Eventually it will make its way to Dothan, but first, a nice start to the weekend!
On this college football Saturday, we’re forecasting for a drive through the heart of SEC country. Of course, the drive will be done on Sunday, so no game action will be missed. The two cities are 6 hours and 385 miles apart. That means we can expect a pace of about 62.5mph. Let’s take care of this little adventure, shall we?
We couldn’t have picked a better day for driving. A cold front moved through yesterday, and a clean, crisp, northwesterly flow followed suit. Sunny skies, light winds and a refreshing atmosphere will embody all of Alabama, as well as Tennessee. A great day for the open road.
The forecasts for Dothan had lots of sun for both days, and they panned out pretty well. However, temperatures never did make it into the 60s on Friday despite the sunny skies, which was the biggest flaw in most forecasts. Victoria Weather came out on top by virtue of the cooler Friday forecast.
Thursday: High 58, Low 34.
Friday: High 57, Low 30.
Forecast Grade: B