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Scattered Storms Mainly NW of I-59 This Afternoon

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - 34 min 14 sec ago

Showers and thunderstorms are forming across much of Mississippi into northwestern Alabama early this afternoon in the warm sector of a weak surface low over southeastern Missouri.

Here is a regional radar composite:

There is no lightning in Alabama yet, but as temperatures continue to warm and instability continues to increase, convection will increase. Most of the activity will be over the northwestern part of the state, north and west of I-59, where forcing from the low is adding lift. A few of the storms could become briefly severe, but widespread severe weather is not expected.

Here is the High Resolution Rapid Refresh model’s simulated radar reflectivity, giving a general idea of how areal coverage of the precipitation should look today:

The SPC has areas north and west of I-59 in a “marginal” risk category today. That is the new category that replaced the old “see text” category, which was there to cover events that had probabilities of severe weather that were too low to qualify as a “slight” risk.

Southeast of I-59, only widely scattered showers and storms are expected today.

Temperatures at noon are in the 80s, ranging from 81F at Haleyville to 86F at Talladega. It was 82F at Birmingham,, 83F at Anniston and 84F at Calera and Tuscaloosa. Highs will top out in the middle and upper 80s this afternoon.

Tomorrow should be stormier with a cold front settling into northwestern Alabama approaching I-59. The SPC has nearly the entire state of Alabama in a marginal risk forecast for Sunday.

Categories: Weather

Scattered Storms Continue

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - 6 hours 34 min ago

Quick check of the radar this morning shows a couple of showers near Hamilton in Marion County. Additional scattered thunderstorms are expected to develop in the heat of the afternoon, but they should be fairly widely scattered like we saw yesterday. Highs should climb into the middle 80s for much of Central Alabama.

The upper trough to our west will inch slowly eastward over the next couple of days, so this should help push a front into the area and this should allow an uptick in showers and thunderstorms for Sunday and Monday. With more storms and clouds, temperatures will drop back a little with highs in the lower 80s. SPC has much of the area along and just east of the front in a marginal risk area, so we might see an isolated severe storm or two, but the chances should be fairly low.

Beach goers will have to contend with passing showers from time to time, but there should be good intervals of sunshine, too. Water temperature has continued to rise with values near 80 degrees reported at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab site. Air temperature will run mainly in the middle 80s.

The forecast becomes interesting at mid-week and beyond. Interesting because of the presence of the front and also the GFS is developing a weak surface low in the vicinity of South Florida. The front could advance far enough south to allow some slightly drier air to make it into Central Alabama. And if the surface low develops near South Florida and moves off the Southeast US coast, it could also help to suppress convection. For now, the prudent forecast will be to include small chances of daily showers through the end of the week and into the weekend. With little change in heights, I do not expect to see much variation in daytime highs with values mainly in the 83 to 88 range.

For Oklahoma and Texas, the forecast drys out for them as the 5-day QPF forecast goes dry, and I’m sure they can use this spell of dry weather.

Tropics are quiet in the Atlantic for now while there is Hurricane Andres in the Pacific where it is expected to stay and weaken by the middle of next week.

Looking out into voodoo country, the GFS continues to keep the weather active. We see some weak ridging around June 8th, but by the 13th the GFS has developed a fairly deep trough over the eastern third of the country. While this looks somewhat wet for the eastern part of the country, it also means no extreme heat to contend with either.

I expect to have the next Weather Xtreme Video posted here on Sunday morning. Keep the umbrella handy, and heed any lightning that should occur in your vicinity. Do not become a lightning statistic – be safe!

-Brian-

Categories: Weather

May 30, 1948: The Vanport City Flood

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Fri, 05/29/2015 - 22:31

Portland, OR was a major shipbuilding during World War II. As many as 100,000 people were employed in the shipyards. Thousands of people flocked to Portland, many of them African-Americans who had moved to the Northwest from the South. The huge influx of people created a huge housing shortage.

Vanport City was a federal housng project built on 650 acres along the banks of the Columbia River north of Portland. As many of 40,000 workers lived in the city of Vanport during the war. After the war, layoffs thinned the population, but 19,000 workers still lived in Vanport City in 1948.

Despite the fact that Vanport City was on the largest river in the western United States, there was little concern. The winter of 1947-48 produced heavy snowfall amounts in the upper Columbia River basin. Warm temperatures in the spring caused rapid melting of the snowpack, and rivers and streams quickly jumped their banks. Despite the rising water, there still was little concern.

On Sunday, May 30th, a dike which supported a rail track on the west side of the housing development suddenly collapsed. The crevasse widened from 6 feet to 60 feet and then to 500 feet wide. It only took two hours to flood the entire city. The following day, the dike on the eastern side of town collapsed also, sealing the town’s fate.

There was almost no warning for the town’s 19,000 residents. Twenty five people drowned. The residents of the town lost all of their personal belongings, most escaping with just the clothes on their backs. Ten thousand homes were destroyed. Damage totaled $21 million. Vanport would never be rebuilt. The area is now a flood mitigation zone with parks and golf courses.

Categories: Weather

Warm and Humid; Scattered Storms

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Fri, 05/29/2015 - 15:39

RADAR CHECK: Heavy downpours this afternoon are mainly over East Alabama, and the rain is not as widespread as recent days. But, new showers are forming over the western counties as I write this.

Showers and storms will wind down this evening soon after sunset.

BRING ON THE WEEKEND: The overall weather pattern won’t change much. The weather will be warm and humid both days with highs in the mid 80s. New model data continues to suggest that afternoon showers and storms tomorrow will be rather widely scattered, followed by an increase in coverage Sunday. SPC has all of Alabama in a “marginal risk” of severe weather for Sunday… main threats will come from gusty winds, frequent lightning, and heavy rain with the stronger storms.

NEXT WEEK: The 12Z GFS hints at drier air trying to creep into North Alabama Monday and Tuesday which would mean few afternoon showers, but for most of the state we will maintain the usual risk of “scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms”. Highs will remain mostly in the mid 80s through the week, and toward the end of the week an upper low to the west could bring a higher coverage of showers and storms by Thursday and Friday. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

GULF COAST WEATHER: About 7 to 9 hours of sunshine each day through the middle of next week from Panama City Beach over to Gulf Shores, with the daily chance of widely scattered showers or thunderstorms. Highs will remain in the low 80s on the immediate coast, with mid to upper 80s inland. The sea water temperature this afternoon at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab is 80 degrees.

WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly 90 minute netcast anytime on the web, or on iTunes. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists here at ABC 33/40.

CONNECT: You can find me on all of the major social networks…

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Look for my next Weather Xtreme video here early Monday morning by 7:00 a.m… Brian Peters will have the video updates tomorrow and Sunday. Enjoy the weekend!

Categories: Weather

Showers/Storms More Widely Spaced Today

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Fri, 05/29/2015 - 06:43

AT DAYBREAK: A few small showers have popped up early this morning over the Birmingham metro, but most of the state is dry.

Here is a look at the sunrise over Smith Lake this morning… photo from @kw202

Sure looks like today will be drier than recent days around here; still we have the risk of showers and storms this afternoon and this evening, but they will be more scattered in nature. And, with sunshine more plentiful day, we project a high up in the low to mid 80s. The high resolution HRRR model looks pretty dry at 4:00 this afternoon for a change.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Not much change; warm, humid weather will continue both days with a mix of sun and clouds. Scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms remain possible… guidance is suggesting the higher coverage of showers and storms will be on Sunday afternoon. We project a high between 84 and 87 degrees both days…. right where we should be for the end of May in Alabama.

NEXT WEEK: The overall pattern won’t change much. Partly sunny, warm, humid days with the risk of “scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms”. We won’t be able to define the specific coverage or placement of these storms far in advance since they tend to be rather random. Highs will remain in the 80s as June begins.

GULF COAST WEATHER: We are forecasting about 7 to 9 hours of sunshine each day through early next week from Panama City west to Gulf Shores; there will be a risk of widely scattered showers and storms each day. Highs on the immediate coast will remain in the low 80s; sea water temperatures are in the 78-82 degree range.

RAIN UPDATE: For the month of May, Birmingham’s official rain total (based on data from Birmingham-Shuttlesworth Airport) is 2.13″. For the year, the amount is 25.30″, and the surplus is 1.79″

WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly 90 minute netcast anytime on the web, or on iTunes. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists here at ABC 33/40.

CONNECT: You can find me on all of the major social networks…

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Twitter
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Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon…. enjoy the day!

Categories: Weather

Turn Around, Don’t Drown!

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Thu, 05/28/2015 - 16:51

Numerous thunderstorms have developed this afternoon from the Jacksonville and Oxford areas in Calhoun County down to Ashland in Clay County to Alexander City in Tallapoosa County to Wetumpka. They are especially widespread between Wetumpka and Montgomery, Auburn and Valley.

They are producing intense lightning, torrential rains and some gusty winds. They have become especially intense from north of Alex City to Deatsville thanks to some outflow boundaries from storms to the north intersecting with the storms.

Nothing severe at this time, although we can’t rule out an isolated warning or two. Heavy rainfall and flooding is the main concern.

Areal flood advisories have been posted for Calhoun County and Montgomery County. In those areas, over 1.5 inches of rain may have fallen in an hour.

in Birmingham, heavy rain over the mountain and on the Northside has caused flooding. Messer Airport Highway is severely flooded under the railroad viaducts between 31st and 33rd streets. From our Cynthia Gould at 3340 (@Cynthia3340).

Remember, turn around, don’t drown!

Categories: Weather

Tropical Downpours This Afternoon

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Thu, 05/28/2015 - 15:25

RADAR CHECK: Showers and storms are moving northeast across Alabama this afternoon; it isn’t raining everywhere, but the stronger thunderstorms are producing torrential rain producing some flooding; this was along Rocky Ridge Road in Hoover earlier this afternoon (photo from @ayharvey)

Severe storms are not expected this afternoon, but the heavier storms will produce gusty winds and frequent lightning in addition to the heavy rain.

Rain will taper off this evening, and we will be generally dry overnight.

TOMORROW: It is that time of the year when moist, maritime tropical air covers Alabama almost every day, so warm and muggy conditions continue, and scattered showers and storms remain possible. They should be more scattered in nature tomorrow, and mostly during the afternoon and evening hours. Temperatures should rise into the mid 80s tomorrow afternoon with a mix of sun and clouds.

THE WEEKEND: Not much change. The sun will be out at times Saturday and Sunday; highs will remain in the mid 80s, and on both days there will be a risk of scattered showers and thunderstorms, most likely between 2:00 and 8:00 p.m. Very routine weather for the end of May in Alabama.

And, no overall change through most of next week. Partly sunny, warm, humid days with the risk of scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms.Take some time to read this essay I wrote a few years ago about summer weather forecasts in Alabama.

GULF COAST WEATHER: About 7 to 9 hours of sunshine each day through early next week with the daily risk of widely scattered showers and thunderstorms from Panama City west to Gulf Shores. Highs on the immediate coast will be in the low 80s, and the sea water temperature this afternoon at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab is 79 degrees.

WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly 90 minute netcast anytime on the web, or on iTunes. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists here at ABC 33/40.

CONNECT: You can find me on all of the major social networks…

Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus
Instagram

Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 7:00 a.m. tomorrow…

Categories: Weather

Flooding in Birmingham

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Thu, 05/28/2015 - 15:23

Some areas in Birmingham are reporting flooding from this afternoon’s heavy thunderstorm that dumped as much as 1.5 to 2 inches of rain in just one hour according to Doppler radar estimates. The heaviest rain fell in the Hoover/Vestavia areas and in areas just north of downtown Birmingham.

John Talbot just reported that there was a Birmingham FD water rescue going on off Norwood Blvd in North Birmingham.

Here is a picture of Rocky Ridge Road from a short time ago via @ayharvey on Twitter. Remember, turn around, don’t drown!

The NWS has issued an areal flood advisory. It is outlined in the green on top of the Doppler one hour radar estimates. The outline is difficult to see because of the color.

Categories: Weather

Wet Afternoon Shaping Up For Birmingham Metro

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Thu, 05/28/2015 - 14:42

A warm, moist and unstable airmass covers Central Alabama early this afternoon and thunderstorms have been developing near a surface trough as morning sunshine pushed the mercury to the point that convection could occur.

The storms are not severe. There is little wind shear, in fact hardly enough to keep them organized. Can’t rule out an isolated wind damage report or two with some of the stronger storms, but the threat is small.

But the storms do have a lot of very heavy rain, dangerous lightning and some gusty winds with them.

The area from Bibb up through eastern Tuscaloosa, Jefferson, Shelby and Chilton Counties will see a couple of rounds of showers and storms for the next couple of hours, so be alert for the potential for minor flooding.

Categories: Weather

Showers and Storms Firing Up

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Thu, 05/28/2015 - 12:55

Showers and storms are starting to fire in an area of surface convergence generally along and just south of I-20 that is associated with a weak surface trough.

All morning, we have been tracking showers and storms in a large mas over West Central Alabama. A smaller batch moved through Tuscaloosa earlier and now the larger batch is moving toward T-town. Tuscaloosa could get a lengthy steady to heavy rain. One half to one inch of rain is possible in one hour from this activity.

Now showers and storms are clumped in eastern Bibb and southwestern Shelby Counties and over northeastern Shelby and Talladega counties. This activity will push north at just under 20 mph and will affect areas west of I-65 in Jefferson County and areas from Moody and Pell City up to Springville.

Skies are cloudy across the area with a few breaks mainly over the eastern part of the area. Temperatures are mainly in the 70s except where additional sunshine has pushed the mercury into the 80s.

Categories: Weather

Blanket Of Moist Air Hangs Around

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Thu, 05/28/2015 - 06:19

AT DAYBREAK: All is quiet across Alabama this morning; the sky is cloudy and temperatures are between 65 and 70 degrees at most places. There is some light rain around Huntsville, otherwise the rest of the state is dry as the day begins.

Another round of showers and storms is a good possibility this afternoon; not sure the rain will be as widespread as yesterday, but no doubt at least scattered showers and storms will form this afternoon in the moist environment across the state. The best chance of showers and storms will come in the 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. time frame, and while a strong storm is certainly possible, organized severe weather isn’t expected. The high today should be in the low 80s in most spots.

TOMORROW THROUGH SUNDAY: The overall pattern just won’t change much. Warm, humid days with a mix of sun and clouds, and each day the risk of scattered showers and thunderstorms, most likely during the afternoon and evening hours. Highs will be in the mid 80s, right at average values for the end of May. Showers and storms will tend to be pretty random; the chance of any one spot getting wet each day is around one in three.

And, that kind of weather will continue through much of next week as meteorological summer begins. Very routine for early June in Alabama. If you are new to our state, you might want to read this essay I wrote about summer weather forecasts here.

TROPICS: The Atlantic hurricane season begins Monday of next week, and the GFS is showing some hints of tropical mischief in the eastern Gulf of Mexico in about a week… see the Weather Xtreme video for maps and details.

GULF COAST WEATHER: About 7 to 9 hours of sunshine each day along the coast from Panama City west to Gulf Shores through early next week, with the daily risk of widely scattered showers and thunderstorms. Highs on the immediate coast will stay in the low 80s, and the sea water temperature early this morning at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab is 79 degrees.

WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly 90 minute netcast anytime on the web, or on iTunes. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists here at ABC 33/40.

CONNECT: You can find me on all of the major social networks…

Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus
Instagram

Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon… enjoy the day!

Categories: Weather

Rain, Storms Lifting Northeast

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Wed, 05/27/2015 - 19:11

It is nice to see our old friend SimuAWIPS working again. It is a go to site for me for rapid analysis of the state of the atmosphere.

Here is the SimuAWIPS depiction of the radar across the Southeast in the large panel. You can clearly see the shield of rain and storms. If you look closely, you also see some curvature in the radar echoes over Mississippi. This is a weak surface low or mesoscale convective vortex that is moving to the northeast.

That little surface low was kicked up by a trough of low pressure in the mid-levels of the atmosphere that swept southeastward during the early morning hours out of Louisiana and across southern Mississippi.

There have been a few reports of trees down and isolated power outages with the storms this afternoon, but nothing serious. Torrential rains will cause minor flooding spots. There has already been flooding in Lamar County and an areal flood advisory has been posted for Talladega County. It is raining to beat the band in the city of Talladega right now.

Lots of lightning down there between Selma and Clanton will be lifting northeast and bringing very heavy rain, deadly lightning and gusty winds to Chilton, Coosa, Talladega and southeastern Shelby Counties for the next couple of hours. Shouldn’t become severe but will be packing a punch for sure.

The storms will continue to lift northeastward this evening, slowly weakening as they go. Parts of the area could get a few more hours of generally light to moderate rain. Here is the HRRR model radar simulation through the evening and overnight.

You can see that additional development is possible overnight, starting over southwestern sections around Demopolis around 10 p.m. and moving northeast, reaching Birmingham after midnight. Rainfall amounts will be generally light.

NOTE FROM NORTHWEST ALABAMA
Reports indicate that flooding is pretty bad in Russellville in Franklin County where water is about to get into homes and a water rescue of a motorist is underway.

Here is a picture retweeted by meteorologist Ben Smith at WHNT in Huntsville of flooding along highway 43 in Russellville:

Categories: Weather

Scary Clouds

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Wed, 05/27/2015 - 18:24

They are just that. Scary clouds.

Several people around The Summit have been observing menacing looking funnel like clouds to the south over Double Oak Mountain. Here is an example from @jmdrennen.

These are harmless scud clouds developing as air is lifted by the cooler, moist outflow of nearby storms. Cloud fragments, known as scud, will form in mid-air or under the base that can protrude downward, appearing to be a funnel cloud.

These false funnels are distinguishable from true funnel clouds or tornadoes because they will not be rotating. They are also more ragged and often rising and descending intermittently.

Categories: Weather

Birmingham Metro Storms Packing a Punch

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Wed, 05/27/2015 - 18:08

The storms moving into the Birmingham Metro area right now are strong, with torrential rains, deadly lightning, gusty winds and even some small hail possible. There was a severe thunderstorm warning for Shelby, Bibb and Chilton Counties, but it has expired.

Here is the radar just after 6 p.m.:

No warnings are in effect for Central Alabama at this time. A severe thunderstorm warning was just issued for Limestone, Madison and Morgan Counties.

Winds have only gusted to 25 mph at the Shelby County Airport.

There are lots of pictures of beautiful but menacing shelf clouds across the area on the front end of the storms. Here is one from @theHoff_MAN91 via Twitter in Vestavia:

There are some isolated power outages being reported from places like Hoover and West Homewood.

Further south, winds gusted to an estimated 50-60 mph at Clanton with some tree and power line damage just before 5:45. Those storms are now over northeastern Chilton County.

All of the activity is associated with a mesoscale convective vortex currently passing along the Walker/Jefferson County line.

Categories: Weather

Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Bibb, Shelby and Chilton

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Wed, 05/27/2015 - 17:29

A line of strong storms continues to lift northward across Central Alabama late this afternoon.

Lots of intense lightning, strong gusty winds, some hail and torrential rains in all of the storms. In the warning area, we could see 60 mph winds, which can bring down trees and power lines and one inch hail.

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BIRMINGHAM HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR…
EAST CENTRAL BIBB COUNTY IN CENTRAL ALABAMA…
SOUTHERN SHELBY COUNTY IN CENTRAL ALABAMA…
NORTH CENTRAL CHILTON COUNTY IN CENTRAL ALABAMA…

* UNTIL 600 PM CDT

* AT 526 PM CDT…A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WAS LOCATED OVER WILTON…OR
OVER MONTEVALLO…MOVING NORTHEAST AT 45 MPH.

HAZARD…60 MPH WIND GUSTS.

SOURCE…RADAR INDICATED.

IMPACT…EXPECT DAMAGE TO ROOFS…SIDING AND TREES.

* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE…
ALABASTER…PELHAM…HELENA…CALERA…MONTEVALLO…COLUMBIANA…
WILSONVILLE…WILTON…UNIVERSITY OF MONTEVALLO…BRIERFIELD
IRONWORKS PARK…AMERICAN VILLAGE…ASHBY…MAYLENE…SHELBY COUNTY
AIRPORT…OAK MOUNTAIN STATE PARK…ALABASTER VETERANS PARK…
SAGINAW…SADDLE LAKE FARMS…DOGWOOD AND BALLANTRAE.

Categories: Weather

Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Bibb and Tuscaloosa Counties

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Wed, 05/27/2015 - 17:05

The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for parts of Bibb and Tuscaloosa Counties in West Central Alabama. The warning is outlined in yellow. The peach outline is a significant weather alert from the NWS Birmingham for strong storms that will affect the alert area through 5:30 p.m. That area will see strong gusty winds, small hail and torrential rains.

A line of thunderstorms extends generally along US-82 at this hour from Pickens and Lamar Counties through Tuscaloosa County down to the Montgomery area.

The most intense storms are from near Brookwood to Vance to north of West Blocton moving north northeast. They will affect West Blocton, North Bibb and Lake View over the next 30 minutes.

They will reach southwestern Jefferson County by 5:45 and move across the Birmingham Metro between 6 and 7 p.m.

Large hail to one inch in diameter and 60 mph winds are possible.

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BIRMINGHAM HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR…
CENTRAL BIBB COUNTY IN CENTRAL ALABAMA…
SOUTHEASTERN TUSCALOOSA COUNTY IN WEST CENTRAL ALABAMA…

* UNTIL 530 PM CDT

* AT 504 PM CDT…A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WAS LOCATED NEAR EOLINE…OR
NEAR CENTREVILLE…MOVING NORTH AT 25 MPH.

HAZARD…60 MPH WIND GUSTS AND QUARTER SIZE HAIL.

SOURCE…RADAR INDICATED.

IMPACT…HAIL DAMAGE TO VEHICLES IS EXPECTED. EXPECT WIND DAMAGE
TO ROOFS…SIDING AND TREES.

* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE…
BRENT…CENTREVILLE…LAKE VIEW…BROOKWOOD…VANCE…WOODSTOCK…
WEST BLOCTON…EOLINE…NORTH BIBB…MERCEDES BENZ OF ALABAMA…
ABERNANT…TANNEHILL IRONWORKS STATE PARK…HEBRON…HARMON…
CAFFEE JUNCTION…MARVEL…BUCKSVILLE…EAST BROOKWOOD AND GREEN
POND.

Categories: Weather

Storms Increasing Across Alabama

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Wed, 05/27/2015 - 15:23

RADAR UPDATE: Showers and storms continue to increase, especially over the western half of the state at mid-afternoon. A severe thunderstorm watch is up for parts of East Mississippi until 7p CT.

Showers and storms will progress eastward tonight; the main issues will come from gusty winds, frequent lightning, and brief heavy rain. Storms will end between 9:00 and midnight.

TOMORROW/FRIDAY: A pool of warm, moist air will stay locked over the Deep South, so we will need to mention the risk of scattered showers and thunderstorms both days. Then will be pretty random, and mostly during the afternoon and evening hours. Otherwise, mixed sun and clouds both days with a high in the mid 80s.

THE WEEKEND: No real change; the chance of any one spot seeing a shower or storm Saturday and Sunday is about one on three, and again the core risk will come during the 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. time frame. We reach the mid 80s both days with a partly sunny sky away from the showers and thunderstorms. Another words, very routine weather for the end of May in Alabama.

And, similar weather will continue into early next week. Warm, muggy days with the risk of scattered showers and thunderstorms.

GULF COAST WEATHER: About 7 to 9 hours of sunshine each day tomorrow through the weekend with a few widely scattered showers and thunderstorms around each day; highs on the immediate coast from Panama City west to Gulf Shores will be in the low 80s… the sea water temperature this afternoon at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab is 79 degrees.

COLLEGE SOFTBALL WORLD SERIES: We have Alabama and Auburn playing in Oklahoma City in the tournament that begins tomorrow; if you are headed that way understand showers and storms are possible on a daily basis, and rain delays are certainly possible, if not likely. The weather will trend drier by Sunday with few, if any showers around by then.

WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly 90 minute netcast anytime on the web, or on iTunes. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists here at ABC 33/40.

CONNECT: You can find me on all of the major social networks…

Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus
Instagram

Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 7:00 a.m. tomorrow…

Categories: Weather

NOAA Hurricane Season Outlook

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Wed, 05/27/2015 - 12:54

NOAA released the annual hurricane season outlook today… here is the release:

NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center says the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season will likely be below-normal, but that’s no reason to believe coastal areas will have it easy.

For the hurricane season, which officially runs from June 1 to November 30, NOAA is predicting a 70 percent likelihood of 6 to 11 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 3 to 6 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including zero to 2 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher). While a below-normal season is likely (70 percent), there is also a 20 percent chance of a near-normal season, and a 10 percent chance of an above-normal season.


“A below-normal season doesn’t mean we’re off the hook. As we’ve seen before, below-normal seasons can still produce catastrophic impacts to communities,” said NOAA Administrator Kathryn Sullivan, Ph.D., referring to the 1992 season in which only seven named storms formed, yet the first was Andrew – a Category 5 Major Hurricane that devastated South Florida.

“The main factor expected to suppress the hurricane season this year is El Niño, which is already affecting wind and pressure patterns, and is forecast to last through the hurricane season,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. “El Niño may also intensify as the season progresses, and is expected to have its greatest influence during the peak months of the season. We also expect sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic to be close to normal, whereas warmer waters would have supported storm development.”

Included in today’s outlook is Tropical Storm Ana, but its pre-season development is not an indicator of the overall season strength. Ana’s development was typical of pre-season named storms, which often form along frontal boundaries in association with a trough in the jet stream. This method of formation differs from the named storms during the peak of the season, which originate mainly from low-pressure systems moving westward from Africa, and are independent of frontal boundaries and the jet stream.

With the new hurricane season comes a new prototype storm surge watch/warning graphic from NOAA’s National Hurricane Center, intended to highlight areas along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts of the United States that have a significant risk of life-threatening inundation by storm surge from a tropical cyclone.

The new graphic will introduce the concept of a watch or warning specific to the storm surge hazard. Storm surge is often the greatest threat to life and property from a tropical cyclone, and it can occur at different times and at different locations from a storm’s hazardous winds. In addition, while most coastal residents can remain in their homes and be safe from a tropical cyclone’s winds, evacuations are often needed to keep people safe from storm surge. Having separate warnings for these two hazards should provide emergency managers, the media, and the general public better guidance on the hazards they face when tropical cyclones threaten.

Also new this season is a higher resolution version (2 km near the storm area) of NOAA’s Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting model (HWRF), thanks to the upgrades to operational computing. A new 40-member HWRF ensemble-based data assimilation system will also be implemented to make better use of aircraft reconnaissance-based Tail Doppler Radar data for improved intensity forecasts. Retrospective testing of 2015 HWRF upgrades demonstrated a five percent improvement in the intensity forecasts compared to last year.

This week, May 24-30, is National Hurricane Preparedness Week. To help those living in hurricane-prone areas prepare, NOAA offers hurricane preparedness tips, along with video and audio public service announcements at www.hurricanes.gov/prepare.

“It only takes one hurricane or tropical storm making landfall in your community to significantly disrupt your life,” said FEMA Deputy Administrator Joseph Nimmich. “Everyone should take action now to prepare themselves and their families for hurricanes and powerful storms. Develop a family communications plan, build an emergency supply kit for your home, and take time to learn evacuation routes for your area. Knowing what to do ahead of time can literally save your life and help you bounce back stronger and faster should disaster strike in your area.”

NOAA will issue an updated outlook for the Atlantic hurricane season in early August, just prior to the historical peak of the season.

Categories: Weather

Forecast for Today’s Rickwood Classic: Fun!

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Wed, 05/27/2015 - 10:24

Today is my favorite baseball day of the year! It is the day that one of the best sporting events of the year in all of world occurs. An event that ESPN says is one of the 100 Things That a Sports Fan Has To Do Before They Die.

The Birmingham Barons and Jacksonville Suns will turn the calendar back to 1948 for the 20th iteration of the Rickwood Classic. In that year, the Black Barons were the Negro American League Champs and the Barons won the Dixie Series. Willie Mays was a 17 year old star on the Black Barons team.

It is hard to believe that we have been making the pilgrimage to Rickwood each year for the Classic since 1996. The historic ballpark is the oldest professional ballpark still in use in the U.S. It was built in 1910 and played host to the Barons from 1910-1965, the Birmingham A’s from 1967-1975 and the Barons again from 1981-1987. The Black Barons played there basically from 1920-1960. The Philadelphia Phillies actually held spring training there in 1911 and 1920.

The game is put on by the Friends of Rickwood, a group of local fans who work to maintain and preserve the park. The Classic is one of their major fundraisers. They do a great job with the event each year. First pitch is 12:30 p.m., but arrive early to experience the park. Have a great hot dog. Enjoy the throwback uniforms. Some fans even dress up in period clothing. Meet the Negro League alumni. They are living history. You will fin dthem on the third base side in reserved seating. Check out the hand operated scoreboard.

And be generous if you see a Friend of Rickwood with their charity buckets. Your donation will go to preserve this temple of baseball.

HOW ABOUT THE WEATHER
Everyone is worried about that high chance of rain today. Indications are that a few showers may start forming in the Birmingham area around 12:45 to 1 p.m. but they will be widely spaced until around 4-5 p.m. and the heavy stuff shouldn’t arrive until 6-7 p.m. or so. So there could be a couple of passing showers during the game, so take a light rain jacket. The general admission seats are under the roof. If you have box seats, you might take a towel to dry off your seat after any showers zip by. Temperatures will be around 80F and it will be muggy. Take some sunscreen for those periods when the sun is out. It can burn you quickly!

So take a late lunch and head out to Birmingham’s west side for a bit of baseball and Birmingham history.

Categories: Weather

On This Date 42 Years Ago

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Wed, 05/27/2015 - 06:32

On Sunday night, May 27, 1973, I saw serious tornado damage for the first time in my life, and it changed my life. The sights and sounds are still fresh in my mind; almost like it happened yesterday.

I was wrapping up my junior year at Tuscaloosa High School, and on that Sunday night we received a call for help from our friends in Bibb County. A tornado had gone right through the center of Brent, and amateur radio operators from Tuscaloosa were needed to establish communication with relief agencies in Birmingham and other places. Remember, there were no cell phones in 1973, and this was an urgent need. I arrived with a group from Tuscaloosa within one hour of the tornado, and we were all stunned at what we saw. Eerie darkness, an odd odor (many people that have experienced call it the “smell of death”), roads blocked by trees, and debris everywhere. I wound up coming back the next morning, and stayed in Centreville (adjacent to Brent) handling communication from a church.

Down in Brent, a total of 5 people died in the storm, including Andrew Mitchell, who was attending evening worship services at the Brent Baptist Church, which was destroyed. Many more were injured, and town was just about wiped out by the EF-4 twister. That was actually just a segment of the damage; the tornado first touched down just northeast of Demopolis, and went through Greensboro, where one person was killed and 72 injured. It continued northeast, and took out the old National Weather Service radar site on Alabama Highway 25 before striking downtown Brent. The crew at the radar site had to take cover in the ditch across the street.

From Brent, the path continued near Montevallo and Childersburg, before it finally lifted on the western slope of Mount Cheaha in East Alabama. A total of 216 buildings were destroyed, 570 buildings were damaged, 97 mobile homes were destroyed, and 45 businesses were damaged or destroyed. More than 12,000 acres of timber was destroyed. It was a storm I will never forget, even though it happened 42 years ago.

We should note an EF-3 tornado that same day impacted a Tarrant-Center Point-Springville-St Clair Springs-Ashville-Gadsden path. Heavy damage occurred in Center Point where 32 homes and 48 mobile homes were destroyed. Over 300 homes were damaged. One person was killed by that storm.

This came at the tail end of the spring tornado season; a reminder we can have a strong/violent tornado in late May in Alabama.

This great site from John Brasher has more details about the situation in Brent.

Categories: Weather
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