It was a slow start to the summer in the southern US, with temperatures that were actually fairly comfortable. It couldn’t last, of course. It never does, and in Florence and the rest of northern Alabama, it was a taste of what residents usually come to expect in August. Temperatures were in the 90s by Monday afternoon, with dew points well into the 70s. It was a steam room just being outside on Sunday and Monday in Florence. Granted, it’s a couple degrees warmer than normal, but it’s also not as far out of the ordinary as the cooler start was. Weatherbug had the top forecast for the period. Actuals: Sunday – High 89, Low 70 Monday – High 94, Low 74
We’re getting our forecasting chops to start August, so it’s a bit too bad that the pattern is so docile. Maybe I should watch what I say before I start tossing out bad forecasts.
At 153PM, CT, Florence was reporting a temperature of 89 degrees with partly cloudy skies, with an isolated thunderstorm close to Huntsville, with even heavier activity to the southeast. A weak over the Smokey Mountains was helping to enflame shower and thunderstorms across the southeastern US, and will leave the threat of storms in the forecast for Florence this afternoon. There is some upper level structure responsible for this trough, which means there will be some progression. A vast ridge will build in the eastern US, leading to clearing for Florence and a lot of the surrounding area while the trough shifts well off to sea. Expect warming conditions with the bonus sunshine on Sunday. Part of the progressive pattern means low pressure will be able to drop the tail of cold front by Monday afternoon. Expect some locally heavy rains as the storms feast on the hot humid air. Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 91, Low 69 Monday – Hot, humid with an afternoon thunderstorm, High 92, Low 70
TWC: Tomorrow – Sunshine and clouds mixed. High 93, Low 70 Monday – Mixed clouds and sun with scattered thunderstorms. High 93, Low 75
AW: Tomorrow – Partly sunny and humid High 93, Low 72 Monday – Partly sunny and humid; a thunderstorm in the afternoon High 93, Low 76
NWS: Tomorrow – Patchy fog before 7am. Otherwise, mostly sunny High 91, Low 69 Monday – A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny High 91, Low 73
WB: Tomorrow – Patchy Fog in the morning. Partly cloudy, High 90, Low 71 Monday – Partly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms, High 91, Low 74
WN: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy, High 91, Low 69 Monday – Partly cloudy with chance of storms, High 91, Low 73
FIO: Tomorrow – Humid and mostly cloudy throughout the day. High 91, Low 67 Monday – Humid and partly cloudy throughout the day. High 91, Low 72
It’s clearing out pretty well for the afternoon in Florence. It looks like the weekend will be good for outdoor activities.
Sometimes, but not very often, a road trip comes along, and the route that Google comes up with a route that I was not expecting. This is one of those times! Instead of a route down the coast, we’re going to be headed through the mountains of Appalachia for a day and a half. The drive will cover 767 miles at a pace of a mere 61.5mph. Thanks, mountains! We’ll leave ourselves with a half day after driving 492 miles on the first day.
DAY ONE (Thursday)
High pressure will be the name of the game on Thursday, keeping any inclement weather at bay. The drive is one in which we will appreciate the dry weather, as moving through the mountains is difficult enough as it is. There isn’t a single straight road in central Pennsylvania or the entire state of West Virginia, which is fun because of the scenery, but less enjoyable when the weather gets a little sideways. It might start to get a bit breezy by the end of the day, and we’ll pull off for the night in Bluefield, West Virginia, which is on the border with Virginia, right before a long tunnel that goes under the state line.
DAY TWO (Friday) The big difference between Thursday and Friday for our little drive will be the terrain. Friday will be a much flatter day. Weatherwise, the big change will be a reduction in the wind. It will be still and pleasant for the duration of our drive, should you be so inclined to pull off at a random road side Waffle House. Or just wait, and get lunch in Florence, it’s only a 4 1/2 hour drive on Friday.
On this Saturday evening, all I can think is that this drive is going to take us right through SEC country. We’ll depart from ACC territory, I suppose, as we take an 8 hour, somewhat circuitous drive to northern Alabama. We will be on the road covering 507 miles at a pace of only 64.9mph. But really, check out this route.
There is a small, tightly wound area of low pressure shuttling through the southeastern US towards the Mid-Atlantic overnight tonight. By the time we wake up to get on the road, the low will be a thing of the past, leaving only a shallow lee trough, which may aid in the development of some fog in the wee hours. After we get to the higher terrain in South Carolina, and then head through north Georgia in the daylight, we will only be concerned with traffic and the sun shining in our eyes. All in all, Saturday will be the better day to travel this weekend.