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Precip Moving Into Alabama

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Wed, 02/25/2015 - 08:36

Looking at the radar to the west, there is a lot of precipitation across the Mississippi Valley, and it is moving east. The radar is beginning to fill in across Mississippi and precip is moving into West Alabama. At this time, there are reports of light rain over West Alabama, and this exactly what we expected to occur. The event begins as rain, but by late morning as the rain begins to fall heavier, this is when we will see the quick transition to a frozen event. We should see rain change to sleet, then over to snow by this afternoon. The snow should last through the afternoon and evening hours, before winding down tonight.

Now to those ever important temperatures. Temperatures are slowly increasing across the state this morning and many areas will be just above freezing as the event begins. However, as heavier rain moves into the area, we are expecting dynamic cooling which is caused by heavy precip falling and dragging colder air down through the atmosphere towards the surface. This will help cool the atmospheric column to below freezing and eventually cause surface temps to decrease as well. By this afternoon, as the surface temps drop back to freezing, is when we to see impacts on travel. We still have a few hours before things get very interesting. Check the blog for frequent updates today especially once the event begins to get underway!

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

Morning Notes

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Wed, 02/25/2015 - 08:34

Scroll down for a full meteorological discussion of today’s winter storm in Alabama.

Light rain is pushing into West Alabama early this morning…

Snow is increasing west of Alabama; we note a good bit of lightning over the ArkLaTex region, meaning there is a decent chance of thundersnow over North Alabama later today.

If you are along or north of I-20, I would be off the roads by 12:00 noon today. Heavy snow is likely this afternoon and early tonight.

Again… scroll down for the “long story”…

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 Pigott about their commitment to their customers.

Categories: Weather

Weather Radio Test Canceled

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Wed, 02/25/2015 - 07:47

The regularly scheduled test of NOAA Weather Radio (NWR) has been canceled today due to the impending winter weather. The next regularly scheduled weekly test will be conducted tomorrow, Thursday. Here’s the text of the message.

-Brian-

NOUS44 KBMX 251240 PNSBMX ALZ011>015-017>050-252100- PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BIRMINGHAM AL 640 AM CST WED FEB 25 2015 ...NO WEEKLY NOAA WEATHER RADIO TEST ON WEDNESDAY... THE REGULARLY SCHEDULED WEEKLY NOAA WEATHER RADIO TEST FOR TODAY HAS BEEN POSTPONED DUE TO THE WINTER STORM. THE NEXT REGULAR WEEKLY TEST WILL BE CONDUCTED ON THURSDAY. $$
Categories: Weather

February 25, 2015 Weather Xtreme Video

Weather Xtreme Video - Wed, 02/25/2015 - 07:09
February 25, 2015 Weather Xtreme Video
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: 13391 26 ratings Time: 08:58 More in News & Politics
Categories: Weather

Big Snow For North Alabama

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Wed, 02/25/2015 - 06:57

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 me say up front that I would like for you to read the 10 things people need to know about winter weather forecasts. I know most of you have, but on days like today we have many new readers that have not seen it. Also, please take a few minutes and watch the Weather Xtreme video… it has all of the maps, graphics, and details beyond this discussion.

WINTER STORM WARNING: There have been no changes in the winter storm warning issued by NWS offices in Birmingham and Huntsville. The warning includes Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Anniston, and Gadsden.

No changes in the forecast I put out last night around 9:00…

TIMING: Precipitation (generally in the form of rain) begins in the 9:00-12:00 noon time frame; it changes to snow quickly along and north of I-20; the heaviest snow over North Alabama will come from 1:00 until 7:00 p.m. The precipitation will end tonight between 9:00 p.m. and midnight for most.

For those in the “snow zone”, I would be off the roads by late morning. Here is a timing graphic from the NWS Birmingham…

ACCUMULATION POTENTIAL: The biggest snow should be near the U.S. 278 corridor (Hamilton to Cullman to Gadsden), with average amounts of 3-6 inches; isolated amounts to 8 inches are possible. Some convective snow (complete with thunder and lightning) is possible in this heavier snow zone this afternoon and early tonight.

PLACEMENT: As stated here for days, the hardest part of the forecast is the boundary between rain and snow. This will be near, or just south of I-20. And, of course, it won’t be along a neat, clean line like we draw on the maps. Why do we draw them, then? It just serves as a general guideline.

Albert Einstein, Barack Obama, George Bush, Country Boy Eddie, or anyone else in the world has no idea EXACTLY where that rain-snow line will be today.

To the south of that line, it will be a cold, rainy day.

IMPACT: Where the heavy snow band sets up over North Alabama today, there could be enough heavy, wet snow for a few scattered shower outages. Travel will be severely disrupted in the snow zone this afternoon, tonight, and tomorrow morning. Temperatures rise above freezing by mid-morning tomorrow, when conditions begin to improve.

UNDERSTAND: This forecast can, and probably will change later this morning before the event begins. If you don’t check for updates, you will be using old information that is not very helpful. And, with this and any winter weather event in Alabama, there will be some snow lovers that are delighted with the snow they see today, and others that are severely disappointed.

TOMORROW/FRIDAY: These two days will be dry but cool; we reach the mid 40s tomorrow, but the high Friday will be closer to 40 as a secondary push of cold air moves in.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Saturday will be partly sunny with a high in the low 50s; some scattered light rain is possible Sunday as moisture returns; we reach the mid 50s Sunday afternoon.

NEXT WEEK: Showers are possible Monday through Wednesday; thunderstorms could be involved by Tuesday night and Wednesday as a surface low passes to the north. And, it will be much warmer; the 00Z GFS is printing a high of 71 for Birmingham on Tuesday. See the Weather Xtreme video for more long range details.

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 Pigott about their commitment to their customers.

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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Stay tuned to the blog through the day for updates…

Categories: Weather

Pre-Dawn Update

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Wed, 02/25/2015 - 05:41

I will have a full discussion and a new Weather Xtreme video shortly…

*NWS is not changing the winter storm warning…

*Our forecast for now remains unchanged

*Rain begins later this morning, changing to snow this afternoon along and north of I-20

*There will be a very, very tight gradient near I-20 between snow to the north and rain to the south. You might see 5 inches of snow in one spot, go just 10-20 miles to the south, and see only a cold rain

*Heaviest snow is near the US 278 corridor (Hamilton to Cullman to Gadsden)

*No travel issues through at least mid-morning; most of the snow will fall between 12:00 noon and 8:00 p.m.

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 Pigott about their commitment to their customers.

Stay tuned…

Categories: Weather

Snow Update For Alabama Tomorrow

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Tue, 02/24/2015 - 21:55

New data is rolling into the office tonight. A few notes…

*We have forecast this, but we want to stress it looks like the precipitation will begin for many in the form of rain tomorrow morning, with a quick change over to snow where thermal profiles are cold enough tomorrow afternoon.

*The window for the heaviest snow is between 1:00 and 7:00 p.m.

*The biggest forecast issue continues to be the rain-show line. The 00Z NAM suggests it will be very close to I-20. It could be a day when Warrior gets 5 inches of snow, and Calera has a cold rain. Same thing over in Tuscaloosa County; those that live around Lake Tuscaloosa could get 2 inches of snow, but those down in Duncanville get just rain. Defining this is still very problematic tonight. I get the idea snow amounts across the Birmingham metro will vary widely.

*Potential for 3 to 6 inches of heavy, wet snow continues over North Alabama tomorrow afternoon and tomorrow night; isolated amounts to 8 inches. Confidence in this is high.

*There will be a tight gradient on the southern edge of the snow. We will probably go from 5 inches to nothing in only 25-30 miles. And, that gradient won’t be along a nice line we draw on a map.

*No changes in the winter storm warning from the NWS…

Made some small adjustments to the forecast; and as we have stated for days, the forecast can, and will change again.

DON’T FORGET: Some snow lovers will be delighted with the amount of snow they see tomorrow, others severely disappointed. That is just the way it is.

Look for a full discussion and Weather Xtreme video very early tomorrow morning….

Categories: Weather

Evening Update

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Tue, 02/24/2015 - 18:44

A winter storm warning remains in effect for much of North Alabama tomorrow. The warning is from Aliceville, Tuscaloosa, Brent, Calera, Sylacauga, Ashland, Roanoke, and points north. To the south, tomorrow will be just a cold, rainy day.

Our forecast….

TIMING: The HRRR model suggests rain or snow could move into far West Alabama as early as 7:00 a.m., but for most the event begins between 8:00 and 11:00. The heaviest snow will fall from 12:00 noon until 6:00 p.m., and the event winds down tomorrow night.

PLACEMENT: As stated here many times, the most difficult part of the forecast is defining the rain-snow line tomorrow. It will be somewhere a little south of I-20; and with a large percentage of the population in our market living along that highway, it makes for quite a forecast problem. I get the idea that rain-snow line will about 15-30 miles south of Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, and Anniston. The new 18Z GFS supports that idea…

ACCUMULATION: The big numbers will be near the US 278 corridor… 3 to 6 inches are likely there, with isolated amounts to 8 inches. Some places near the bullseye are Hamilton, Cullman, Gadsden, Oneonta, and Haleyville. Down toward Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, and Anniston amounts will be lighter, in the 1-3 inch range.

IMPACT: With very heavy, wet snow falling, a few scattered power outages are possible in the US 278 corridor. Travel will be severely impacted tomorrow afternoon, tomorrow night, and into Thursday morning. Temperatures will rise above freezing at mid-morning Thursday, and roads will begin to improve.

REMEMBER: Tomorrow, some snow lovers will be delighted with what they get, while others will be severely disappointed. That is just the way it is.

And, of course, this forecast can, and will change later tonight and early tomorrow. Check back often for updates.

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 Pigott about their commitment to their customers.

Categories: Weather

A Message From Alabama Power

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Tue, 02/24/2015 - 17:30

The following useful preparedness content is provided by our friends at Alabama Power. Their generous sponsorship helps make AlabamaWX’s content possible.

From Ike Pigott,
Alabama Power

Weather forecasts are a tricky business, and winter weather can be some of the most difficult to predict. A thunderstorm forecast might be off by 30 miles and no one bats an eye, but a shift of 30 miles makes a huge difference in whether one sees snow, sleet, freezing rain or just plain ice. Much of the planning around those predictions must be fluid and subject to change.

At Alabama Power, we can’t wait until the last moment to suddenly “be ready.” Our customers count on us to be on the job the moment there is a need. That’s why we look at a number of factors and triggers, to appropriately scale our response.

Read more about our planning at Alabama Power’s NewsCenter.

Categories: Weather

Some February Snow Notes

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Tue, 02/24/2015 - 16:37

Okay, I just had to do it. So the forecast is calling for a snow event in Central Alabama. So, using National Weather Service (NWS) data for the Birmingham Shuttlesworth International Airport, just how much has it snowed in Februarys past?

The answer to that is that since 1900, there have been only nine (9) days in the month of February in which 1 inch or more of snowfall has been recorded. The picture looks like this in order by amounts from highest to lowest.

Rank Date Snowfall 1. Feb. 23, 1901 5.0″ 2. Feb. 12, 2014 3.0″ 3. Feb. 13, 1960 2.3″ 4. Feb. 13, 1905 2.0″ 5. Feb. 28, 1941 2.0″ 6. Feb. 20, 1941 1.5″ 7. Feb. 15, 1958 1.2″ 8. Feb. 10, 1912 1.1″ 9. Feb. 14, 1958 1.0″

It is interesting to note that snow has been recorded only once on February 25th, and that was in 1914 when 4 tenths of an inch was reported. We’ll have to see what goes in the record books for 2015. Stay warm!

-Brian-

Note: Thanks to all of those who reminded me about February, 2014. Indeed, the climate database online maintained by the NWS had an error in the snowfall reports. I’ve taken steps to correct the error.

Categories: Weather

Winter Storm Warning

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Tue, 02/24/2015 - 15:25

**No afternoon Weather Xtreme video today; having to spend most of my time dealing with TV!**

WINTER STORM WARNING: NWS offices in Birmingham and Huntsville have issued winter storm warnings for much of North and down into Central Alabama. Winter storm warnings are up for Birmingham, Anniston, Gadsden, and Tuscaloosa.

We should note a winter weather advisory has been issued down into the Greensboro/Demopolis area of West Alabama, where some light snow is possible.

This is our public forecast…

TIMING: It begins in West Alabama as early as 8:30… then the precipitation moves east. It should reach Birmingham around 10:30, and Anniston/Gadsden around 11:30. Understand these are approximate times. The heaviest snow comes from 12:00 noon until 6:00 p.m., and then it winds down tomorrow night.

ACCUMULATION POTENTIAL/PLACEMENT: Within the heaviest snow band, which should be somewhere between Birmingham and Huntsville, amounts of 3-6 inches are likely, with isolated amounts to 8 inches. We might even hear of some reports of thundersnow in that zone. We project 2-3″ for Birmingham, and 1-2″ for Tuscaloosa. Please understand the snow will not follow the clean lines we are showing on the map above… they are just a broad guideline. Anniston and Gadsden are on those lines as you can see; amounts could go either way there.

IMPACT: Travel conditions will deteriorate quickly tomorrow afternoon as the heavy snow falls. Hazardous travel is likely through tomorrow night and Thursday morning; temperatures will ease above freezing by mid-morning Thursday, and after that roads will improve.

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: The exact placement of the rain-snow line. For now we project it along a line from Eutaw to Brent to Calera to Ashland to Wedowee. This might have to be adjusted north or south a bit later tonight and tomorrow morning as the event unfolds. South Alabama will simply have a cold rain.

REMEMBER: For the snow lovers, some of you will be delighted with the amount of snow you see tomorrow, others severely disappointed. See the 10 things you need to know about winter weather forecasting. And, of course, the forecast can and will change.

THURSDAY/FRIDAY: These two days will be dry with highs between 40 and 45; the sky will feature a mix of sun and clouds.

OUR WEEKEND: We expect a high in the low to mid 50s Saturday and Sunday; a touch of light rain is possible Sunday, but much of the weekend will be dry.

Showers and storms return early next week; too early to be specific.

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 Pigott about their commitment to their customers.

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
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Stay tuned for updates through the night…

Categories: Weather

Some Weather Notes

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Tue, 02/24/2015 - 15:17

There is a tremendous amount of energy being expended today as weather forecasters all across the Southeast US are working diligently to provide everyone with the best possible forecast on what we can expect from the impending winter storm. I’ve been spending a good deal of time this morning and early afternoon looking over the various models and looking at the consistency and juxtaposition of the last several model runs and models. It’s been interesting to see the ECMWF has been trending the primary snow band a little further south with time while the GFS has been trending the main snow band a little north with time. But even more interesting is that both models are in very close agreement on the timing AND location AND snowfall amounts. The models will never actually arrive at the exact solution, but it is encouraging, read that as confidence is growing, that this event will play out as we think it might.

But James has pointed this out and I can add to what he has said with my 48 years of experience in Southeast US weather – heavy snow bands are extremely hard to nail down exactly even just hours in advance. Small changes in the track of the surface low, changes like 10 miles north or 15 miles south, can make the difference in where that heavy snow band occurs. So realize that even as our confidence is growing in the forecast we’ve putting out, there is still room for change one way or the other.

If you want to know more, check out the great post James made a few days ago by my colleague and fellow WCM, Rick Smith from Norman, OK.

Now let the snow begin! Well, tomorrow morning!!

-Brian-

Categories: Weather

The BIG Picture

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Tue, 02/24/2015 - 14:57

Here is a map of the current warnings, watches, and advisories currently in effect just before 2 pm. There will be changes to this as additional offices upgrade from winter storm watches to winter storm warnings or winter weather advisories. But this gives you the bigger picture.

More to come, I’m sure.

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 Pigott about their commitment to their customers.

-Brian-

Categories: Weather

Mid-Afternoon Update

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Tue, 02/24/2015 - 14:56

As you can see from Brian’s post below, the NWS Birmingham has issued a winter storm warning for cities like Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Anniston, and Gadsden.

And, below is our more detailed accumulation projection for tomorrow…

Scroll down for posts with timing and impact details. A new discussion will be up 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 Pigott about their commitment to their customers.

Categories: Weather

Winter Storm Warning 2

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Tue, 02/24/2015 - 14:46

Well, it didn’t take long for a change to come along. Here is the map of Central Alabama which has been updated for the winter storm warning upgrade from the National Weather Service in Birmingham. The text of the warning is shown below.

-Brian-

WWUS44 KBMX 241942 WSWBMX URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BIRMINGHAM AL 142 PM CST TUE FEB 24 2015 ...WINTER STORM EXPECTED ON WEDNESDAY... .AN APPROACHING STORM SYSTEM WILL BEGIN TO STRENGTHEN ON WEDNESDAY MORNING AS AN AREA OF LOW PRESSURE DEVELOPS NEAR THE NORTHERN GULF COAST. THIS WILL CAUSE WIDESPREAD PRECIPITATION TO OVERSPREAD THE GULF REGION WEDNESDAY MORNING. AREAS NEAR AND NORTH OF THE INTERSTATE 20 CORRIDOR ARE EXPECTED RECEIVE A MIX OF WINTRY PRECIPITATION WEDNESDAY MORNING...WITH A TRANSITION TO SNOW WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING. SNOWFALL TOTALS OF 2 TO 5 INCHES ARE POSSIBLE...WITH ISOLATED HIGHER AMOUNTS. A VERY SHARP CUTOFF IN SNOW ACCUMULATIONS IS EXPECTED ON THE SOUTHERN EDGE OF THE SNOW BAND...AND ANY SMALL SHIFT IN THE TRACK OF THIS SYSTEM WILL HAVE IMPLICATIONS ON SNOW TOTALS FOR A GIVEN LOCATION. ALZ011>015-017>029-034-250600- /O.UPG.KBMX.WS.A.0002.150225T1500Z-150226T0600Z/ /O.NEW.KBMX.WS.W.0001.150225T1500Z-150226T0600Z/ MARION-LAMAR-FAYETTE-WINSTON-WALKER-BLOUNT-ETOWAH-CALHOUN- CHEROKEE-CLEBURNE-PICKENS-TUSCALOOSA-JEFFERSON-SHELBY-ST. CLAIR- TALLADEGA-CLAY-RANDOLPH-BIBB- INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...HAMILTON...SULLIGENT...VERNON... FAYETTE...JASPER...ONEONTA...GADSDEN...ANNISTON...CENTRE... HEFLIN...CARROLLTON...TUSCALOOSA...BIRMINGHAM...HOOVER...PELHAM... ALABASTER...PELL CITY...MOODY...TALLADEGA...SYLACAUGA...ASHLAND... ROANOKE...CENTREVILLE 142 PM CST TUE FEB 24 2015 ...WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 9 AM WEDNESDAY TO MIDNIGHT CST WEDNESDAY NIGHT... THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BIRMINGHAM HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 9 AM WEDNESDAY TO MIDNIGHT CST WEDNESDAY NIGHT. THE WINTER STORM WATCH IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT. * EVENT...ACCUMULATING SNOW ACROSS PORTIONS OF CENTRAL ALABAMA. * TIMING...FROM 9 AM WEDNESDAY THROUGH MIDNIGHT WEDNESDAY NIGHT. * LOCATION...ALONG AND NORTH OF A LINE FROM PICKENS TO SHELBY TO RANDOLPH COUNTIES. * ACCUMULATIONS...SNOW TOTALS OF 2 TO 5 INCHES WITH ISOLATED HIGHER AMOUNTS. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW ARE FORECAST THAT WILL MAKE TRAVEL DANGEROUS. ONLY TRAVEL IN AN EMERGENCY. IF YOU MUST TRAVEL...KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT... FOOD...AND WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY. && $$ ALZ030>032-250600- /O.NEW.KBMX.WW.Y.0004.150225T1500Z-150226T0300Z/ SUMTER-GREENE-HALE- INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...LIVINGSTON...EUTAW...GREENSBORO 142 PM CST TUE FEB 24 2015 ...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 9 AM TO 9 PM CST WEDNESDAY... THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BIRMINGHAM HAS ISSUED A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 9 AM TO 9 PM CST WEDNESDAY. * TIMING...FROM 9 AM TO 9 PM WEDNESDAY. * LOCATION...SUMTER...GREENE...AND HALE COUNTIES. * ACCUMULATIONS...SNOW TOTALS UP TO 1.5 INCHES. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW WILL CAUSE PRIMARILY TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SNOW COVERED ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES...AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING. && $$
Categories: Weather

Winter Storm Warning

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Tue, 02/24/2015 - 14:26

The National Weather Service in Huntsville, AL, has upgraded their winter storm watch to a warning. Here’s the latest map showing the winter storm watch for Central Alabama and the winter storm warning for the Tennessee Valley counties.

And here’s the text of the warning from Huntsville.

Additional changes are likely to be coming out, so be sure to check back here frequently for the latest updates on this evolving winter weather situation.

-Brian-

WWUS44 KHUN 241833 WSWHUN URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HUNTSVILLE AL 1233 PM CST TUE FEB 24 2015 ...WINTER STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FROM 9 AM CST WEDNESDAY MORNING UNTIL 3 AM THURSDAY MORNING FOR NORTHERN ALABAMA AND SOUTHERN MIDDLE TENNESSEE... ALZ001>010-016-250300- /O.UPG.KHUN.WS.A.0003.150225T1800Z-150226T0600Z/ /O.NEW.KHUN.WS.W.0003.150225T1500Z-150226T0900Z/ LAUDERDALE-COLBERT-FRANKLIN AL-LAWRENCE-LIMESTONE-MADISON-MORGAN- MARSHALL-JACKSON-DEKALB-CULLMAN- INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...FLORENCE...MUSCLE SHOALS... RUSSELLVILLE...MOULTON...ATHENS...HUNTSVILLE...DECATUR... GUNTERSVILLE...SCOTTSBORO...FORT PAYNE...CULLMAN 1233 PM CST TUE FEB 24 2015 ...WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 9 AM WEDNESDAY TO 3 AM CST THURSDAY... THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN HUNTSVILLE HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 9 AM WEDNESDAY TO 3 AM CST THURSDAY. THE WINTER STORM WATCH IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT. * TIMING AND AREAS AFFECTED...FROM 9 AM CST WEDNESDAY THROUGH 3 AM CST THURSDAY...THE WINTER STORM WARNING IS FOR THE FOLLOWING COUNTIES IN ALABAMA: LAUDERDALE...COLBERT... FRANKLIN... LIMESTONE...LAWRENCE... MORGAN...CULLMAN... MADISON... MARSHALL... JACKSON...AND DEKALB COUNTIES. * ACCUMULATIONS...ON WEDNESDAY...SNOWFALL TOTALS OF 4 TO 6 INCHES OF SNOW SOUTH OF THE TENNESSEE RIVER...AND 3 TO 5 INCHES FOR NORTHERN ALABAMA COUNTIES NORTH OF THE TENNESSEE RIVER TO ALABAMA/TENNESSEE BORDER. * IMPACTS...WIDESPREAD TRAVEL PROBLEMS WILL BE ANTICIPATED ON WEDNESDAY...ESPECIALLY DURING THE AFTERNOON AND EVENING HOURS. A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW ARE FORECAST THAT WILL MAKE TRAVEL DANGEROUS. ONLY TRAVEL IN AN EMERGENCY. IF YOU MUST TRAVEL...KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT...FOOD...AND WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... && $$ TNZ076-096-097-250300- /O.NEW.KHUN.WS.W.0003.150225T1500Z-150226T0900Z/ MOORE-LINCOLN-FRANKLIN TN- INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...LYNCHBURG...FAYETTEVILLE...WINCHESTER 1233 PM CST TUE FEB 24 2015 ...WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 9 AM WEDNESDAY TO 3 AM CST THURSDAY... THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN HUNTSVILLE HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 9 AM WEDNESDAY TO 3 AM CST THURSDAY. * TIMING AND AREAS AFFECTED...FROM 9 AM CST WEDNESDAY THROUGH 3 AM CST THURSDAY...THE WINTER STORM WARNING IS FOR THE FOLLOWING COUNTIES IN TENNESSEE: LINCOLN...FRANKLIN AND MOORE COUNTIES. * ACCUMULATIONS...ON WEDNESDAY...SNOWFALL TOTALS OF 2 TO 4 INCHES IN SOUTHERN MIDDLE TENNESSEE. * IMPACTS...WIDESPREAD TRAVEL PROBLEMS WILL BE ANTICIPATED ON WEDNESDAY...ESPECIALLY DURING THE AFTERNOON AND EVENING HOURS. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW ARE FORECAST THAT WILL MAKE TRAVEL DANGEROUS. ONLY TRAVEL IN AN EMERGENCY. IF YOU MUST TRAVEL...KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT...FOOD...AND WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... && $$
Categories: Weather

Model Comps

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Tue, 02/24/2015 - 13:52

There is actually very good agreement in NWP forecasts concerning the snow event in Alabama tomorrow. Here is a look at them (the 12Z runs)…

And, our public forecast is below.

YES… this can and will change. Most challenging parts of the forecast are the boundary between rain and snow, and the placement of the heaviest snow axis.

Scroll down for a detailed look at timing, impact, etc…

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 Pigott about their commitment to their customers.

Categories: Weather

Midday Look

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Tue, 02/24/2015 - 13:00

After a review of the 12Z model data set, here is our public forecast for the event tomorrow.

The 75th percentile snow potential forecast from the Weather Prediction Center (a branch of the NWS), is a bit more aggressive…

The 75th percentile output has verified nicely in recent weather events, but that is just guidance. Our forecast remains the same.

TIMING: Precipitation will begin between 8:00 and 11:00 a.m. Heaviest snow will come from 12:00 noon to 6:00 p.m.. then it all winds down tomorrow night. The precipitation will move into Alabama from the west, and will progress eastward during the late morning and midday hours.

PRECIPITATION TYPE: Remember, this could begin with rain, but dynamic cooling will bring a quick change to snow, mainly north of a line from Moundville to Calera to Wedowee. Rain will fall south of that line.

ACCUMULATION POTENTIAL: Average amounts of 2-4 inches are likely across North/Central Alabama, with potential to 8 inches in isolated spots in a heavier snow band that will set up somewhere over the northern counties of the state. We don’t know where that will be now.

IMPACT: In the heaviest snow band, there could be enough heavy, wet snow for some scattered power outages. Travel will also be severely impacted where the heaviest snow falls. Travel issues will most likely linger into Thursday morning; temperatures climb above freezing by mid-morning Thursday with conditions should begin to improve on roads.

CONFIDENCE: The confidence level in the event is very high. Biggest challenge is forecasting placement of the rain/snow line. Again, for now, we believe the line will be roughly from Moundville to Calera to Wedowee. This will probably change as we get closer to the event.

WARNINGS ISSUED SHORTLY: Winter storm warnings will be issued soon by NWS offices in Huntsville and Birmingham. A winter weather advisory will be issued for those in the 1-2″ zone.

IMPORTANT: We all know winter storms don’t follow the nice clean lines we draw on maps. Some will be delighted with the amount of snow they received, others will be severely disappointed. Just the way it is.

AND… please check the blog for forecast changes later today and tonight. If this is the last forecast you see before tomorrow, you will be using outdated information tonight.

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 Pigott about their commitment to their customers.

More later…

Categories: Weather

Late Morning Update

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Tue, 02/24/2015 - 10:58

The 12Z run of the GFS model is in….

I think the 7″ number printed at Birmingham is too aggressive, but not impossible. Someone will probably see 8″ on the high end in a few places, but the strip of heavier snow, most likely will be north of Birmingham. But understand nobody knows at this point where the narrow strip of heavy snow will set up.

This is our updated public forecast…

There is going to be a sharp cutoff to the snow just south of I-20… the magical “rain-snow” line. That is the most difficult part of the forecast. Could be a situation where Gardendale gets 4 inches of snow, and Calera gets a cold, rainy day. That line will be, most likely, adjusted again later today and tonight, so keep checking for updates.

Scroll down for the post below this one for timing, impact, etc…

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 Pigott about their commitment to their customers.

Categories: Weather

Mid Morning Update

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Tue, 02/24/2015 - 09:51

New model data is coming in this morning; it will all be evaluated and a winter storm warning will be needed for much of North, and parts of Central Alabama later today concerning the event tomorrow.

Here is the new run (12Z) of the NAM model… showing the axis of heavier snow generally between I-20 on the southern periphery, and US 278 to the north.

You can see the “bullseye” on this run is near Cullman and Gadsden with 5-7 inches (the US 278 corridor)… but remember, this is raw model output, not a forecast. But, it is certainly possible considering we are 24 hours away from the event. The model suggests around 2-3 inches of snow for Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, and Anniston.

As stated here many times, the most difficult part of this forecast is defining the rain/snow line to the south, and the northern edge of the accumulating snow to the north. And, another challenge is where the heavy snow axis sets up… this is usually only about 30 miles wide, and can’t really be defined until the event begins.

Here is a summary of what we expect….

TIMING: We have pushed back the onset of the precipitation to 8:00 to 11:00 a.m. The heavier snow will come tomorrow afternoon, then winding down tomorrow night.

AS IT BEGINS: Understand there could be some rain involved at the beginning of the event with warmer temperatures below 2,000 feet, but it will change to all snow quickly with dynamic cooling.

PLACEMENT: One of the hard parts of this forecast is defining the rain-snow line. It should be close to a line from Forkland to Clanton To Wedowee. Below this line, all rain. And, understand this is a “fuzzy” line subject to change later today and tonight. The northern edge of the good accumulating snow should be near the Alabama/Tennessee border.

ACCUMULATION POTENTIAL: We will maintain potential, on an average basis, of 2-4 inches across much of North/Central Alabama. We note the SREF mean for Birmingham has dropped into the 1-2 inch range, but that will probably change again. And, understand, there will be a narrow axis of heavy snow (as discussed above) where a few spots could see 8″ on the high end.

IMPACT: In that narrow heavy snow band, there could be some scattered power outages due to the heavy, wet snow. Travel will also be impacted greatly; issues could linger into Thursday morning due to the potential for the snow to morph into ice on roads and bridges. Travel will improve during the day Thursday as temperatures climb above freezing.

REMEMBER: Some will be delighted with the amount of snow they get, others will be very disappointed. That is just the way it works.

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 Pigott about their commitment to their customers.

Stay tuned for more updates!

Categories: Weather
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