Here is the current Drought Monitor as of August 18th. South Alabama is in much better shape since a month ago, however we are due for some rain. September and October are not far off, and typically lead the Southeast into a drier part of the year. While some don’t want to hear it, a weak tropical system is exactly what we could use to completely reverse our current drought levels.
That being said, the Tropics are starting to get their act together…and accordingly right with entering the busiest time of hurricane season (Mid-August through late September). Currently there are four tropical waves between the Caribbean and the Atlantic. One of them shows strong potential for development in the next day or two, and will likely be our 8th named storm, Tropical Storm Harvey. Interestingly, the previous storm Tropical Storm Gert set the record in giving the season the most storms without having become hurricanes.
What will be Harvey should have no impact on the United States as it moves towards Guatemala and Central America. Behind that is a smaller wave that shows slower signs of development, but shows long term signs of development and “potential” impact on the United States next week.
This tropical wave is approximately 875 miles West of the Cape Verde Islands and could have potential to become a tropical system late next week.
This is the GFS 12Z model of what that wave COULD become next Friday in the Gulf. It must be noted though that a LOT can change in intensity and direction in a week…but it is certainly worth paying attention to!
In the meantime…Local weather remains quiet through the weekend as our dewpoints unfortunately creep back to uncomfortable territory in the low 70′s, up from the low 60′s earlier this week. This spells high heat index. Friday and Saturday will be 93-95 with heat index of 99-102. Rain chances remain fairly low, isolated mainly to the coastal seabreeze South of I-10, but a stray shower or two may make it over the state line. Lots of sunshine otherwise!