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The latest information on Alabama weather, tornadoes, hurricanes, winter storms, national weather headlines and the science of meteorology in general.
Updated: 4 hours 12 min ago

Cool Thanksgiving Weather

4 hours 22 min ago

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.

QUIET WEATHER FOR ALABAMA: A strong upper trough brought rain to parts of East and Southeast Alabama last night, but all of that is well east of our state this morning, and we project a cool, dry day with a partly to mostly sunny sky along with a high in the mid to upper 50s.

EAST COAST MESS: The long awaited pre-Thanksgiving storm is unfolding as forecast this morning; snow is likely today west of I-95, with rain close to the coast. This means travel headaches including potential for significant airport delays at Washington, Philadelphia, New York City, and Boston.

THANKSGIVING DAY: Cold and dry weather for our state; we start the day in the 30s, an the high will be only in the mid to upper 40s, almost 15 degrees below average for November 27. Dry air means maximum available sunshine.

FRIDAY THROUGH SUNDAY: Friday morning will be cold; we project a low between 27 and 32 degrees for most North/Central Alabama communities. Then, a warming trend begins Friday afternoon with a high in the low 50s. Then, we project low 60s for Saturday, and upper 60s Sunday as a nice warming trend continues. The weather should be generally dry on these three days; we might consider a small risk of a shower Sunday afternoon over North Alabama with a front to the north, but the air will be pretty dry and stable, and for now we will keep the forecast dry.

IRON BOWL: Doesn’t get much better. For the 6:45p CT kickoff in Tuscaloosa Saturday, we project a fair sky with temperatures in the upper 50s, falling slowly into the low 50s by the final whistle.

NEXT WEEK: The weather looks dry and mild Monday through Wednesday with a high well up in the 60s. Rain returns at the end of the week; the 06Z GFS suggests the biggest threat of rain will come on Friday December 5. Some thunderstorms could be involved, but at the moment it doesn’t look like a big severe weather threat. 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.

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We are now on a holiday schedule through Sunday, so just one Weather Xtreme video per day, but I will post fresh forecast notes by 4:00 this afternoon. Enjoy the day… and be safe if you are traveling!

Categories: Weather

A Little Light Rain Tonight

Tue, 11/25/2014 - 16:29

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.

RADAR CHECK: Rain is falling across Southeast Alabama this afternoon, and clouds are beginning to thicken over the rest of the state. We will maintain the chance of a little light rain tonight, especially along and east of I-65. Main window for light rain for our part of the state will come from 6:00 p.m. until 3:00 a.m. tomorrow; all of the rain will be long gone by the time the run rises.

NORTHEAST U.S. SNOW TOMORROW: A signifiant storm system will bring lots of rain and snow to the Northeast U.S. tonight and tomorrow; the heavier snow will be west of I-95, with mostly rain close to the coast. Expect airport delays at Washington, Philadelphia, New York City, and Boston.

TOMORROW AND THANKSGIVING DAY: The weather will be dry and cool both days with a good supply of sunshine; Thursday’s high will be only in the upper 40s, followed by mid 50s Friday. These temperatures are well below the average of 61.

SATURDAY/SUNDAY: We stay dry with a warming trend. Partly sunny both days; low 60s Saturday, followed by mid to upper 60s Sunday. A very comfortable weekend.

IRON BOWL: Doesn’t get much better. For the 6:45p CT kickoff in Tuscaloosa Saturday, we project a fair sky with temperatures in the upper 50s, falling slowly into the low 50s by the final whistle.

NEXT WEEK: The weather stays mild with highs well into the 60s Monday through Wednesday. The 12Z GFS continues to hint the next chance of rain for the state will come on Thursday December 4… 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
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Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 7:00 a.m. tomorrow….

Categories: Weather

Some Light Rain Possible Tonight

Tue, 11/25/2014 - 07:27

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

AT DAYBREAK: Colder air is in place over Northwest Alabama this morning, where we are seeing low 30s; there are some clouds showing up from roughly I-20 south, and we note rain on radar just below Dothan from near Panama City, Florida to Tifton, Georgia. The daytime hours today should be rain-free, with a mix of sun and clouds along with a high in the upper 50s.

SOME RAIN TONIGHT: We still expect some light rain tonight as a strong upper trough rotates through; rain amounts should be generally under 1/4 inch. The main window for light rain will come from 6:00 this evening through 4:00 a.m. tomorrow. All of the rain will be in Georgia and points east by daybreak.

Tomorrow will be cool and dry; the sky partly to mostly sunny with a high in the mid to upper 50s.

TRAVELERS BEWARE: A significant rain/snow event is likely tomorrow, on the busiest travel day of the year, up through the Northeast U.S. The heaviest snow will come along and west of I-95, with more rain than snow for some of the bigger cities. One way or another, expect major airport delays at Washington, Philadelphia, New York City, and Boston. Patience is the key tomorrow for fliers.

THANKSGIVING DAY THROUGH THE WEEKEND: Thursday will be sunny but cool with a high only in the 47-50 degree range; keep in mind the average high in Birmingham on November 27 is 61 degrees. We drop below freezing late Thursday night, and by early Friday morning we expect a low between 28 and 32.

We expect a slow warming trend Friday through Sunday; mid 50s Friday, low 60s Saturday, and mid to upper 60s Sunday. No rain on these three days; just a few scattered clouds over the weekend.

IRON BOWL: Doesn’t get much better. For the 6:45p CT kickoff in Tuscaloosa Saturday, we project a fair sky with temperatures in the upper 50s, falling slowly into the low 50s by the final whistle.

NEXT WEEK: The first half of the week looks dry and mild with temperatures well up in the 60s. The 00Z GFS suggests the next decent rain event for Alabama will be around Thursday December 4; 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. Scroll down for the show notes on the new episode we recorded last night.

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

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

Categories: Weather

WeatherBrains 461: I’m Thinking “Oh Crap”

Tue, 11/25/2014 - 06:15

WeatherBrains Episode 461 is now online (November 24, 2014). If you are crazy about weather, this is THE netcast audio program for you!

Tonight’s Replacement Panelist is a writer and Ph.D. student at Virginia Tech in the Science and Technology Studies program. She’s currently at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, CO, where she’s studying how forecasters communicate certainty in short fused, high uncertainty events, like flash floods and tornadoes. She’s particularly interested in the challenges forecasters face in using ground truth reports by various groups in their decision making process, and in the history of citizen observation networks more generally. She is a WB Alum from show 416 last year. She is Jen Henderson.

Other discussions in this weekly podcast include topics like:

  • Extremes: 89 at Fort Pierce, FL, and -3 at Eagle Nest, NM
  • Thanksgiving storm for the Northeast from Virginia to Maine
  • and more!
  • Our email bag officer brings us up-to-date on the latest mailings over the last couple of weeks.

    And while Nat is out tonight, he did have the forethought to send along a news clip!

    From The Weather Center:

    WeatherBrains 101: It’s not a warm front and it’s not a cold front, but it does mix the two! So what is an occluded front? That is the question and the topic for the 101 segment for this week.

    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 461:

    Watch/Warning Map from SPC

    Picks of the Week:

    Jen Henderson – Disaster Collaboratory

    Bill Murray – SPC Sounding Climatology

    Brian Peters – National Snow Analysis

    John Scala – Governor Criticizes the NWS and then Governor’s Backstep

    Kevin Selle – picks Rick Smith as his pick of the week

    Rick Smith – AMS Conference Severe Local Storms

    James Spann – SPC Plume Forecast

    Aubrey Urbanowicz – Space Weather

    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

    Colder Air Arrives Tonight

    Mon, 11/24/2014 - 16:54

    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.

    COMFORTABLE AFTERNOON: Doesn’t get much better; lots of sunshine this afternoon with temperatures in the 70s east of a cold front, that is passing through in dry fashion. However, northwest Alabama is considerably cooler with upper 50s there behind the surface front.

    Tonight will be mostly fair and colder; most communities will see a low between 36 and 40 degrees early tomorrow. Tomorrow will be cool and dry with a mix of sun and clouds and a high in the mid to upper 50s.

    SOME LIGHT RAIN TOMORROW NIGHT: A strong upper trough will bring the risk of some light rain to our state tomorrow night, mainly between 8:00 p.m. tomorrow and 4:00 a.m. Wednesday. The best chance of significant rain will come over the eastern half of the state, and even there amounts will be generally under 1/4 inch. Higher rain totals statewide will come around Dothan, in the southeast corner of Alabama.

    Wednesday will be cool and dry with a high in the 55-60 degree range along with a good supply of sunshine.

    TRAVELERS BEWARE: A nor’easter will bring the threat of snow and rain to the East Coast Wednesday, the biggest travel day of the year. Expect airport delays Wednesday in Washington, Philadelphia, New York City, and Boston.

    THANKSGIVING DAY THROUGH SUNDAY: The weather looks very nice; expect sunshine in full supply Thursday and Friday with highs in the 50s. Coldest morning will come early Friday with upper 20s and low 30s. Saturday feature a partly sunny sky with a high in the low 60s, and on Sunday mid to upper 60s are likely with a mix of sun and clouds. We will mention a small risk of a shower over far North Alabama Sunday afternoon ahead of a cold front that will become stationary over Tennessee.

    IRON BOWL: A perfect night for football in Tuscaloosa Saturday (6:45p CT kickoff)… mostly fair with upper 50s at kickoff, and low 50s by the final whistle. No risk of rain.

    NEXT WEEK: December begins with very pleasant, dry weather with highs in the 60s. The 12Z GFS hints the next risk of rain will come around December 5-6. See 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. We will produce this week’s episode 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
    Twitter
    Google Plus
    Instagram

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

    Categories: Weather

    Becoming Windy; Colder Air Arrives Tonight

    Mon, 11/24/2014 - 07:29

    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.

    AT DAYBREAK: It is a very pleasant morning with temperatures in the in the 60s; no rain is showing up on radar, and we don’t expect any today. It will be windy day with west winds averaging 12-22 mph, gusting at times over 25 mph. Dew points will drop steadily during the day as drier air works into the state; the sky should be partly sunny.

    MID-WEEK: Tomorrow will be dry and cooler with a mix of sun and clouds along with a high in the upper 50s. Then, tomorrow night, a strong upper trough will rotate over the state, and will bring clouds, and some risk of light rain. The best chance of rain will be south of I-59, and east of I-65 from about 7:00 p.m. tomorrow through 4:00 a.m. Wednesday. Rain amounts will be very light, and most people will sleep right through it.

    Then, the day Wednesday will be dry in Alabama with a decent amount of sunshine and a high in the 50s.

    TRAVELERS BEWARE: A nor’easter will bring wind, rain, and snow to the east coast region Wednesday, which many say is the biggest travel day of the year. The rain/snow line will be very close to Washington, Philadelphia, New York City, and Boston, and one way or another airport delays are likely. Potential for some big delays, in fact.

    THANKSGIVING DAY/BLACK FRIDAY/IRON BOWL SATURDAY: Looking very nice. For Thursday, we begin the day with temperatures down in the low to mid 30s, and the high will be in the low 50s. Sunshine in full supply. Pretty much the same story Friday; cool and dry with a high in the mid 50s.

    Then, we hit the low 60s Saturday afternoon with a partly sunny sky.

    IRON BOWL FORECAST: For the biggest football game in the state of Alabama, the weather looks perfect. Mostly fair when the game kicks off at 6:45 Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa; the temperature will fall from near 57 at kickoff into the low 50s by the final whistle. No chance of rain.

    SUNDAY AND NEXT WEEK: A cold front will approach the Alabama/Tennessee border late in the weekend, and we will mention a chance of showers Sunday, mainly north of U.S. 278 (Hamilton to Cullman to Gadsden). The upper air pattern won’t allow this front to move into the state, however, and it looks like we will enjoy highs in the 60s at least for the first half of next week.

    Model data from the GFS suggests the Arctic Oscillation (AO) and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) will remain positive for the next 10-15 days, which should prevent any seriously cold air from invading the Deep South. 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. We will produce this week’s episode 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
    Twitter
    Google Plus
    Instagram

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

    Categories: Weather

    Watch County Notification

    Sun, 11/23/2014 - 15:44

    This is the text of a severe warning from the National Weather Service for part of the AlabamaWX.com coverage area. Standby for more details to be added to this post by our meteorologists.

    WWUS64 KBMX 232043
    WCNBMX

    WATCH COUNTY NOTIFICATION FOR WATCH 558
    NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BIRMINGHAM AL
    243 PM CST SUN NOV 23 2014

    ALC005-081-087-113-232145-
    /O.CAN.KBMX.TO.A.0558.000000T0000Z-141124T0100Z/

    THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HAS CANCELLED TORNADO WATCH 558 FOR
    THE FOLLOWING AREAS

    IN ALABAMA THIS CANCELS 4 COUNTIES

    IN EAST CENTRAL ALABAMA

    LEE MACON RUSSELL

    IN SOUTHEAST ALABAMA

    BARBOUR

    THIS INCLUDES THE CITIES OF…AUBURN…EUFAULA…OPELIKA…
    PHENIX CITY AND TUSKEGEE.

    $$

    Categories: Weather

    Severe Weather Threat Winding Down

    Sun, 11/23/2014 - 15:38

    Click image to enlarge..

    The rain has ended at the Birmingham Airport and it appears that we will fall just short of one inch of rain today. 0.89 inches had fallen through 2:12 p.m Still, we are grateful for the beneficial rains and even more grateful that severe weather has not been widespread across the state.

    It does appear that a tornado may have touched down in eastern Barbour County. A Tornado Debris Signature was evident on radar as the storm prepared to move into Georgia. Trees were reported down at Lakepoint Resort near Eufaula.

    A tornado watch remains in effect for Southeast Alabama, but it will be cancelled for the Alabama counties shortly since the activity is now mostly into Georgia.

    To the north, just a steady rain as the line passes. Not even any lightning over Northeast Alabama, as the airmass is more stable thanks to the persistent easterly wedge that prevailed yesterday.

    As predicted, some clearing is evident on visible satellite imagery now over West Central Alabama. You will see some breaks in the clouds in the Birmingham Metro before sunset.

    Categories: Weather

    Tornado Warning Barbour County (Possible TDS at 2:10)

    Sun, 11/23/2014 - 15:00

    This storm likely produced a tornado as it crossed the Chattahoochee River into Georgia around 2:10. Check out the Tornado Debris Signature from the Fort Rucker Radar.

    It is evidenced by the low values (blues) on the correltaion coefficient panel (lower right panel on graphic).

    THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BIRMINGHAM HAS ISSUED A

    * TORNADO WARNING FOR…
    EAST CENTRAL BARBOUR COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST ALABAMA…

    * UNTIL 215 PM CST

    * AT 157 PM CST…THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE INDICATED A SEVERE
    THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO. THIS DANGEROUS STORM
    WAS LOCATED NEAR EUFAULA…AND MOVING NORTHEAST AT 55 MPH.

    * LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE…
    LAKEPOINT RESORT STATE PARK AND TWIN SPRINGS.

    Categories: Weather

    Watch County Notification

    Sun, 11/23/2014 - 14:54

    This is the text of a severe warning from the National Weather Service for part of the AlabamaWX.com coverage area. Standby for more details to be added to this post by our meteorologists.

    WWUS64 KBMX 231953
    WCNBMX

    WATCH COUNTY NOTIFICATION FOR WATCH 558
    NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BIRMINGHAM AL
    153 PM CST SUN NOV 23 2014

    ALC011-101-109-232100-
    /O.CAN.KBMX.TO.A.0558.000000T0000Z-141124T0100Z/

    THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HAS CANCELLED TORNADO WATCH 558 FOR
    THE FOLLOWING AREAS

    IN ALABAMA THIS CANCELS 3 COUNTIES

    IN CENTRAL ALABAMA

    MONTGOMERY

    IN SOUTHEAST ALABAMA

    BULLOCK PIKE

    THIS INCLUDES THE CITIES OF…MONTGOMERY…
    TROY AND UNION SPRINGS.

    $$

    ALC005-081-087-113-240100-
    /O.CON.KBMX.TO.A.0558.000000T0000Z-141124T0100Z/

    TORNADO WATCH 558 REMAINS VALID UNTIL 7 PM CST THIS EVENING FOR
    THE FOLLOWING AREAS

    IN ALABAMA THIS WATCH INCLUDES 4 COUNTIES

    IN EAST CENTRAL ALABAMA

    LEE MACON RUSSELL

    IN SOUTHEAST ALABAMA

    BARBOUR

    THIS INCLUDES THE CITIES OF…AUBURN…EUFAULA…OPELIKA…
    PHENIX CITY AND TUSKEGEE.

    $$

    Categories: Weather

    Tornado Warning Russell County

    Sun, 11/23/2014 - 14:48

    Radar indicated rotation approaching Seale in Russell County is the trigger for this tornado warning. It is moving in the direction of Phenix City.

    This for panel radar image shows (from top left) 1. an inflow notch on the reflectivity display, 2. rotation on the strom relative velocity, 3. nothing on the correlation coefficient panel (where we would look for signs of tornadic debris) which would be confirmed by low values on 4. the differential reflectivity (indicative of tumbling debris).

    THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BIRMINGHAM HAS ISSUED A

    * TORNADO WARNING FOR…
    CENTRAL RUSSELL COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST ALABAMA…

    * UNTIL 215 PM CST

    * AT 146 PM CST…THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE INDICATED A SEVERE
    THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO. THIS DANGEROUS STORM
    WAS LOCATED 8 MILES SOUTHWEST OF SEALE…OR 11 MILES EAST OF
    HURTSBORO…AND MOVING NORTH AT 45 MPH.

    * LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE…
    PHENIX CITY…SEALE…RUSSELL COUNTY SPORTS COMPLEX…LADONIA…
    PARKMANVILLE…PHENIX DRAG STRIP…CRAWFORD AND LADONIA SPORTS
    COMPLEX.

    PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

    HEAVY RAINFALL MAY OBSCURE THIS TORNADO. DO NOT WAIT TO SEE OR HEAR
    THE TORNADO. TAKE COVER NOW.

    &&

    TO REPORT SEVERE WEATHER…
    CALL 1-800-856-0758 OR TWEET YOUR REPORT USING HASHTAG ALWX

    LAT…LON 3214 8523 3216 8530 3247 8522 3247 8506
    3249 8506 3249 8499 3245 8499
    TIME…MOT…LOC 1947Z 200DEG 40KT 3221 8523

    $$

    61

    Categories: Weather

    Rain/Storms Moving Northeastward

    Sun, 11/23/2014 - 14:19

    Well, as advertised rain and thunderstorms are pushing northeastward across much of Alabama on this Saturday afternoon.

    Rain is overspreading the Birmingham Metro at this hour. But the storms are not severe.

    So far there have been a couple of severe thunderstorm warnings in South Alabama and the NWS in Birmingham had to issue a tornado warning based on radar rotation for Barbour, Bullock and Pike Counties. No touchdown was reported and no tornado debris signature appeared on radar.

    There is a tornado watch over Southeast Alabama where the best combination of instability and wind shear is present producing a threat for tornadoes.

    Over Central Alabama, it is mainly just rain now with very little thunder. The support for the widespread rain (an upper level disturbance) is moving quickly northeast and is outrunning the instability that is lagging behind a bit. That’s good news, cause it means we may get out of this without any severe weather across Central Alabama.

    To the south, the risk continues for areas south of a line from Atmore to Thomaston to Phenix City.

    Categories: Weather

    Tornado Watch for Southeast Alabama

    Sun, 11/23/2014 - 13:35

    The NWS has issued a tornado watch for areas south of I-85. It goes until 7 p.m. but the activity should be out of Alabama by 5 p.m.

    Counties included are: Barbour, Bullock, Lee, Macon, Montgomery, Pike, Russell [AL] till 7:00 PM CST.

    Cities included are Auburn, Eufaula, Montgomery, Opelika, Phenix City, Troy, Tuskegee and Union Springs.

    The warm front is now as far north as Troy as evidenced by the jump in dewpoint in the last few minutes to 69F.

    Categories: Weather

    Tornado Warning Barbour, Bullock and Pike in SE Alabama

    Sun, 11/23/2014 - 13:20

    Storms are starting to intensify over South Alabama and the Florida Panhandle early this afternoon.

    This tornado warning is for radar indicated rotation along the Pike/Bullock/Barbour County line.

    The NWS in Mobile has a severe thunderstorm warning in effect for Butler County around Greenville.

    THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BIRMINGHAM HAS ISSUED A

    * TORNADO WARNING FOR…
    WEST CENTRAL BARBOUR COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST ALABAMA…
    CENTRAL BULLOCK COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST ALABAMA…
    EAST CENTRAL PIKE COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST ALABAMA…

    * UNTIL 1245 PM CST

    * AT 1216 PM CST…THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE INDICATED A SEVERE
    THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO. THIS DANGEROUS STORM
    WAS LOCATED 6 MILES EAST OF BANKS…OR 7 MILES NORTHEAST OF
    BRUNDIDGE…AND MOVING NORTH AT 40 MPH.

    * LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE…
    MIDWAY…BOOT HILL…PICKETT…ABERFOIL…JOSIE…TANYARD…PEROTE
    AND THREE NOTCH.

    Categories: Weather

    Watching Band of Storms Forming Over West Alabama

    Sun, 11/23/2014 - 12:32

    Showers and embedded thunderstorms are fairly widespread across North Central and East Central Alabama late this morning.

    A band of storms over Southwest and South Alabama is the main concern for Central Alabama though as we head toward the afternoon hours.

    That band extends from near Macon, MS to near Brewton in South Alabama. It appears to be a dryline feature and will serve to focus convection as it lifts northward. It should reach Tuscaloosa between 12:15-12:45 and Birmingham between 12:45 and 1:15.

    The good news is that there is little if any surface based instability to provide fuel for the storms. But wind fields are strong, and any updrafts that do become surface based will have the potential to produce damaging winds. Further southeast, over Southeast Alabama into southwestern Georgia, there is more instability and conditions are favorable for a few tornadoes. The SPC is considering issuing a tornado watch for those areas.

    The band of storms will continue to lift northward. Some of the storms might become severe, but we don’t expect many warnings across Central Alabama this afternoon. We will be watching conditions closely though in case they change.

    Categories: Weather

    Storms Lifting into Birmingham Metro

    Sun, 11/23/2014 - 11:36

    Thunderstorms over Bibb and western Chilton County are lifting north northeastward toward the Birmingham Metro at this hour. They will affect Shelby County between 10:40 – 11 a.m. and then move across Jefferson County between 11 – 11:45 a.m.

    These storms are elevated, meaning their instability source is above the surface. That makes it hard for these storms to produce severe weather. But they will produce loud booming thunder that will shake the windows and very heavy rain as well as gusty winds.

    Other storms are over Fayette County and over East Alabama over parts of Randolph, Tallapoosa, Lee and Chambers Counties.

    There is a tremendous amount of wind shear over the area, but no surface based instability. The warm front, marking the edge of that instability is pushing northward through South Alabama It is north of Evergreen now, as evidenced by the 71F degree dewpoint there.

    The new SPC Day One Outlook is out. It is basically unchanged with the slight risk in Alabama trimmed down slightly on its northern and western borders.

    Categories: Weather

    Quick Look at Alabama Weather Situation – 9:45 a.m.

    Sun, 11/23/2014 - 10:45

    Here is a quick look at the Alabama Weather Situation on this Sunday morning.

    A dynamic weather system is affecting the Deep South and will bring widespread rain and thunderstorms to Alabama today, including a severe weather threat for parts of the area.

    The upper level disturbance responsible for the active weather is west of Vicksburg MS this morning. You can clearly see it in the water vapor image in the lower left corner of the graphic. Click the graphic to enlarge it. I have shown the winds at 18,000 feet on that smaller panel as well. They are screaming at 70-90 knots over southern Mississippi and southern Louisiana.

    The top left panel shows the surface low over western Louisiana with a warm front stretched along the Gulf Coast. It is onshore in South Alabama now, a little further north than the graphic indicates. It will continue to push north all day. The low will track northeast along with the upper level disturbance.

    Showers and storms were continuing over southern Mississippi and were breaking out over South Alabama. These storms will spread north through the day. They will have lots of heavy rain and lightning and gusty winds. A few of them could become severe with damaging winds the main threat.

    Here is the radar at 9:45. You can see lots of lightning already with these storms that are ahead of the warm front.

    There is a small chance of a tornado south of a line from Jackson AL to Camden to Wetumpka to Lafayette. This line is the northward extent of the SPC Day One Severe Weather Outlook “slight” risk area, their standard severe weather forecast category. The best chance of a tornado is further southeast over Southeast Alabama, southwestern Georgia and the Florida Panhandle. Dothan is in this “enhanced” risk category, which is between slight and moderate in the SPC nomenclature.

    Further north, for places like Demopolis, Tuscaloosa, Jasper, Birmingham, Clanton, Cullman, Talladega, Anniston and Gadsden, the storms will be loud with lots of lightning and thunder, heavy rain and gusty winds and there is chance a few of them could become severe with damaging winds being the main threat, but that chance is small. Can’t rule out a rogue tornado warning during the day in these areas though since helicity values showing low level spin in the atmosphere will be high by early afternoon across much of Central Alabama. But the storms don’t look like they will have much to work with in the way of instability, which makes severe weather way less likely.

    We will track the warm front all day to see it’s progress. Storms along the warm front and any that develop behind it will have the best chances to become severe.

    PAY ATTENTION TO THE WEATHER TODAY: Have a reliable source for receiving warnings, like a Weatheradio or Smartphone app like MyWARN. Review your personal severe weather safety rules. There is a link at the top of the blog to a compendium of safety rules. Know where you will go quickly in case a severe thunderstorm or tornado warning is issued.

    We will have frequent updates throughout the day on the blog.

    Categories: Weather

    The November 1950 Cold Wave

    Sun, 11/23/2014 - 10:00

    Alabamians paid little attention to the weather forecast on Thanksgiving morning, November 23, 1950. The Birmingham News carried a lead article about the many blessings of the day, including bountiful food, talking about the day’s candied yams, crisp white celery, plump olives and a golden brown roasted turkey. Headlines told of a Thanksgiving Eve crash between two Long Island Railroad trains in New York City that killed 76 people. There were hopes that the Korean War might be ending, bolstered by hints that China might be willing to sit down for peace talks. Over 36,000 people made their way to Legion Field for the annual Crippled Children’s Classic at Legion Field. The game featured the Phillips Red Raiders and Woodlawn Colonels. It would raise $95,000 for the new Crippled Children’s Hospital. As the game kicked off at 2 p.m., the temperature at the Birmingham Airport was a balmy 70 degrees.

    The fine holiday weather belied the fact that a major cold wave was overspreading the U.S. east of the Rockies. Birmingham’s official weatherman, Charles Bradley, warned that the mild afternoon and nice weather was going to be followed by a quick turn to winter. The afternoon highs near 70 would be replaced with overnight lows in the 30s. Highs the following day would remain steady or fall. Fans in shirt sleeves at Legion Field got a rude awakening when the temperature fell into the 50s by the fourth quarter of a 20-0 Phillips victory. By late evening, readings were in the lower 40s with a north wind averaging over 20 mph. To the north, it was getting interesting. It was 18F in Nashville with heavy snow. It was 25F in Memphis with moderate snow and a north wind averaging over 30 mph. The snow was reaching Northwest Alabama.

    By 6:30 a.m. on Friday morning, it was down to 32F at Birmingham with snow. Four inches of snow was on the ground at Tuscumbia. An inch was on the ground in the Magic City. Roads were hazardous all over North Alabama. Dozens of accidents were being reported. By late morning, US-31 was impassable as far south as Clanton. By 10:30 a.m., the mercury had plummeted further, to 21F at the Birmingham Airport.

    The Alabama Crimson Tide football team boarded a charter plane at the Birmingham Airport, bound for Jacksonville and a Saturday tilt with Florida. With two losses, Alabama needed a victory to seal a major bowl bid. Tennessee was already paired with Texas in the Cotton Bowl. Kentucky coach Paul Bryant was preparing his Wildcats for a Sugar Bowl date with Oklahoma in New Orleans. The Birmingham News carried rumors that the Bear might be nosing around for a job in Texas, while mentioning that Alabama was his alma mater.

    In his afternoon forecast, the weatherman was calling for an overnight low between 12-15F. Good thing for Mr. Bradley that the three degree guarantee had not been invented, because with screaming cold air advection, the temperature would already be at 15 by midnight, on the way to a low of 5F. It is the coldest November reading ever in Birmingham. The second coldest November reading ever is 13F, underscoring the significance of the record. Fresh snow would fall across the northern half of the state on Saturday as the Great Appalachian Storm spun up over Ohio.

    JB would call it a cold wave. I call it just another story from the pages of this week in weather history.

    Categories: Weather

    Storms Today, Colder Tuesday

    Sun, 11/23/2014 - 08:09

    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.

    Parts of Alabama awoke to some showers stretching from just north of Tuscaloosa to Mt. Cheaha around daybreak. Rainfall in these showers was fairly light with reported rainfall amounts between a tenth of an inch and a quarter of an inch. A surface low well to our west over Texas and Oklahoma along with a vigorous short wave trough at 500 millibars will move rapidly to the Great Lakes area by early Monday. This will generate a large area of rain and thunderstorms currently seen in the radar images just off the coast of Louisiana.

    Current model data is consistent with what we saw yesterday keeping the greatest instability generally south of the Birmingham area into the early afternoon. Storms will be fast moving, so damaging wind along with isolated tornadoes and heavy rain appear to be the greatest threats. With this fast moving system, the greatest threat appears to come between about 10 am and 6 pm.

    Monday becomes a transition day as the fast moving system exits the region but the coldest air does not arrive until Tuesday. The upper level trough will dig into the Central US on Tuesday as another short wave moves through the base of the upper trough. So Tuesday will be a chilly day with lows in the middle and upper 30s and highs only in the 50s.

    With a sharp upper trough in place at midweek, the chilly air will stay with us into Thanksgiving with highs only in the 50s. Typical highs for late November in Central Alabama are in the lower 60s so our highs will be about 10 degrees off of that mark. Lows are usually in the lower 40s and we’ll be seeing lows in the 30s, again about 7 to 10 degrees below usual values.

    The upper air pattern becomes more zonal for us for the latter part of the week so I expect to see temperatures moderate slowly with highs by Saturday in the lower 60s. We should stay dry with just some passing clouds for the latter half of the week ahead.

    Looking into week 2, the pattern continues to be active with another system around the 3rd/4th of December and another around the 8th.

    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)

    James Spann will be back with the next edition of the Weather Xtreme Video on Monday morning. Stay up with the latest weather information here as this system unfolds. Stay dry and Godspeed.

    -Brian-

    Categories: Weather

    An Update on the Severe Weather Situation for Tomorrow

    Sat, 11/22/2014 - 22:05

    After a very nice late fall Saturday across Central Alabama today with highs in the upper 60s to near 70F and lots of sunshine, thin high clouds are overspreading the area this evening. The clouds are patchy, so you can still see some stars through them. Temperatures are still mild, running around 60F. But the air has a crisp feel to it with dewpoints still in the 40s.

    Click to enlarge

    In fact, the dewpoint at Anniston is only 40F, while amazingly, the dewpoint at Atlanta is an incredible 28F. That’s really dry. The dewpoints are shown in the large graphic on the right side above.

    The reason is that Alabama is still under the influence of an easterly wedge of drier air invading the state from the east thanks to high pressure off the Atlantic Coast, reinforcing the drier air. You can see the surface weatehr map in the bottom left of panel of the graphic.

    The wedge will be a limiting factor in our unfolding severe weather threat for tomorrow, at least for Central Alabama.

    First, let me say there is no threat for severe weather tonight across Central Alabama. The main threat will come between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Sunday.

    A very strong upper level disturbance is approaching Dallas tonight. That will be our primary weathermaker over the next 36 hours.

    Can’t rule out patches of light rain or showers after midnight tonight through the morning hours across Central Alabama. There could be an isolated heavy shower or even a storm during the morning hours ahead of the main area of rain and storms, but this activity will be isolated.

    Widespread showers and storms will enter Southwest Alabama Sunday morning and push northeast. Should reach the Birmingham area by early afternoon. These storms should be elevated, and not surface based, so their main impact will be very heavy rain and loud thunder. But, with a strong mid level wind maximum passing overhead, there could be some damaging wind reports. This will all be between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. from southwest to northeast.

    The low level helicity will be maximized during the early afternoon, so it is good that there should not be much surface based instability.

    The storms should weaken as they push deeper into the more stable air.

    BOTTOM LINE: There is a severe weather threat generally south of a line from Reform to Tuscaloosa to Montevallo to Goodwater. The Storm Prediction Center severe weather outlook for Sunday is shown in the top left panel of the graphic above. The main threat will be damaging winds. To the north of the slight risk area defined by the SPC, the threat lessens the further north you go. But isolated storms are still possible during the afternoon hours in places like Jasper, Cullman, Birmingham, Pell City, Gadsden and Anniston.

    There is a tornado threat closer to the coast and we can’t rule out an isolated tornado with the activity lifting north, so we will be watching.

    LATE AFTERNOON INTO MONDAY: Some sunshine will break out during the late afternoon as sinking air behind the disturbance clear the sky. The air will actually become more unstable, but there shouldn’t be enough lift for storms to form. There could be a few late afternoon showers though. Sunday evening should be mainly dry. The main cold front will arrive early Monday morning, quickly pushing temperatures into the 50s for the day.

    Categories: Weather