April 24, 2009, 3:08 am
The ABC 33/40 Weather Podcast for Friday, April 24, 2009 is now online.
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:
For immediate, detailed weather updates, visit the ABC 33/40 Weather Blog.
October 28, 2006, 10:36 pm
The blog now has a new home on the server.... everyone using alabamawx.com won't have to do anything; they will be automatically pointed to the new blog.
If you are using a direct link and still get this; just go here:
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".
October 28, 2006, 10:20 pm
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.
SPC lead forecaster
October 27, 2006, 6:30 pm
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.
October 24, 2006, 9:05 pm
Just received this note from a viewer... anyone else see it?
I wanted to see if you have had any other reports of an unusual light in
the Southern sky earlier this evening. We saw a light moving across that
kept getting bigger and seemingly brighter, and then it seemed to move
away and get smaller. This was not a plane. We saw the space station a
time or two back when it came close and this did not seem to be the same
as that either. Have you had anyone else ask about this? Do you know
what it might have been?
October 23, 2006, 8:59 pm
This is one of the busiest times of the year for the crew in the ABC 33/40 Weather Office. This week we are finishing up our prime time TV special called “Ten Years of Alabama Weather” that airs this Sunday night on ABC 33/40 from 6:00 until 7:00 p.m. Since our station signed on the air in September 1996, it has been a wild roller coaster ride here as we have covered everything from F5 tornadoes to devastating hurricanes to floods to snow and ice. This one hour special will look back at all of these historic weather events; you might want to program your TIVO box or VCR. Our pal Bill Castle is putting the show together, so you know it will be good.
We are also planning our annual Storm Alert XTREME event, coming up on November 11 at the BJCC in downtown Birmingham. Storm Alert XTREME is for anyone who wants to learn more about spotting severe thunderstorms and tornadoes; our own Brian Peters, who worked as the Warning-Coordination Meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Birmingham for many years, is one of the best SKYWARN trainers in the nation, and he will conduct both a basic and an advanced session on November 11; I will be speaking on the ABC 33/40 Skywatcher program. This year’s Storm Alert XTREME is being offered in association with the 2007 Alabama International Auto Show, so we expect a very nice crowd. Learn more about this on the ABC 33/40 web site:
And, we are about to enter our fall tornado season in Alabama. During the last eight years the November/December season has produced more tornadoes that the spring season, and I would not be shocked if we have some significant events this year considering the upper air pattern in place. I am excited about having information this year from our large team of Skywatchers, who report weather conditions back to us in real time using instant message/Internet technology. This will give us ground truth to back up what we see on radar, and it should mean more accurate weather warnings for Alabama.
October 23, 2006, 11:55 am
Two officers have been shot in Fairfield, just west of Birmingham. We're streaming coverage live on abc3340.com.
Live Streaming Coverage
October 22, 2006, 9:42 pm
In California in late October 2003, skies were obscured from smoke from massive forest fires. People glancing at the sun through the thick smoke were startled to see blotches on the massive star. Those black patches were sunspots.
The sunspots cause solar flares, which can disrupt communications on Earth. They also cause displays of the aurora borealis, or northern lights. Rare views of the aurora were seen in unusual places like Australia, Arizona and the Deep South.
As the huge clouds of charged particles raced towards Earth, airline passengers and crews were warned that flying at high altitude could cause increased exposure to radiation. The crew of the International Space Station was instructed to stay in their quarters to limit their exposure.
Sunspot 486 was the largest to be seen in thirteen years. It would unleash the largest solar flare ever observed on November 4th. Fortunately, this ejection was aimed away from the Earth, or it may have had significant impact on communications and power transmissions systems. Experts were puzzled so the sudden increase in solar activity. Solar cycles follow an eleven year pattern. Since a solar maximum was recorded in 2001, solar flare activity had been on the decline. Scientists still said there was nothing to worry about, the sun was not in danger of burning out or blowing up. As a matter of fact, it seems that in each solar cycle, large eruptions occur a a few years after the maximum, while solar activity is decreasing. Scientists only have good data on solar flares for about the past thirty five years, or three cycles.
October 22, 2006, 8:49 am
Interesting to see a Fire Weather Watch (Red Flag Watch) issued for East and South Central Alabama for Monday afternoon...
BMX issues Fire Weather Watch valid at Oct 23, 12:00 PM CDT for Autauga, Barbour, Blount, Bullock, Calhoun, Chambers, Cherokee, Chilton, Clay, Cleburne, Coosa, Dallas, Elmore, Etowah, Lee, Lowndes, Macon, Montgomery, Perry, Pike, Randolph, Russell, St. Clair, Talladega, Tallapoosa [AL] till Oct 23, 7:00 PM CDT
Low humidities and northerly winds sustained at 10 mph or greater will create a high fire danger on Monday afternoon.
Recent rainfall has been beneficial, but the fire danger will be high with the expected conditions. A Red Flag Warning may be issued later...
Outdoor burns should be postponed on Monday and likely Tuesday also. Be vigilant for incipient forest fires...
We may also get a Freeze Watch for tomorrow night....
October 22, 2006, 7:01 am
Our cold front is bisecting the I-59 corridor early on this Sunday morning.
Temperatures were in the 50s across North and Central Alabama.
Winds were calm now in Birmingham, but they will pick up later from the northwest as we get further behind the cold front.
Here is Dallas, it is a chilly 44 degrees with clear skies.
There was some temporary clearing over the Tennessee Valley, but skies were cloudy over Central Alabama.
Radar showed most of the rain exiting eastern Alabama. There were still some moderate to heavy showers over Lee, Chambers and Macon Counties with a patch of lighter showers back over Coosa, Clay and Tallapoosa Counties.
The rest of North and Central Alabama was rain free now, although there could be a little lingering light rain in the cloudy areas.
Almost all of Central Alabama picked up around 1/2 an inch of rain overnight, but a large part of the I-20 COrridor may have received an inch or more. The NWS at the Shelby County Airport had picked up 1.03 through 6 a.m. The Birmingham International Airport had picked up 1.54 inches through 6 a.m. Nice rainfall for October with more to come later this week.
My esteemed colleague Brian Peters will be along in a little while with a detailed look at the forecast...but for now it's off to breakfast....
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