The podcast is a short audio discussion and forecast of Alabama weather for the next five to seven days, and is delivered twice daily, seven days a week. You can listen to the podcast anywhere on an iPod or any other MP3 player, or on your computer.
To subscribe, go to the iTunes Music Store, and choose "Podcasts". In the search box, enter "ABC 33/40". On the next page, on the "ABC 33/40 Weather Podcast" line click on subscribe.
If you use another podcast receiving program, enter this feed address:
We will keep the old blog up since so many historical weather events were covered here in recent years. We will try to get these posts ported over to the new blog format so everything will be "under one roof".
On Thursday, an outbreak of tornadoes occurred across southern Kansas. There were 26 reports of tornadoes reported with the system, which may be a one day record for October in Kansas. Cold core severe weather outbreaks like this one are unusual because instability is very low, but shear values are extremely high. Everyone was caught off guard by the event, including the Storm Prediction Center.
In response to a question about why the event was not predicted, SPC Lead Forecaster Rich Thompson was gracious enough to post this comment on the Stormtrack forum.
I was working the 4pm-12am shift at SPC. The first tornado warning was issued (literally) as I walked into the operations area, and that warning included a report. I took over the shift around 4:05 pm, and by 4:20 pm was initiating a conference call with DDC and ICT for what became tornado watch #839. Fifteen minutes is not much time to get your bearings, especially when I had to at least consider some aspects of the "main" outlook areas in OK/TX. We did not amend the outlook because the expectation was that the event would likely wind down before 01z. In other words, we missed our opportunity to forecast the tornadoes, so we were left with a short term "reaction" in the form of the tornado watch. The worst case scenario is when an unexpected event corresponds to shift change, as was the case Thursday afternoon.
Nice rain event for Central Alabama - actually all of Alabama - with three-quarters to over two and a half inches recorded in the soaking event yesterday. Rain is long gone this morning, but the clouds are sticking around. I don't expect those clouds to be with us all day, but they could limit the sun in some locations and play havoc with afternoon highs. Plus it is going to be quite breezy out there today with a brick northwest wind at 10 to 20 mph, so be cautious if your plans take you out on the river or lake today.
Also, don't forget to set those clock back tonight when you head for bed. This is the last weekend in October and time to go back on standard time. We get to recover the lost hour of sleep we gave up last April.
Weather improves with a great day in store for Central Alabama on Sunday with lots of sunshine and highs climbing to near the 70 degree mark. And the wind should be much reduced.
Good weather stays with us on Monday, but Tuesday we see another front approach from the northwest. As the upper air flow becomes more westerly, the front will have a hard time making it very far south. I expect to see the front approach the area Tuesday night but become stationary on Wednesday and gradually wash out. This makes the late Tuesday to Wednesday the next time frame for some precipitation in Central Alabama. Right now it looks like amounts will be light, and I think we should be able to get in much of the trick or treating with dry conditions.
Thursday and Friday we cool off a bit with morning lows in the 40s and afternoon highs in the 60s, but it is expected to be dry. And at the moment the next weekend should be dry - at least until late Sunday.
Headed out once again today for a safety event up in Hamilton in Marion County at the invitation of the EMA Director, Matt McCracken. Looking forward to seeing the folks there and chatting about severe weather safety. After all, we are only a few days from the beginning of the secondary severe weather season in Alabama that runs roughly from the first of November to the middle of December. I hope you have a great weekend and God bless.
On Saturday, October 24, 1998, passengers were boarding the Windjammer Cruises yacht Fantome in Honduras. They were on a six day leisurely cruise to Belize. Captain Guyan March was concerned. Hurricane Mitch was in the Caribbean south of Jamaica, heading westward. It was intensifying rapidly. In fact, the outer rainbands of the growing storm were buffeting the ship.
March made the decision to cut the cruise short, sail to Belize City and put the passengers off the boat so they could return to Miami. After sailing all day, the beautiful sailing ship reached port and the sad passengers headed ashore. Captain March was plotting his next move as he said goodbye.
The official National Hurricane Center forecast projected the storm to continue moving west northwest and eventually make a turn to the north. The central pressure in the powerful storm fell to a dizzingly low 924 millibars. Armed with this information, March headed the four-masted sailboat out to sea to escape the westward moving storm. He sailed southeast toward the protection of the Bay Islands off the coast of Honduras.
But Mitch seemed to stalk the doomed ship. The steering currents unexpectedly collapsed, turning the storm unexpectedly southward, directly toward the Fantome. By the afternoon of October 27th, March and his crew of thirty-one men were battling fifty-foot waves and 115 mph winds as the hurricane edged closer and closer to them. That afternoon, the satellite phone went dead.
There would be no further contact with the Fantome. Experts theorize that the yacht and its crew of 31 foundered on a huge wave and sunk like a rock late on the 27th or on the 28th of October. All that was ever found of the ship was two life rafts and 8 life vests off Honduras, stenciled “Fantome.”
Our storms over East Alabama looked like a line of soldiers standing tall, backlit by the setting sun as they marched toward Georgia late this afternoon.
The line is now entering Haralson County, Georgia. It extends back into eastern Cleburne County, about 25 miles west of Carrollton, Georgia then on to west of Lineville in Clay County then down to Alexander City.
No warnings are in effect.
The line is moving east.
An isolated strong storm is east of Centre in Cherokee County.
Skies are temporarily clear over western Alabama, but low clouds will fill back in toward morning. Temperatures are in the middle and upper 60s and will fall into the upper 40s overnight.
A cold front continues steadily eastward across North and Central Alabama late this afternoon. It was accompanied by a broken and irregular line of showers. The atmosphere became more unstable with those but not enough to cause a serious problem.
At 5 pm, the line was from near Guntersville down to near Oneonta, to east of Birmingham to near Columbiana to about Clanton.
Even down in Extreme SE Alabama, most of the heavier showers have moved out.
Thanks to a reader for these great pictures... he writes:
I was in Denver this week for a business trip and got to experience the incredible snow storm. As an Alabama native, I haven't seen this very much in my 34 years. I looked outside at 3 am and saw only a dusting but could still the grass on the golf course so I thought they had predicted incorrectly. When I awoke at 6 am this is what I saw.
The day before, people were playing golf in shorts!
While the large mass of rain that covered Alabama this morning has moved on to the east, a new line of showers and storms is forming from Decatur to Jasper as I write this around 3:00 p.m. Another cluster of showers is over far eastern Tuscaloosa County. We now have positive CAPE over much of Central Alabama, and SPC has mentioned some risk of severe storms for the next couple of hours as a surface trough passes through. The Birmingham dewpoint is up to 67 (downtown at our SKYCAM site atop the Daniel Building), and there are some breaks in the overcast. We will watch the storms that form closely since there is a very healthy degree of vertical wind shear right now.
Showers and storms will end this evening as the trough moves on to the east, and low clouds will cover most of the state overnight. Some drizzle will be possible in spots, but no additional measurable rain is expected beyond 8:00 p.m.
THE WEEKEND: The sky should become partly sunny tomorrow, although clouds could linger much of the day in some sections of Northeast Alabama. Sunday still looks like a beautiful day with ample sunshine and a high at or just over 70.
NEXT WEEK: Our dry forecast for the trick or treaters might be in danger; the GFS is now hinting at a band of showers and storms moving into Northwest Alabama Tuesday afternoon; some of those might reach us Tuesday evening. We will continue to mention a chance of showers Wednesday; much cooler air returns to the state by the end of the week. For now the rain event during the middle of next week does not look like anything that would bring a severe weather or really heavy rain event to Alabama. But, as always we will keep an eye on things.
QUICK RAIN TOTALS: Here are some quick rain totals from our SKYCAM network:
PRIME TIME: Don't forget to watch our prime time special, "A Decade Of Alabama Weather" Sunday from 6:00 until 7:00 p.m. on ABC 33/40. We will look back at the 10 year history of the ABC 33/40 weather operation, and you will re-live all of the big weather events we have covered!
Brian Peters will have the videos for you over the weekend... don't forget to set your clocks BACK one hour tomorrow night as we go back on standard time. Yep, an extra hour of sleep!