Keep an eye on the sky this Fourth

Published 8:03pm Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Those planning to spend the Fourth of July grilling out by the river or splashing in the pool, may need to reevaluate their plans as severe weather will be moving into the area Thursday, leading meteorologists to predict a rain-filled holiday weekend.

National Weather Service meteorologist Mark Linhares said the rain showers many saw Wednesday evening, would linger over central Alabama throughout the rest of the week and into the weekend.

“Looks like rain chances stay in the neighborhood of 70 to 80 percent several days in a row — pretty much Friday into Saturday,” Linhares said of the forecast for Dallas County. “As we go through [Wednesday] afternoon the area moves into a 70 or 80 percent chance of rain and it just only gets worse the next couple of days.”

Linhares said the tropical moisture that is generally near the area of thunderstorms is currently in the East and is slowly moving to the West, “and that’s just going to dump a lot of rain.”

“Rainfall amounts on Saturday will be anywhere between three and five inches across a big chunk of the area,” he said. “Everyplace may not get that; there could be isolated spots that actually get more than that.”

Linhares said with the holiday weekend, the rainfall will likely disrupt the plans of many travelers and those looking to celebrate outdoors.

“Obviously this area of rain that moves in, it’s going to make it pretty wet outside, so outdoor activities are going to be minimum,” he said. “It may not be completely washed out the whole day, but outdoor activities are definitely going to be affected by the rain.”

The weather service said there will be some other waves moving across the area, which means there will be several small disturbances that go through the area, which will enhance thunderstorm activity from time to time.

“There’s a potential that there could be a small spin-up tornado and, or wind gusts with the stronger thunderstorms,” Linhares said, noting that putting an exact time on those waves is extremely difficult as there’s going to be several moving across the area.

Those traveling across the state during the holiday weekend should expect heavy rains. Linhares said the eastern two-thirds of Alabama will have a high chance of extended periods of rainfall.

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