Sizzling heat, watching the Gulf (forecast video)

Southern discomfort: Even by early July standards, temperatures will be sizzling across several states, from eastern portions of Texas and Oklahoma over to northern Alabama. The National Weather Service has issued Heat Advisories for the Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, Houston, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Little Rock, Shreveport, Memphis, Jackson, Huntsville, Birmingham and Montgomery metro areas. Drivers: Pack loads of extra ice and water in your coolers, and be sure to take your breaks in comfortable, cool spaces. Afternoon highs will reach 95° to 100°, but will feel like 105° to 110° because of the humidity.

Tropics alert: A low pressure cell in the Florida Panhandle will likely move into the Gulf of Mexico later today or tonight, moving westward across the northern Gulf through the rest of the week. It could become more organized, turning into a tropical depression as it encounters very warm sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the mid- and upper-80s. Potential periods of heavy rain and gusty winds could slow down drivers on the I-10 corridor, and may cause minor disruptions for offshore oil rig operators.

More storms in the Plains: Scattered thunderstorms will be rumbling again today and tonight, mainly from the Rockies and Great Plains over to the Southeast. The best chance for severe storms containing damaging winds, large hail, torrential rainfall and/or isolated tornadoes is from eastern Wyoming, the Dakotas, and Nebraska eastward to Minnesota, Iowa and northern Missouri. Drivers may run into delays on I-25, I-29, I-80, I-90 and I-94 through Casper, Rapid City, Bismark, Omaha, Minneapolis, Des Moines, Kansas City and places in between.

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Nick Austin, Director of Weather Analytics and Senior Meteorologist

In his 17 years of weather forecasting experience, Nick worked on air at WBBJ-TV and WRCB-TV, including time spent doing weather analysis and field reporting. He received his Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from Florida State University as well as a Bachelor of Science in Management from Georgia Institute of Technology. Nick is also a member of the American Meteorological Society and National Weather Association. As a member of the weather team at WBBJ-TV in Jackson, Tennessee, Nick was nominated for a Mid-South Emmy for live coverage of a major tornado outbreak in 2008. As part of the weather team at WRCB-TV in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Nick shared the Chattanooga Times-Free Press Best of the Best award for “Best Weather Team” for eight consecutive years. Nick earned his National Weather Association Broadcasting Seal in 2005.

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