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Saturday Satellite Sheldon

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Sat, 03/26/2016 - 11:08

From retired NESDIS satellite meteorologist Sheldon Kusselson.

Click image to enlarge.

Categories: Weather

Dry but Rain/Storms Back on Sunday

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Sat, 03/26/2016 - 07:13

Alabama is starting out the last weekend of March with a mixture of sky cover ranging from clear skies along the Tennessee border to overcast skies with some passing showers in the souther counties and in Northwest Florida. Fog was also reducing visibility quite a bit over the southeast quadrant of the state wth some stations reporting values below a half mile. And there was quite a range in temperatures from the upper 30s in the Tennessee River Valley to the middle 60s in the Dothan area. Look for a mixture of sun and clouds today for Central and North Alabama while southern sections remain cloudy. Temperature should warm into the lower and middle 70s for North and Central Alabama.

The weather turns wet again on Sunday with the approach of an upper trough coming across Missouri with a cold front along the Mississippi River at midday. SPC has a slight risk area just to the northwest of Central Alabama which cuts across the extreme northwest corner of Alabama. The standard slight risk area covers much of the western half of Kentucky, northern Mississippi and West and Middle Tennessee. CAPE values appear strong enough for some thunder, but shear values are pretty low. With the stationary front along the Gulf Coast, this seems likely to develop much like the threat did on Thursday with the convection along the Gulf Coast cutting off the really good moisture. GFS MOS values show dew point reaching the lower 60s, again much like last Thursday, but no higher. Does look like the best chances for rain will come from midmorning on Sunday (Easter) through the early evening hours. Clouds are likely to keep temperatures down a bit with highs Sunday in the lower 70s.

Showers and storms never really left eastern portions of the Gulf Coast thanks to the stationary front. Showers and storms will be likely through Sunday, with a reprieve Monday and Tuesday before more showers and storms show up Wednesday into Thursday. Expect better conditions for next weekend. Highs along the immediate coast will be in the 60s, with 70s inland. See the complete Gulf Coast 7 Day Planner here.

That system quickly moves to the New England states as a weak ridge comes into play for Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday the ridge moves east along the East Coast as a fairly deep trough develops along the eastern slope of the Rockies. The main trough and best dynamics moves northeast into the Great Lakes area on Thursday as a cold front is again dragged into the Southeast US. Best rain chances will come Wednesday into Thursday as the front drags into the Southeast US. GFS brings CAPE and shear values up on Thursday, but the upper dynamics seem to be pretty far north. This will require a watchful eye on future model runs to get a better handle on the threat of severe weather for Alabama. SPC actually has an area outlooked for Day 5 over the Central Plains.

Friday into Saturday we see a substantial cool down as a deep trough takes shape over the eastern US. Looks like that deep trough will bottom out on Sunday as we move out into voodoo country. The deep trough will knock temperatures back next weekend with lows mainly in the 40s and highs in the 60s.

Week 2 remains fairly active. A nice ridge will warm things up nicely around the 5th and 6th of April. But the GFS is showing a good trough in the middle Mississippi River Valley on the 7th with another one around the 10th. So the pattern remains pretty active.

I will have the next Weather Xtreme Video posted here on Sunday morning, but it may be a little later than usual due to a social outing this evening. Enjoy the day an Godspeed.

-Brian-

Categories: Weather

Strong Storms Possible Sunday Night

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Fri, 03/25/2016 - 15:33

GOOD WEATHER ON GOOD FRIDAY: Hard to find a decent cloud in the Alabama sky this afternoon; temperatures are mostly in the 60s, with 50s over the Tennessee Valley of far North Alabama. Tonight will be clear and cool with a low in the 40s.

Tomorrow promises to be a delightful day; a partly sunny sky with temperatures rising up into the mid to upper 70s by afternoon. Then, clouds return tomorrow night as moisture levels rise.

STORMY EASTER SUNDAY: Showers will move northward during the pre-dawn hours Sunday, possibly reaching I-20 (Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Anniston) by daybreak. Showers and a few storms will become more widespread by midday. It won’t rain all day, but expect occasional showers and some thunder. Temperatures will rise into the mid 70s Sunday afternoon.

We will have some risk of strong, maybe even severe thunderstorms Sunday night as the next upper trough approaches. SPC has the northwest corner of Alabama in a “slight risk”… with a “marginal risk” for other parts of North, West, and South Alabama.

The latest guidance shows dew points rising into the upper 60s over West Alabama Sunday evening, making for a rather unstable airmass (CAPE values over 1,500 j/kg). Seems like the main threat will come from strong thunderstorm winds, although an isolated tornado can’t be ruled out, especially over Northwest Alabama. At this point it looks like the core severe weather risk will come from about 6:00 through 12:00 midnight Sunday night.

We should note a wedge of cooler air should keep Northeast Alabama stable, so there is little risk of severe weather there.

NEXT WEEK: Monday and Tuesday will be dry and pleasant; highs will be in the upper 60s Monday, followed by low to mid 70s Tuesday. Another round of showers and strong storms is likely Wednesday night into early Thursday morning… see the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

AT THE BEACH: Expect occasional showers and thunderstorms on the coast from Gulf Shores over to Panama City Beach tomorrow and Sunday, but dry weather returns Monday and Tuesday. Highs on the immediate coast will stay in the 60s due to the cool ocean water… 70s are likely just a mile or so inland. See a very detailed Gulf Coast forecast here.

STORM SPOTTER TRAINING: Storm Spotter Xtreme is coming up Saturday, April 9 at the BJCC from 9am to 2pm. This will feature both the basic and advanced SKYWARN classes, along with a session from Kevin Laws of the Birmingham NWS office. And, if you come, you get free admission to the Alabama International Auto Show, going on at the BJCC that same day. There is no cost and no need to register. Just show up with a curious mind. Kids 10 and older will also enjoy this if they love weather and want to learn more. Please help us make the severe weather warning process better!

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

I had a great time today visiting with first grade students at South Shades Crest and Montevallo Elementary Schools… be looking for them on the Pepsi KIDCAM today at 5:00 and 6:00 on ABC 33/40 News! My next Weather Xtreme video will be posted early Monday morning by 7:00… Brian Peters will have the video updates tomorrow and Sunday. Enjoy the weekend!

Categories: Weather

A Shining List of Good News from Alabama NewsCenter

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Fri, 03/25/2016 - 10:37

Alabamians really shined this past week, from those who built the first Alabama-made Airbus to Alabama coach Nick Saban, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Alabama Power mentors and a couple of Realtors recognized for their efforts. Here are some of our favorite good news stories from Alabama NewsCenter this Good Friday.

Nick Saban, Tim Cook and Bryan Stevenson make Fortune ‘World’s Greatest Leaders’ list

Birmingham’s Southern Research develops test to detect Zika virus

Alabama aerospace industry takes off with Airbus first flight

Meet the crew flying the first Alabama-built Airbus

Airbus seat supplier Recaro opens shop in Mobile

Alabama greats Shaun Alexander and Gene Stallings talk football and life at Birmingham event

Advanced manufacturing training facility takes aim at skills gap in Mobile region

The Cuba thaw will be big for Alabama and other producers of frozen chickens

Acura’s expedited Alabama-built MDX joins ranks of luxury SUVs in New York

Apple unveils smaller-screened iPhone SE to jump-start sales

Travis Wammack inspires through his guitar

Birmingham Museum of Art features robes of many colors with Uzbekistan ikat exhibit

Have a ‘hoppy’ weekend with Easter egg hunts, a comedy and Nick Saban in Can’t Miss Alabama

Discover Alabama parks for spring break adventures close to home

Simp McGhee’s Seafood-filled Mushroom Caps are on the menu in 100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die

Alabama Power engineers mentor eighth-grade students

UAB celebrates successful medical student Match Day

Regions brings real-world financial scenarios to SEC student-athletes

Pair of Alabama Realtors named finalists for Realtor Magazine’s 30 Under 30

Alabama’s home prices are on the rise

Alabama February home sales rose 11 percent over same period in 2015

Categories: Weather

Showers/Storms Return Sunday

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Fri, 03/25/2016 - 06:32

DRY AIR RETURNS: Severe weather was a no-show over the northern half of Alabama yesterday, and nobody is complaining. A large mass of storms near the Gulf Coast shut off the good inflow of moisture up into our part of the state, and some midday rain helped to keep the atmosphere cool and stable. A line of severe storms did move through the southern part of the state, however, with scattered reports of wind damage.

Today will be dry with a partly to mostly sunny sky; we project a high in the mid 60s this afternoon.

The weather will be dry and warmer tomorrow… we reach the mid 70s with a partly to mostly sunny sky. A very nice Saturday.

EASTER SUNDAY: Clouds thicken tomorrow night as moisture levels begin to rise, and we will forecast occasional showers and thunderstorms Sunday. The high resolution NAM shows showers forming over the southern two-thirds of the state before sunrise, with the rain becoming more widespread during the day.

SPC has defined a “slight risk” of severe storms for the northwest corner of the state, with a “marginal risk” for parts of West and South Alabama…

There will be some surface based instability by Sunday afternoon, but higher values are to the west, and wind fields for now look relatively weak. But, you have to watch any system like this closely in March/April, the core of our spring tornado season.

NEXT WEEK: The weather will be dry Monday and Tuesday, then showers and storms return Wednesday night into Thursday. This could be another setup for strong storms, but the main surface low is far to the north, near the Canadian border, so hopefully we will get away with no severe weather issues. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

AT THE BEACH: Today will be mostly sunny on the coast from Panama City Beach over to Gulf Shores, but showers and storms are likely at times over the weekend… some coastal communities could see over two inches of rain. Then, the weather looks dry Monday and Tuesday of next week. Highs along the immediate coast hold in the 60s (due to the cool ocean water), with 70s elsewhere. The sea water temperature at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab is 63 degrees early this morning. See a very detailed Gulf Coast forecast here.

STORM SPOTTER TRAINING: Storm Spotter Xtreme is coming up Saturday, April 9 at the BJCC from 9am to 2pm. This will feature both the basic and advanced SKYWARN classes, along with a session from Kevin Laws of the Birmingham NWS office. And, if you come, you get free admission to the Alabama International Auto Show, going on at the BJCC that same day. There is no cost and no need to register. Just show up with a curious mind. Kids 10 and older will also enjoy this if they love weather and want to learn more. Please help us make the severe weather warning process better!

FYI… we will also offer a basic spotter class on Tuesday April 5 in Helena at 6:30 (at the Helena Civic Center).

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

I have weather programs today at South Shades Crest Elementary in Hoover… and Montevallo Elementary in Shelby County. Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon… enjoy the day!

Categories: Weather

Finally! Lightning!

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Thu, 03/24/2016 - 19:55

The line of showers that is in the I-59 Corridor has finally produced lightning!

A single stroke was observed in Blount County a short while ago and there were a couple in Jackson County in Northeast Alabama.

The line extends from Albertville and Boaz to west of Oneonta to west of Birmingham to east of Tuscaloosa to near Demopolis.

It has gradually intensified as it has pushed east but it is still a long way from producing severe weather.

CAPE values (the measure of instability) have increased in advance of the line, like the HRRR predicted, hence the slight intensification.

The wind shear over the showers/storms is decreasing however, as the source lifts out to the east.

All of the showers and storms should be in Georgia beafore 11 p.m.

Categories: Weather

Showers Trying Hard to Thunder…But Just Can’t

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Thu, 03/24/2016 - 18:22

Our line of heavy showers has never amounted to anything late this afternoon as it pushes eastward ahead of a cold front.

The line extends from Cullman to Cordova to Northport to Livingston.

Still no lightning with it, as the tops are only about 20,000 feet, not high enough to generate lightning.

The threat of severe weather is almost, but not quite zero. We will continue to track the showers as they push eastward.

Categories: Weather

Severe Weather Threat Not Materializing For North Central Alabama

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Thu, 03/24/2016 - 16:37

Current conditions across the state have most of the shower and thunderstorm activity over the southeastern corner of the state, with Severe Thunderstorm Warnings still in effect for Henry County until 4:30PM CDT, and Barbour County until 4:45PM CDT. There are light to moderate showers over the northeastern counties of the state, but no lightning has been detected.

A line of showers has developed over the western part of the state, stretching from Arley in Winston County, down to the southwest through Jasper, and Berry, and exiting the state through Panola in Sumter County.

Temperatures at this time have much of north and central Alabama in the mid 60s, with exception of the extreme southeastern corner of the state, where mid 70s can be found. The good news is that the cloud cover is starting to thin out over the northwestern corner of the state.

SEVERE WEATHER UPDATE
The indications of severe weather continue to diminish at least for the northern half of Alabama. The HRRR model continues to output less and less in the way of instability and storms with each run.

The thin line of showers over West Alabama right now may still grow into storms, but the chance of those storms becoming severe seems to be very small and isolated at best. The showers and storms should be southeast of a line from Hayden in Blount County to Brookwood in eastern Tuscaloosa County.

We could see storms in the Birmingham area between 630 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., pushing into East Alabama after that.

The storms should completely weaken by 10 p.m. and be out of Central Alabama by 2 a.m.

The Storm Prediction Center has areas south of a line from Mobile to Brewton to Greenville to Union Springs to Eufaula in a slight risk severe weather outlook through the evening. Areas north of the slight risk and up the western border counties with Mississippi are in a marginal risk for isolated severe storms until the cold front passes.

That cold front is extending from Tupelo to Jackson to Natchez, or generally along the Natchez Trace! It will sweep across the state overnight, putting an end to the rain and storms.

LATE REPORT FROM THE NWS TALLAHASSEE
There is a report of an overturned Greyhound bus on US-84 in Daleville in Southeast Alabama. Injuries are reported.

Categories: Weather

Severe Thunderstorm Warning – Barbour County

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Thu, 03/24/2016 - 15:39

A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for Barbour county until 4:45PM CDT. This warning includes the areas of Clayton, Louisville, Eufala and Clio. Please seek shelter, as this storm has a history of producing some damage back in Crenshaw County.

BULLETIN – IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BIRMINGHAM AL
339 PM CDT THU MAR 24 2016

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BIRMINGHAM HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR…
BARBOUR COUNTY IN SOUTHEASTERN ALABAMA…

* UNTIL 445 PM CDT

* AT 338 PM CDT…SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS WERE LOCATED ALONG A LINE
EXTENDING FROM NEAR ANTIOCH TO NEAR BRUNDIDGE TO NEAR FORT RUCKER…
MOVING EAST AT 45 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…
EUFAULA…CLIO…CLAYTON…LOUISVILLE…GAINO…TEXASVILLE…WHITE OAK…
RICHARDS CROSSROADS…OSCO…DOSTER…LAKEPOINT RESORT STATE PARK…
BLUE SPRINGS STATE PARK…TYLER CROSSROADS…CLAYTON MUNICIPAL
AIRPORT…MILLERS FORD…LUGO AND BAKER HILL.

Categories: Weather

Storm Prediction Center Updates Slight Risk Areas

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Thu, 03/24/2016 - 15:35

The latest from the Storm Prediction Center has dropped much of Alabama from the slight risk of severe weather for the remainder of today. The slight risk is still in effect for much of extreme southern Alabama, including the Alabama Gulf Coast, Troy, Dothan, Enterprise, and Geneva. Only a small strip of north and central Alabama along the AL/MS border is in a marginal risk for severe weather throughout the remainder of tonight. Much of south Alabama is in a marginal risk area, except for the slight risk areas. Even though much of central Alabama has been removed from the slight risk area, NWS Birmingham is still not convinced that the threat is over.

Categories: Weather

Severe Thunderstorm Warning – Pike & Coffee Counties

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Thu, 03/24/2016 - 15:02

A severe thunderstorm is pushing its way across Butler, Crenshaw and Covington counties at this moment. If you know anyone in the path of this storm, especially in Troy, Elba, Enterprise, and other communities in Pike and Coffee counties, please alert them to seek shelter. According to Science and Operations Officer of NWS Birmingham, Kevin Laws, this is not one of your run-of-the-mill storms.

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BIRMINGHAM HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR…
PIKE COUNTY IN SOUTHEASTERN ALABAMA…

* UNTIL 400 PM CDT

* AT 300 PM CDT…SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS WERE LOCATED ALONG A LINE
EXTENDING FROM 9 MILES WEST OF RUTLEDGE TO NEAR BRANTLEY TO OPP…
MOVING EAST AT 45 MPH.

HAZARD…70 MPH WIND GUSTS.

SOURCE…RADAR INDICATED.

IMPACT…EXPECT CONSIDERABLE TREE DAMAGE. DAMAGE IS LIKELY TO
MOBILE HOMES…ROOFS…AND OUTBUILDINGS.

* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE…
TROY…BRUNDIDGE…GOSHEN…BANKS…ANSLEY…TROY MUNICIPAL AIRPORT…
TROY UNIVERSITY…LINWOOD…ANTIOCH…BRUNDIDGE MUNICIPAL AIRPORT…
MOSSY GROVE…JOSIE…TENNILLE…HENDERSON…TARENTUM…MONTICELLO…
SANDFIELD AND HAMILTON CROSSROADS.

Categories: Weather

Some Good News, But Not Out of the Woods Yet

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Thu, 03/24/2016 - 14:45

CURRENT CONDITIONS
All of the action is located in south Alabama, where a Tornado Watch is still in effect for Baldwin, Butler, Coffee, Conecuh, Covington, Crenshaw, Escambia, Geneva, Mobile, and Monroe counties until 7PM CDT. A tornado warning is in effect for Butler, Conecuh, Covington and Crenshaw counties until 3PM CDT. A severe thunderstorm warning is in effect for the same counties outside of the tornado warning polygon until 3:15PM CDT.

A line of light to moderate rain is pushing its way through the eastern part of the state without any lightning. More light to moderate rain is falling over northwestern parts of the state, stretching from Samantha in Tuscaloosa county, and fans out northward to Florence and Athens. Temperatures are ranging from the lower to mid 60s in the northern half of the state, with mid to upper 60s in south Alabama, except for upper 70s in extreme southeastern Alabama.

Simulated Radar from the HRRR Model at 5 p.m. CDT this afternoon.

SEVERE WEATHER THREAT
We have been concerned all day about the output from what is generally regarded to be our best short term mesoscale model, the HRRR. It has been very bullish on instability rising quickly just ahead of the front which is now just across the Mississippi River.

I don’t think it anticipated the development of the massive storms off the Louisiana coast very well. Those storms are now over South Alabama, wreaking havoc. This type of explosive convective development can cut off the northward transport of moisture.

We have been hanging our hat on the fact that a strong low level jet was positioned behind this activity over Louisiana and southern Mississippi. But that is just above the surface and is not reflecting the moisture flux at the surface. Dewpoints have actually fallen over the past few hours over southern Mississippi and Central Louisiana.

The past couple of runs of the HRRR have responded by backing down a bit on the instability available for storms that are still forecast to form rapidly between 4-5 p.m. from Northwest Alabama down through Winston, Fayette, Walker, Pickens and Greene Counties. These storms look cellular in nature and could become severe.

These will be from Decatur to east of Jasper to Tuscaloosa by 6 p.m. and into Birmingham by 7 p.m.

The temperature/dewpoints at Tuscaloosa and Birmingham are expected to be 70/64 and 69/61 by 6 p.m.

The best chance for severe weather may come in a brief window from 4-6 p.m. from Fayette and Walker Counties down through Pickens, Tuscaloosa, Sumter and Greene Counties. The storms should weaken quickly after 6 p.m.

The storms currently over South Central Alabama will move into Georgia by 6 p.m.

Conditions will be favorable for severe weather and tornadoes in a brief window over eastern Alabama between 5-7 p.m. south of I-20 and east of I-65 in places like Alex City, Auburn, Tuskegee and Dadeville, but I am not sure there will be storms there at that time.

Categories: Weather

Still Monitoring Tornado Threat for Late This Afternoon/This Evening

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Thu, 03/24/2016 - 12:46

A Tornado Watch has been issued until 7:00 PM CDT for areas in extreme southern Alabama, the western panhandle of Florida, and extreme southeastern Mississippi. Counties in Alabama include Baldwin, Butler, Coffee, Conecuh, Covington, Crenshaw, Escambia, Geneva, Mobile, and Monroe.

SEVERE WEATHER THREAT UPDATE
We continue to monitor developments across the Southeast U.S. to pin down our severe weather threat across Central Alabama. Our first round of non-severe storms has moved through the Tuscaloosa/Birmingham areas and has weakened a bit.

Only 0.08 inches of rain at the Birmingham Airport through 12:17 p.m.

The second line of storms has crossed into western Franklin, western marion and Lamar Counties. Those storms are not severe either. They will spread across the North Central part of the state between now and 4 p.m.

Our cold front now extends from Blytheville TN to Pine Bluff Arkansas to just east of Eldorado AR to Fort Polk and Lake Charles in Louisiana. We still expect to see strong to severe storms form near the Mississippi/Alabama border after 4 p.m. ahead of this front. There are signs on the HRRR that there could be sufficient instability and low level shear for these storms be take on a cellular look for a couple of hours as they traverse West Central Alabama from Marion to Sumter Counties and move eastward. They would affect areas from Walker to Tuscaloosa Counties around 5 p.m., and Cullman and Jefferson around 7 p.m.

SIGTOR values at 7 p.m. CDT this evening. Values over 1 indicate possibility of EF2 or greater tornadoes. The higher the value, the greater the chance.

Significant Tornado Parameter Values from the HRRR model late this afternoon are still quite impressive. Look at these values from the latest run for 7 p.m. CDT tonight. It shows STP values >2 over a wide part of the I-59 Corridor. This could suggest a couple of significant tornadoes are possible as a sweet spot of instability (CAPE values >=1500 joules) and low level helicity (over 400 m2/s2 of 0-1 km SRH).

IF THIS VERIFIES…
We could deal with a couple of significant tornadoes late this afternoon and early this evening. Pay close attention to later weather information and have a reliable way to receive warnings. Be aware of where you will be tonight and what you will be doing, so you can have a shelter plan it a warning is issued.

COLUMBUS MS RADAR UPDATE
The Columbus MS NEXRAD has been down since Saturday. The parts should arrive and be installed later today, but the earliest the radar will be back up and running will be late this afternoon. The loss of the radar gives some degradation to radar coverage over Northeast Mississippi and Northwest Alabama, but the Birmingham, Hytop and Memphis radars will be covering.

THE WEEKEND
After the threat has passed tonight, decent conditions are in store for Friday and Saturday. Friday, skies will begin to clear out during the late morning to early afternoon hours, with highs reaching the mid 60s. Saturday will be sunny and warmer, with highs reaching the mid 70s. Unfortunately, rain is in the forecast for Easter Sunday. The rain may hold off enough until after early morning services are complete. After that, rain and a few claps of thunder is expected, with highs reaching the upper 60s to the lower 70s.

Categories: Weather

Rain and Storms Moving Through Birmingham

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Thu, 03/24/2016 - 12:06

Heavy rain and thunderstorms are currently moving into the Birmingham metropolitan area. Lightning will be picking up within the next few minutes as the line of storms move across the area. Currently, there are no watches or warnings in effect for anywhere in Alabama. A few school systems have cancelled activities and will close early. Click ABC 33/40 School Closings for the latest list of school closings.

Categories: Weather

Tornado Watch Likely Will Be Needed Later for Much of the Area

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Thu, 03/24/2016 - 11:36

Read down for more information on our thinking.

The SPC has just issued a mesoscale discussion indicating that they think a severe weather watch (I would think tornado based on the wording) will likely be required for a large part of Central Alabama later. Here is the area covered and the text:

Stay connected with the AlabamaWX blog throughout the afternoon for the latest severe weather information.

Categories: Weather

Severe Weather Forecast Appears to be on Track

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Thu, 03/24/2016 - 11:18

As the severe weather threat moves closer to the state, there are no watches or warnings in effect at this time.

Base reflectivity on the left showing precipitation with cloud tops on right, showing the locations of the strongest thunderstorm cells in West Alabama.

CURRENTLY
A line of showers with a few embedded thunderstorms are making its way across west and central Alabama, stretching from Cullman and Winston counties, down to the southwest through Walker, Tuscaloosa, Greene, Pickens, Sumter, and Hale counties, and exiting the state through Choctaw and Washington counties in Southwest Alabama. A thunderstorm was located near Eutaw in Greene county, and another located in southwestern Tuscaloosa county near Fosters. Lightning is also starting to pick up in central to eastern Tuscaloosa county near the Jefferson county line. The line is slowly progressing to the east as the individual cells in the line are moving to the northeast at 45-50 MPH..

Temperatures across the state are showing 64 for Birmingham, with lower 60s in the northern third of the state, and middle 60s for the central portions. The warmest observation was Mobile with a temperature of 72. Winds are out of the south-southeast averaging 10-15 MPH across the state, with a few gusts up to 35 MPH. The Birmingham Airport had a peak wind gust of 35 MPH at 10:31 AM.

LATE MORNING/EARLY AFTERNOON
The line of showers and storms will push out of the Jasper, Cullman, Tuscaloosa areas around noon and will affect the Birmingham area between now and 1 p.m. They will affect Gadsden and Pell City around 1 p.m. and Anniston by 2 p.m. They will be weaker as they head into East Alabama. These storms will not be severe, but they will have lots of lightning associated with them.

ROUND 2
Storms over North Central Mississippi now should start reaching West Alabama’s Marion, Lamar and Pickens Counties by 1 p.m. They will reach Jasper/Tuscaloosa around 2 p.m., Birmingham before 3 p.m., Pell City and Talladega by 4 p.m. and Anniston after 4:30.

Areas south of I-20 should have around 1,000-1,500 joules of CAPE to work with and some low level helicity, so a couple of isolated tornadoes cannot be ruled out with this activity. Everyone will want to be alert to that possibility, along with the threat for damaging winds and hail as well.

AHEAD OF THE COLD FRONT
We will be watching areas from northwest of Meridian into Sumter and Greene Counties around 3-4 p.m. for more storms to develop ahead of the cold front. The front should be passing through Columbus MS about that time.

By 4:30-5:30, more storms will develop over West Alabama and these will have to be watched as they move into Tuscaloosa and Jasper by 6 p.m. and the Birmingham area by 7 p.m.

Anything south of I-20 to US-80 from Demopolis to Montgomery to Auburn will have to watch out during the late afternoon and early evening for the possibility of all modes of severe weather including tornadoes.

CHECK YOUR PLAN
Now is a good time to review your severe weather safety plan and think about where you will be this afternoon and evening. Have a way to receive warnings and know what you will do if one is issued.

SCHOOLS
Some schools are shutting down their after school activities. Winfield City Schools closed at 11 a.m. Check with your local system to confirm their plans.

NEXT UPDATE
We will have our next update by 12:30 p.m.

Categories: Weather

The Latest Thoughts on Today’s Severe Weather

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Thu, 03/24/2016 - 09:26

Once again, a complex severe weather threat is facing us here across Central Alabama on this late March day.

It has been a calm morning across the area so far, but the atmosphere is changing across the state.

Click image to enlarge.

After an active night with hail and tornadoes across the eastern half of Texas and the western parts of Arkansas, a line of storms associated with a cold front is weakening across northern Mississippi. Currently there are no watches and warning in effect, but that could be changing soon over southeastern Louisiana and southwestern Mississippi according to the SPC.

A low level jet, or wind maximum at about 5,000 feet is strengthening over Mississippi at this hour. It is pumping lots of warm, moist Gulf air northeastward. This has been producing increasing showers in a thin ribbon from Lafayette, LA up to Meridian MS and into West Alabama’s Lamar, Pickens and Sumter Counties.

Some of these cells have risen high enough in the atmosphere to produce lightning. Lightning strikes have been detected near Sulligent in Lamar County and near Aliceville in Pickens County. Stronger storms are back over Mississippi from Scooba to Meridian and on into Louisiana.

The storms are elevated, meaning their source of instability is not from near the surface, but rather in that river of warm, moist air above the surface, so they aren’t a big threat to become severe. For the next couple of hours, that should remain the case as they will be moving into more stable air.

But those dewpoints in the 60s over southern Mississippi will translate eastward into Alabama through the morning and more widespread thunderstorms will be possible. These stronger storms will overspread western Alabama between 10 a.m. and noon, reaching Tuscaloosa before 11 a.m. and Birmingham before noon. Surface based instability will be low, and the clouds and rain will limit further destabilization by the means of the sun, so these storms should mainly stay below severe limits. Can’t rule out a few warnings for damaging winds however.

Meanwhile, there will be some destabilization on the back side of this over Mississippi through the morning and storms from last night will re-intensify. By noon, these storms will extend across eastern Mississippi from Columbus to Meridian and will move into West Alabama shortly thereafter. They should reach Tuscaloosa by 1:30 and Birmingham by 2:30 and Anniston/Gadsden between 330-4 p.m.

This activity should limit instability for areas north of I-20, but for areas south of I-20 and west of I-65, instability values will be over 1,000 joules/kg. Shear values should be ramping down however, which is in our favor. But, there appears to be a decent upper level disturbance over Louisiana that will swing northeast into Mississippi.

So, there will be a threat for severe weather with this main line early through mid-afternoon. There is lots of dry air in the mid-levels of the atmosphere, which can enhance the damaging wind threat. We can’t rule out a couple of tornadoes as backed surface winds associated with any surface reflection of the upper disturbance could enhance low level helicity. Hail is also a possibility.

Finally, there could be redevelopment ahead of the cold front over West Alabama between 4-6 p.m. This activity will affect Jasper by 5 p.m., Tuscaloosa by 530-6 p.m. and Birmingham between 6-7 p.m. Hail and damaging winds will be the main threats with this activity.

Be sure you can hear severe weather watches and warnings if the need arises. Have your plan of action and your readiness kit ready to go if you are included in a polygon. Don’t hesitate if you are placed under a warning. Get to your place of safety and stay until the warning has either expired or cancelled.

After the threat has passed tonight, decent conditions are in store for Friday and Saturday. Friday, skies will begin to clear out during the late morning to early afternoon hours, with highs reaching the middle 60s. Saturday will be sunny and warmer, with highs reaching the middle 70s. Unfortunately, rain is in the forecast for Easter Sunday. The rain may hold off enough until after early morning services are complete. After that, rain and a few claps of thunder is expected, with highs reaching the upper 60s to the lower 70s.

Categories: Weather

Mid-Morning Update

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Thu, 03/24/2016 - 08:06

Showers and a few thunderstorms are over West Alabama this morning…

Nothing severe, but the risk of strong to severe storms continues later today. Based on model data and radar/satellite trends, I have adjusted the timeline a bit…

Otherwise, not much change in our thinking. Storms this afternoon could produce hail, strong/damaging winds, and a few isolated tornadoes. See the discussion below this one for more details…

Categories: Weather

Strong/Severe Storms Later Today

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Thu, 03/24/2016 - 06:35

ACTIVE WEATHER DAY: Things are quiet across Alabama early this morning, but we continue to watch thunderstorms off to the west, and we will have a setup for strong to severe storms around here later today and early tonight.

A deep surface low will be southeast of Chicago this afternoon, with a trailing cold front supported by a deep upper trough. Instability values are expected to rise, exceeding 1000 j/kg (CAPE) in spots this afternoon. Shear values suggest a few rotating storms are possible, especially over the northern half of the state.

PLACEMENT: SPC has defined the standard “slight risk” of severe weather today for areas north of a line from Chatom to Greenville to Roanoke, and a “marginal risk” to the south, all the way to the Gulf Coast.

TIMING: We have adjusted the times again to reflect a severe weather window for Alabama from 12:00 noon to 8:00 p.m.

The severe weather threat will begin in West Alabama early this afternoon, with the risk shifting slowly eastward.

MODES: Storms later today will be capable of producing hail, strong/damaging winds, and a few tornadoes.

RAIN AMOUNTS: Totals should be in the 1/2 to 1 inch range; flooding on a widespread basis is not expected.

CALL TO ACTION: Be sure you can hear severe weather watches and warnings this afternoon if they are needed, know where you are going if you happen to fall under a tornado warning polygon, and have a readiness kit in your safe place, including helmets. See this post on getting ready for severe weather in Alabama.

Remember, this is the core of the spring tornado season in our state, so events like this are pretty common. Just be prepared and we will get through the day just fine.

TOMORROW/SATURDAY: These two days will be dry. Lingering clouds early tomorrow will give way to afternoon sunshine with a high in the mid 60s. Saturday will be mostly sunny and warmer with a high in the mid 70s.

EASTER SUNDAY: No doubt we will have to deal with rain at times. Highest risk of rain comes from late morning through the afternoon, but we can’t guarantee early morning Easter sunrise services will be dry. Some thunder is possible Sunday, but severe weather is not expected. We will have a much better handle on timing once we get today’s system out of here.

NEXT WEEK: Dry, pleasant weather is the story Monday and Tuesday; showers and storms return Wednesday night into Thursday. Some chance this could be another setup for strong or severe storms… see the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

AT THE BEACH: Showers and storms are likely on the coast from Gulf Shores over to Panama City Beach later today and tomorrow… but tomorrow will be dry with a sunny sky. Then, the chance of rain returns over the weekend… See a very detailed Gulf Coast forecast here.

STORM SPOTTER TRAINING: Storm Spotter Xtreme is Saturday, April 9 at the BJCC from 9am to 2pm. This will feature both the basic and advanced SKYWARN classes, along with a session from Kevin Laws of the Birmingham NWS office. And, if you come, you get free admission to the Alabama International Auto Show, going on at the BJCC that same day. There is no cost and no need to register. Just show up with a curious mind. Kids 10 and older will also enjoy this if they love weather and want to learn more. Please help us make the severe weather warning process better!

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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I have a weather program this morning at Spring Valley School… stay tuned to the blog for updates on the severe weather situation throughout the day!

Categories: Weather

Severe Storms Likely Tomorrow

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Wed, 03/23/2016 - 15:33

THIS AFTERNOON: As expected, today has been dry and mild across the state; the sky occasionally cloudy, but no rain. Temperatures are near 70 degrees in most places.

A dynamic weather system will bring a threat of severe storms to our tomorrow; a deep surface low will be southeast of Chicago with a trailing cold front approaching, supported by a strong upper trough. New models (the 12Z set) have come in a little slower, and with higher instability values for Alabama. The 12Z high resolution NAM model is showing a STP (Significant Tornado Parameter) value of around 4 for the Birmingham metro late tomorrow afternoon based on the better combination of instability and shear.

Here is the latest thinking…

PLACEMENT: No change in the SPC outlook for tomorrow. The standard “slight risk” of severe storms is defined for areas north of a line from Thomasville to Georgiana to Troy to Eufaula, and a “marginal risk” is in place down to the Gulf Coast.

TIMING: The overall window for severe weather is from 1:00 until 11:00 p.m. Initially, the risk will be over West Alabama, with the threat shifting slowly eastward during the afternoon and evening hours.

MODES: Storms tomorrow afternoon and tomorrow night will be capable of producing large hail, damaging straight line winds, and a few tornadoes. The tornado threat will decrease over far East Alabama tomorrow night.

RAIN AMOUNTS: Totals of 1/2 to 1 inch are likely, widespread flooding problems are not expected.

CALL TO ACTION: Be sure you are in a position to hear severe weather watches and warnings tomorrow afternoon into the nighttime hours; a NOAA Weather Radio and a good smart phone app like WeatherRadio by WDT are the best choices. See this post for more thoughts on what you can do to get ready.

FRIDAY: The day will be mostly sunny and a bit cooler with a high in the mid 60s. The risk of frost early Friday morning has pretty much faded; looks like most places will see a low in the 40s.

EASTER WEEKEND: Saturday should be a beautiful day, with a good supply of sunshine along with a high in the mid 70s. Clouds return Saturday night, and we will continue to forecast periods of rain Sunday, along with the chance of a thunderstorm or two. Severe storms are not expected Sunday, and it looks like the highest chance of rain will come from the late morning hours through the afternoon. Rain amounts of around 1/2 inch are likely.

NEXT WEEK: The weather looks dry and pleasant Monday through Wednesday… then showers and storms return Thursday; that system could bring another threat of strong to severe storms. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

AT THE BEACH: Showers and storms are likely tomorrow afternoon on the coast, followed by a dry day Friday. Rain chances will increase again over the Easter weekend… See a very detailed Gulf Coast forecast here.

STORM SPOTTER TRAINING: Storm Spotter Xtreme is Saturday, April 9 at the BJCC from 9am to 2pm. This will feature both the basic and advanced SKYWARN classes, along with a session from Kevin Laws of the Birmingham NWS office. And, if you come, you get free admission to the Alabama International Auto Show, going on at the BJCC that same day. There is no cost and no need to register. Just show up with a curious mind. Kids 10 and older will also enjoy this if they love weather and want to learn more. Please help us make the severe weather warning process better!

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

I enjoyed seeing 2nd graders at Meadow View Elementary in Alabaster, and the 3rd graders at Chelsea Park Elementary today… be looking for them on the Pepsi KIDCAM today at 5:00 and 6:00 on ABC 33/40 News! The next Weather Xtreme video will be posted here by 7:00 a.m. tomorrow…

Categories: Weather
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