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Arctic Air Invades Alabama

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Wed, 02/18/2015 - 16:45

An all new edition of the ABC 33/40 Weather Xtreme video is available in the player on the right sidebar of the blog. You can subscribe to the Weather Xtreme video on iTunes by clicking here.

HARD FREEZE AHEAD: Strong north winds gusting to 40 mph at times have developed across Alabama this afternoon following an Arctic front that brought snow showers to some of the northern counties this morning. We project a low in the 10-15 degree range early tomorrow, with a wind chill index near zero. Many school systems have delayed opening due to the cold.

Tomorrow will be sunny, but very cold day with most places staying below freezing. Communities north of Birmingham won’t get out of the 20s.

WINTER STORM POTENTIAL FRIDAY: The NWS Huntsville has issued a winter storm watch for their counties in North Alabama Friday and Friday night as another wave in the southern branch of the jet stream promises to bring a winter weather mess to parts of the Deep South.

TIMING: Wintry precipitation will begin Friday morning, and continue through the afternoon hours and into and Friday night.

PLACEMENT: The greatest impact should come north of a line from Hamilton to Curry to Remlap to Springville and to Wedowee. The most significant issues will most likely come over Northeast and East Alabama, where freezing rain could linger into early Saturday morning. Highest ice accumulation should come over Jackson, Madison, Marshall, DeKalb, Blount, Etowah, Cherokee, St. Clair, and Calhoun counties, where cold air will hang in longer.

For now it looks unlikely that there will be any significant winter weather issues for Birmingham or Tuscaloosa.

PRECIPITATION TYPE: Initially this will be all snow with this very cold Arctic air in place, but with warm air advection aloft, the cold air becomes shallow, and the precipitation will change over to sleet and freezing rain during the afternoon hours and into Friday night. By 9:00 p.m. Friday, areas west of I-65 should just be in rain with temperatures above freezing, but freezing rain will continue east of I-65 and mostly north of I-20. This is where the highest impact will most likely happen with ice accumulation.

ACCUMULATION: Snow amounts of 1-3 inches are possible over the northern third of Alabama by Friday afternoon (mostly north of U.S. 278), and ice accumulation to 0.4″ are possible over the northeast counties of the state by Saturday morning.

IMPACT: Travel will be impacted where the wintry precipitation falls, and there could be enough ice accumulation over Northeast Alabama to bring down tree limbs and cause power outages.

It will be a classic battle between the cold air damming (CAD) in place over Northeast Alabama, and the warm air advection pattern to the southwest. This forecast, can, and probably will change as we get closer to the event. So please check future blog discussions.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: The good news is that it will be much warmer. Some global model guidance is now suggesting a decent part of the day Saturday will be dry, but no doubt showers will remain possible. Temperatures will rise to near 60 degrees Saturday afternoon up to I-20; parts of South Alabama could reach 70 degrees.

Sunday looks wet with rain likely, and maybe even a thunderstorm or two as a cold front moves through the state.

NEXT WEEK: Cold, dry weather looks like Monday through Wednesday with highs mostly in the 40s and lows mostly in the 20s. And, evidence of more winter weather mischief toward the end of the week. Take some time and watch the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

FIRST ALERT STORM TEAM TOUR: Our annual severe weather awareness tour across Alabama rolls along; we will be in Cordova tomorrow evening. Just drop by anytime from 4:00 until 6:30… you can watch me do weather live on ABC 33/40, get some free stuff to take home, and have a chance to win several NOAA Weather Radios we will be giving away. If you need your weather radio programmed or checked, bring it by and we will be glad to help.

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 the kids at Indian Valley Elementary School in Sylacauga… be looking for them on the Pepsi KIDCAM today at 5:00 on ABC 33/40 News! The next Weather Xtreme video will be posted here by 7:00 a.m. tomorrow…

Categories: Weather

North Alabama Notes

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Wed, 02/18/2015 - 11:58

Snow showers across North Alabama are leaving light accumulations and slippery roads in spots.

Looking at the Hytop radar won’t do you any good though because it is down waiting on a part. Here is the UAH ARMOR radar:

Here is an image from Terri Clark in Madison via Twitter.

SOME REPORTS
…0.25 inches on roadways around Cloverdale in Lauderdale County with up to one half inch on CR-8.
…Up to 1/2 of an inch of snow reported causing some icing conditions to occur near the intersection of CE 61 and CR 306 near Zip City in Lauderdale County.
…One tenth of an inch of snow and some icing in the Hinegar and Ider areas of DeKalb County.
…Secondary roads completely covered in snow…major roads mostly covered around Rainville in DeKalb County. Temperature 26 degrees.
…Secondary roads in eastern Lauderdale County reported to be “impassable”.
…Snow flurries around Decatur

Across the border in Moore County TN, 2.5 inches of snow has accumulated on grassy areas.

The worst of the snow will be over by noon with a few snow showers could persist into the afternoon.

Categories: Weather

North Alabama Snow

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Wed, 02/18/2015 - 10:09

Snow amounts to 1/2″ have been reported over far North Alabama… this is Huntsville (photo from @ktaylorflatt)

Huntsville Police report Memorial Parkway both northbound and southbound lanes between Meridian and Hollow Rd are closed.

Greatest impact will remain over the Tennessee Valley (generally along and north of the Tennessee River), where the NWS Huntsville has a winter weather advisory in effect. Snow flurries are possible this morning as far south as I-20, but no travel impact. Scroll down for a full meteorological discussion…

Categories: Weather

February 18, 2015 Weather Xtreme Video - Morning Edition

Weather Xtreme Video - Wed, 02/18/2015 - 07:34
February 18, 2015 Weather Xtreme Video - Morning Edition
The ABC 33/40 Weather Xtreme video is a detailed weather discussion for Alabama and the Southeast U.S. which goes beyond the normal stuff you see on TV! From... From: ABC 33/40 Weather Views: 3518 8 ratings Time: 08:07 More in News & Politics
Categories: Weather

Arctic Cold; A Few Flurries Today

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Wed, 02/18/2015 - 07:27

An all new edition of the ABC 33/40 Weather Xtreme video is available in the player on the right sidebar of the blog. You can subscribe to the Weather Xtreme video on iTunes by clicking here.

Like we stated here yesterday, there are three big issues we are dealing with over the next few days. The first two are an easy forecast, but the third is a challenge.

1. SNOW FLURRIES TODAY: Ahead of an Arctic cold front, we will continue to mention the chance of snow flurries/showers this morning. Significant accumulation/travel impact is not expected for places like Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Anniston, and Gadsden, but the NWS Huntsville maintains a winter weather advisory for their counties in far North Alabama, where up to 1/2 inch is possible in spots. A dusting of snow is already down across much of the Tennessee Valley at daybreak.

2. ARCTIC COLD: We will struggle to reach 40 degrees again today, but the real cold air arrives tonight. Early tomorrow, we expect a low between 10 and 15 degrees, with a wind chill index near zero. To the north, a few spots across the Tennessee Valley could see single digit lows. Tomorrow will be sunny but very cold, with a high between 28 and 32 degrees. Up near the Tennessee border, the high will be only in the mid 20s.

Records could very well be established… Here’s the current record minimum temperatures and record low maximum temperatures for Feb 19th:

Record Minimum Temps:
Birmingham…….12 (1958)
Montgomery……18 (1958)
Tuscaloosa……..14 (1958)
Anniston…………..9 (1905)

Record Low Maximum Temps:
Birmingham…….36 (1936)
Montgomery……43 (1936)
Tuscaloosa……..39 (1959)
Anniston………….37 (1958)

3. WINTRY MIX FRIDAY: It will be a battle between the warm air advection process (WAA), and very cold air entrenched over North Alabama. It will be somewhat similar to Monday’s event, but the one big difference is that temperatures are starting off noticeably colder.

TIMING: Light snow should begin over North Alabama (generally north of I-20) Friday morning, after 9:00 a.m. I don’t think we will have any travel impact early Friday during rush hour.

PLACEMENT: Highest chance of wintry precipitation will be north of a line from Millport to Gardendale to Oxford.

PRECIPITATION TYPE: It should begin as light snow, with a gradual change to sleet and freezing rain as warmer air aloft spreads in from the south. Then, it all changes to rain late Friday afternoon and Friday, with the exception of Northeast Alabama, where freezing rain could fall much of Friday night.

IMPACT: There could be travel impact with icy bridges/roads Friday afternoon, especially north of U.S. 278 (Hamilton to Cullman to Gadsden). But, as the warm nose moves in from the south, roads just become wet Friday night. The one big exception is Northeast Alabama, where it is harder for the cold air to be scoured out. A significant accumulation of ice seems possible for counties like Jackson, DeKalb, and Cherokee. Possibly for Marshall, Etowah, Cleburne, and parts of Calhoun. Too early to be really specific, but there could be enough ice accumulation for some power outages Friday night across this part of Alabama.

PLEASE READ the “ten things you need to know about winter weather forecasting”. All points are relevant here. This forecast can, and probably will change.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Periods of rain will continue on Saturday over the northern third of the state, but it will be much warmer with a high between 57 and 60. Best chance of rain will be along and north of I-20… the southern two-thirds of Alabama will be mostly dry and very mild; some places south of Montgomery will be close to 70 degrees Saturday afternoon.

Then, Sunday, a cold front moves in, and we will probably have thunderstorms involved as the wet pattern continues. The high Sunday will be close to 60.

NEXT WEEK: Colder and drier air returns for the first half of next week, with highs mostly in the 40s, and lows mostly in the 20s. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

FIRST ALERT STORM TEAM TOUR: Our annual severe weather awareness tour across Alabama rolls along; we will be in Cordova tomorrow evening. Just drop by anytime from 4:00 until 6:30… you can watch me do weather live on ABC 33/40, get some free stuff to take home, and have a chance to win several NOAA Weather Radios we will be giving away. If you need your weather radio programmed or checked, bring it by and we will be glad to help.

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 a weather program this morning at Indian Valley Elementary School in Sylacauga… look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon. Enjoy the day!

Categories: Weather

Concerning Tomorrow Morning

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Tue, 02/17/2015 - 22:26

The NWS in Huntsville continues a winter weather advisory for the counties in the Tennessee Valley of far North Alabama. A clipper type system will bring snow showers/flurries to Alabama early tomorrow morning; this is the HRRR model output valid at 6:00 a.m. tomorrow…

While this isn’t a major winter weather event, heavier snow showers could put down up to 1/2 inch of snow, mainly over far North Alabama, and some isolated travel issues could result. The primary window for the show showers/flurries will come from 4:00 until 10:00 a.m.

We will watch radar trends overnight for any potential sign of a surprise, but for now we don’t expect significant travel impact for places like Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Anniston, and Gadsden.

The other two big issues are…

*The Arctic cold arriving tomorrow night… we will drop into the 10-15 degree range early Thursday morning, and most places around here will stay below freezing all day.

*Friday wintry mix… A storm system in the southern branch of the jet stream will bring another threat of freezing rain, sleet, and maybe a snow flake or two Friday. New data rolling in still hints this could be a system with significant somewhere over North Alabama. I will have my first forecast map for this event here early tomorrow morning.

Categories: Weather

Three Items On The Plate

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Tue, 02/17/2015 - 16:48

An all new edition of the ABC 33/40 Weather Xtreme video is available in the player on the right sidebar of the blog. You can subscribe to the Weather Xtreme video on iTunes by clicking here.

Let’s take them one at a time…

1. SNOW SHOWERS TOMORROW MORNING: A clipper type system will bring the risk of snow showers/flurries to North Alabama tomorrow morning. The NWS in Huntsville has issued a winter weather advisory for their area up in the Tennessee Valley for potential for 1/2″ of snow, with isolated higher amounts.

These type systems usually don’t cause widespread issues, but heavier snow showers can make the ground white, and with temperatures below freezing, it could impact travel in a few places. To the south, a few snow flurries or showers are possible as far south as I-20, but it is doubtful it impacts travel in places like Birmingham. We watch radar trends closely, but for now the best chance of icy travel tomorrow morning will be north of U.S. 278, or north of a line from Hamilton to Cullman to Gadsden.

The main window for snow showers and flurries will come from about 4:00 until 10:00 a.m. Otherwise, tomorrow will be mostly cloudy and cold with a high in the low 40s.

2. ARCTIC COLD THURSDAY: Some of the coldest air this winter will flood Alabama tomorrow night. By daybreak Thursday, we should be in the 10-15 degree range, with potential for a few single digits lows up over far North Alabama. Most communities will stay below freezing all day with a high only in the low 30s… but on the positive side the sun should be out in full force. Clouds return Thursday night.

3. WINTER PRECIPITATION FRIDAY: The models remain bullish on the chance of a “wintry mix” over North Alabama Friday as cold, Arctic remains in place.

Looks like there will be a good chance of freezing rain, sleet, or snow along and north of a line from Millport to Birmingham to Anniston. I will have my first specific forecast for this event tomorrow morning. Like the event Monday, warm air advection will begin Friday afternoon, and it will be a big challenge in drawing the line between a cold rain and the wintry precipitation.

This could be a high impact event for parts of North Alabama, especially Northeast Alabama, where the cold air damming (CAD) effect could keep cold air in place longer. Some freezing rain will be possible there through Friday night.

OUR WEEKEND: Warmer air takes over, but the weather stays wet. We will forecast periods of rain both Saturday and Sunday with highs in the 55-60 degree range.

Colder and drier air will return to Alabama early next week. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

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

February 17, 2015 Weather Xtreme Video - Afternoon Edition

Weather Xtreme Video - Tue, 02/17/2015 - 16:46
February 17, 2015 Weather Xtreme Video - Afternoon Edition
The ABC 33/40 Weather Xtreme video is a detailed weather discussion for Alabama and the Southeast U.S. which goes beyond the normal stuff you see on TV! From... From: ABC 33/40 Weather Views: 3410 6 ratings Time: 07:32 More in News & Politics
Categories: Weather

February 17, 2015 Weather Xtreme Video - Morning Edition

Weather Xtreme Video - Tue, 02/17/2015 - 07:38
February 17, 2015 Weather Xtreme Video - Morning Edition
The ABC 33/40 Weather Xtreme video is a detailed weather discussion for Alabama and the Southeast U.S. which goes beyond the normal stuff you see on TV! From... From: ABC 33/40 Weather Views: 4251 14 ratings Time: 09:28 More in News & Politics
Categories: Weather

Into The Deep Freeze Thursday

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Tue, 02/17/2015 - 07:31

An all new edition of the ABC 33/40 Weather Xtreme video is available in the player on the right sidebar of the blog. You can subscribe to the Weather Xtreme video on iTunes by clicking here.

ICY PATCHES: Just a reminder we are well below freezing this morning, and any standing water from the big rain yesterday and last night will be ice, so take it easy as you drive. Temperatures will go above freezing by mid-morning, and we project a high in the low 40s today.

SNOW FLURRIES/SHOWERS TOMORROW? A disturbance in the northern branch of the jet will bring the chance of a flurries or snow showers to North Alabama tomorrow morning. These traditionally don’t bring too many problems and little impact, but some of the heavier snow showers could make the ground white, especially over the Tennessee Valley of far North Alabama. Travel impact is not likely, although we will watch for heavier snow showers that form. Best chance of flurries or snow showers will come from about 5:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. Otherwise, tomorrow will be mostly cloudy and cold with a high between 42 and 45 degrees.

INTO THE DEEP FREEZE THURSDAY: Arctic air arrives tomorrow night, and by Thursday morning we project a low in the 12-17 degree range across North/Central Alabama. The GFS is printing a low of 12 for Birmingham early Thursday. Thursday will be sunny, but we stay below freezing most all day with a high in the low 30s. It will be one of the coldest days of the winter.

WINTER WEATHER ISSUES FRIDAY? The next wave in the southern branch of the jet stream will bring potential for more winter weather “fun and games” at the end of the week. Global models bring a “wintry mix” into the northern part of Alabama during the day; for now it seems like the highest risk of precipitation will be along and north of I-20. The 06Z GFS shows mostly sleet and snow initially with surface temperatures in the mid 30s.

Then, a slow transition to freezing rain and sleet seems likely for Friday night as the depth of the cold air decreases. The GFS keeps some freezing rain going over Northeast Alabama into early Saturday morning.

Warm air advection will be going on, and it could be similar to the event yesterday with more rain than wintry precipitation, but we just don’t know at this point.

There is no way to resolve specific details on this kind of event days in advance; it is just something we need to watch. And you need to know there could be potential impact over North Alabama Friday, Friday night, and maybe into Saturday morning.

Our first forecast/impact graphic will be prepared tomorrow morning. And, as stressed for the last event, please read the “ten things you need to know about winter weather forecasting”.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Warmer air pushes northward. We will forecast a cloudy day Saturday with rain at times and a high in the 57-60 degree range. The chance of rain will continue on Sunday with similar afternoon highs. No risk of snow/ice/sleet issues from Saturday afternoon through the rest of the weekend with the warmer airmass in place.

NEXT WEEK: Looks like another battle of cold air and precipitation early next week; see the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

FIRST ALERT STORM TEAM TOUR: Our annual severe weather awareness tour across Alabama rolls along; we are scheduled to be in Cordova Thursday evening… we will decide today if we need to postpone that stop due to weather. Will let you know here this afternoon.

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. Scroll down for the show notes on the new episode we recorded last night.

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

WeatherBrains 473: Shockingly Taller

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Tue, 02/17/2015 - 06:15

WeatherBrains Episode 473 is now online (February 16, 2015). If you are crazy about weather, this is THE netcast audio program for you!

Tonight’s Guest WeatherBrain is the State Climatologist for Oklahoma, Gary McManus. Gary has been with Oklahoma Climatological Survey since 1999, joining the Climate Information Group in 2000. Mr. McManus has B.S. and M.S. degrees in Meteorology from the University of Oklahoma. As a climatologist, McManus studies long-term weather statistics for the Oklahoma Climatological Survey. Although he is trained to forecast the weather, he said he often tells people he chose climatology because he is better at reporting what happened than predicting it.

Other discussions in this weekly podcast include topics like:

  • Extremes: 87 at McAllen, TX, Edinburg, TX, and Death Valley, CA, and -35 at Mount Washington, NH
  • A surface low moving through the Southeast US creating winter problems;
  • Boston having one of their snowiest years EVER;
  • Lots of winter weather advisories/warnings from East Tennessee into Mid-Atlantic states;
  • Nate facing a serious ice storm; and,
  • and more!
  • Our email bag officer is out yet again because of snow – what an excuse! But we promise she’ll be back eventually to update everyone on notes from our listeners.

    From The Weather Center:

    WeatherBrains 101: We see them nearly every day, and they are sometimes the thing that snags our interest in the atmosphere and weather. They are clouds. But what are they and where do they come from? This begins a multi-part segment on clouds.

    Listener Surveys: Okay, we continue to drive this topic into the ground, but we really do like to hear from you. Many thanks to everyone who has taken the time to fill out the Listener Survey. The survey takes just a minute or two to complete and provides us with an opportunity to learn where you are and hear your thoughts and comments on the show. Click here to take the survey.

    Web Sites from Episode 473:

    Oklahoma Climatological Survey

    Oklahoma MesoNet Ticker

    Twitter Exchange between Kevin and American Airlines

    To subscribe to the new SkyWritings, an email newsletter from the WeatherBrains gang, click HERE.

    Picks of the Week:

    Bill Murray – Summary Section Added to SPC Watch Messages

    Brian Peters – Boston Globe Snowstorms Gallery

    John Scala – A Push for Advanced Forecasts

    Kevin Selle – Cloud Seeding Operations & Research

    Rick Smith – Presentations from 95th AMS Annual Meeting

    James Spann – SPC SREF Plume Forecasts

    SkyDavers Blog – The Fog Bank

    The WeatherBrains crew includes your host, James Spann, plus other notable geeks like Dr. John Scala, Nate Johnson, Bill Murray, Rick Smith, Aubrey Urbanowicz, Kevin Selle, and Brian Peters. They bring together a wealth of weather knowledge and experience for another fascinating netcast about weather.

    Categories: Weather

    WeatherBrains 473: Shockingly Taller

    WeatherBrains - Tue, 02/17/2015 - 05:45

    WeatherBrains Episode 473 is now online (February 16, 2015). If you are crazy about weather, this is THE netcast audio program for you!

    Tonight’s Guest WeatherBrain is the State Climatologist for Oklahoma, Gary McManus. Gary has been with Oklahoma Climatological Survey since 1999, joining the Climate Information Group in 2000. Mr. McManus has B.S. and M.S. degrees in Meteorology from the University of Oklahoma. As a climatologist, McManus studies long-term weather statistics for the Oklahoma Climatological Survey. Although he is trained to forecast the weather, he said he often tells people he chose climatology because he is better at reporting what happened than predicting it.

    Other discussions in this weekly podcast include topics like:

  • Extremes: 87 at McAllen, TX, Edinburg, TX, and Death Valley, CA, and -35 at Mount Washington, NH
  • A surface low moving through the Southeast US creating winter problems;
  • Boston having one of their snowiest years EVER;
  • Lots of winter weather advisories/warnings from East Tennessee into Mid-Atlantic states;
  • Nate facing a serious ice storm; and,
  • and more!
  • Our email bag officer is out yet again because of snow – what an excuse! But we promise she’ll be back eventually to update everyone on notes from our listeners.

    From The Weather Center:

    WeatherBrains 101: We see them nearly every day, and they are sometimes the thing that snags our interest in the atmosphere and weather. They are clouds. But what are they and where do they come from? This begins a multi-part segment on clouds.

    Listener Surveys: Okay, we continue to drive this topic into the ground, but we really do like to hear from you. Many thanks to everyone who has taken the time to fill out the Listener Survey. The survey takes just a minute or two to complete and provides us with an opportunity to learn where you are and hear your thoughts and comments on the show. Click here to take the survey.

    Web Sites from Episode 473:

    Oklahoma Climatological Survey

    Oklahoma MesoNet Ticker

    Twitter Exchange between Kevin and American Airlines

    To subscribe to the new SkyWritings, an email newsletter from the WeatherBrains gang, click HERE.

    Picks of the Week:

    Bill Murray – Summary Section Added to SPC Watch Messages

    Brian Peters – Boston Globe Snowstorms Gallery

    John Scala – A Push for Advanced Forecasts

    Kevin Selle – Cloud Seeding Operations & Research

    Rick Smith – Presentations from 95th AMS Annual Meeting

    James Spann – SPC SREF Plume Forecasts

    SkyDavers Blog – The Fog Bank

    The WeatherBrains crew includes your host, James Spann, plus other notable geeks like Dr. John Scala, Nate Johnson, Bill Murray, Rick Smith, Aubrey Urbanowicz, Kevin Selle, and Brian Peters. They bring together a wealth of weather knowledge and experience for another fascinating netcast about weather.

    Categories: Weather

    Icy Travel Likely

    ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Mon, 02/16/2015 - 22:52

    Here is the text of a “civil emergency message” issued by the NWS Birmingham and the state of Alabama EMA:

    BULLETIN – EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
    CIVIL EMERGENCY MESSAGE
    ALABAMA EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY CLANTON ALABAMA
    RELAYED BY NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BIRMINGHAM AL
    948 PM CST MON FEB 16 2015

    THE FOLLOWING MESSAGE IS TRANSMITTED AT THE REQUEST OF THE
    INDIVIDUAL ALABAMA COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCIES ACROSS
    CENTRAL ALABAMA INCLUDING…MARION…WINSTON…LAMAR…FAYETTE…
    WALKER…PICKENS…TUSCALOOSA…SUMTER…GREENE…HALE…PERRY…
    BIBB…SHELBY…JEFFERSON…TALLADEGA…TALLAPOOSA…CLAY…
    RANDOLPH…CALHOUN…CLEBURNE…CHEROKEE…ETOWAH…BLOUNT…AND
    ST. CLAIR COUNTIES.

    NUMEROUS ROADWAYS…BOTH MAJOR THOROUGHFARES AND LESSER TRAVELED
    ROADWAYS…MAY BECOME HAZARDOUS OVERNIGHT AND IN SOME CASES
    IMPASSIBLE. THESE CONDITIONS MAY PERSIST THROUGH THE LATE MORNING
    HOURS ON TUESDAY. THESE COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCIES
    REQUEST THAT TRAVEL BE LIMITED TO EMERGENCIES ONLY FOR YOUR SAFETY
    AND THE SAFETY OF FIRST RESPONDERS.

    Categories: Weather

    Hazardous Road Conditions Expected Overnight

    ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Mon, 02/16/2015 - 22:50

    Many school systems are delaying their start times for Tuesday morning, which is a very good idea given the rapid drops in temperature tonight quickly following on the heels of the heavy rains this evening.

    The actions of the school systems should remind all Central Alabama businesses, organizations and individuals to take stock of the condition of roads across the area.

    The NWS and Emergency Management Agencies have issued a Civil Emergency Management message for the following counties. Bibb, Blount, Calhoun, Cherokee, Clay, Cleburne, Etowah, Fayette, Greene, Hale, Jefferson, Lamar, Marion, Perry, Pickens, Randolph, Shelby, St. Clair, Sumter, Talladega, Tallapoosa, Tuscaloosa, Walker and Winston.

    In these counties, icy road conditions are possible overnight.

    Roads could remain icy through much of the morning hours, especially in sheltered locations.

    It will be in effect until midnight.

    Please pay attention to road conditions overnight and in the morning and exercise extreme caution if you are going to be driving.

    Here is the text of the CEM:

    THE FOLLOWING MESSAGE IS TRANSMITTED AT THE REQUEST OF THE
    INDIVIDUAL ALABAMA COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCIES ACROSS
    CENTRAL ALABAMA INCLUDING…MARION…WINSTON…LAMAR…FAYETTE…
    WALKER…PICKENS…TUSCALOOSA…SUMTER…GREENE…HALE…PERRY…
    BIBB…SHELBY…JEFFERSON…TALLADEGA…TALLAPOOSA…CLAY…
    RANDOLPH…CALHOUN…CLEBURNE…CHEROKEE…ETOWAH…BLOUNT…AND
    ST. CLAIR COUNTIES.

    NUMEROUS ROADWAYS…BOTH MAJOR THOROUGHFARES AND LESSER TRAVELED
    ROADWAYS…MAY BECOME HAZARDOUS OVERNIGHT AND IN SOME CASES
    IMPASSIBLE. THESE CONDITIONS MAY PERSIST THROUGH THE LATE MORNING
    HOURS ON TUESDAY. THESE COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCIES
    REQUEST THAT TRAVEL BE LIMITED TO EMERGENCIES ONLY FOR YOUR SAFETY
    AND THE SAFETY OF FIRST RESPONDERS.

    Categories: Weather

    Colder Air Moving Into West Alabama

    ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Mon, 02/16/2015 - 19:45

    Temperatures are falling into the sub-freezing rain over parts of far West and Northwest Alabama…

    The freeze line will move steadily to the southeast during the next few hours. The temperature will be below freezing at Tuscaloosa and Gadsden by 9 p.m… Birmingham by 10 p.m… and Anniston by 10-11 p.m.

    Before the rain ends there could be a period of sleet, freezing rain, and maybe a few snow flakes. This, along with standing water from today’s big rain, will lead to icy patches on bridges, overpasses, and some black top roads.

    Be very careful if you are driving tonight or tomorrow morning; temperatures will rise above freezing by mid-morning. Scroll down for a more detailed look at weather for the rest of the week as this complex winter weather pattern continues…

    Categories: Weather

    February 16, 2015 Weather Xtreme Video - Afternoon Edition

    Weather Xtreme Video - Mon, 02/16/2015 - 16:37
    February 16, 2015 Weather Xtreme Video - Afternoon Edition
    The ABC 33/40 Weather Xtreme video is a detailed weather discussion for Alabama and the Southeast U.S. which goes beyond the normal stuff you see on TV! From... From: ABC 33/40 Weather Views: 4993 17 ratings Time: 06:05 More in News & Politics
    Categories: Weather

    Patchy Ice Tonight/Early Tomorrow

    ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Mon, 02/16/2015 - 16:28

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    RADAR CHECK: Widespread rain is falling across North and Central Alabama this afternoon; a few strong storms are even possible this evening over the southern half of the state, where temperatures have surged into the 60s.

    TONIGHT: As the rain tapers off tonight, it could change to freezing rain or sleet, and maybe even a snow flake or two before ending. Temperatures will fall quickly as a secondary push of cold air moves into the state, and we should be below freezing by midnight. With the potential of a little freezing rain, and the standing water left over from today’s big rain event, that will open up the potential for icy patches on bridges and some black top roads.

    TIMING: Temperatures are barely above freezing now over Northwest Alabama, and they drop below 32 by 6:00 p.m. Gadsden will drop below freezing by 8:00 p.m.. and for Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, and Anniston, sub-freeing temperatures are likely by 9-10 p.m. Temperatures will go above freezing by mid-morning tomorrow.

    IMPACT: If you are driving tonight or tomorrow morning, just understand there will be patchy “black ice” on bridges and some black top roads. I don’t think it will be especially widespread, but there will clearly be some ice around. Be careful out there.

    TOMORROW/WEDNESDAY: Tomorrow will be cold and dry; maybe a peek or two of sun through the clouds with a high around 40. We will mention the risk of a few snow flurries Wednesday with no impact, the day will be mostly cloudy, and again the high will be close to 40 degrees.

    INTO THE DEEP FREEZE THURSDAY: Some of the coldest air so far this winter will arrive Wednesday night. The 12Z GFS is printing a low of 11 for Birmingham Thursday morning, and a high of only 31. No risk of snow or ice; the sky Thursday will be sunny.

    WINTER WEATHER MISCHIEF FRIDAY: Global models bring the next wave in the southern branch of the jet stream through Alabama Friday, and with cold air in place that opens the door for another potential of wintry weather issues. There is no way to resolve specific details this far out; but due to the shallow nature of the cold air, if we have problems it would most likely be due to freezing rain or sleet as opposed to snow.

    Timing, impact, and precipitation type just can’t be forecast now. If models trend warmer, it could be like today with more rain here and the ice issues to the north. Stay tuned.

    THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Expect clouds, some rain, and a warming trend. We will see a high around 50 Saturday, and close to 60 Sunday. Saturday looks wet at times over the northern half of the state, with a small risk of rain Sunday.

    Take some time to see the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

    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. We will produce this week’s show tonight at 8:30 CT… you can watch it on “James Spann 24/7″ on cable systems around the state, or on the web here.

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    Look for updates through the night, and the next Weather Xtreme video will be posted here by 7:00 a.m. tomorrow…

    Categories: Weather

    Forecast Verification

    ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Mon, 02/16/2015 - 15:23

    A look back at the forecast for today, since it has brought out a number of Facebook trolls.

    LAST FRIDAY: This is the forecast I produced Friday morning, 72 hours before this morning’s event…

    While this was not correct, note we never forecast a snow event for Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Anniston, and Gadsden. Looked like it would be a freezing rain/sleet event at that point. Most of the trolls claim we “forecast a big snow for Birmingham” today, which is simply not true.

    SATURDAY NIGHT: This was the forecast 36 hours before the event.

    Models trend warmer, the wintry precipitation forecast was shifted north.

    SUNDAY MORNING: And, 24 hours before the event…

    This was pretty accurate, with ice reported this morning down into Blount and St. Clair County.

    This is a reminder of the “10 important things people need to know about winter weather forecasting”.

    Number four says: We try to provide you with our best forecast of snow/sleet/ice amounts as far in advance as we can. The first forecast numbers won’t usually be as good as the ones closer to the event. That’s just the way it is.

    As we roll along this week, please keep checking these discussions for up to date information…

    Number six says: If you want the most accurate and up-to-date information, you will have to check the forecast several times a day. Otherwise, you’re working with old information.

    A new discussion will be posted shortly…

    ALABAMA POWER IS READY, ARE YOU? Our friends at Alabama Power are monitoring the forecast closely, ready to deploy people and assets to quickly address any outages that might occur. Read a special message from Ike Piggot about their commitment to their customers.

    Categories: Weather

    Quick Check of 12Z Model Runs…For Friday

    ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Mon, 02/16/2015 - 15:23

    Here is an animation of what the GFS run from this morning is saying about Friday’s potential winter storm.

    The European is warmer and less bullish on the idea of any freezing or frozen precip. The solid blue line is the critical 540 thickness line which is the usual rain/snow dividing line. As you can see, the protracted rainfall event is out before that happens.

    But there are some signs on the raw data that a shallow cold air mass could creep in at the end and make for a freezing rain event as a final disturbance slides by.

    Here is the 192 hour forecast form the European:

    So winter may have another trick or two up its sleeve. We will just have to wait and see.

    ALABAMA POWER IS READY, ARE YOU? Our friends at Alabama Power are monitoring the forecast closely, ready to deploy people and assets to quickly address any outages that might occur. Read a special message from Ike Piggot about their commitment to their customers.

    Categories: Weather

    Concerning Tonight

    ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Mon, 02/16/2015 - 13:13

    This post is primarily concerned with the weather tonight across North and Central Alabama. First I should mention we have many reports of ice on exposed objects over counties like Blount and St. Clair…

    This is ice accumulation in Springville… Photo from Steven Skinner…

    The good news is that roads are just wet; we have heard of no ice on bridges or roads anywhere south of the Tennessee River in Alabama. Temperatures at most “official” observation stations are well above freezing.

    Some spots could reach 50 degrees this afternoon, but the colder pockets of Northeast Alabama will see a high closer to 40.

    REST OF THE AFTERNOON: Rain continues; we might even hear some thunder this afternoon as a cold front moves through. Rain totals of around one inch are likely.

    ICE ISSUES TONIGHT? That is what we will address here. Below is an animation of what we expect tonight via the high resolution HRRR model…

    Note on the back end the potential for some freezing rain as temperatures drop below freezing.

    With temperatures falling below freezing, and the potential for a brief period of freezing rain and maybe even a few snow flakes, it certainly opens the door for some icy spots tonight (mainly on bridges). I am not convinced this will be a widespread issue, but if you are driving tonight or early tomorrow morning, just be aware of the potential of some “black ice” and icy patches on bridges.

    TIMING: Temperatures should drop below freezing tonight between 9:00 and 12:00 midnight in most places, and that is when some ice could begin to show up on bridges, which will be the primary issue. While the precipitation will end quickly late tonight, lingering water from today’s rain, and any freezing rain that falls could lead to some travel impact through 8:00 a.m. tomorrow.

    Will it be enough to bring school delays? I think it will vary greatly from county to county; areas north of Birmingham will be subject to the most impact since they are colder. Travel impact from the Birmingham metro south should be rather isolated and limited.

    We should mention tomorrow looks dry with a high around 40.

    More details on the afternoon discussion coming up a bit later this afternoon. Stay tuned…

    ALABAMA POWER IS READY, ARE YOU? Our friends at Alabama Power are monitoring the forecast closely, ready to deploy people and assets to quickly address any outages that might occur. Read a special message from Ike Piggot about their commitment to their customers.

    Categories: Weather
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