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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: 9 min 53 sec ago

Best Shower Coverage Over South Alabama Today

1 hour 42 min ago

QUIET MORNING: Nothing on radar this morning; the sky is mostly cloudy and temperatures are generally in the 60s. While the chance of a shower is not zero, it will be very hard to find them over the northern half of the state today as dry air moves in… best chance of showers and storms will come over the southern counties of Alabama. SPC has defined a “marginal risk” of severe storms for far South Alabama…

Expect a mix of sun and clouds today with a high in the mid 70s.

TOMORROW: The day will be dry; we begin with a sunny sky during the morning, but clouds move in late in the day, and a band of showers will pass through tomorrow evening thanks to a passing “Alberta Clipper” system. Best chance of showers will come from about 5:00 until 9:00 p.m.. and rain amounts should be generally under 1/4 inch. No risk of severe weather. Tomorrow’s high will be in the mid 70s.

THURSDAY/FRIDAY: Beautiful weather. Sunny pleasant days, clear cool nights. We drop down into the mid 40s early Friday morning; some of the traditionally colder pockets could actually reach the upper 30s. Some call it “Blackberry Winter”. The high Thursday will be in the upper 60s, followed by mid 70s Friday.

THE WEEKEND: Sunny days, clear nights, and a warming trend. We reach the low 80s Saturday, and mid 80s Sunday.

NEXT WEEK: Dry, warm weather continues on Monday and Tuesday; seems like the best chance of showers and storms will come on Wednesday and Thursday. The overall severe weather threat seems low. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

AT THE BEACH: A few showers and storms are possible today, but the weather looks excellent tomorrow through the weekend from Gulf Shores over to Panama City Beach with sunny days and clear nights. Highs in the 70s this week; inland temperatures rise into the 80s by Friday and the weekend. See a very detailed Gulf Coast forecast here.

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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I have weather programs today at Salter Elementary in Talladega, and then for a home school group meeting at Crossroads Baptist Church in Hayden. Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon… enjoy the day!

Categories: Weather

WeatherBrains 537: I’m Not Wearing Any Pants

2 hours 14 min ago

WeatherBrains Episode 537 is now online (May 2, 2016). If you are crazy about weather, this is THE netcast audio program for you!

Coming from the Weather Channel for this episode is Thomas Niziol, winter weather expert. Weather Channel celebrating it’s anniversary from the start in 1982.

He worked his whole NWS career, 32 years, in the office at Buffalo, NY. He also served on the Olympic Weather Support Team to the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City.

A 32-year forecasting veteran, Tom joined The Weather Channel after working as the meteorologist-in-charge at the National Weather Service in Buffalo, NY. While in Buffalo, he also directed research and science operations working with partners like Emergency Management and other local and national government agencies. Before that, Tom was an associate atmosphere scientist at Calspan Corporation in Buffalo, NY, where he conducted scientific research from field studies through contract publications for atmospheric studies. Throughout his career, Niziol has authored several research papers and poster sessions on winter weather forecasting and has toured the country speaking at numerous meteorological conferences.

Other discussions in this weekly podcast include topics like:

  • Extremes: 93 at Orlando, FL, Thermal, CA, & Death Valley, CA, and 12 at Aspen Springs, CO, & Walden, CO
  • After an active weekend, convective weather abating some this week
  • Decidedly cooler over eastern half of the US at the end of week
  • Astronomy Outlook with Tony Rice
  • and more!

Our email bag officer is continuing to handle the incoming messages from our listeners.

From The Weather Center:

WeatherBrains 101:In this episode of WeatherBrains 101 we take a look at another major player who made significant contributions to the field of meteorology. Namely, Herbert Riehl whose name was mentioned a couple of week ago as a colleague of Dr. Bill Gray and who is often thought of as the father of tropical meteorology.

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 537:

The Weather Channel

BUF Kit home page

To subscribe to the brand new SkyWritings, an email newsletter from the WeatherBrains gang, click HERE. The latest issue is set to hit the internet this evening.

Picks of the Week:

Bill Murray – Buffalo flakes

Thomas Niziol – NASA worldview

Brian Peters – Windows 10 Upgrade photo bombs weather segment

Kevin Selle – Storm Warriors

Rick Smith – SPC Product Descriptions

James Spann – Drone footage of tornado warned storm near DC

Aubrey Urbanowicz – Drone video of severe storm over Harrisonburg

SkyDavers Blog – The Fog Bank

The WeatherBrains crew includes your host, James Spann, plus other notable geeks like Nate Johnson, Bill Murray, Aubrey Urbanowicz, 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

Showers/Storms Increasing Across Alabama

Mon, 05/02/2016 - 15:21

RADAR CHECK: As expected, we have scattered to numerous showers and thunderstorms across Alabama this afternoon…

SPC maintains a “marginal risk” of severe weather for pretty much all of the state tonight; heavier storms will be capable of producing small hail and gusty winds, but a big severe weather problem is not expected. Some communities will also see heavy rain with potential for temporary flooding issues, but I doubt if we see 3 and 4 inch amounts like yesterday in cities like Clanton and Oxford.

TOMORROW: Drier air works into the state, and it looks like best chance of showers and storms will be over South Alabama. For north/central counties, we will forecast a partly sunny sky with a high in the mid 70s.

WEDNESDAY: The morning will be mostly sunny with a high in the 70s, but a clipper moving in from the north will bring clouds during the afternoon, and the risk of showers Wednesday evening. Looks like the best chance of showers will come from 5:00 until 10:00 p.m., and rain amounts should be under 1/4 inch for most places.

THURSDAY/FRIDAY: Sunny pleasant days, clear cool nights with dry air in place. We drop down into the mid 40s early Friday morning; some of the traditionally colder spots might even reach the upper 30s at daybreak Friday. Not many mornings like that left before the long, hot summer gets here.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Dry weather continues; lots of sun Saturday and Sunday with warming trend. We reach the low 80s Saturday, and mid 80s Sunday.

NEXT WEEK: We stay dry Monday… looks like the best chance of showers and storms will come around Wednesday. And, for now the severe weather threat looks low. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

AT THE BEACH: Showers and storms are likely on the coast from Gulf Shores over to Panama City Beach tonight and tomorrow, but expect dry, sunny weather Wednesday through the weekend. Highs will be in the 70s along the immediate coast, with upper 70s and low 80s inland. See a very detailed Gulf Coast forecast here.

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 live here.

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

Categories: Weather

Monday Midday Nowcast for North/Central Alabama

Mon, 05/02/2016 - 11:57

Most of the rain activity in the United States is located in Central Kentucky, West/Central Tennessee, Northern Mississippi, Southeastern Arkansas, much of Louisiana, and West/Central Texas. Other areas of rain across the country are located in the northeastern U.S., and on the state line of the Dakotas. No severe watches or warning were in effect at this time.

Much of North/Central Alabama is covered with mostly cloudy skies, with less coverage in clouds over parts of East/Central Alabama stretching back to the southwest. Rainfall has already started pushing into northwestern corner of the state, with thunder associated with the same rain mass back into northeastern Mississippi. A heavier shower is over extreme Northwestern Limestone County and much of Northern Madison County. Both are moving off to the northeast at 25-30 MPH.

More showers have developed across the central and southwestern parts of the state. A heavy shower is moving into southwestern Shelby County and moving over Montebello and Wilton. A small shower has developed in Southern Talladega County just northeast of Sylacauga. More spotty showers have developed over parts of Sumter, Choctaw, and Washington Counties.

Even with the cloud cover, temperatures across much of the area are up into the 70s. Here is a list of temperature readings from across the state at this time:

Birmingham 73
Tuscaloosa 70
Huntsville 74
Anniston 77
Alexander City 78
Montgomery 79
Dothan 79
Mobile 80

TODAY & TONIGHT: With another Omega Block Pattern that has set up over the country, the cold front will take a little longer moving across the state. A good chance of showers and thunderstorms will persist throughout the day as the cold front starts to slowly make its way into the state. With the heating of the day, some of the storms could become strong, with dangerous lightning and gusty winds being the main threats.

The SPC has much of the state in the “Marginal Risk” for severe storms for today, except for the extreme northwest corner of the state. Instability values (CAPE) will be at or just over 2,000 J/kg, and lapse rates over 7 C/km, but chances for severe development will be low due to low shear and mid-level lapse rates. After the sun sets, instability rates will drop rapidly and rain will be the only issue. Afternoon highs will reach the upper 70s, with overnight lows at or near 60.

TUESDAY: As the cold front starts to make its exit out of Alabama, we’ll keep rain chances in the forecast until the mid-afternoon hours. Otherwise, a mix of sun and clouds for the remainder of the day. Afternoon highs will reach the mid 70s.

WEATHERBRAINS: 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. You can find it here.

Categories: Weather

The Alpha and the Omega from Satellite Sheldon

Mon, 05/02/2016 - 09:26

Thank goodness Alabama will be on the right side of this omega block for the later half of the week and on into Mother’s Day weekend.

– Sheldon

Click image to enlarge

Categories: Weather

Wet Weather Continues

Mon, 05/02/2016 - 05:42

AT DAYBREAK: All is calm across the great state of Alabama early this morning; the sky is mostly cloudy, but we have no rain on radar.

A surface front remains west of the state, and a wave of low pressure should move along that front today, and will bring widespread rain back to the state this afternoon and tonight. A few thunderstorms could be involved; SPC has defined a “marginal risk” of severe weather for about the northern third of Alabama…

A few storms could produce hail and gusty winds, but the overall severe weather risk is pretty low due to marginal instability and weak dynamics. Additional rain amounts of around 1 inch are likely; we will need to watch for flooding issues since we saw a few pockets of 3-4″ rain amounts yesterday… some signifiant flooding was reported in places like Clanton and Oxford.

We won’t get out of the 70s today due to clouds and rain.

TOMORROW: Lingering showers will end early in the day, and the sky becomes partly sunny by afternoon as drier air works into North Alabama. Showers and storms will be confined to the southern half by then. The high tomorrow should be in the mid to upper 70s.

WEDNESDAY: The day should be mostly sunny and pleasant with a high in the 70s, but we will need to mention a chance of showers Wednesday night thanks a clipper approaching from the north. Rain won’t be too heavy; generally 1/4 inch or less for most places.

THURSDAY/FRIDAY: These two days will be cool and dry with sunny days and clear nights. Early morning lows will be in the 40s, and some of the traditionally colder spots across North/Central Alabama could reach the upper 30s early Friday morning (some people call it “Blackberry Winter”). The high Thursday will be around 70, with mid 70s Friday.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Could not be better. Sunny warm days, clear cool nights. The high Saturday will be close to 80, followed by low 80s Sunday.

NEXT WEEK: Looks like the next chance of showers and storms will come around Tuesday or Wednesday of next week… see the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

AT THE BEACH: Showers and storms are likely on the coast from Gulf Shores over to Panama City Beach late today, tonight, and tomorrow, but expect dry, sunny weather Wednesday through the weekend. Highs will be in the 70s along the immediate coast, with upper 70s and low 80s inland. The sea water temperature early this morning at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab is 76 degrees. See a very detailed Gulf Coast forecast here.

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 live here.

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

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I am speaking this morning at Central Elementary School in Tuscaloosa… look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon. Enjoy the day!

Categories: Weather

40 Laps To Go

Sun, 05/01/2016 - 14:44

RACE UPDATE
Well, they have avoided the rain successfully throughout the race at Talladega today. Hopefully, the race will be finished before it arrives.

Right now, there is less than 50 laps to go and the nearest shower looks like it will miss the track. Heavy will not arrive until after 4 30 p.m. unless there is new development.

THE ALABAMA WEATHER SITUATION

A large area of showers and thunderstorms is pushing east and northeast across areas west of I-65 this afternoon. The strongest storms are:

…over the intersection of Fayette, Marion, Winston Counties near Nauvoo.
…over Bibb, southern Tuscaloosa, western Chilton and Autauga Counties.

In the Birmingham area, a strong storm is approaching Lake View, and another is west of Alabaster. The Metro will experience lots of lightning and some heavy rain and gusty winds

A new storm is forming on the Talladega/Shelby County line between Columbiana and Sylacauga.

Categories: Weather

Welcome to May!

Sun, 05/01/2016 - 14:00

Infographic by AlabamaWX Meteorologist Scott Martin – Click to Enlarge

The fifth month of the year is one of my favorites in Central Alabama. We see some of the finest weather of the year, with runs of fine, warm and sunshine filled days. It reminds me a lot of October, its closest cousin, but generally warmer and somewhat stormier. The average percentage of possible sunshine is 66 percent, equal to October, which is the other sunniest month of the year.

The average high and low for the month in Birmingham is 81.5F and 59.7F respectively. At the start of the month, the average high is 78F, but it rises to 85F by the end of the month. Overnight lows really warm, rising from 55F on May 1st to 64F on the 31st. The coldest May reading ever in the Magic City is 36F on May 4, 1971. The warmest reading ever in May was 99F on May 28, 1962 and May 29, 1898. It generally reaches 90F or warmer 1.9 days in the month.

Heating degree days are nearly zero in May, but cooling degree days start to really rise as we head toward the unrelenting heat of summer.

May used to be a drier month than April. Until 2003 that is. 5.71 inches of rain fell on the 7th that month, which skewed the average higher. The average May rainfall at the Birmingham Airport jumped from 4.4 inches to 4.99 inches because of that single event. A tremendous flash flooding event occurred across Central Alabama that day, with higher amounts reported just northeast of the Airport. 10.50 inches of rain fell on Edwards Lake Road and JB Elliott recorded 9.82 inches just northeast of Trussville. Not surprisingly, May 2003 went on to become the wettest fifth month with 17.22 inches of rain. The driest May on record occurred in 2000, when 0.88 inches fell.

It usually rains on 9.1 days on average, and rains more than 1 inch on 1.4 days. Thunderstorms occur on 9 days. The average dewpoint is starting to climb, rising from 49F in April to 58F in May.

Categories: Weather

Turning Wet for West Alabama

Sun, 05/01/2016 - 13:29

There is a lot of weather and events going on across Alabama, so plenty to talk about at 1:25 pm.

First, Talladega. Looks like the GEICO 500 got off to a good start and they are really living right at the super speedway. Showers have developed just to the west and southwest of the speedway. There is some lightning being reported by the lightning detection system just 15 miles west of the track. The storms are new, so a good motion on them is hard to establish, but it does look like they will impact the speedway during the next 30 minutes, by 1:45 pm or so. Looks like heavy rain will occur for a brief time, probably 20 minutes or less.

Second, looking west, the weather is really turning wet for West Alabama. That large cluster we’ve been noting across southern Mississippi has moved into West Alabama covering parts or all of Fayette, Lamar, Pickens, Tuscaloosa, Greene, Hale, Sumter, and Marengo counties. This cluster was accompanied by lots of lightning as well has heavy rain. Rainfall has been estimated by radar to be as much as 2 inches in the southern portion of Lamar County along Highway 96 and just west of Millport.

While there are no flash flood warnings in effect at this time, people on the highway should be extra safe in heavy rain areas and be sure not to run into areas where water covers the roadway to an unknown depth. Turn Around, Don’t Drown. Take extra time to get to your destination and don’t take any chances.

The large cluster continued to move steadily toward the northeast at about 20 mph. Walker, Jefferson, Bibb, and Shelby counties are definitely in the path to see this cluster during the afternoon.

Other smaller showers had developed over southern portions of Cleburne County along and just south of I-20.

-Brian-

Categories: Weather

Storms Heating Up around Birmingham, Heads Up Lamar and Pickens

Sun, 05/01/2016 - 12:34

An area of rain and storms is pushing northeastward across East Central Mississippi early this afternoon. Severe thunderstorm warnings are in effect for Lowndes, Noxubee, Oktibbeha and Winston Counties in eastern Mississippi. No reports of damage so far, and the NWS Birmingham is not planning on issuing severe thunderstorm warnings unless they intensify.

Tons of lightning in the storms between Columbus MS and Brooksville down to Scooba.

There is a threat for severe thunderstorms with winds to 60 mph with storms today. The threat of tornadoes is very very small, if not zero.

They will push into Alabama’s northern Pickens and Lamar Counties by 1 p.m. There are already storms over southern Lamar County around Millport and Kennedy.

In the Birmingham Metro, storms are forming from Homewood to Hoover and back to Bessemer. Just saw the first lightning stroke near Vestavia.

There is a storm northwest of Oxford. This storm brought a shower to the Talladega Superspeedway right befor ethe green flag at the Geico 500.

Showers along highway 280 in northern Shelby County may threaten the track within the hour.

Categories: Weather

Weather Update at 11:05 am

Sun, 05/01/2016 - 11:03

The weather continued to be wet for some and dry for others this morning. The Columbus, MS, Doppler radar continued to show thunderstorms moving into Alabama across portions of Lamar, Pickens, Fayette, Walker, and Marion counties. The motion of the storms was toward the northeast at 20 to 25 mph.

For those at the Talladega Superspeedway, the radar remained clear for the speedway itself, but several small showers have developed in the last hour and quickly dissipated, a couple of those near the super speedway. Unless additional showers develop in the vicinity of the track, the GEICO 500 should get off to a dry start at noon today. The race may get completed without any rain delays, but we’ll need to keep a close eye on radar since the atmosphere is quite moist and relatively unstable, conditions that could see additional showers develop at any time.

A large mass of thunderstorms was located across much of southern Mississippi at 11 am and continue to move northeast. The NWS in Jackson, MS, had issued several severe thunderstorm warnings along the leading edge of this large cluster. It should take at least two hours for this cluster to move into Alabama. When it does, it will affect the counties of Sumter, Greene, Pickens, and Choctaw counties.

All areas of thunderstorms were showing a tremendous amount of lightning. Please don’t take any chances when lightning is occurring. Heed the rule – when thunder roars, go indoors! We don’t want anyone to become a statistic as a lightning fatality. Automobiles also offer safe places to be, just keep your hands away from all metal.

-Brian-

Categories: Weather

Scott Martin

Sun, 05/01/2016 - 10:31

Scott Martin is a meteorologist who proves it is never too late to follow your dream. As a child Scott was fascinated by weather, and by the wall-to-wall coverage that accompanied severe weather. Once he graduated Shades Valley High School, he pursued a career in art, specializing in graphic arts and marketing. He continued in that career full time until a shift in the economy resulted in a downsizing of his employer. Scott held a clerical position in the interim and eventually began to freelance in the graphics field. Even with the career changes, he remained an avid weather enthusiast.

Despite his forecasting on an amateur level, his forecasting accuracy and fascinations for weather phenomena quickly earned him the nickname “James” among his friends and family. On April 27, 2011 an EF 4 tornado touched down less than a mile from his home and the passion for weather he had always had was intensified. Seeing the widespread damage and loss of property and life ignited a desire in Scott that was unmet by his career in the art field.

He was encouraged by his family to follow his dream. After much thought and prayer, Scott made the decision to follow his life long dream and pursue a career in meteorology. In the fall of 2012, Scott was admitted to Mississippi State University in the Distance Learning Meteorology program, and began his path to a degree. In November of 2015, Scott received his Operational Meteorology Certificate from Mississippi State, and is currently completing his requirements for his degree.

He has been a member of the Central Alabama Chapter of the National Weather Association since 2012. He was the recipient of the 1st CA-NWA Scholarship in 2013. He has made an appearance on WeatherBrains (episode 394). In January of 2015 Scott co-founded Racecast Weather, which provides accurate forecasts for many racing series across the USA.

Scott has been married to his wife, Amy, a nurse, since November of 2000. Together they have 3 children, Charlotte, Shelton, and Maggie ages 13,12 & 11. In his spare time Scott continues to freelance in the graphic design field, and plays bass in his church praise band.

Categories: Weather

Showers Developing

Sun, 05/01/2016 - 09:37

The air mass over Alabama remains unstable and quite moist as evidenced by dew points running in the upper 60s in Central Alabama and middle 60s in North Alabama. The morning sounding at the Shelby County Airport this morning showed precipitable water values around 1.30 inches.

Radar as seen below showed a small cluster of showers over northern Walker County and southern Winston County moving toward Cullman County. Other showers were occurring from just east of Columbus, MS, southwestward into Southwest Mississippi. A large area of storms was also shown over Southwest Mississippi and a large portion of southern Louisiana. All of these storms were moving northeastward around 25 mph.

As James noted below, rain delays at Talladega Superspeedway today are possible. The GEICO 500 is scheduled to get underway at noon, and based on current radar and the anticipated trends for the next several hours, it’s very likely that the race will be able to start on time. There is also a very good chance that the race will be able to run to the finish unless additional showers develop well ahead of the rain areas we already have on radar. Staying up on the latest radar information will be the best way to stay ahead of any developing weather.

-Brian-

Categories: Weather

Talladega Race Update

Sun, 05/01/2016 - 07:39

No doubt there could be a rain delay at the Talladega Superspeedway… this is high resolution model (HRRR) output valid at 4pm…

But I do think there is a good chance they get the GEICO 500 in today. Expect spotty showers this morning and early this afternoon, the more widespread showers will come after 3 p.m. Severe storms are not expected, and rain amounts should be 1/2 inch or less.

Bottom line… be ready for a delay, but I do expect the race to finish.

Categories: Weather

Unsettled Weather Continues Today and Monday

Sun, 05/01/2016 - 07:15

If you are looking for the weather to settle down, you’ll have to wait a couple more days. The main player was a surface low in southern Illinois with a cold front trailing back into Southeast Texas. That along with a moist southwesterly flow aloft will help to keep the weather unsettled across much of the Southeast US for the next couple of days. Showers with some embedded thunderstorms are likely today, but temperatures will remain warm even with the cloudy conditions with highs today and Monday generally close to the 80-degree mark.

If you are heading to the beach, look for a mixture of sun and clouds with the daily threat of scattered showers and storms through Tuesday. Sunshine and dry conditions will prevail for the latter half of the week ahead. High temperatures will be in the upper 70s along the immediate coast but in the mid and upper 80s inland. The sea water temperature at Perdido Pass at Orange Beach was 77 degrees. See the complete Gulf Coast 7 Day Planner here.

The upper trough over Iowa will continue to move eastward Monday and Tuesday keeping the moist, southwesterly flow in place across the Southeast US. Since the front remains essentially parallel to the upper flow, the frontal boundary will remain in the area until Tuesday and Wednesday when the upper flow changes with the development of a big ridge in the west and a deep trough across the eastern states. This will sweep the frontal boundary out of the area on Tuesday, so we should begin to see conditions dry out during the day Tuesday. With the changes aloft, temperatures will dip back with highs Tuesday and Wednesday in the middle 60.

Because the frontal boundary will remain in place for the next couple of days, rainfall amounts could total 1 to 2 inches in places. Hard to be very specific due to the nature of the showers.

With the absence of any really strong dynamics, the SPC has only marginal risks for severe weather defined for the next three days.

By Wednesday and Thursday the upper trough is established over the eastern US, so look for some beautiful weather with highs in the lower 70s. As the surface high slowly migrates eastward, Friday morning should see our coolest morning with many locations across Central and North Alabama dipping back into the 40s for a pleasantly cool start to the day. Plenty of sunshine will see highs climb into the 70s, a little below where we typically see high temperatures for early May.

Mother’s Day weekend is looking good as the surface high slides off into the Southwest Atlantic while the upper ridge moves over the eastern US.

As we frequently see when we peruse the projections into week 2 or voodoo country, the GFS has changed its mind on the weather pattern. Instead of well defined systems, the GFS is now pushing the main westerly flow and storm track well north of the southern tier of the US, so we stay in a weakly zonal flow as the main traveling upper air features travel along the US-Canadian border. This would mean a summer-like weather pattern for us with warm weather and the presence of scattered showers nearly every day.

I had a great time with the rest of the ABC 3340 gang out at Veterans Park in Hoover for Celebrate Hoover Day. The weather was good and it was nice to chat with all the ABC 3340 fans. James Spann will be back with the next edition of the Weather Xtreme Video first thing on Monday morning. You can find notes about Alabama’s weather by checking back here frequently. Have a great day and Godspeed.

-Brian-

Categories: Weather

Wake Low Giving Us Gusty Winds; Severe Threat Over

Sat, 04/30/2016 - 20:27

LATE REPORT:
Trees have been reported down in Sumter County because of this event that are not associated with thunderstorms, but with a wake low.

Tonight’s marginal and slight severe weather threat is over for Central Alabama as the area of thunderstorms has weakened as it lifted northeast into our part of the state.

Right behind it, what appears to be a wake low has developed. This feature is causing winds to gust to nearly 30 mph in spots.

Winds gusted to 28mph at Tuscaloosa and Birmingham just before 8 p.m.

Areas along and south of I-59 will see the best chance of the gusty winds.

Wake lows are caused by sinking air which descends in the wake of the weakening of a complex of storms. They often cause heat bursts in the Plains, which are characterized by strong winds, rapid drops in dewpoints and substantial rises in temperatures.

Nothing like that here tonight, but some gusty winds.

It looks like rain will be limited to areas south of areas from Selma to Montgomery.

Categories: Weather

An Afternoon Update on the Alabama Weather Situation

Sat, 04/30/2016 - 17:53

It has been a muggy and warm spring afternoon across North and Central Alabama. Skies have been partly to mostly cloudy, with the most sunshine over East Central Alabama,

The airmass is slightly to moderately unstable with CAPE values running some 1,000-2,000 joules/kg, except over East Central Alabama, where values are over 2,000 joules. There are some values over 3,000 joules in places like Talladega, Wedowee, Alex City and Rockford.

So the atmosphere is primed for storms and they have formed over North Alabama, down through East Central Alabama into much of Georgia. Some are starting to percolate in northeastern Mississippi as well.

There actually was a tornado warning for Limestone and Madison counties in North Alabama into Lincoln County, Tennessee, but the warning has been canceled. The tornadic thunderstorm has moved from near Athens to Elkmont and will soon exit the state. It still has a severe thunderstorm warning on it. That storm has showed signs of rotation but no reports of tornadoes or damage so far.

The atmosphere is not really conducive for tornadoes across Alabama, with low 0-1 km helicity values. But with spring storms in Alabama we always say to expect the unexpected.

To the southwest, there is a big MCS (mesoscale convective system) moving into southwestern Alabama from southeastern Mississippi and southeastern Louisiana. The storms have been severe in the New Orleans area. There is currently a severe thunderstorm warning for Kemper County in eastern Mississippi, where Meridian is located. This storm will eventually affect Sumter County.

The whole MCS will lift northeastward into West Central Alabama, reaching Tuscaloosa between 6-7 p.m. and Birmingham by 7-8 p.m. But it will be weakening as it goes, leaving the better shear over Mississippi. The SPC has West Central and Southwest Alabama outlooked for a slight risk of severe weather, meaning scattered severe storms possible. The severe weather will be short lived and not widespread. Further east, most of the rest of the state is in a marginal risk outlook, meaning isolated severe storms are possible. There could be a few reports of damaging winds and hail, with the best chance over areas from Pickens down through Sumter and Hale Counties.

There is a severe thunderstorm watch in effect for coastal Mississippi and SE Louisiana. A new watch could be issued into Coastal Alabama and Northwest Florida.

We are sort of locked into this pattern through Monday it seems, when a cold front will finally push through the area, ending the rain. But expect more showers and storms Sunday and Monday. It looks like most of tomorrow’ rain may come in the morning for Central Alabama, hopefully leaving room for a decent afternoon.

Categories: Weather

More Showers and Storms

Sat, 04/30/2016 - 13:25

Most of the day has been rather decent with with a mix of sun and clouds, but clouds are on the increase once again, as a complex of showers and storms is moving across Mississippi and will be arriving in Alabama later today. Also, additional showers and storms are developing ahead of the main complex.

The SPC has much of West & Southwest Alabama highlighted in their standard “slight risk” of severe weather today. This risk area is essentially along the U.S. 43 corridor from Fayette and Tuscaloosa counties, south through Demopolis, all the way down to Mobile. East of this area, a “marginal risk” covers much of the rest of Alabama.

Much like we saw yesterday, storms that impact Alabama could produce damaging wind gusts, and large hail. The tornado threat if very low, but not zero. The main impact from storms will be over western portions of the state. Timing on the storms will be later this afternoon, and through the evening hours, but storms should be weakening after the sun sets.

FOR SUNDAY: May looks to start off the way April ends with the threat of showers and storms. The SPC has a “marginal risk” covering the northwestern half of the state. This risk area includes Gadsden, Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Huntsville, Cullman, and Muscle Shoals.

Sunday will be a rather warm and muggy with showers and storms once again a possibility. Tomorrow will be very similar today, with most of the day expected to be dry, but showers and storms will occur. Due to the unstable air mass, specific start and stop times are nearly impossible to pin point, but have the rain gear close to hand tomorrow. The race out at Talladega, should be able to be completed tomorrow, but of course a weather delay cannot be ruled out.

Categories: Weather

Wet, Wild, and Changing!

Sat, 04/30/2016 - 07:35

It looks like the next week or so is going to see some wet, wild, and changing weather for us in Central Alabama. It was wild yesterday afternoon and evening as a mesoscale convective system (MCS) rolled through Central Alabama producing a number of hail and wind damage reports along with numerous lightning strikes knocking out power and causing several house fires. The picture below is just one example of such a fire provided to us by the Alabaster Fire Department.

And the present pattern appears likely to stay unsettled for the next several days and that unsettled weather will be followed by a remarkably big change in the overall pattern.

This morning we’re covered with a lot of clouds with the primary weather system located at the surface over the Central Plains of the US. The upper air pattern features a large closed low just east of Denver. That low will move eastward today with more thunderstorms forecast for Central Alabama. The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has the western half of Alabama in the standard slight risk for severe weather today with damaging wind the biggest threat but isolated tornadoes will also be possible.

For the racing this weekend at Talladega, expect a mix of sun and clouds both days with the risk of a passing shower or storm from time to time. Unfortunately with showers and storm, we aren’t able to give specific times when one will pass through, but we don’t expect a big rain mass to set in for hours. A very good chance they get the Sparks Energy 300 in today, and the GEICO 500 in tomorrow, but a delay is possible either day. Keep an eye on radar. Please remember the 8 mile lightning rule. Lightning within 8 miles, you should get inside a substantial building or inside your car or truck. Don’t mess around with it! Lightning kills – don’t be a statistic.

If your plans call for heading to the beach, scattered showers and storms are possible for the next several days. Highs will be around 80 on the immediate coast with 80s inland. Low temperatures will be around 70. You will find a very detailed Gulf Coast forecast here.

As the upper closed low works eastward in the flow it will weaken substantially, but it will also leave behind a trough over the Southwest US. At the surface, the surface low works across the Ohio River Valley with a front slowly dragging down into the Southeast US. By Monday and Tuesday, the upper trough over the Southwest US comes out across the Plains States and we begin to see a major change in the overall upper air pattern. We stay fairly warm with highs in the 80s but continued potential for showers and storms.

By Tuesday and Wednesday, a big ridge develops over the western US while a substantial trough develops over the eastern US. This will sweep the unsettled weather out of the area Tuesday with Wednesday becoming sunny and dry once again. Temperatures will gradually come down. By Thursday and Friday, the upper trough is forecast to really dig south with a pattern that will be more representative of one we see in the winter. Friday morning appears to be the chilliest according to the latest model data and we could well see morning lows well down into the 40s. This values could be 10 degrees colder than we typically see for early May.

The weather stays nice into the weekend as the upper ridge gradually weakens somewhat and moves eastward. Saturday we could still see some morning lows into the 40s with most places around 50 with the afternoon high in the mid 70s, the potential for a gorgeous early May weekend.

Looking further out into voodoo country, the pattern definitely stays active. The ridge keeps our weather good through May 9th. A strong trough comes across the Mississippi River around the 10th that promises some wet weather for the Southeast US. Another trough takes shape over the eastern US around the 12th of May and then the pattern begins to flatten somewhat around the 14th of May.

Looking forward to being out with other ABC 3340 staff members at Celebrate Hoover today. Be sure to come out to Veterans Park off Valleydale Road in Hoover and say hello. Lots of activities and things to see plus some great food choices. The event is free. I expect to have the next Weather Xtreme Video posted here by 8 am or so on Sunday morning.

-Brian-

Categories: Weather

Radar Check at 9:40 PM CDT

Fri, 04/29/2016 - 21:45

Showers and thunderstorms have now pushed into the eastern half of the state. Places such as Cullman, Birmingham, Centerville, Marion, and Selma will have rain coming to and end within the next hour. Stronger storms have pushed to the southeast, with the strongest one located over Tuskegee and Franklin in Macon County. Another strong storm was located just west of downtown Montgomery and passing over Snowden and Sprague in Montgomery County.

There have been multiple reports of damage possibly caused by storms tonight. An apartment fire, possibly caused by lightning, is still being fought in Leeds. Another fire was reportedly caused by lightning at a house in the Castle Pines subdivision in Gardendale. Yet another house fire was reported in Alabaster that possibly was started by lightning.

There were reports of wind damage across the area as well. A tree was downed onto a house in the Margaret community, with an injury reported. A few trees were reported downed in the Liberty Park area in Vestavia Hills. Also 3 miles west-northwest of Wilsonville, a few trees were reported downed by winds. A roof was reported to have been blown off of an empty building next to Jack’s Western Wear in Good Hope.

Multiple reports of dime, nickel, and quarter-size hail from many communities across the area, including Clanton, Moody, Kimberly, Irondale, Margaret, and Hamilton. The largest hail report in the state came from 3 miles east of Lake Tuscaloosa, where hail reached 1.75 inches in diameter.

At this time, Alabama Power is reporting 25,000 power outages statewide; with 17,000 in the Birmingham area, 5,000 in the Tuscaloosa area, and 3,000 in the Anniston area.

The good news is that all of the storms are currently well below severe limits, and hopefully should be that way for the rest of the evening. Just light to moderate rain is all that is left for those communities east of I-65 and north of I-85. The severe threat for those in the path of the stronger storms is limited. Strong, gusty winds, small hail, and dangerous lightning could still be possible.

Categories: Weather