HEAT LEVELS RISING: Yesterday’s official high in Birmingham was 90 degrees, one degree below the average of 91. But today we expect a high in the 92-95 degree range as heat levels tick up a bit. The sky will be mostly sunny, and like yesterday any afternoon showers will be very hard to find over the northern half of the state.
REST OF THE WEEK: We project highs generally between 92 and 96 degrees tomorrow through Friday with partly sunny days and mostly fair nights. This will make it the hottest week so far this summer for most communities. There will be sufficient moisture for a few “pop up” showers and thunderstorms during the afternoon and evening hours, but nothing widespread.
THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: No real change as the hot, humid summer weather continues. Highs in the low to mid 90s; partly sunny days, and the usual risk of a brief afternoon thunderstorm in a few spots. Just what you expect in the middle of July in Alabama.
NEXT WEEK: The upper ridge holds, and the forecast just won’t change much. Partly sunny, hot, humid days with the chance of “scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms”. Highs remain in the low to mid 90s, a little above average for the middle of summer. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.
TROPICS: The Atlantic basin remains very quiet; tropical storm formation is not expected through the weekend.
TEXAS HEAT: San Antonio soared to 107 degrees yesterday, the a new record for that city for the month of July. Other highs included 112 at Del Rio, 108 at Austin, and 101 at Dallas/Fort Worth.
ON THIS DATE IN 1980: The great heat wave of 1980 was well underway. Birmingham’s high was 103, keeping alive a string of five straight days of 100 degree plus readings in the Magic City. That streak would extend on out to eight days. Starting on the 10th, Birmingham’s highs were 101, 102, 104, 106, 103, 102, 105, 105. The string was finally broken on the 18th, when powerful storms formed at mid-afternoon, cooling down the temperature just shy of the century mark.
The hottest day of the summer was July 17th when over 80 percent of the state reached 100 degrees, and nearly one quarter of the state reached 105. The highest reading on that day was 108 degrees recorded in the cities of Bessemer, Aliceville, and Jasper. It was 105 in Birmingham that day.
Around the nation, the heat wave claimed anywhere between 1,250 and 10,000 lives. Also because of the massive drought, agricultural damage estimates totaled over $50 billion when adjusted for inflation. It is among the billion-dollar weather disasters listed by NOAA.
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