Thursday: morning lows in record territory, warm and dry in the afternoon

A chill in the air Thursday morning, Irma headed northwest to the Turks and Caicos

After a pleasant day, it gets chilly overnight: middle 40s to lower 50s by morning. We expect to tie a record low in Huntsville with 51ºF, but even some neighborhoods tucked away in cooler spots should easily drop to the 42ºF to 49ºF range by sunrise.

Thursday and Friday both start cool and dry but warm up nicely; expect highs in the upper 70s and lower 80s with full sunshine both days.

Hurricane Irma: Hurricane Irma is still swirling in the Atlantic near Puerto Rico Wednesday evening: still packing Category Five winds up to 185 miles per hour. The forecast path is becoming clearer now, and we have much greater confidence that this will NOT be an issue for the Gulf of Mexico.

The latest National Hurricane Center forecast (pictured here) shows the expected sharp northward turn on Sunday taking the center near or just east of Miami Sunday. That northerly trend takes the storm near Melbourne early Monday and toward the South Carolina coastline on Tuesday.

NHC Official Forecast

If you have beach plans in Northwest Florida (Panama City to Pensacola) or Alabama, the weather will not be greatly impacted by Irma. Cities like Tampa and Fort Myers still need to be on guard, but the greater threat may pass east of them.

Any travel to Florida’s east coast, South Carolina or even the beaches near Wilmington, North Carolina should be carefully considered in coming days. This would still likely be a major hurricane moving into the Carolinas Tuesday if this path holds true.

Tropical Storm Katia is also in the Gulf, but it presents no threat to the US coastline.

Why do we expect that hard right turn this weekend?  It’s all about the steering currents:

Need some specifics about the weekend or next week? They’re always online at WHNT.com/Weather and in the “Daily Forecast” section on Live Alert 19!

-Jason
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