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WeatherBrains 485: Tornado Stories

WeatherBrains - Tue, 05/12/2015 - 04:45

WeatherBrains Episode 485 is now online (May 11, 2015). If you are crazy about weather, this is THE netcast audio program for you!

Tonight’s Guest WeatherBrain is a National Correspondent for Yahoo and former reporter for Newsweek. She is an Oklahoma native who currently lives in Brooklyn. She has a new book being released tomorrow that is an account from several different perspectives focusing on OKC media, victims and NWS of the May, 2013, tornadoes. Author of The Mercy of the Sky, Holly Bailey, welcome to WeatherBrains!

Other discussions in this weekly podcast include topics like:

  • Extremes: 100 at Death Valley, CA, and 16 at West Yellowstone, MT
  • Weather lost a legend today in the passing of JB Elliott
  • Long lasting severe weather for North Central Texas and Oklahoma
  • Good rains for a parched area
  • Severe weather dampening out for next several days
  • and more!
  • Our email bag officer is out tonight, so she’ll have a long mail bag next week.

    From The Weather Center:

    WeatherBrains 101: Clouds have got to be one of the biggest and most interesting visual element that attracts people to weather. So for this episode of 101 we take a look at an interesting cloud called the pileus cloud.

    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 485:

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

    Spann’s Tribute to JB Elliott

    Mercy of the Sky book (one of many)

    Picks of the Week:

    Nate Johnson – On-air meteorologists bridge gap

    Bill Murray – Gets fog horn!

    Brian Peters – Tropical cyclone climatology

    John Scala – Hurricane drought due to luck

    Kevin Selle – Sam Barricklow photos of Electra, TX, storm

    Rick Smith – Video of tornado in Norman, OK, on May 6, 2015

    James Spann – Farewell to Birmingham Weather Legend

    SkyDavers Blog – The Fog Bank

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

    Categories: Weather

    Loss Of A Legend

    ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Mon, 05/11/2015 - 19:26

    When J.B.’s son Steve broke the news to me this afternoon, it almost took my breath away. Yes, we all know J.B.’s heath was failing, but I don’t think anyone expected his death so soon.

    J.B. Elliott was born April 17, 1932, about one month after a generational tornado outbreak that killed hundreds of Alabamians on March 21 of that year. He would live through, and work two of those events in his long career; April 3, 1974, and April 27, 2011.

    I could not ask for a better role model in the field of meteorology, living out the Christian faith, or being a husband and father.

    J.B. is a 32-year veteran of the National Weather Service. (It was known as the U.S. Weather Bureau when he signed on in the spring of 1957.) Ironically, at the moment he arrived at the office at Birmingham Airport for the very first day on duty, a tornado was on the ground in Walker County causing several fatalities.

    J.B. spent his entire NWS career in the Birmingham office and witnessed numerous major Alabama weather events. He always was especially interested in severe weather and spent many long hours on duty during adverse weather, including tornadoes, hurricanes, snow events and ice storms. He worked for 17 hours in a row without a break during the famous tornado Super Outbreak of April 3, 4, 1974. He was also on duty as part of a team when a powerful F5 tornado ripped across the western section of Birmingham in April, 1977.

    It was known as the Smithfield tornado. During all his years in severe weather work, he was awarded not only a U.S. Department of Commerce Bronze Medal but also the Silver Medal.

    When growing up in West Alabama’s Hale County (Havana Junction!) he always wanted to be a weatherman, newspaper reporter, radio broadcaster or photographer. His career in meteorology has included all of that. He was one of the persons that handled the NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts from the Weather Service. He was responsible for thousands of weather stories, warnings and special feature items over the years.

    As a kid, he built a small radio “studio” in the corner of his bedroom and practiced doing newscasts, and of course weather, with a wooden “microphone.” His main source of news was a day-old Birmingham Age-Herald, The Tuscaloosa News, The Greensboro Watchman and jotting down items he heard on WJRD Radio, Tuscaloosa. He also printed a two page weekly newspaper, “Hometown News” by hand and mailed a copy to relatives in Worcester, Massachusetts and charged them five cents. It cost three cents to mail it!.

    Of course weather was often the main headline.

    He ordered a $4 plastic rain gauge from a catalog. His parents bought him a 29-cent thermometer and a 5-cent notebook. He started keeping weather records and was hooked. At Akron High School, one of his teachers, W.W. Duncan, was very interested in weather. He encouraged J.B. to follow that and gave him an assignment to brief the science class once a week on all of the new developments in weather.

    During his NWS career, J.B. was very active in photography and the duty of photographing storm damage sort of defaulted to him. In fact, for several years it was his responsibility to do storm surveys and determine the “F” rating of a tornado, path length, width, fatalities and injuries for the official NWS publication, Storm Data. The Super Outbreak in 1974 was an enormous task.

    I met J.B. in the 1970s when I was an electrical engineering student, but with a true passion for weather. We bonded instantly, and during my early days as a television weather anchor in Birmingham at Channel 13, we spent much time together, especially during my break between the 6:00 and 10:00 newscast, and when he was also on the “night shift”. He was a friend, mentor, and father figure to me. My dad walked away from my family when I was 7 years old, so he filled a very important role in my life.

    J.B. was always there with an encouraging word, and some weather knowledge for me to take away. It was that way when he worked for the National Weather Service, and when he worked for our private weather company after his retirement from government work, which came in 1989.

    For many years J.B. would ride with me to school visits across Alabama. I cherish the stories and laughter we enjoyed on the roads less traveled.

    Many loved hearing J.B. on our weekly show “WeatherBrains”, and he had countless fans that loved reading his afternoon weather discussion here on the blog, along with the adventures of his beloved dog “Little Miss Molly”.

    J.B and his wife, Judy, were married for over 50 years. She grew up in Phoenix, Arizona, Ironically, she and J.B. met out at the Birmingham Airport when she and her “boy friend” visited the weather office. They have two grown children and six grandchildren. Son, Steve Elliott is a Birmingham and Center Point fireman. Daughter, Debbie Broome and her husband, Robert live in the Birmingham metro.

    Thank you, J.B., for being my friend, mentor, and encourager. You never had a bad day… and if you did, you never let us know. See you again one day.

    Categories: Weather

    Sad News To Report

    ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Mon, 05/11/2015 - 16:40

    My long time mentor, J.B. Elliott, who worked at the National Weather Service in Birmingham for over 30 years, passed away this afternoon. Some of you recall hearing him on NOAA Weather Radio for years, and most of you loved hearing him on our show WeatherBrains. He wrote countless posts on the blog.

    More to come…

    Categories: Weather

    A Few Showers/Storms Tonight

    ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Mon, 05/11/2015 - 15:31

    RADAR CHECK: Very little on radar at mid-afternoon; only a few isolated showers over West Alabama not far from the Mississippi border. The rest of the state is rain-free with temperatures mostly in the upper 80s.

    TONIGHT: A cold front will move into the state, pushing a band of showers and storms through. The storms should enter Northeast Alabama around midnight, with the highest chance of rain for the north-central counties between 1:00 and 6:00 a.m. SPC maintains a small “slight” risk of severe weather for a small part of Northwest Alabama, but we remain less than impressed with the severe weather threat with limited instability and shear, and weak wind fields. Rain amounts should be light and spotty, generally speaking.

    TOMORROW: Showers will end pretty early in the day, and the sky becomes partly sunny as drier air moves into the northern half of the state. Showers by afternoon will be confined to the southern counties; we project a high in the low 80s.

    WEDNESDAY: This still looks like the most pleasant day of the week, with ample sunshine and low humidity. The high will be close to 80 degrees Wednesday afternoon.

    THURSDAY/FRIDAY: Moist air returns Thursday, and while we should begin the day with morning sunshine, we will mention the chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms by afternoon. Then, on Friday, showers and storms become more numerous as moist, tropical air covers the state. Showers or storms are possible at any hour Friday, but there will be breaks in the rain. We will have a hard time getting out of the 70s Friday due to clouds and showers.

    THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Moist air will stick around for Saturday and Sunday; we are getting into that time of the year when it gets harder and harder to get dry, continental air this far south. There will be a chance of showers and thunderstorms on both days, but it won’t be a “wash out” with a few intervals of sunshine possible. Severe storms are not expected, and the high will be in the low 80s, pretty close to average values for mid May in Alabama.

    Not much change into the first part of next week… weather expected in early summer with warm humid days and the risk of a few scattered showers and storms. No sign of any organized severe weather threat around here for at least the next 10 days.

    GULF COAST WEATHER: We will forecast about 6 to 8 hours of sunshine along the coast from Panama City west to Gulf Shores each day through the weekend with the daily risk of scattered showers and thunderstorms. Highs will be close to 80 on the immediate coast, with mid to upper 80s inland. Sea water temperatures are in the mid to upper 70s.

    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 at 8:30 CT… you can watch it on “James Spann 24/7″ on cable systems around the state, or on the web here.

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

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

    Categories: Weather

    Some Weather Changes Ahead

    ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Mon, 05/11/2015 - 06:43

    LONG DRY SPELL ABOUT TO END: We have gone eleven consecutive days with no rain across North/Central Alabama; the last measurable rain was back on April 29 when 0.14″ was measured. The upper pattern across the nation has been blocked, with multiple days of severe weather across the southern part of the Great Plains and dry weather here under an upper ridge.

    We should note Birmingham officially reached 90 degrees yesterday for the first time since September 21 of last year.

    TODAY: We will project a high in the 87 to 90 degree range again today with a partly sunny sky; we will mention the chance of a few isolated afternoon showers or thunderstorms, mainly in the western side of the state.

    TONIGHT: With the approach of a surface front, an organized band of showers and storms should move into the northwest part of the state after 10:00 p.m…. and the storms could be strong. SPC has the standard “slight” risk of severe weather outlooked down to I-59 (Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, Gadsden) late tonight and early tomorrow morning.

    However, severe weather parameters are less than impressive. The primary surface low will be far to the north, over the Great Lakes, along with the better upper dynamics. Instability values aren’t very high (generally under 1,000 j/kg), and shear is low as well.

    NWS Birmingham is not going to mention severe weather in their products, and I seriously doubt if we have any serious severe weather issues. However, this system has certainly as had a history of severe weather problems, and when it comes to thunderstorms, expect the unexpected. We will watch radar trends overnight just in case.

    TOMORROW: Showers should end pretty early in the day, and the sky becomes partly sunny by afternoon as drier air works into the state. The high tomorrow will be in the low to mid 80s with dewpoints and humidity levels dropping through the day.

    WEDNESDAY: This should be the nicest day of the week, with ample sunshine, low humidity, and a high around 80 degrees. Might be the the last time we see dewpoints in the 40s until late September.

    THURSDAY/FRIDAY: Moisture comes back Thursday, and we will introduce the chance of a few scattered afternoon showers or thunderstorms. Then, a pool of deep moisture will arrive Friday, when the sky will be generally cloudy along with a good chance of showers and storms. It won’t rain all day Friday, but the rain could come at any time. We will have a hard time getting out of the 70s Friday due to clouds and showers.

    THE WEEKEND: A moist, unstable airmass will linger, so there will be a continued risk of showers and storms both Saturday and Sunday. Not a wash-out by any means, but just understand you will have to dodge showers, and maybe a thunderstorm, from time to time over the weekend. Highs will be in the low to mid 80s with high humidity values. The sun might peek out at times, but we will have more clouds than sun both days.

    The muggy conditions will linger into next week; see the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details. And, it looks like temperatures will be above average here for the latter part of May as the upper ridge hangs on.

    TROPICS: Tropical Storm Ana made landfall over the weekend near Myrtle Beach, SC… it is dissipating today, but still producing breezy and showery weather over the mid-Atlantic coast region.

    AT THE BEACH: Expect a sunny sky today from Panama City west to Gulf Shores with a high close to 80 on the immediate coast, with upper 80s inland. Then, for the rest of the week and the weekend, about 6 to 8 hours of sunshine daily with some risk of scattered showers or storms. Not too bad for the Hangout Music Festival at Gulf Shores this weekend. The sea water temperature at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab this morning is 79 degrees.

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

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

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

    Categories: Weather

    Shower? Is That You?

    ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Sun, 05/10/2015 - 17:20

    We see something on the radar this afternoon that we haven’t seen in a while: showers.

    They appeared over Northeast Alabama’s Cherokee and Cleburne Counties before 5 p.m. peaking quickly in intensity but quickly going downhill as they rain themselves out.

    The showers formed in an area of higher moisture over that part of the state.

    Categories: Weather

    Is This June?

    ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Sun, 05/10/2015 - 14:51

    Happy Mother’s Day!

    Early season warmth continues on this 2015 edition of Mother’s Day. Temperatures are near 90F in the I-20 corridor with lower 90s common over South Alabama. These readings are some 10-12 degrees above normal, feeling more like late June than early May.

    To the east, the tropical depression that is the remnant of Tropical Storm Ana is pushing into North Carolina after making landfall between Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach around 6 a.m.

    Back here in Alabama, skies are partly cloudy with lots of cumulus clouds as moisture levels continue to slowly rise. Dewpoints are in the lower 60s for the most part, with a few middle 60s over eastern sections. Southeasterly winds are increasing the moisture.

    To the west, we can see showers and storms over Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas ahead of our western trough This is the same system that has brought days of severe weather to the Plains. Today is no exception, with a tornadic supercell crossing the northern part of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. A tornado crossed the Denton area a few minutes ago and is threatening the town of Aubrey now. Fortunately, damage around Denton was relatively minor, but the storm’s circulation is tightening again as it crosses the warm front.

    This activity will once again weaken tonight, as in past days. But the responsible system will begin to lift out to the northeast by tomorrow, pushing a cold front our way. This will trigger a line of showers and storms that will push southeast on Monday. Showers and storms should reach western Alabama by late afternoon but the system will be weakening with storms along the line becoming more scattered.

    The SPC has areas northwest of I-59 in their standard slight risk outlook for tomorrow. Damaging winds and hail will be threat.

    Categories: Weather

    Another Summer-like Day

    ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Sun, 05/10/2015 - 07:01

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

    Alabama remained essentially between systems. To our east, Tropical Storm Ana made landfall early this morning in the vicinity and slightly north of Myrtle Beach, SC. The first tropical storm of the 2015 season should gradually dissipate into a depression as it turns north and northeastward today and tonight. Weather conditions over the Carolinas will gradually improve as the remnants of Ana move away from the area tonight and Monday.

    To our west, the closed low that has been spinning in the vicinity of the Four Corners area of the Southwest US is beginning to lift north and northeast with the system opening up as it does. By late Monday and into Tuesday, that system should be located over the Great Lakes with a front trailing down and across the Southeast US. This front should bring the best chances for scattered thunderstorms to the area Monday and early Tuesday. The SPC has the standard risk of severe storms entering the northwest corner of Alabama late in Day 2, Monday into early Tuesday. With the best dynamics to this system well north of Alabama along with the overall general weakening trend, the severe weather threat for Central Alabama appears to be low at this time. But it is May, so this will continue to bear watching.

    The front will move south of us Tuesday and that paves the way for cooler and drier air to bring a very nice day to Central Alabama on Wednesday. With the front to our south and moving back this way along with general ridging in the upper atmosphere, the atmosphere will moisten up for the end of the week and into next weekend with the need to mention the possibility of showers each day as we go into the weekend with a summer-like pattern with highs in the 80s and lows in the 60s.

    For those headed to the beaches of Alabama and Northwest Florida, expect mostly sunny days and fair nights into Monday. Highs will be in the upper 70s on the immediate coast, with upper 80s inland. The rest of next week, expect only widely scattered showers and storms, and a decent amount of sun each day. Water temps are climbing, and the water temperature at Perdido Pass at Orange Beach, was close to 80 degrees.

    Looking out into voodoo country, the overall pattern of ridging across the southern tier of the US with the westerlies fairly far north should bring a summer-isn pattern with daily chances of showers along with warm weather with highs mainly in the 80s as we push 90 degree highs once again.

    And you can follow news and weather updates from ABC 33/40 on Twitter here. Stay in the know by following the whole gang – here’s the list…

    James Spann Charles Daniel Bill Murray Brian Peters E-Warn (AL wx watches/warnings)

    Great time emceeing the Buck Creek Festival in Helena over the weekend with great weather, fabulous music, and some really great crowds in the park. Happy Mothers Day. James Spann will have the next Weather Xtreme Video on Monday morning. Enjoy your Sunday, and Godspeed.

    -Brian-

    Categories: Weather

    Mainly Sunny & Very Warm

    ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Sat, 05/09/2015 - 13:49

    Most locations are seeing mainly sunny conditions this afternoon, but there have been a few blips on the radar in northern Mississippi and these light showers may be able to work their way into extreme north and northwestern Alabama this afternoon. Nearly all of us stay dry today, be there is a slight chance of an isolated shower. We continue to be under a ridge that is allowing our temps to warm into the upper 80s and lower 90s this afternoon. This is certainly the warmest weekend of weather thus far in 2015.

    Now to the east, Tropical Storm Ana is now fully tropical as opposed to her sub-tropical characteristics of the last few days. The latest update from the NHC at 100 PM CDT has the center of Tropical Storm Ana located near latitude 32.7 North, longitude 78.1 West. Ana is moving toward the northwest near 3 mph. A turn toward the north and north-northeast with a gradual increase in forward speed is expected over the next 48 hours. On the forecast track, the center will be very near the coasts of South and North Carolina by tomorrow morning. Maximum sustained winds are near 60 mph with higher gusts. Gradual weakening is forecast as Ana moves over cooler waters close to the coastline overnight. A more rapid rate of weakening will begin after the center crosses the coast. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 125 miles from the center. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1001 mb or 29.56 inches.

    For tomorrow, Mother’s Day will be a terrific day for mom to relax in the air conditioning. We will see another day with a mix of sun and clouds, and after starting the day in the mid to upper 60s, look for a near repeat of today for afternoon highs. We are forecasting highs tomorrow afternoon to climb back into the upper 80s and lower 90s across the state and no rain is expected.

    Categories: Weather

    Summer-like Weather for Your Weekend

    ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Sat, 05/09/2015 - 07:05

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

    Look for a summer-like weekend across Central Alabama as we remain between two weather systems. Some high cirrus clouds from the convection to our west was traversing the Central Alabama sky this morning, but we should see a mostly sunny day with highs once again coming in near 90.

    Showers may edge a little closer especially for extreme North Alabama on Sunday, but much of the area will remain dry and warm with highs again close to 90.

    Little bit of a change coming late Monday and Tuesday as a cold front moves into and across Central Alabama. The combination of more clouds along with scattered showers should help to bring temperatures down a tad. It looks like the front will come through the area by Wednesday giving us a bit of a cooler day. But the front will be wavering in the area, so it looks like a pattern with some small daily chances for showers will set up for the latter part of the upcoming week. Highs will be mainly in the 80s after Wednesday.

    SPC does outlook the standard slight risk for severe storms to our west and northwest on Day 3, Monday into Tuesday. But with the upper level dynamics well to our north it looks like the threat for severe weather in Central Alabama will be decreasing, but it will bear watching.

    To our east, Ana is slowly moving toward the Carolina coastal area where North and South Carolina meet. NHC notes that Ana has probably made the transition to a tropical storm with a warm core and maximum sustained wind estimated at 60 mph. Tropical Storm warnings were posted along that portion of the coast from South Santee, SC, to Cape Lookout, NC. Ana is expected to come ashore Sunday morning and gradually dissipate into a depression with rainfall amounts of 4 to 6 inches along the coast.

    Looking out into voodoo country, the GFS for week 2 shows a ridge over much of the eastern half of the country with a summer-like look which suggests warm weather with some daily chances for scattered showers.

    And you can follow news and weather updates from ABC 33/40 on Twitter here. Stay in the know by following the whole gang – here’s the list…

    James Spann Charles Daniel Bill Murray Brian Peters E-Warn (AL wx watches/warnings)

    Busy day emceeing the music at the Buck Creek Festival in Helena at the Amphitheater Park. Be sure to come out to enjoy the food, music, and crafts under the trees along the banks of Buck Creek. I plan to have the next Weather Xtreme Video posted Sunday morning, perhaps a little later than usual due to the festival events today. Enjoy the day and Godspeed.

    -Brian-

    Categories: Weather

    The Heat Cranks Up

    ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Fri, 05/08/2015 - 15:22

    **No afternoon Weather Xtreme video today; I am live at the Buck Creek Festival in Helena on ABC 33/40 News at 4, 5, and 6:00**

    SUMMER PREVIEW: With a sunny sky today, temperatures are generally in the upper 80s, we still project highs in the 87 to 90 degree range over the weekend. We should mention here the last time Birmingham reached 90 degrees was September 21 of last year. The upper ridge should keep us generally dry, with only a slight risk of an afternoon shower Sunday over far North Alabama across the Tennessee Valley.

    EYES ON ANA: Subtropical storm Ana is packing sustained winds of 45 mph, and should move into the South Carolina coast near Myrtle Beach Sunday. This will bring breezy and unsettled weather conditions to the coast of the Carolinas over the weekend, but no impact on the weather in Alabama.

    TO THE WEST: Severe storms remain possible tonight and tomorrow across the Southern Plains, with the highest severe probabilities from North Texas to Kansas. Storms in this region could produce large hail, damaging wind, and a few tornadoes.

    NEXT WEEK: A surface front will bring a chance of showers to the state Monday night and Tuesday; the main dynamic support will be well to the north, so no severe weather is expected, and rain amounts probably won’t be all that heavy. Wednesday looks mostly dry for the northern half of the state, and then we will mention some risk of scattered showers Thursday and Friday. Highs will be generally in the 80s.

    GULF COAST WEATHER: Expect mostly sunny days and fair nights through Monday from Panama City over to Gulf Shores; highs will be in the upper 70s on the immediate coast, with 80s inland. The rest of next week, the following weekend (May 16-17) looks quiet with only widely scattered showers and storms, and a decent amount of sun each day. Great weather for the Hangout Music Festival.

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

    Categories: Weather

    Summer-Like Weather Continues

    ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Fri, 05/08/2015 - 06:28

    HOT MAY WEEKEND: Alabama’s weather won’t change much today and over the weekend; temperatures about ten degrees above average with few, if any showers. Afternoon highs will be in the 87 to 90 degree range, with partly to mostly sunny days and fair nights. If any showers show up over the weekend, the best chance will be Sunday afternoon over far north Alabama, around the Tennessee Valley. The chance of rain is so small for the rest of the state we won’t mention it in our formal forecast as the upper ridge holds over the region.

    TO THE WEST: Two significant severe weather days are possible across the Southern Plains today and tomorrow; the most active day will most likely come tomorrow when a few violent, long track tornadoes are possible over parts of Oklahoma and Kansas, especially the western half of those states.

    TO THE EAST: Subtropical storm Ana developed last night off the South Carolina coast; it is packing sustained winds of 45 mph morning. The system is rather disorganized, and is not a classic warm core tropical storm. There is very little motion now, but it should drift toward the South Carolina coast around Myrtle Beach over the weekend; breezy and showery conditions are likely along the coast of the Carolinas over the next few days. This will have no impact on Alabama.

    NEXT WEEK: A surface front will bring a chance of showers, and possibly a few thunderstorms, to Alabama Monday night and Tuesday. With the upper support lifting well to the north of Alabama, severe weather is not expected, and rain amounts won’t be all that heavy.

    The front will stall out somewhere over Central Alabama Tuesday night; drier air could slip in here Wednesday, but moisture comes back Thursday and Friday with a chance of showers both days, but nothing too heavy or really organized. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

    GULF COAST WEATHER: Mostly sunny days, fair nights from Panama City west to Gulf Shores through early next week with highs on the immediate coast in the upper 70s, and 80s inland. The sea water temperature early this morning at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab is 76 degrees.

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

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

    Facebook
    Twitter
    Google Plus
    Instagram

    I will be speaking to a group of senior adults this morning at Sumiton, and then later I will be at Children’s of Alabama in Birmingham. Later today I will be live at the Buck Creek Festival in Helena on ABC 33/40 News at 4, 5, and 6:00…. I will post a new Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon if time allows. Enjoy the day!

    Categories: Weather

    Ana Being Named at 10 p.m.

    ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Thu, 05/07/2015 - 21:21

    The NHC will name assign the name Ana to Invest 90L off the coast of South Carolina at 10 p.m. CDT.

    The maximum winds measured by the stepped frequency microwave radiometer on the Air Force plane was 45 mph. The central pressure was 104 mb.

    The storm is still a hybrid storm, with subtropical and tropical characteristics. The center is slightly warmer than the surrounding part of the storm. But winds are strongest well away from the center. Some of the strongest winds are very close to the South Carolina coast.

    Categories: Weather

    Summer-Like Heat This Weekend

    ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Thu, 05/07/2015 - 15:32

    DRY PATTERN CONTINUES: Interesting to note that Birmingham’s rain total for April was 10.24″, and so far for the month of May the total is 0.00″. Seems like it is either feast or famine in the rain department; for now the dry pattern will likely continue into the weekend. And, temperatures will remain above average. We expect upper 80s tomorrow, and a high Saturday and Sunday very close to 90 degrees. With a slow increase in low level moisture over the weekend, I guess we can’t completely rule out an afternoon shower somewhere over the weekend, but the chance of any one spot getting wet is very small, and for now we won’t mention it in the formal forecast.

    TO THE WEST: Looks like tomorrow and Saturday will offer very significant severe weather threats for the Southern Plains; especially parts of North Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas where the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has put up moderate risks for both days. It is very possible a few violent, long track tornadoes could form in this region, especially Saturday afternoon and evening.

    TO THE EAST: A sub-tropical storm (the name will be Ana) is forming off the South Carolina coast…

    NHC will not be upgrading the system this afternoon due to limited convection near the center, but they would initiate advisories late tonight. The name of the storm will be “Ana”, and it will hang around just off the South Carolina coast for a few days before drifting inland. It will not impact Alabama’s weather in any way.

    NEXT WEEK: A cold front will bring a chance of showers back to Alabama Monday night and Tuesday, but with the upper support passing well to the north, we don’t expect severe weather, and rain amounts will probably be light. The front will stall out and dissipate somewhere over Central or South Alabama at mid-week, and we might have to maintain some risk of showers into Wednesday and Thursday for the southern two-thirds of the state. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

    GULF COAST WEATHER: The weather will stay dry through the weekend from Panama City west to Gulf Shores, with mostly sunny days and fair nights. And, while there could be a few scattered showers around, a decent part of next week is looking dry as well. Highs on the immediate coast will be in the upper 70s, with 80s inland. Sea water temperatures remain mostly in the mid 70s.

    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 had a great time today visiting with the kids at Walter Kennedy Elementary in Pell City, and Kitty Stone Elementary in Jacksonville… be looking for them on the Pepsi KIDCAM on ABC 33/40 News at 5:00 and 6:00 this evening! The next Weather Xtreme video will be posted here by 7:00 a.m. tomorrow…

    Categories: Weather

    Warm, Mostly Dry Through The Weekend

    ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Thu, 05/07/2015 - 06:25

    QUIET PATTERN FOR ALABAMA: While the Southern Plains will have a risk of severe weather on a daily basis through Saturday, the weather in our state will stay warm and mostly dry thanks to an upper ridge overhead. We reach the mid 80s today, upper 80s tomorrow, and by the weekend some communities will see 90 degrees for the first time this year. Moisture levels will be a tad higher over the weekend, so a few small, isolated afternoon showers could pop up, especially across the Tennessee Valley, but most of the state will remain rain-free with partly sunny days and fair nights.

    TO THE WEST: An active severe weather pattern will continue over the Southern Plains each day through the weekend; perhaps the most active day will be on Saturday, when SPC has already defined a “moderate” risk of severe weather for parts of Oklahoma and Kansas. This could be a day with a significant outbreak there…

    TO THE EAST: A disturbance off the South Atlantic coast of the U.S. still has the potential to become a tropical, or sub-tropical storm during the next 36 hours… NHC now gives it a 70 percent chance of developing. It will meander just off the coast of South Carolina for a few days before lifting out; no impact on Alabama’s weather.

    NEXT WEEK: A cold front will bring a chance of showers and storms to Alabama late Monday into Tuesday; we do note the guys at SPC bring a risk of severe weather into the far northwest corner of Alabama Monday night, but the overall look is less than impressive for most of the state with the better dynamics lifting well to the north. Rain probably won’t be all that heavy, with amounts well under 1/2 inch. Then, drier air arrives late Tuesday and Wednesday. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

    GULF COAST WEATHER: Looking great through the weekend from Panama City to Gulf Shores, with sunny days and fair nights through Sunday. Highs on the immediate coast will be in the upper 70s, with 80s inland. The sea water temperature early this morning at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab is 75 degrees.

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

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

    Facebook
    Twitter
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    I have weather programs today at Walter Kennedy Elementary in Pell City, and Kitty Stone Elementary in Jacksonville. Be looking for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon… enjoy the day!

    Categories: Weather

    Flash Flood Emergency for OKC Metro

    ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Wed, 05/06/2015 - 21:27

    Heavy rains from this afternoon and evening’s severe weather in the OKC Metro area has resulted in flash flooding. For the first time, the NWS Norman has used Flash Flood Emergency language in their warning. I have superimposed the tweet from our good friend and fellow WeatherBrains panelist Rick Smith.

    5-8 inches of rain has fallen tonight, with a peak Doppler estimate around 10.8 inches near Bridge Creek.

    Officially, 5.70 inches of rain has fallen at OKC, making it the sixth wettest day there.

    UPDATE 10:08 PM
    Rick reports 6.90 inches at OKC. Very close to their all time record of 7.62 inches on 6/14/10. this ranks as 4th place all time now.

    Categories: Weather

    Tornado Emergency SW Oklahoma City Metro

    ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Wed, 05/06/2015 - 17:09

    A big, rain wrapped mile wide wedge tornado is approaching the southwestern Oklahoma City Metro.

    Areas from Bridge Creek to Newcastle will be impacted. Could eventually impact Norman or Moore.

    This is a bad situation.

    Categories: Weather

    Summer-Like Warmth Continues

    ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Wed, 05/06/2015 - 15:32

    WARM MAY DAYS: Another warm, dry day for Alabama; temperatures this afternoon are mostly in the low to mid 80s; Huntsville reports 84 degrees at 2:00. No rain on radar as an upper ridge persists over the eastern third of the nation. Today is the 7th consecutive day with no rain for North/Central Alabama.

    TOMORROW/FRIDAY: A persistence forecast is the best idea; the weather stays warm and dry both days with hazy sunshine through scattered clouds and highs in the mid 80s tomorrow, and upper 80s Friday.

    TO THE EAST: NHC gives the tropical disturbance east of Florida a 60 percent chance of becoming a sub-tropical or tropical storm during the next 48 hours; the center of circulation will be close to the South Carolina coast by Friday. Steering currents are very weak, and the system will just hang around the same region through the weekend. It will bring breezy conditions to the coasts of the Carolinas and Georgia, along with occasional rain showers. No impact for Alabama, and if it gets a name, it will be called “Ana”.

    TO THE WEST: An active severe weather pattern will continue across the Southern Plains through Saturday, but all of this activity will remain well to the west of Alabama.

    THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Afternoon temperatures will be pretty close to 90 degrees Saturday and Sunday as the ridge holds. Moisture levels slowly rise, and a few isolated afternoon showers are possible Sunday over the Tennessee Valley region of far North Alabama. It will look and feel like summer.

    NEXT WEEK: A cold front will bring showers into the state late Monday, Monday night, and possibly Tuesday morning, but for now it doesn’t look like a severe weather threat, and rain amounts should be light. Drier and slightly cooler air arrives Tuesday night and Wednesday. 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

    I enjoyed seeing a big group of senior adults at Clanton this morning… and the third graders at Riverchase Elementary School in Hoover this afternoon; look for those kids on the Pepsi KIDCAM today at 5:00 on ABC 33/40 News! The next Weather Xtreme video will be posted early tomorrow morning by 7:00 a.m….

    Categories: Weather

    Tornadoes SW of Oklahoma City

    ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Wed, 05/06/2015 - 15:08

    A supercell thunderstorm about 50 miles southwest of Oklahoma City has already produced at least three or four tornadoes and continues to cycle.

    It is heading in the general direction of Chickasha, Blanchard, Newcastle and Moore, all names of communities from May 3, 1999.  Of course, Moore has had way more than its fair share of tornadoes over  the past 15+ years.

    All of the Oklahoma City stations are streaming with live coverage, including chopper video.   One is KFOR.

    The SPC just issued an enhanced risk area from Abilene to Lawton and the tornado watch has expanded to include Oklahoma City.

    Categories: Weather

    May 6, 2015 Weather Xtreme Video - Morning Edition

    Weather Xtreme Video - Wed, 05/06/2015 - 06:17
    May 6, 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 James Spann and the team of ... From: ABC 33/40 Weather Views: 29 3 ratings Time: 05:12 More in News & Politics
    Categories: Weather
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