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Warm-Up Continues For Alabama

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Thu, 01/30/2014 - 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.

LET THE WARM-UP BEGIN: Temperatures are in the 40s across Alabama this afternoon under a deep blue sky. Road conditions have improved greatly, but some icy spots remain on side roads in shaded areas.

TONIGHT: Cold, but not as cold as last night. The models are suggesting a low in the low 20s, but clearly the colder places will reach the teens. The valleys in Northeast Alabama might even make a run for the single digits. The sky will remain clear, and the wind light.

INTO THE 50s TOMORROW: We will project a high in the low 50s tomorrow with a partly sunny sky.

THE WEEKEND: Looks like any showers Saturday will be pretty widely spaced, otherwise the day will be mostly cloudy with a high between 55 and 60 degrees. Showers are more likely Sunday ahead of a cold front. Rain amounts of around 1/2 inch look likely Sunday.

TO THE NORTH: Global models hint at some precipitation in the colder air over parts of Tennessee, and the 12Z ECMWF (European model) tries to put a little snow down up that way Sunday night.

We do NOT expect snow in North-Central Alabama Sunday night; there is no global model solution that supports that idea.

NEXT WEEK: A touch of light rain is not out of the question Monday with a high in the 50s. Southerly winds increase Tuesday ahead of a robust storm system over the Southern Plains with temperatures rising into the mid 60s, and we will have a good chance of showers and storms by Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. A strong storm is not out of the question, but for now the severe weather parameters look very marginal. Colder air moves back into Alabama Thursday, but nothing like the cold air we have now. Again, there is no evidence on any global model of significant snow for North-Central Alabama Wednesday night as the cold air moves in.

LONG RANGE: Rumors are also swirling about the snow shown on the European model for North Alabama on February 7, but long time blog readers understand that is nothing more than voodoo right now.

Take some time to watch the Weather Xtreme video for the maps, graphics, and 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

Morning Lows

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Thu, 01/30/2014 - 11:33

More lows than you can shake a stick at from the NWS Birmingham:

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BIRMINGHAM AL
1030 AM CST THU JAN 30 2014

…LATEST LOW TEMPERATURE REPORTS…

LOCATION TEMP TIME/DATE

…AUTAUGA…
1 NNW PRATTVILLE (359 FT) 14 0203 AM 01/30

…BARBOUR…
7 SSW FLORENCE MARINA STATE PA 13 0657 AM 01/30
CLAYTON (500 FT) 14 0600 AM 01/30
WEEDON FIELD AIRPORT 14 0558 AM 01/30

…BIBB…
6 SW CENTREVILLE (450 FT) 3 0600 AM 01/30
1 ESE BRENT (219 FT) 5 0611 AM 01/30
1 NNE BRENT (362 FT) 6 0526 AM 01/30

…BULLOCK…
7 WSW UNION SPRINGS (337 FT) 8 0615 AM 01/30

…CALHOUN…
1 ENE BYNUM (633 FT) 0 0601 AM 01/30
1 NNW FORT MCCLELLAN (767 FT) 2 0619 AM 01/30
ANNISTON ARPT ASOS (611 FT) 5 0653 AM 01/30
2 E FORT MCCLELLAN (1049 FT) 11 0546 AM 01/30

…CHAMBERS…
WEST POINT (575 FT) 7 0700 AM 01/30

…CHILTON…
4 NE THORSBY (738 FT) 9 0632 AM 01/30

…CLAY…
3 NE LINEVILLE (1036 FT) -3 0553 AM 01/30

…CLEBURNE…
2 W HEFLIN (908 FT) 0 0614 AM 01/30
HEFLIN (1040 FT) 0 0534 AM 01/30

…DALLAS…
1 SE SELMA (124 FT) 10 0409 AM 01/30
SELMA (147 FT) 13 0530 AM 01/30

…ELMORE…
12 S ROCKFORD (482 FT) 9 0555 AM 01/30

…ETOWAH…
1 SW RAINBOW CITY (541 FT) 0 0553 AM 01/30
SARDIS CITY (1056 FT) 1 0622 AM 01/30
2 ESE GADSDEN (525 FT) 7 0644 AM 01/30
GADSDEN WATER WORKS (565 FT) 9 1100 PM 01/29

…GREENE…
GAINESVILLE (125 FT) 10 0500 AM 01/30

…HALE…
GREENSBORO (220 FT) 11 0800 AM 01/30

…JEFFERSON…
1 NW HOOVER (855 FT) 6 0529 AM 01/30
2 NE HOOVER (574 FT) 8 0608 AM 01/30
BIRMINGHAM ARPT ASOS (625 FT) 9 0553 AM 01/30
1 ESE FORESTDALE (620 FT) 10 1232 AM 01/30
CITY SEWAGE PLT (445 FT) 12 1200 AM 01/30
VESTAVIA HILLS (672 FT) 13 0142 AM 01/30

…LAMAR…
5 W MILLPORT (295 FT) 3 0543 AM 01/30
6 WNW VERNON (372 FT) 6 0545 AM 01/30
2 SW VERNON (298 FT) 7 0930 AM 01/30

…LEE…
WASTE WATER TREATMENT PLT 6 0800 AM 01/30
2 NW OPELIKA (777 FT) 10 0538 AM 01/30
AUBURN 12 0555 AM 01/30
2 ESE AUBURN (574 FT) 13 0541 AM 01/30

…MACON…
9 ESE NOTASULGA (508 FT) 11 0626 AM 01/30
2 W TUSKEGEE (399 FT) 14 0500 AM 01/30
4 ENE TUSKEGEE (275 FT) 15 0656 AM 01/30
11 S AUBURN (446 FT) 15 0524 AM 01/30

…MARENGO…
DEMOPOLIS MUNI (111 FT) 7 0535 AM 01/30
LOCK AND DAM (100 FT) 9 0600 AM 01/30
1 SE DEMOPOLIS (86 FT) 11 0259 AM 01/30
DEMOPOLIS (121 FT) 11 0539 AM 01/30

…MARION…
3 S HAMILTON (435 FT) 0 0400 AM 01/30
1 WSW WINFIELD (397 FT) 4 0700 AM 01/30
2 NNE BEAR CREEK (846 FT) 4 0535 AM 01/30
1 SE WINFIELD (659 FT) 6 0532 AM 01/30
1 SSE WESTON (633 FT) 10 1208 AM 01/30

…MONTGOMERY…
MONTGOMERY DANNELLY FIELD 11 0553 AM 01/30
8 E MONTGOMERY (232 FT) 13 0621 AM 01/30
5 E MONTGOMERY (295 FT) 13 0638 AM 01/30
2 NE MONTGOMERY (232 FT) 13 0648 AM 01/30
5 WNW MONTGOMERY (167 FT) 14 0558 AM 01/30

…PICKENS…
2 SSW MEMPHIS (160 FT) 6 0600 AM 01/30

…PIKE…
TROY MUNICIPAL APT (399 FT) 8 0553 AM 01/30

…RANDOLPH…
2 E ROANOKE (691 FT) -1 0547 AM 01/30

…RUSSELL…
HURTSBORO (442 FT) 10 0532 AM 01/30

…SHELBY…
1 WNW HELENA (449 FT) 2 0620 AM 01/30
3 N CHELSEA (640 FT) 3 0643 AM 01/30
1 SE HELENA (486 FT) 4 0553 AM 01/30
1 S HELENA (504 FT) 5 0550 AM 01/30
2 SSW PELHAM (452 FT) 5 0545 AM 01/30
2 NNE CHELSEA (606 FT) 6 0530 AM 01/30
HELENA (266 FT) 6 0543 AM 01/30
SHELBY COUNTY AIRPORT 9 0553 AM 01/30

…ST. CLAIR…
MOODY (695 FT) 3 0535 AM 01/30
2 N PELL CITY (544 FT) 5 0313 AM 01/30
2 E MARGARET (879 FT) 10 0704 AM 01/30

…SUMTER…
1 NW LIVINGSTON (144 FT) 6 0500 AM 01/30

…TALLADEGA…
1 ENE TALLADEGA (600 FT) -2 0526 AM 01/30
WATER PLANT (490 FT) 0 0700 AM 01/30
1 W TALLADEGA (576 FT) 4 0524 AM 01/30

…TALLAPOOSA…
ALEXANDER CITY (686 FT) 8 0615 AM 01/30

…TUSCALOOSA…
6 W NORTHPORT (190 FT) 5 0702 AM 01/30
8 NE VANCE (636 FT) 6 0600 AM 01/30
2 WNW NORTHPORT (219 FT) 7 0637 AM 01/30
TUSCALOOSA REGIONAL AIRPORT 9 0553 AM 01/30
TUSCALOOSA (337 FT) 10 0619 AM 01/30
NORTHPORT (209 FT) 11 0536 AM 01/30

…WALKER…
3 NNE PARRISH (464 FT) 4 0621 AM 01/30
2 ENE JASPER (480 FT) 6 0530 AM 01/30
JASPER 7 0555 AM 01/30

…WINSTON…
3 NNE HALEYVILLE (931 FT) 2 0556 AM 01/30

OBSERVATIONS ARE COLLECTED FROM A VARIETY OF SOURCES WITH VARYING
EQUIPMENT AND EXPOSURE. NOT ALL DATA LISTED ARE CONSIDERED OFFICIAL.

Categories: Weather

A Slow Go, But Improving Conditions Ahead

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Thu, 01/30/2014 - 10:32

With clear skies across almost all of Alabama, you can make out the snowfall still in place across Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and even Northwest Florida!

It is 25F at Tuscaloosa and Birmingham at 9 a.m. with 18F at Anniston. Overnight lows included 9F at Birmingham, Tuscaloosa and Calera. It was 6F at Anniston and 3F at Decatur. Russellville checked in with -1F. It was 0F at Valley Head.

The sun will warm things above freezing by 11 or 12 o’clock. The sun and dry air will continue to work on the roads.

In the Birmingham area, many secondary roads still are snow covered with a slick ice glaze in many spots. Many primary roads have at least one lane that is snow covered as well.

If you can delay your travel until later this afternoon, that will help keep problems to a minimum until roads have had the chance to clear a bit more.

It’s still a slow go on I-65, US-280 and much of I-459 this morning. There are still big problems along I-20 east of Birmingham.

If you do have to drive, take it slow, leave plenty of distance between you and other cars, and try not to brake or change directions while on ice.

So, things are improving, but we have a ways to go yet.

Categories: Weather

Let The Warm-Up Begin

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Thu, 01/30/2014 - 07:20

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.

FRIGID MORNING: For some, this is the coldest morning so far this year, colder than January 7. Not not for everybody. Here is a round-up of temperatures just before sun-up. These are not official lows, and some places might drop another degree or two.

Black Creek (just northeast of Gadsden) -4
Oneonta -1
Gadsden (Noccalula Falls) -1
Haleyville 0
Valley Head 1
Cottondale 2
Millport 3
Fort Payne 3
Bessemer 5
Lake View (East Tuscaloosa County) 6
Oxford 7
Linden 7
Fayette 7
Thorsby 8
Tuscaloosa 9
Birmingham Airport 10

WARMING TREND AHEAD: With a strong January sun, we expect a high in the low 40s today, and road conditions where snow came down Tuesday will improve greatly as the ice/snow melts away. Tomorrow will be partly sunny with a high in the low to mid 50s.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: While there will be an increase in clouds, Saturday should be mostly dry with a high in the low 60s… just a slight risk of a shower. Showers are more likely on Sunday with a high around 60 degrees.

NEXT WEEK: The GFS shows a significant storm with a good round of showers and storms late Tuesday, Tuesday night, and possibly into early Wednesday morning. We are actually in the warm sector of the storm system, and strong thunderstorms are very well possible Tuesday night, but the severe weather parameters are less than impressive for now.

Take some time and see the Weather Xtreme video for the maps, graphics, and more thoughts on long range weather.

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

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

Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus
Instagram

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

Categories: Weather

January 30 Weather Xtreme Video - Morning Edition

Weather Xtreme Video - Thu, 01/30/2014 - 07:19
January 30 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: abc3340 Views: 1488 9 ratings Time: 06:56 More in News & Politics
Categories: Weather

Hard Freeze Tonight

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Wed, 01/29/2014 - 16:24

**No afternoon Weather Xtreme video today… tied up working social media. Hopefully back to the two day schedule tomorrow**

SUB-FREEZING DAY: Despite the return of sunshine, many North Alabama communities have failed to get out of the 20s. And, once the sun goes down, temperatures will drop steadily tonight, and we project a low between 10 and 15 degrees early tomorrow. Colder pockets will see a low in the single digits, especially where there is snow on the ground.

Travel conditions have improved somewhat this afternoon in the snow zone across North/Central Alabama, but those conditions will deteriorate once the sun goes down and we see refreezing. Travel is discouraged tonight, and many schools remain closed tomorrow.

WARMER DAYS: We finally begin to dig out of the deep freeze tomorrow with a good supply of sunshine and a high in the low 40s. Then, on Friday, low to mid 50s are likely with a partly sunny sky.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: The GFS is printing a high of 62 degrees for Birmingham both Saturday and Sunday; that will sure feel toasty. Moisture levels will rise; we will mention a slight risk of a shower late Saturday, but the better chance will come Sunday, into Monday of next week. Rain amounts of around 1/2 to 1 inch are likely, and no severe weather is expected.

A strong disturbance will impact Alabama by the middle of next week, and we will forecast a good chance of showers and thunderstorms by Tuesday night and Wednesday. A few strong storms are possible, but for now it doesn’t look like a severe weather setup.

In the longer range, another good rain events shows up around February 9. There will be cold snaps, but it sure looks like February won’t be as cold as January in Alabama. We will make it to the spring soon enough.

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

Please Don’t Drive

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Wed, 01/29/2014 - 15:41

Roads have improved in many areas this afternoon with a good bit of drying, but secondary roads are still a mess and traffic has become heavy on some of the major arteries.

New accidents are occurring, causing additional traffic snarls.

We don’t want people getting stranded again tonight.

The biggest headaches are east of Birmingham on I-20, on I-65 southbound from Homewood south, and on highway 280 eastbound.

Highway 150 is passable but down to one lane due to abandoned vehicles. Morgan Road and Parkwood in Bessemer: Accident with car teetering on cliff.

AVOID AT ALL COSTS:
…I-65 south of downtown. Creeping up to Alford Ave.
…US-31 in both directions near going over Shades Mountain. (SB traffic is using the NB lanes as well! Only one lane is coming north now.)
…US-280 in both directions from Mountain Brook to Chelsea. One hour from Colonnade to Whole Foods! Road still snowpacked due to shade.
…I-20 eastbound from Irondale to Leeds and westbound between Leeds and I-459
…I-459 northbound between I-65 and Liberty Park. Ice is reported on Interstate.

Use extreme caution on all other roads in the Birmingham area if you MUST drive.

TO TUSCALOOSA
…Lots of questions about I-59 to Tuscaloosa: it looks good now from downtown Birmingham all the way to Tuscaloosa

If you can, continue to stay where you are and don’t drive. Allow road crews and transportation workers to get the roads cleared. Many roads have been sanded in the Birmingham Metro area.

Officials are taking folks from shelters in Homewood to their cars at I-65 in an effort to remove the backlog of abandoned automobiles while ice is melting.

Temperatures are still below freezing (28F at BHM) and water that is standing on area roads will quickly refreeze as the sun sets. Overnight lows are expected to drop to 9-13F tonight. This will result in deadly black ice that is hard to spot as you drive. Once you hit it, you can go into an out of control slide or spin with bad consequences.

We should go above freezing around noon tomorrow and with total sunshine, roads should begin to improve rapidly. Highs tomorrow will range between 40-43F.

How does 62F on Saturday sound? We’ll take it!

(Big thanks to Skywatchers and Social Media for the reports!)

Categories: Weather

Morning Weather Update

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Wed, 01/29/2014 - 11:10

It remains a terribly cold morning across much of Alabama as most locations remain in the upper teens and lower 20s. The temperatures will continue to creep up today, but will not likely make it to or above the freezing mark.

The sun and the very dry air will help with the ice, but we are not expecting any significant improvements today. The roads remain iced over which will continue to cause problems. There remain numerous abandoned cars on the roadways, so please continue to use extreme caution if you have to be out and about today. If you do not have to get out, please do not.

In Central Alabama we are seeing mostly sunny skies, but we are bit concerned with some higher level cirrus clouds that are trying to move back in along the Interstate 20/59 corridor. We still expect the sun to shine through, but it will be filtered some and that could slow down to the warming process today. Not that we expect much of a thaw today, but any extra help we can get today will be beneficial.

What melts today, will likely re-freeze tonight as overnight lows will be way back down into the teens. Finally tomorrow, all of Central Alabama will warm into the 40s and that should allow all the ice and snow to melt and allow us to thaw. By the weekend, the weather will be much improved as 60s are expected.

Categories: Weather

A Botched Forecast/Dose Of Humility

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Wed, 01/29/2014 - 08:22

In terms of human impact, yesterday’s forecast “bust” was the most significant for me since Janaury 1982, when we had a timing error of about six hours on the arrival of freezing rain and snow. Instead of starting at 5:00 p.m… it started around 11:00 a.m. People were caught off guard, schools and businesses closed, and the result was traffic gridlock, abandoned cars, separated families, and human suffering. Very much like yesterday, so I have been down this road before. The main difference is that I was a young man of 26 years old in 1982. With the experience and maturity that should come with a long tenure in my position, you would think that kind of error would not happen again, But, it did.

PLACEMENT PROBLEM: As is sometimes the case, the forecast was actually good on the synoptic scale, but the mesoscale placement was bad. By about 100-125 miles. The band of heavier snow that was to have set up over South Alabama (they did get good snow later in the day) initiated over the I-20/59 corridor. Birmingham’s official snow total was 2.0 inches; Anniston’s official total was 1.5″, and Tuscaloosa had 0.3″ (at the Airport… some there had more).

Temperatures were also colder than forecast. Instead of reaching the low 30s, with the falling snow the high was only around 20 degrees, which pretty much turned roads into a skating rink within minutes.

We had forecast a “dusting” for these places, and the 0.3 to 2.0 inch snow accumulation was a clear “bust”. For most parts of the northern U.S… this kind of forecast error isn’t even noticeable. And, with a dry, powdery snow, even as it came down I sure didn’t expect the kind of issues we were going to have until I started the fish tail thing in my vehicle as I was driving back from Tuscaloosa County (where I was going to do a school program on meteorology).

I am convinced the fact that this was the third in a series of brutally cold air masses to move down into Alabama was a big role in the travel issues (making for a cold infrastructure), despite only 1-2 inches of “dry” snow. And, the 20 degree temperature was a huge factor as well. I will say I have never seen this kind of impact on roads with 1 to 2 inches of snow in Alabama in my 35 years as a professional meteorologist. But, now we know it can happen. It usually takes freezing rain (rain that falls with temperatures below 32 degrees) for this kind of mess.

CIVIL EMERGENCY: The Alabama EMA issued a CEM (Civil Emergency Message) late in the morning when it was clear the forecast for the bigger cities was wrong, and this was a true emergency. Families separated, motorists stranded, and a state of chaos. But, by the time the CEM was issued, and by the time the NWS issued a winter storm warning, it was too late and the damage was done.

There was clear human suffering as a result of my bad forecast.

I took that picture while sitting in gridlock on Riverchase Parkway trying to get to ABC 33/40. Wound up ditching my car, like so many, and walking to work.

TWITTER ERA: Yep, over the last 12 hours lots of social media vitriol has been directed at me, and it is deserved. People who are tired, hungry, in strange places trying to sleep away from their families and children, need to vent. Do NOT vent at school officials or your boss. They make decisions on weather forecasts, and what they got was bad information. I am the one to blame. I guess I know how Cade Foster feels (the University of Alabama place kicker who took heat after the Auburn game).

This is an example of what I am seeing in the “email inbox” this morning…

“Looks like you got it wrong yesterday with your prediction of a light
dusting and no accumulation. How can you guys be so badly off as 100′s
still sit in their schools and 100′s remain in their cars on highways
and mo telling how many have had to leave their cars stranded and
knock on strangers doors for shelter while others have paid the
ultimate price trying to drive? How can you be so wrong? Has
everything with your career over the past years gone to your head? You
are still expected to be vigilant and not complacent. What a shame as
I think of the people still out there and the ones who are dead…”

I won’t share the person’s name that wrote this, but it was signed. The criticism is valid, and one I will take to heart. I appreciate her taking the time to write, and I mean that.

I also believe there was loss of life on April 27, 2011 as a direct result of communication failure on my waych. Despite our knowledge of all 62 tornadoes that day well in advance (lead time was 20-30 minutes generally), 252 people in my state died, which is totally unacceptable.

LIKE A FOOTBALL COACH: Days like yesterday, unfortunately, are part of my job. There have been bad forecasts in the past, and there will be bad ones in the future. Football coaches don’t win every game, and we don’t get every forecast right. But, when you lose, you do deep study into what went wrong, and work to be sure it doesn’t happen again.

Conventional forecast methods failed; NWP (numerical weather prediction… or computer model output), using the few analogs we have, and experience. I assure you I will do long hours of review on this one.

CARRY ON: My many years in this chair have given me a pretty thick skin, so the social media hate doesn’t bother me; the human suffering is what bothers me. I take my job seriously, and I will carry on. If i just decide to quit, then the next person who comes in behind me will have the same problems. The occasional missed forecast that leads to a sentinel event.

I have said this to both professional meteorology societies in speeches over the last two years. Humility is missing in our science. There are many things we don’t know, and many things we can’t do. Just about the time you think you are infallible, you will be brought to your knees. For the ones in meteorology and climate that say “I could be wrong”, I will listen and respect their opinion. But, for those that claim no error, we all know their time is coming.

So, an apology from me for a botched forecast. Won’t be the last bad forecast I write, but I will keep working to get better and stronger daily. And, no, for this kind of thing doesn’t “get me down”, it energizes me. Thanks for your support and for those that did write an encouraging note over the last 12 hours. Let’s warm up, get back with our families, and enjoy some low 60s this weekend. Scroll down for the morning forecast discussion.

Categories: Weather

January 29 Weather Xtreme Video - Morning Edition

Weather Xtreme Video - Wed, 01/29/2014 - 07:28
January 29 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: abc3340 Views: 2164 10 ratings Time: 06:30 More in News & Politics
Categories: Weather

Brighter, But Still Cold

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Wed, 01/29/2014 - 07:25

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.

ON ICE: I will write as essay later today here on the blog about yesterday’s botched forecast and the human suffering that resulted. Remarkable similarities of an event in January 1982 (not the Blizzard of 93)… bad forecast, immediate ice/snow on roads, dismissal from school/work too late, and the nightmare that followed with thousands of stranded motorists.

THIS MORNING: As cold as 5 degrees this morning in Alabama… we are seeing that observation at 5:00 a.m. at Decatur and Haleyville. Cullman and Huntsville reporting 8… temperatures in the Birmingham/Tuscaloosa/Anniston/Gadsden areas generally in the 10-15 degree range, where wind is still blowing. The wind chill index at Birmingham is 3 degrees at 5:00 a.m.

ROADS: All I can is that if you had a significant amount of snow yesterday, don’t drive right now. Keep in mind there was little snow over the northern quarter of Alabama, and if you only had a few flakes yesterday, roads are just dry there. But, for most of North-Central Alabama, stay put. Here is a peek at I-65 at Lakeshore before daybreak.

Thousands were stranded in vehicles last night across Alabama; in some places like Hoover school busses were brought in to bring motorists to a warm place. It has been a true “civil emergency”, and the CEM (Civil Emergency Message) issued yesterday by Alabama EMA was very appropriate. Few have memories of the great ice storm of 1982 when this last happened. (Not the Blizzard of 93… that was a monster of a different nature).

THE DAYS AHEAD: We are projecting a high only in the low 30s today, but with a sunny sky and very low dewpoints (dry air), the sublimation process will help to bring a slow improvement in road conditions. Tonight will be very cold; by daybreak tomorrow we will drop into the 10-15 degree range with a clear sky and light wind; colder spots across North Alabama go back down into the single digits.

A warming trend finally begins Thursday afternoon with a sunny sky and a high in the low 40s. We reach the mid 50s Friday with a mix of sun and clouds.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Low 60s are likely Saturday and Sunday, but moisture levels will rise and we will forecast a good chance of showers, mostly during the day Sunday. The latest GFS hints that Saturday will be generally dry, followed by 1/2 to 1 inch of rain Sunday. No severe weather.

NEXT WEEK: The high Monday will drop back into the 50s, the sky will remain mostly cloudy, and a shower is possible. But the next organized rain event comes at mid-week, when showers and thunderstorms are likely on Wednesday. This will be a dynamic weather system, so we will watch for strong storms, but at the moment the severe weather risk looks relatively low.

See the Weather Xtreme video for the 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 4:00 or so this afternoon… enjoy the day and stay warm.

Categories: Weather

What to Expect in the Morning

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Wed, 01/29/2014 - 01:26

The mess on the roadways will not be any better in the morning.

Extreme cold has made all roads like ice rinks, near impassable and very dangerous.

There are numerous abandoned vehicles along various roadways. These are not going anywhere and will only hamper travel in the morning.

It will be best to wait things out in the morning and I think waiting to at least 10 or 11 AM to see what is going on and what conditions the roads will be in would be wise. Many schools and businesses are already closed Wednesday and there is no need for anyone to be out on the road unless they have to be.

The sun will be out in the morning and will help begin to melt some of the snow and ice. Also, the very dry air moving in tonight will also help with the snow and ice by the process of sublimation. These processes will help improve road conditions tomorrow, but it will be a very slow process. Afternoon highs tomorrow will struggle to reach the freezing mark.

Use extreme caution if you will be traveling. Take your time and slow down.

Categories: Weather

Staying Safe Tonight

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Tue, 01/28/2014 - 23:32

A crazy day has turned into a hectic night across Central Alabama. Numerous motorists continue to be stranded on local roadways and the problems are not getting any better. With such cold temperatures the roads are solid ice and are impassable.

If you are somewhere safe and warm, stay there. Do not attempt to travel tonight. There are numerous accidents reported and local authorities can not handle the load or are unable to reach many of the locations do to the terrible road conditions.

To stay up to date an informed on the rapidly changing conditions as well as the latest shelter information or survival tips follow the @spann twitter handle.

Throughout Central Alabama there are numerous shelters and warming stations open to anyone that needs them. Here is a list…

SHELTERS
This list is not inclusive either.

…Rocky Ridge Fire department

…Lakeside Baptist on Old Rocky Ridge Road.

…Pelham Civic Complex and Ice Arena has open for those seeking shelter. The civic complex is located at 500 Amphitheater Road.

…Munford Volunteer Fire Department in Munford.

…Students who are stranded at Jacksonville State University can go to Stephenson Hall, The Gamecock Diner and the Food Court at the Theron Montgomery Building.

…Boutwell Auditorium

…First Baptist Church Lakeshore

…KM Auto on University Boulevard in downtown Birmingham is also available as a warming station.

…The YMCA on Columbiana Road in Vestavia Hills has also opened as a warming station.

…In Walker County, New Generation Ministry in Jasper has opened.

Other Shelters:

…Ashville Courthouse

…Arboretum Apts Leasing Office – Vestavia Hills

…Bible Methodist Campground

…Birmingham Botanical Gardens

…Brookwood Baptist Church – 3449 Overton Rd, Mtn. Brook

…Cahaba Valley Fire Department

…Carnes Recreation Center – 102 Case Ave., Attalla

…Canterbury United Methodist Church – 350 Overbrook Rd

…Church at Brook Hills

…Elliott Community Center – 2829 West Meighan Blvd, Gadsden

…Fairfield Police Dept

…Faith Presbyterian Church on Valleydale Road

…First Baptist Church Birmingham – 2309 Lakeshore Drive

…First Baptist Church Sylacauga

…First United Presbyterian Church of Forestdale – 1375 Tomahawk Road

…Gardendale Civic Center

…Greater Birmingham Humane Society in Homewood

…Hayden First Baptist Church

…Homewood Recreation Center – 809 Greensprings Hwy

…Homewood shelters: 1st Baptist Church of Bham 2309 Lakeshore Driv; Oakmont United Methodist Church, 914 Oak Grove Rd; Rec Ctr 809 Greensprings

…Horizon Church-2345 Columbiana Road in Vestavia

…Leeds Civic Center

…Moody United Methodist Church – 820 Church St, Moody

Oakmont United Methodist Church – 914 Oak Grove Road

…Pell City Civic Center

…Pell City Courthouse

…Prince of Peace Church – 4050 Preserve Parkway, Hoover

…RS Limbaugh Rec Center – 300 1st Ave SE Childersburg

…Salvation Army in Gadsden- 114 North 11th Street

…Springville Methodist Church

…Steele Methodist Church

…Townley Church of God in Townley, Alabama will open their life center Wednesday and Thursday night

…UAB rec center and the cafe is open for students who are stranded on campus

…YMCA locations – Alabaster, Pelham, Hoover, Shades Valley (Homewood), Vestavia, Mtn Brook, & Greystone (280)

…The Shops at Grand River

This terrible weather is not just confined to Central Alabama. Similar problems and dangerous conditions are ongoing for Montgomery, Mobile, and the City of Atlanta, where numerous interstates remain gridlocked late tonight.

Conditions will not improve overnight as terribly cold, sub-freezing temperatures will persist through the night. Overnight lows are expected in the single digits for much of Central Alabama, and highs tomorrow will have a hard time climbing above freezing.

Categories: Weather

A Bitterly Cold Night

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Tue, 01/28/2014 - 20:40

With snow on the ground and a clearing sky, expect the very cold temperatures, currently in the teens, to only go lower overnight, especially once the sky clears. Looking at forecast lows for early Wednesday morning, shows Birmingham at 9 while lower teens and single digits are expected elsewhere across the region.

The snow on the ground could actually cause our temperatures to go lower tonight. The proper conditions will be present tonight to see widespread single digits across Central Alabama, especially anywhere there is snow on the ground. I would not be surprised to see reading from 2-7 degrees in some locations in Central Alabama. None of the snow is expected to melt tonight with such cold temperatures.

The weather will remain very cold tomorrow and afternoon highs will struggle to reach the freezing mark which will make for a very slow melting process tomorrow. We will have full sunshine though and that should help some.

For a list of shelters and warming stations check the post below. Also, the @spann twitter handle is an information super-highway for anyone that may be stranded this evening.

Categories: Weather

Major Trouble Spots, Shelters

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Tue, 01/28/2014 - 18:20

The word tonight is patience.

Prepared to delay traveling in the morning until 10 or 11 a.m. and check roads during the morning befor etraveling.

…A couple of school buses are stranded at this hour. One is in the Oxmoor Valley. Another is stranded on O-65 SB at Alford Avenue.

…Resources in Police Departments in Birmingham, Hoover and Homewood are stretched to the limit right now.

…Birmingham Police are calling for Hummers. They are putting chains on all their vehicles.

…Center Point Fire is reporting that side streets are impassable due to snow/ice and abandoned cars, and they are having to walk to calls.

…John Talbot: BFD dispatcher sounds exhausted & understandable

FROM THE HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT
ALDOT State Trooper Curtis Summerville says call *HP if you have an emergency & need help. Road crews are responding.

MAJOR TROUBLE SPOTS
This list is not all inclusive. Thanks to all the Skywatchers like John Talbot, Bryan Falls, Richard Viola and Joshua Vest (among others) for their reports. Some helpful pictures from social media as well.

…I-65 NB in Chilton County moving slowloy according to Brian Peters

…I-65 SB in Cullman County treacherous

…I-65 NB in Hoover gridlocked according to Hoover PD via John Talbot

…280 SB is problematic along its length, especially going up the hill near Brookwood and down through Inverness into Shelby County. It is a nightmare at Double Oak Mountain.

…US-31 in Vestavia

…US-31 in Hoover, especially in front of the Galleria

…Lorna Road…multiple accidents between Rocky Ridge and Rocky Ridge Ranch Road

…AL-150 is a big problem near Ross Bridge. It is a parking lot according to Hoover Police at 540 p.m.

…I-20 between Birmingham and Pell City.

…US-82 between Northport and Gordo

…US-431 between Gadsden and Anniston

…US-278 between AL79 and AL-75

SHELTERS
This list is not inclusive either.

…Rocky Ridge Fire department

…Lakeside Baptist on Old Rocky Ridge Road.

…Pelham Civic Complex and Ice Arena has open for those seeking shelter. The civic complex is located at 500 Amphitheater Road.

…Munford Volunteer Fire Department in Munford.

…Students who are stranded at Jacksonville State University can go to Stephenson Hall, The Gamecock Diner and the Food Court at the Theron Montgomery Building.

…Boutwell Auditorium

…First Baptist Church Lakeshore

…KM Auto on University Boulevard in downtown Birmingham is also available as a warming station.

…The YMCA on Columbiana Road in Vestavia Hills has also opened as a warming station.

…In Walker County, New Generation Ministry in Jasper has opened.

Other Shelters:

…Ashville Courthouse

…Arboretum Apts Leasing Office – Vestavia Hills

…Bible Methodist Campground

…Birmingham Botanical Gardens

…Brookwood Baptist Church – 3449 Overton Rd, Mtn. Brook

…Cahaba Valley Fire Department

…Carnes Recreation Center – 102 Case Ave., Attalla

…Canterbury United Methodist Church – 350 Overbrook Rd

…Church at Brook Hills

…Elliott Community Center – 2829 West Meighan Blvd, Gadsden

…Fairfield Police Dept

…Faith Presbyterian Church on Valleydale Road

…First Baptist Church Birmingham – 2309 Lakeshore Drive

…First Baptist Church Sylacauga

…First United Presbyterian Church of Forestdale – 1375 Tomahawk Road

…Gardendale Civic Center

…Greater Birmingham Humane Society in Homewood

…Hayden First Baptist Church

…Homewood Recreation Center – 809 Greensprings Hwy

…Homewood shelters: 1st Baptist Church of Bham 2309 Lakeshore Driv; Oakmont United Methodist Church, 914 Oak Grove Rd; Rec Ctr 809 Greensprings

…Horizon Church-2345 Columbiana Road in Vestavia

…Leeds Civic Center

…Moody United Methodist Church – 820 Church St, Moody

Oakmont United Methodist Church – 914 Oak Grove Road

…Pell City Civic Center

…Pell City Courthouse

…Prince of Peace Church – 4050 Preserve Parkway, Hoover

…RS Limbaugh Rec Center – 300 1st Ave SE Childersburg

…Salvation Army in Gadsden- 114 North 11th Street

…Springville Methodist Church

…Steele Methodist Church

…Townley Church of God in Townley, Alabama will open their life center Wednesday and Thursday night

…UAB rec center and the cafe is open for students who are stranded on campus

…YMCA locations – Alabaster, Pelham, Hoover, Shades Valley (Homewood), Vestavia, Mtn Brook, & Greystone (280)

…The Shops at Grand River

…If you have information on additional trouble spots or shelters, please comment through Facebook below and we will add them to this post.

…If you are at home, stay at home. If you are at work, consider staying at work.

OTHER NOTES

…Governor Bentley has deployed 350 National Guard troops.

ABC3340 LIVE STREAM

http://www.abc3340.com/category/238084/live-stream

Categories: Weather

Hard Freeze Warning Issued for Tonight

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Tue, 01/28/2014 - 17:37

With snow on the ground, and a very cold Arctic air mass in place, it is going to be a bitterly cold night across Central Alabama. The NWS in Birmingham has issued a Hard Freeze Warning for every county in their CWA.

Later this evening, temperatures will fall below 15 degrees and that is where they will stay until tomorrow. With snow on the ground, we could actually see temps fall into single digits.

…BITTERLY COLD TEMPERATURES EXPECTED TONIGHT…

SUMTER-GREENE-HALE-PERRY-MARENGO-DALLAS-AUTAUGA-LOWNDES-ELMORE-
MONTGOMERY-MACON-BULLOCK-LEE-RUSSELL-PIKE-BARBOUR-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF…LIVINGSTON…EUTAW…GREENSBORO…
MOUNDVILLE…MARION…DEMOPOLIS…LINDEN…SELMA…PRATTVILLE…
FORT DEPOSIT…HAYNEVILLE…WETUMPKA…TALLASSEE…MONTGOMERY…
TUSKEGEE…UNION SPRINGS…AUBURN…OPELIKA…PHENIX CITY…
TROY…EUFAULA
410 PM CST TUE JAN 28 2014

…HARD FREEZE WARNING IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO 9 AM
CST WEDNESDAY…

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BIRMINGHAM HAS ISSUED A HARD
FREEZE WARNING…WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO 9 AM
CST WEDNESDAY.

* TEMPERATURES…WILL FALL INTO THE LOWER TO MIDDLE TEENS AFTER
MIDNIGHT TONIGHT FOR MUCH OF CENTRAL ALABAMA.

* IMPACTS…TEMPERATURES IN THE TEENS MAY CAUSE WATER PIPES TO
RUPTURE…AND POSE A THREAT TO SENSITIVE VEGETATION AND
LIVESTOCK. THESE CONDITIONS ARE ALSO POTENTIALLY HAZARDOUS TO
PEOPLE AND PETS WHO ARE VULNERABLE TO THE COLD.

MARION-LAMAR-FAYETTE-WINSTON-WALKER-BLOUNT-ETOWAH-CALHOUN-
CHEROKEE-CLEBURNE-PICKENS-TUSCALOOSA-JEFFERSON-SHELBY-ST. CLAIR-
TALLADEGA-CLAY-RANDOLPH-BIBB-CHILTON-COOSA-TALLAPOOSA-CHAMBERS-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF…HAMILTON…SULLIGENT…VERNON…
FAYETTE…DOUBLE SPRINGS…JASPER…ONEONTA…GADSDEN…
ANNISTON…CENTRE…HEFLIN…CARROLLTON…TUSCALOOSA…
BIRMINGHAM…HOOVER…COLUMBIANA…PELHAM…ALABASTER…
PELL CITY…MOODY…TALLADEGA…SYLACAUGA…ASHLAND…ROANOKE…
CENTREVILLE…CLANTON…ROCKFORD…ALEXANDER CITY…DADEVILLE…
VALLEY…LANETT…LAFAYETTE
410 PM CST TUE JAN 28 2014

…HARD FREEZE WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO
9 AM CST WEDNESDAY…

* TEMPERATURES…WILL FALL INTO THE LOWER TO MIDDLE TEENS AFTER
MIDNIGHT TONIGHT FOR MUCH OF CENTRAL ALABAMA.

* IMPACTS…TEMPERATURES IN THE TEENS MAY CAUSE WATER PIPES TO
RUPTURE…AND POSE A THREAT TO SENSITIVE VEGETATION AND
LIVESTOCK. THESE CONDITIONS ARE ALSO POTENTIALLY HAZARDOUS TO
PEOPLE AND PETS WHO ARE VULNERABLE TO THE COLD.

Categories: Weather

Afternoon Weather Update

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Tue, 01/28/2014 - 16:10

The snow is winding down across the Central Alabama. The snow shield is slowly shifting to the east-southeast and will continue to do so the next few hours. The snow will begin to taper off across eastern Alabama later this evening.

Now the question that everyone wants answered…When is the snow going to melt and road conditions improve?

First off, temperatures are not going to rise any today. They will only fall and temps are already in the teens and twenties. No significant melting will occur today. We continue to see a mostly cloudy skies, but dry air is moving and we will see the sky clear slowly overnight. This is not a good thing because that will allow temperatures to bottom out. With the snow on the ground, we are actually expecting temperatures to fall lower than first forecast. It will be a very cold start to your Wednesday with single digits likely. Plan ahead for a brutally cold night across Alabama.

We will see sunny skies tomorrow, but it will once again remain very cold. Temperatures will once again struggle to climb above freezing in Central Alabama and we are not expecting much melting of the snow tomorrow. With the air becoming so dry overnight, we will begin to see the snow evaporate tomorrow, but it will certainly be slow a go at it. Tomorrow highs will range from 30-35 degrees.

What snow melts tomorrow will refreeze tomorrow night and make for some more slick spots. Finally for Thursday, we will be able to melt and thaw out as our afternoon highs will climb into the 40s.

We just have to get it through this event, and by the weekend, the snow and ice will be gone and our highs will be in the 60s, which will make today’s event all but a memory.

Categories: Weather

Winter Weather Update

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Tue, 01/28/2014 - 14:24

The weather continues to be a serious problem for many locations across Central Alabama. A lot to talk about so lets get straight to it. Current radar continues to show the back edge of the snow just north of the Interstate 59 corridor. It continues to ever so slowly creep towards the southeast.

North and west of this line, the weather is not half bad. The snow has ended, and it just remains very cold. Areas around Fayette, Jasper, Hamilton, and Cullman are finished with a majority of the snow for today. There could still be a few flurries, but no additional accumulations expected.

South and east of the snow’s edge, snow continues to fall and will do so through the afternoon. It will continue to make a mess of things. A few inches of snow will be possible. The main snow area will continue to move east today and we should begin to see a majority of the snow begin to taper off later this evening.

Temps are hovering in the upper teens and lower 20s across Central Alabama, and that means the snow that has fallen is not going anywhere. The snow is accumulating on any and all surfaces. That means the roads will continue to be treacherous, but many of them are not impassable. Take it very slow, and expect a very long commute. If you are at a place where it is warm, please stay there. There is complete gridlock on all roadways.

Categories: Weather

Bad Situation

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Tue, 01/28/2014 - 13:41

A very bad situation is in progress across the Birmingham Metro area and much of Central Alabama, reminiscent of the 1982 Winter Storm.

Tens of thousands of people are trying to make it home at this hour and roads are gridlocked.
Traffic is at a standstill all over the area. In the Tuscaloosa area as well as across the Birmingham Metro area.

Wrecks not being worked by most local jurisdictions unless there are injuries.

If you are stuck on the road, it’s best not to abandon your vehicle. Take it slow and easy, think about what large hills are along your route and try to avoid them.

Warming stations will be set up for stranded motorists this afternoon and tonight.

A recent Tweet mentioned moving one mile in 90 minutes on Valleydale Road in Shelby County.

If you are in a warm, safe place, stay there until the traffic abates.

Cell phone networks are jammed, so be patient.

The snow is over in places like Hamilton, Fayette, Jasper, Double Springs and Cullman. Roads are slippery in these areas, but generally not as snowpacked.

Light snow continues in the I-59 corridor, including Tuscaloosa, Birmingham and Gadsden.

Heavier snow is falling from Hale through Bibb, Perry, Chilton, Shelby, Coosa, Talladega, Clay, Calhoun, Cleburne and Randolph Counties.

A wintry mix is falling south of this area from Marengo through Dallas, Autauga and Elmore Counties. The preicpitation has changed to snow at Selma in Dallas County.

Categories: Weather

Roads Are a Mess

ABC 33/40 Weather Blog - Tue, 01/28/2014 - 12:32

Some late reports:

All Bessemer City roads slick.

Birmingham Fire Department initiating contingency plans. Several of their pieces of equipment stuck.

City of Birmingham has initiated their City Weather Plan.

Brookwood Hospital is not accessible due to ice from either side.

Numerous roads are slick and icy across the area. Several roads are impassable.

Roads in Chilton and Taladega Counties are impassable according to County Engineers.

NWS HUNTSVILLE ISSUES WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY
…for Cullman, De Kalb, Jackson, Marshall Counties till 6:00 PM CST.

Categories: Weather