They call them lazy, dog days of summer. My beagle, Jack, apparently feels that way. He normally is emphatic, or at least up, when he howls at fire trucks or other sirens he hears on US Highway 11. Last night he was lying on his back and didn't even bother to get up to howl. You can't even see his face until near the end.
Dr. Tim Coleman
The system we are tracking now, that's still just a tropical wave will most likely take a track that is not across the Gulf of Mexico but the season is not over yet!
Here's what the National Weather Service in Birmingham has to say...
Most seasonal hurricane forecasts for this year continue to call for a below normal number of tropical storms and hurricanes to form in the Atlantic Basin. But does this mean that the Northern Gulf Coast will likely escape hurricane activity this year?
And the answer is...not necessarily.
Some memorable hurricanes have affected the Northern Gulf Coast during years that below normal activity occurred.
Memorable Northern Gulf Coast Hurricanes During Years With Below Normal Activity
1960 - There were only seven named storms, but two of these affected portions of the Gulf Coast. Hurricane Donna struck the Florida Keys with winds of 130 mph and then moved northward up the peninsula, producing widespread damage. Less than one week later Hurricane Ethel formed rapidly in the Central Gulf of Mexico and moved northward into Mississippi near Pascagoula.
1965 - Only six named storms occurred, but they were highlighted by one called Hurricane Betsy. Hurricane Betsy struck the New Orleans area and wreaked havoc with winds of 145 mph and a devastating storm surge.
1975 - There were only eight named storms in 1975, but Hurricane Eloise slammed the Northwest Florida coastline between Destin and Panama City with winds gusting over 125 mph and a storm surge of 12 to 16 feet. Beaches were devastated from Panama City to Fort Walton, with hurricane force winds extending far inland through the Florida Panhandle and extreme Southeast Alabama as the storm raced across the area.
1979 - Once again there were only eight named storms, but Alabamians will long remember one called Frederic. Hurricane Frederic moved ashore in the Mobile Bay area with winds gusting as high as 145 mph and a storm surge of 8 to 12 feet. High winds and heavy rain spread northward across eastern sections of Mississippi and much of Alabama as the storm moved northward near the Alabama and Mississippi state line.
1992 - There were only six named storms, but one of them was named Andrew. Hurricane Andrew slammed the southern sections of Florida as a Category Five hurricane and then turned northwest, eventually moving into the Central Louisiana coastline as a Category Three Hurricane, and then tracking northeast across Mississippi producing rainy, windy conditions across much of Alabama.
As you can tell from the information above, below normal hurricane activity in a given year does not necessarily mean there will not be a hurricane affecting the Northern Gulf Coast. So, continue to monitor the tropics during the next several weeks as we head into the peak of our tropical storm season.
More dangerous heat is in the forecast for today. Look for highs to average around 97-degrees with heat indices (feels like temps) into the triple digits.
The National Weather Service has issued a Heat Advisory for the entire state of Alabama for 11 am this morning until 9pm Saturday.
Stifling temps remain in the forecast for Sunday too, but some afternoon showers may help to cool things off a bit.
Better chances of rain are in the forecast for Monday, followed by cooler air. Highs should only make it into the low 90s for Monday through Friday of next week.
SIDELINE FORECAST: If you're going to a high school football game this evening, make sure you dress for hot temperatures even during the first quarter temperatures will be around 90 degrees. Skies should be partly cloudy with mostly light winds.
Mickey Ferguson, FOX6 Weather
Hot stretch continues through the weekend!
According to WebMD:
Heat Exhaustion is a heat-related illness that can occur after you've been exposed to high temperatures for several days and have become dehydrated.
There are two types of heat exhaustion:
Although heat exhaustion isn't as serious as heat stroke, it isn't something to be taken lightly. Without proper intervention, heat exhaustion can progress to heat stroke, which can damage the brain and other vital organs, and even cause death.
The most common signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion include:
If you, or anyone else, has symptoms of heat exhaustion, it's essential to immediately get out of the heat and rest, preferably in an air-conditioned room. If you can't get inside, try to find the nearest cool and shady place.
Other recommended strategies include:
If such measures fail to provide relief within 30 minutes, contact a doctor because untreated heat exhaustion can progress to heat stroke.
After you've recovered from heat exhaustion, you'll probably be more sensitive to high temperatures during the following week. So it's best to avoid hot weather and heavy exercise until your doctor tells you that it's safe to resume your normal activities.
Heat exhaustion is strongly related to the heat index, which is a measurement of how hot you feel when the effects of relative humidity and air temperature are combined. A relative humidity of 60% or more hampers sweat evaporation, which hinders your body's ability to cool itself.
The risk of heat-related illness dramatically increases when the heat index climbs to 90 degrees or more. So it's important -- especially during heat waves -- to pay attention to the reported heat index, and also to remember that the heat index is even higher when you are standing in full sunshine.
If you live in an urban area, you may be especially prone to develop heat exhaustion during a prolonged heat wave, particularly if there are stagnant atmospheric conditions and poor air quality. In what is known as the "heat island effect," asphalt and concrete store heat during the day and only gradually release it at night, resulting in higher nighttime temperatures.
Other risk factors associated with heat-related illness include:
Check with your doctor to see if your health conditions and medications are likely to affect your ability to cope with extreme heat and humidity.
Here are some additional safety tips:
The extreme heat comes to an end by Monday!
Jill Gilardi Fox 6 Meteorologist
The system we are monitoring for possible development is still located to the east of the Windward Islands.
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
800 AM EDT THU AUG 21 2014
For the North Atlantic...Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico:
Shower and thunderstorm activity associated with an elongated area of low pressure located about 350 miles east of the Lesser Antilles has changed little in organization during the past several hours.
Environmental conditions are expected to be conducive for development during the next day or so, and a tropical depression could form while the system moves west-northwestward at 15 to 20 mph across the Lesser Antilles and over the eastern Caribbean Sea.
The mountainous terrain of Hispaniola and eastern Cuba could limit development during the first part of the weekend, but conditions are expected to become more conducive for development by early next week when the system is forecast to move near or over the Bahamas.
1. Regardless of tropical cyclone formation, gusty winds and heavy rainfall are possible across portions of the Lesser Antilles, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands tonight and Friday, and over Hispaniola late Friday and Saturday. Interests in those islands should closely monitor the progress of this disturbance. An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft is scheduled to investigate the low this afternoon, if necessary.
* Formation chance through 48 hours...medium...50 percent.
* Formation chance through 5 days...high...70 percent.
What's interesting is to see how much computer models change over time, even over a short period of time we've seen drastic changes!
I combined both the GFS computer model with the EUROPEAN and both are trending away from the U.S. with time though strength and speed vary quite considerably:
All and all models are trending this system further east with time...
We'll continue to keep you updated!
Jill Gilardi Fox 6 Meteorologist
Be careful out there for the next few days. The heat could become dangerous!
We have highs in the mid to upper 90s and feels like temps over 100-degrees this afternoon through Sunday afternoon.
It would be a good idea to limit strenuous outdoor activity to the mornings or evenings if possible.
If you do have to be out in the heat of the day, try not to overdo it…take plenty of breaks, and drink plenty of fluids—preferably water—to stay hydrated.
We only have a chance of an isolated shower or two Saturday and Sunday afternoons, so don’t count on the rain to cool things off.
By Monday, our rain chances are up to about 30-percent. Highs should drop off into the low 90s for our next workweek.
Mickey Ferguson, FOX6 Weather
We are seeing significant cloudy to ground lightning, heavy rain, and even some indications of small hail on VIPIR this evening. These storms are impacting Cherokee and Cleburne Counties. The storms are rotating around the east side of high pressure in the Southeast. The movement is from the northwest to the southeast. Expect storms to continue in this area through at least 10pm.
There is a risk for a few storms to produce gusty winds. We already had what appears to have been a microburst earlier this afternoon around Oxford and McIntosh Road. Storms produced winds over 50mph blowing down trees and power lines.
The high pressure area will continue to move to the East over the next several days. This will limit our rain chances. Heat will be the big story with highs reaching the upper 90s through the weekend. The heat index will be in the triple digits during the afternoon hours. Looking back at the climate data, the last time we had triple digit temperatures in Birmingham was August 23, 2013.
We'll keep you updated on Fox6 News. Have a great evening.
Fox6 Chief Meteorologist
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