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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: 12 min 47 sec ago

Humid Today but Drier, Cooler Air Coming

Sun, 08/23/2015 - 07:00

It was a dark and stormy morning! At least for many of the folks across the northern half of Alabama. Here’s a look at the radar from the Shelby County Airport just before 5:30 am. My location was on the southern edge of much of these storms, and my rain gauge picked up just under a half inch of rain.

A small short wave trough noted at 500 millibars will continue to traverse the area today keeping thunderstorms likely especially across the northern two thirds of Alabama. An isolated storm or two may be strong, however, I don’t see a widespread case for severe weather today with as much as the atmosphere has been worked over this morning. Clouds and the presence of storms should help to keep temperatures down from yesterday, so I expect to see highs in the middle to upper 80s today.

The closed low at 500 millibars over the western Great Lakes will dig into the Great Lakes area through Wednesday. A surface low associated with the upper low will move into Southeast Canada and drag a cold front through the Southeast US Monday and Tuesday. This should bring a pretty reasonable sample of Fall weather to Central Alabama with much drier air as dew points fall off into the 50s. The GFS MOS table even has 59 degrees for a low in Birmingham on Wednesday morning – now that is going to feel mighty nice. I would not be surprised to see some of this typically colder spots make it well down into the 50s.

The closed upper low just north of New York will open up on Thursday, but the trough pattern will stay in place all the way to the end of the month. We’ll be on the edge of the trough and the ridge so I expect temperatures to go back up close to our seasonal averages and the average high for late August in Birmingham is 90 degrees.

Beach goers can expect a fair amount of sunshine each day with about 4 to 6 hours for the start of the week rising to 7 to 9 by the middle of the week. A passing shower may interrupt your sunbathing, but the beaches from Dauphin Island all the way east to Panama City Beach will benefit from the cold front with lowered humidity and highs dipping back to the upper 80s. Sea water temperature still running in the lower 80s.

Danny continued to have everyone’s attention in the Atlantic Basin. Danny remained a rather compact storm and was downgraded to a tropical storm late yesterday and is likely to lose more of it’s punch as it moves into more hostile conditions which include some drier air and unfavorable wind shear. NHC is forecasting Danny to become a depression as it moves through the northern sections of the Leeward Islands and to dissipate shortly after passing the Dominican Republic on Wednesday or early Thursday. While Danny may lose some of its tropical characteristics, it could still bring heavy rain to the Bahamas and South Florida late in the week and into next weekend.

In spite of the weather pattern being so active, SPC only has a marginal risk area for severe storms delineated for today, Day 1, encompassing part of the Ohio River Valley and the Central Great Lakes.

Looking out into week 2 or voodoo country, the GFS promises a mixed bag with a combination of a substantial ridge along the eastern slope of the Rockies with a trough along the East Coast.

Thanks for using the Blog. James Spann will be back with the next edition of the Weather Xtreme Video on Monday morning.

-Brian-

Categories: Weather

Showers & Storms, Danny Weakening

Sat, 08/22/2015 - 15:05

It’s a muggy and hot day across the state, but we are seeing showers and storms this afternoon as well. We will continue to see the pockets of convection through the afternoon and evening. Storms are producing a lot of rain, gusty winds, and gobs of lightning.

Severe storms are not expected, but we do note the SPC has the northern half of Alabama highlighted in a “marginal risk.” If there are any severe storms, the main concern will be straight-line winds. We should begin to see the convection winding down once the sun sets.

DANNY WEAKENING: After reaching category 3 strength yesterday, Danny has started weakening as he encounters a more hostile environment of dry air and wind shear. The latest update on Danny has his winds down to 85 mph, which makes him a category 1 storm.

Danny continues to move towards the west-northwest and will likely weaken to a tropical storm by the time it impacts the northern Lesser Antilles early in the week. The global models continue to weaken Danny as it tracks through the islands and continues to weaken it as well. Of course, we will continue to watch the last development with Danny.

SUNDAY: Tomorrow will be similar to today, but we the upper-level short wave pulling away, we should see fewer showers and storms. Nevertheless, there will be showers and storms once again, mainly during the afternoon and evening hours. We should see highs near 90 degrees.

Categories: Weather

Rain Chances Stay Up, Cooler Days Ahead

Sat, 08/22/2015 - 07:38

Rain chances are expected to stay fairly high today as showers and thunderstorms should once again be fairly numerous. But they will be showers, so not everyone will get rain. And those clouds and showers will help keep temperatures in check somewhat with highs across Central Alabama in the 80s.

A cold front is progged to come through the area late Sunday in response to the development of a substantial trough over the eastern US. The trough gets set up on Sunday and into Monday and really digs in Tuesday and Wednesday. Temperatures will reach the range from 88 to 92 on Sunday making Sunday one of the warmest days we will see in the coming week. The upper trough will dig a little deeper Wednesday and Thursday, so we should see our coolest days then with highs only into the lower and middle 80s. And fortunately, we should also see some drier air with dew points dropping into the 50s, so the middle of the week as we head toward the weekend will feel very nice.

But by Saturday, the trough over the eastern US begins to move out into the Atlantic, so I expect to see our temperatures climb back up close to 90 degrees once again. The climatological highs for the latter part of August are still in the lower 90s – 91 is the 30-year average value for this date for Birmingham. So just about anything we get below that is a win for us in my opinion.

If you have plans to head to the beaches of Northwest Florida and Alabama, there is a risk of a passing shower through at least mid-week. Even the beaches are forecast to dry out for the latter part of the week, but temperatures for the beach areas should stay up with highs in the lower 90s. The sea water temperatures all along the Northern Gulf Coast are ranging between 81F and 85F. Those water temperatures may feel a little colder by the end of the week when the drier air arrives.

SPC has a large area of enhanced risk for severe storms today for a sizable chunk of Minnesota, western Iowa, and a sliver of eastern Nebraska. All modes of severe weather will be possible in the early evolution of this weather system, but as it unfolds, hail and damaging wind should become the dominate forms of severe weather.

And, wow, has the Atlantic tropical basin gotten busy! There are two areas of cloudiness being watched for possible development. One was located just south of Bermuda and it only has about a 20 or 30 percent chance of developing into a full blown storm. A second area was situated just off the African coast just south of Cape Verde Islands and it has somewhat better chances to develop over the next five days.

And then we have Danny. Danny was still a hurricane this morning, but it is not likely to remain a hurricane for much longer as it moves into an area of increasing shear. In fact, Danny is forecast to drop to tropical storm strength by the time it reaches the Lesser Antilles. And with the forecast track taking in across Puerto Rico and along the coastline of the Dominican Republic, it is likely to degrade further and the NHC folks are busting it down to a depression by the time it begins to affect the western Cuba and the southern portion of the Bahama Islands. Danny has been a rather tight storm since it formed, so I don’t think we should count it out just yet – stay tuned.

Looking out into voodoo country, the GFS has a rather complex pattern for the end of August with a substantial ridge along the eastern slopes of the Rockies paired with a weak, closed low over the Lower Mississippi River Valley. That eventually evolves into a ridge over the eastern US with a nice trough over the Four Corners area, so I don’t think we are quite through with summer just yet.

I expect to have the next Weather Xtreme Video posted here by 8 am or so on Sunday morning. Stay dry, please remember the dangers that come with lightning, and check back here often for updates on our ever-changing weather.

-Brian-

Categories: Weather

Humid Weekend Ahead With Scattered Storms

Fri, 08/21/2015 - 15:35

RADAR CHECK: As you expect on an August afternoon, we have a number of showers and storms in progress in scattered, random locations. Heavier storms are producing torrential rain, gusty winds, and lots of lightning as they move to the east.

Temperatures are in the 70s and 80s… this is the 6th consecutive day with a high under 90 degrees for most of North/Central Alabama.

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL WEATHER: Many of the showers and storms will be over by kickoff time this evening, but not all of them, so I would take the rain gear just in case. Temperatures will be mostly in the low 80s at kickoff, falling into the upper 70s by the final whistle. It will be a warm and humid night for the first week of high school football in our state.

THE WEEKEND: A stalled surface front just north of here will dissipate, and we will stay in humid air tomorrow and Sunday, so we will need to maintain the risk of “scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms”. The sky will be partly sunny both days, with a high between 87 and 90 degrees.

NEXT WEEK: An outside of a shower or storm Monday, then a refreshing, dry airmass works into the state Tuesday. For mid-week (Tuesday through Thursday), we project sunny days, clear cool nights, and low humidity levels. Highs will be in the 80s, and lows will drop down to near 60 degrees. Cooler valleys will easily reach the 50s for a very nice taste of fall. Moisture levels begin to return by Friday with some risk of a few showers by then; see the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

DANNY BECOMES A CATEGORY THREE HURRICANE: Data from a hurricane hunter aircraft shows sustained winds at 115 mph, making Danny a major hurricane. It is still very small in terms of radius, with hurricane force winds extending out only 10-20 miles from the center.

Danny is still expected to weaken to a tropical storm by the time it reaches the Leeward Islands Monday…

Many of the global models show the system degenerating into an open wave around longitude 70 west, near Hispaniola next week. Still remains to be seen if this will survive past that point, or if it impacts the U.S.

Another wave northeast of the Bahamas could become a sub-tropical storm over the weekend, but that will most likely remain out at sea with on impact on any landmass. And, a new tropical wave will emerge off the coast of Africa over the next 24 hours with some potential for slow development. Again, see the Weather Xtreme video for all the maps and more details.

GULF COAST WEATHER: About 6 to 8 hours of sunshine through early next week on the coast from Panama City Beach to Gulf Shores with a passing storm from time to time. Highs on the coast will hold in the upper 80s… See the complete Gulf Coast 7 Day Planner here. The Gulf Coast Beach Forecast is presented by Gulf Shores Plantation by Mandoki Hospitality Vacation Rentals. Escape to Gulf Shores Plantation where memories last a lifetime.

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

Categories: Weather

More Good News About Our State from the Alabama NewsCenter

Fri, 08/21/2015 - 14:04

Here are some of our favorite stories from our partners at Alabama NewsCenter from the past week, August 14 – 20.

Can’t Miss Alabama: Concerts, festivals, fishing and more – Here’s your handy guide to weekend activities across Alabama.

Deontay Wilder looks to make boxing big business in Alabama – Fight aims to top $1.5 million economic impact of one in June

Tomberlin’s Take: Kamtek $530 million investment ends “the question” – Auto supplier evidence of new economic development vigor in the Magic City

Noah Galloway honored by state broadcasters – The veteran has become a household name thanks to a national television stint, but he proudly calls Alabama home.

100 dishes to eat in Alabama before you die: Ranelli’s Deli – Seriously, these are some of the best foods this state has to offer.

Synchronized fireflies give glow and show in Vestavia Hills yard – Insects unusual outside of Smoky Mountains, experts say.

Using technology and creativity in innovative ways in the classroom – “We must prepare students for the jobs of the future.” Mark Coleman, Brighter Minds panelist.

Linking childhood behavior with workforce development – “Tune in to your child, not at the frequency you think they ought to be at.” Ellen Abell, Brighter Minds panelist.

Plant Greene County celebrates 50 years of serving West Alabama – Reflecting on five decades of faithful service to this West Alabama community.

Mercedes supplier SMP to open $150 million Alabama facility, creating 650 jobs – New 700,000-square-foot plant to start construction this year.

Alabama Bright Lights: Welcome to Rainbow Omega – A place for those with developmental disabilities to live with dignity and love.

Better preparations and lessons learned after storms – Major utilities are coming together to be better prepared the next time a major storm strikes.

Power to Play grant program accepting applications – Power To Play returns today for its second year of helping increase high school athletics participation.

APSO back-to-school efforts aid students across the state – “When you see the kids’ excitement, it’s worth everything.” Marcy Brown, APSO volunteer.

Festival of Hope brought message, music to Birmingham – Franklin Graham featured at three-day religious event.

A place to be recognized – The A.G. Gaston Boys & Girls Club instructs Birmingham-area youths in academic success, healthy lifestyles and character and leadership development.

Chess gets students’ minds on board as school starts back – Back-2-School Scholastics tournament draws more than 60 young participants.

 

Categories: Weather

Danny’s a Big Boy Now

Fri, 08/21/2015 - 13:12

Not only is Danny the first hurricane of the 2015 season, he is also the first MAJOR hurricane of the season.

At 2:00 pm AST, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami issued a tropical cyclone update announcing that the NOAA aircraft investigating the storm found maximum estimated winds to be 115 mph. This makes Danny a Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

I know that is certainly not good news for anyone in the Southeast US or along the Gulf coast since the forecast track of Danny currently appears to be on a fairly straight line for the Florida Straits. But there is good news in that Danny is moving into an area of unfavorable upper level wind, so a weakening trend is expected to begin later today.

View of Danny:

View of Danny from the GOES Caribbean view:

Official track of Danny from NHC around noon:

-Brian-

Categories: Weather

Scattered Afternoon Storms

Fri, 08/21/2015 - 06:32

ON THE MAPS: A surface front is stalled near the Alabama/Tennessee border this morning; much of the state remains in a very moist airmass with precipitable water values of around 2 inches. This means we will deal with scattered showers and storms again, mostly this afternoon and early tonight. Like yesterday, the stronger storms will produce heavy rain and frequent lightning, but they should generally remain below severe limits. Otherwise, expect a mix of sun and clouds today with a high in the mid to upper 80s. Today will be the 6th consecutive day with a high below 90 degrees for most communities around here.

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL TONIGHT: While many of the showers/storms will end by kickoff time at 7:00, a few could linger, so to be perfectly safe you might want to take the rain gear. Temperatures will be in the low 80s at kickoff, with upper 70s by the final whistle.

THE WEEKEND: Not much change; there will be sufficient moisture for “scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms” both days, although they should be fewer in number Sunday. There will be some very nice intervals of sun along the way, with a high in the upper 80s tomorrow, and low 90s Sunday.

NEXT WEEK: A front passes through Monday with some risk of a passing shower or storm, then we get into dry continental air Tuesday through Thursday with lower humidity and cooler nights. Many North Alabama communities could very well reach the 50s early Wednesday and Thursday morning for a nice taste of fall. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

AT THE BEACH: About 6 to 8 hours of sunshine daily through early next week on the Gulf Coast from Gulf Shores west to Panama City Beach with a passing thunderstorm from time to time. Highs on the immediate coast will be in the upper 80s, with low 90s inland. The sea water temperature early this morning at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab is 86 degrees.

See the complete Gulf Coast 7 Day Planner here. The Gulf Coast Beach Forecast is presented by Gulf Shores Plantation by Mandoki Hospitality Vacation Rentals. Escape to Gulf Shores Plantation where memories last a lifetime.

DANNY: This is a very small hurricane with sustained winds of 85 mph in the central Atlantic. It is expected to weaken in coming days, and it should be a tropical storm as it moves into the far northern Leeward Islands Monday. Many global models weaken the system into an open tropical wave beyond that due to shear and dry air; a good chance it will bring beneficial rain to Puerto Rico without too much wind by Tuesday.

It is doubtful that Danny survives west of Hispaniola… but we all know tropical systems can bring surprises, so we will still watch it closely.

REST OF THE TROPICS: A disturbance in the Atlantic well east of Florida has a chance to become Tropical Storm Erika over the weekend; that will most likely stay offshore well east of the U.S. Atlantic Coast. And, another tropical wave is emerging off the coast of Africa with some chance of slow development in coming days. Again, see the Weather Xtreme video for all the graphics and additional 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
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Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon… enjoy the day!

Categories: Weather

Showers/Storms Developing Again

Thu, 08/20/2015 - 14:30

RADAR CHECK: As expected, scattered to numerous showers and storms have formed across North/Central Alabama in the moist airmass this afternoon… they are moving east.

Showers and storms will taper off this evening once the sun goes down and the atmosphere becomes more stable.

TOMORROW AND THE WEEKEND: A surface front will be nearly stationary tomorrow over far North Alabama; places like Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Anniston, and Gadsden will remain in moist air, so we will maintain the risk of scattered showers and thunderstorms with a mix of sun and clouds. The high tomorrow should be in the mid 80s, and it should be the 6th consecutive day with a high under 90 degrees for most communities around here.

The front to the north will slowly lose it’s identity over the weekend, and for now it looks like we will have a partly sunny sky Saturday and Sunday, and we will need to mention the chance of “scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms”. Not as widespread as recent days, however… the chance of any one spot getting wet both days will be about one in three. Highs for the weekend will be close to 90 degrees.

NEXT WEEK: A “cold front” will pass through Monday, with some risk of a brief shower or storm… then we get into dry, continental air for Tuesday, Wednesday, and possibly Thursday. Expect lower humidity on these three days, with cooler nights. Highs will be in the 80s, and we will drop down into the low 60s early Wednesday… cooler spots should visit the 50s for a nice preview of fall.

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL WEATHER: While we can’t rule out a few showers during the high school games tonight, a majority of the showers and storms should be over by kickoff at 7:00 p.m. Temperatures will fall from the low 80s into the upper 70s. Then, for games tomorrow night, pretty much the same situation. Evening showers and storms should be mostly over by 7:00 p.m.. with only an outside risk of a brief shower during the game. Kickoff temperatures tomorrow evening will be in the low 80s, with 70s by the second half.

DANNY: The system was upgraded to a category one hurricane this morning with sustained winds of 75 mph…

Danny is expected to remain a minimal hurricane through the weekend, but it will begin to weaken early next week as it encounters shear over the northern Caribbean. Many of the global models weaken the system into an open wave before it reaches Hispaniola… but it is still very early and we will keep an eye on it.

We should note there is another disturbance in the Atlantic well to the east of the Florida coast… this one could develop into a sub-tropical type storm in coming days, but most likely it stays offshore and will move away from the U.S. East Coast. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

GULF COAST WEATHER: We expect about 6 to 8 hours of sunshine on the coast from Gulf Shores west to Panama City Beach through the weekend, with a passing storm from time to time. Highs will remain in the upper 80s on the coast, with low 90s inland. Sea water temperatures remain in the mid 80s.

See the complete Gulf Coast 7 Day Planner here. The Gulf Coast Beach Forecast is presented by Gulf Shores Plantation by Mandoki Hospitality Vacation Rentals. Escape to Gulf Shores Plantation where memories last a lifetime.

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

NEED HELP WITH YOUR WEATHER RADIO? Before you know it, the fall tornado season will be here. And, this evening we kick off our annual “weather radio programming tour”. If you need your NOAA Weather Radio programmed or checked, have questions, or need help, come see us. We will be at Martin’s Pharmacy in Oxford, on Quintard across from the mall from 3:30 until 6:30 p.m.

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

Categories: Weather

Danny Now a Hurricane

Thu, 08/20/2015 - 10:20

Danny was upgraded to hurricane status on the 10 a.m. advisory from the NHC.

Here are the Fast Facts:
———————————————–
LOCATION…12.5N 44.8W
ABOUT 1090 MI…1755 KM E OF THE WINDWARD ISLANDS
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…75 MPH…120 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…WNW OR 295 DEGREES AT 12 MPH…19 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…992 MB…29.30 INCHES

The system is very small, which makes it vulnerable to unfavorable environmental conditions. It is expected to remain in an area of low shear, which is favorable for intensification, so it might strengthen even further. The current forecast calls for a peak intensity of 85 mph.

There is lots of dry air to the north, so the double edged sword is that intensification might act to pull in some of this drier air to the cyclone, which would weaken it.

Here is the official 5-day forecast track for Danny:

There is good agreement between two major global models that the system will impact the northern Lesser Antilles, including the Leeward Islands, Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. On this track, it would impact Hispaniola as well. That mountainous island tends to knock the stuffing out of tropical cyclones, and a small one would be especially vulnerable.

In fact, the cyclone is forecast to degenerate into a tropical wave by the two global models.

A change in track to the north or south could change this way of thinking.

It is too early to know if Danny can hold together and impact the Gulf of Mexico, but of course, any storm in the Caribbean gets our attention here in the region. We will have plenty of time to watch it, as it is at least 7-8 days from being a threat to the Gulf or South Florida.

Categories: Weather

Unsettled Summer Weather Continues

Thu, 08/20/2015 - 06:40

MOIST AIR STILL IN PLACE: A cold front is nearing the northwest corner of Alabama early this morning, behind it unusually cool air for summer covers the Great Plains. We note Fayetteville, Arkansas has dropped to 50 degrees at 6a CT.

But, we still in moist, unstable here in Alabama, and again today we project scattered to numerous showers and thunderstorms. It won’t rain all day, and the sun will be out at times, but expect occasional showers and possibly some thunder.

Organized severe weather is not expected, although a strong thunderstorm is certainly possible. And, highs will hold in the 80s. Today will be the fifth consecutive day with a high below 90 degrees… a rather remarkable streak for mid-August.

TOMORROW AND THE WEEKEND: Drier air will filter into North Alabama tomorrow; north of Birmingham a decent part of the day will be dry, but we will keep a chance of scattered showers and storms going from I-20 (Tuscaloosa to Birmingham to Anniston) south. We project a high between 86 and 89 degrees.

Saturday is looking relatively dry for the northern half of the state; a shower or storm is certainly possible, but they should be widely scattered. And, a decent we finally return to 90 degree heat by afternoon.

The latest GFS run brings higher moisture levels northward Sunday, and we will need to mention “scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms” with a mix of sun and clouds and a high close to 90 degrees.

NEXT WEEK: Global models try to bring down drier and cooler air into the state by Monday night and Tuesday; if this verifies then we will enjoy lower humidity and cooler nights by Tuesday and possibly Wednesday… parts of North Alabama could make a run for 60 degrees by early Wednesday morning. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: I haven’t typed these words in a long time… the high school football season kicks off tonight with a few Thursday night games… all other schools kick off tomorrow night. While a shower is possible tonight, I think the bulk of the widespread rain will be over by game time. The sky will be mostly cloudy with temperatures around 80 degrees, falling into the mid 70s by the fourth quarter.

Then, tomorrow night, most stadiums across North-Central Alabama will be dry with only a small risk of a shower; temperatures fall from the mid 80s at kickoff to the upper 70s by the final whistle.

GULF COAST WEATHER: About 6 to 8 hours of sunshine daily for the Gulf Coast from Panama City Beach west to Gulf Shores through the weekend, with the usual risk of an occasional passing thunderstorm. Highs will be in the upper 80s on the coast, with low 90s inland. And, sea water temperatures remain mostly in the mid 80s.

See the complete Gulf Coast 7 Day Planner here. The Gulf Coast Beach Forecast is presented by Gulf Shores Plantation by Mandoki Hospitality Vacation Rentals. Escape to Gulf Shores Plantation where memories last a lifetime.

TROPICAL STORM DANNY: The system in the Atlantic is fighting dry air to the north, and soon it will encounter wind shear, so I am not convinced this makes it to hurricane strength. Most global models now weaken this to an open wave by early next week as it moves toward Hispaniola, and it is doubtful this can survive long enough to be an issue for the Gulf of Mexico or U.S. coast. Still, we will keep an eye on it.

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

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

Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus
Instagram

I will be speaking to the senior adults this morning at Hepzibah Baptist Church in Talladega County… and then we will be programming NOAA Weather Radios this afternoon at Martin’s Pharmacy in Oxford… if you need help come see us; fall tornado season will be here before you know it. Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon… enjoy the day!

Categories: Weather

Strong Storms Across Alabama

Wed, 08/19/2015 - 15:08

RADAR CHECK: A number of strong thunderstorms have formed across Alabama this afternoon; heavier ones are producing gusty winds, torrential rain, and lots of lightning as they move northeast…

SPC has a the standard “slight risk” of severe weather defined for the northwest corner of the state, with a “marginal” risk down to about U.S. 278 (Hamilton to Cullman to Gadsden). A few severe thunderstorm warnings could be required over the next few hours.

TOMORROW: A deep upper trough will be lifting up into Canada, and a surface front will approach the northwest corner of Alabama. Behind the front, cool air will spread down into states like Oklahoma, Missouri, and Arkansas. Some communities in Northwest Arkansas could reach the upper 40s early tomorrow morning. We will stay in warm, moist air, however, and again we will deal with scattered to numerous showers and thunderstorms with a high in the 80s.

TRENDING DRIER FRIDAY AND OVER THE WEEKEND: Dry air begins to drop down into North Alabama, and by Friday the best coverage of showers and storms will shift down to areas along and south of I-20, and even there they will be scattered in nature. The high Friday will be in the 87 to 90 degree range.

Then, for the weekend. we project a good supply of sunshine Saturday and Sunday across North/Central Alabama with only widely scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms. The high Saturday and Sunday will be at or just over 90 degrees.

NEXT WEEK: Not big changes Monday, but on Tuesday a surface front will pass through the state, and that could kick off a few showers or storms. Then, a dry, continental airmass is expected to arrive Tuesday night, setting up lower humidity and cooler nights for Wednesday and Thursday. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

AT THE BEACH: About 4 to 6 hours of sunshine tomorrow and Friday, and 6 to 8 hours of sunshine over the weekend from Gulf Shores west to Panama City Beach. As always in summer, there is the risk of a passing shower or storm from time to time. Storms should be fewer in number by the weekend, however. Highs on the coast will be in the mid to upper 80s, with low 90s inland. Sea water temperatures remain generally in the mid 80s.

See the complete Gulf Coast 7 Day Planner here. The Gulf Coast Beach Forecast is presented by Gulf Shores Plantation by Mandoki Hospitality Vacation Rentals. Escape to Gulf Shores Plantation where memories last a lifetime.

TROPICAL STORM DANNY: The system is still packing sustained winds of 50 mph (based on satellite estimates), but the system looks a bit ragged this afternoon, and it seems like drier air to the north of the system is trying to enter the circulation. Still, NHC expects this to become a hurricane tomorrow as it moves to the west/northwest.

It remains to be seen if this survives beyond five days, and confidence in the forecast is low. Odds are fairly high this gains latitude and recurves into the Atlantic if it hangs on, but this idea could change. Again, see the afternoon Weather Xtreme video for all the maps and graphics.

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

Wet At Times Through Tomorrow

Wed, 08/19/2015 - 06:33

RADAR CHECK: As the sun comes up the sky is mostly cloudy across the great state of Alabama, and there are a few patches of light rain on radar, but nothing widespread. The overall wet weather pattern will continue through tomorrow with a very moist airmass in place (precipitable water values near 2 inches)… we will forecast occasional showers and thunderstorms with generally cloudy conditions along with highs in the 80s.

We do note that SPC has placed much of North Alabama in a “marginal” severe weather risk for this afternoon and tonight…

A very dynamic, autumn looking upper trough will pass well to the north of us, pushing a surface boundary closer to our state. The main threat from the storms this afternoon and early tonight will come from strong straight line winds. And, we all know summer storms pack gobs of lightning.

The front will be just north of Alabama tomorrow, but the upper support will lift well north of here, so organized severe weather is not expected then. But, a few showers and storms are likely during the day.

FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: The weather trends drier. Models try to bring the surface front down toward I-20 Friday, meaning the day should be mostly dry north of Birmingham, with scattered showers and storms continuing to the south. Then, over the weekend, we expect a pretty decent amount of sunshine Saturday and Sunday with only widely scattered showers and storms; afternoon highs will be close to 90 degrees both days.

NEXT WEEK: It looks pretty quiet around here; partly to mostly sunny days, fair nights, and only widely scattered afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms. Highs will stay close to 90; see the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

AT THE BEACH: About 3 to 5 hours of sunshine on the coast today and tomorrow from Gulf Shores west to Panama City Beach, followed by increasing amounts of sunshine over the weekend. As usual this time of the year, you will deal with a passing storm from time to time. Highs on the coast will be in the mid to upper 80s, and closer to 90 inland. The sea water temperature early this morning at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab is 84 degrees.

TROPICAL STORM DANNY: Danny boy looks a little disorganized this morning, but sustained winds are still estimated at 50 mph as the system moves west/northwest. It is expected to become a hurricane tomorrow, and be somewhere close to the Leeward Islands early next week.

We note the GEFS ensemble (at least most members) recurve Danny into the open Atlantic next week. The idea seems plausible based on the upper air pattern and climatology, but this is not “carved in stone”. We will be watching closely in coming days.

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

Categories: Weather

Strong Storms Over West Alabama

Tue, 08/18/2015 - 17:40

Strong thunderstorms are over parts of Fayette and northern Tuscaloosa Counties at this hour.

They have prompted a Significant Weather Alert for parts of those counties into southwestern Walker County.

Winds could reach 40 mph with these storms in addition to heavy rain and frequent lightning.

These storms should reach western Jefferson County around 7 p.m.

Storms in Clay and Chickasaw Counties in northeastern Mississippi have prompted Severe Thunderstorm Warnings. If these hold together, they will impact northern Lamar and Marion Counties starting as early as 6:45 p.m.

Over South Central Alabama, showers and storms are widespread in the US-80 Corridor from Choctaw County through Marengo, Wilcox, Lowndes, Montgomery, Elmore, Macon and Tallapoosa Counties. A Significant Weather Alert was just issued for Sumter and Marengo Counties.

Categories: Weather

Hello, Danny ! !

Tue, 08/18/2015 - 15:56

It has taken a number of days, but Danny has finally made an appearance on the tropical stage! The National Hurricane Center (NHC) named the storm this afternoon. Danny has continued to improve in overall look and strength since the last advisory including the development of interlocking curved convective bands and the formation of an upper level anticyclonic outflow pattern. Here’s a look at Danny from the GOES East satellite.

The European satellite actually has a slightly better look at Danny, so here is that view.

Danny was about 1,450 miles east of the Leeward Islands moving westward or 280 degrees at 12 mph with maximum sustained wind estimated to be near 40 mph. Danny should continue of a heading just slightly north of west for the next couple of days before turning slight more westerly. Here is the track forecast graphic from NHC.

Danny is forecast to continue to strengthen and should become a hurricane in about two days, roughly around noon on August 20th. Using the historical hurricane data from NOAA, I noted that nine (9) storms have gone within 10 miles of the present location of Danny. One (1) struck Mexico, one (1) made landfall on the South Carolina coast just north of Savannah, and the other seven (7) all recurved out to sea and remained in the Atlantic.

Historical data doesn’t tell us where THIS storm is going, but at least it gives us some ideas on what past weather patterns have done. The historical data goes all the way back to 1892.

By the way, the center of Danny was located about 3065 miles southeast of Birmingham. Using the present speed, it will take Danny over 256 hours (over 10 days) to get here if it moved on a steady track northwest and didn’t make any pit stops!

-Brian-

Categories: Weather

Showery, Unsettled Weather

Tue, 08/18/2015 - 14:45

**No afternoon Weather Xtreme video today due to travel**

RADAR CHECK: Showers and storms continue to move northeast across Alabama this afternoon…

The overall weather pattern won’t change much through tomorrow; mostly cloudy with occasional showers and thunderstorms. Severe weather is not expected, but heavy downpours are a good possibility from time to time in the tropical air over Alabama. The sky will stay generally cloudy, and the high tomorrow will be in the 80s.

FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: Unsettled weather continues, but showers and storms will gradually become more scattered in nature, and there should be a few decent intervals of sunshine, especially over the weekend. Still, understand it will rain at times, and a few strong storms are possible during the afternoon and evening hours. Highs will be close to 90 Saturday and Sunday afternoon.

NEXT WEEK: The weather will trend drier and hotter next week; highs will be at or just over 90 degrees, and showers and storms will be more widely spaced, and mainly during the afternoon and evening hours. Models have hinted at cooler continental air trying to drop in here by Tuesday, but I have my doubts that will happen.

AT THE BEACH: About 3 to 5 hours of sunshine daily through Friday, and 6 to 8 hours of sunshine over the weekend from Panama City Beach over to Gulf Shores. Expect a few passing storms, and highs will be generally in the mid to upper 80s on the immediate coast, with low 90s inland. Sea water temperatures are mostly in the low to mid 80s.

See the complete Gulf Coast 7 Day Planner here. The Gulf Coast Beach Forecast is presented by Gulf Shores Plantation by Mandoki Hospitality Vacation Rentals. Escape to Gulf Shores Plantation where memories last a lifetime.

TD 4: Tropical Depression Four is expected to become Tropical Storm Danny over the next 24 hours in the Atlantic, between the coast of Africa and the Lesser Antilles…

The forecast from the National Hurricane Center brings it to hurricane strength by Friday…

It remains to be seen if this will survive and impact the Gulf of Mexico of the U.S. We will keep an eye on it in coming days; the rest of the Atlantic basin is quiet.

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

Categories: Weather

Tropical Depression Four Forms

Tue, 08/18/2015 - 10:50

Tropical Depression Four has formed in the Atlantic a little more than 1,600 miles east of the Lesser Antilles.

The depression is moving just north of west at 13 mph.

Top winds are 35 mph according to satellite estimates and the central pressure is estimated at 1009 mb.

The system will likely become Tropical Storm Danny tonight or early Wednesday. It should become a hurricane by Friday.

But the system will weaken as it approaches the islands over the weekend. It may well get into the eastern Caribbean, but it will encounter more unfavorable conditions and could weaken further.

By late in the weekend, the Bermuda high should start to weaken and a trough will develop over the East Coast. I don’t think this trough will be strong enough to recurve Danny if the tropical cyclone holds together. It could deflect Danny into South Florida. Or it could build back in time to keep Danny steaming on a westward course across the Caribbean. We will wait and see!

Categories: Weather

Wet, Unsettled Pattern Continues

Tue, 08/18/2015 - 06:28

OCCASIONAL SHOWERS: Another wet day is shaping up for Alabama… we have a number of showers and storms in progress as the sun comes up…

A broad upper trough to the west will keep a good chance of occasional showers and storms in our forecast through mid-week. Understand there will be some nice breaks in the rain, and the sun could very well pop out at times, but you need to be ready for rain at just about any hour of the day or night through Thursday.

On the positive side, severe storms are not expected, and highs will be only in the 80s due to the clouds and showers. Interesting to note yesterday’s high in Birmingham was only 79 degrees… within three degrees of the record low maximum for August 17… 76 set in 1973.

TO THE NORTH: A deep upper trough will bring the risk of severe storms to parts of the Great Plains today, but that feature will pass well to the north of Alabama later in the week, with the severe weather threat remaining to the north as well.

FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: We will still forecast scattered to numerous showers and thunderstorms Friday and Saturday with some sun at times, but Sunday should be brighter with showers and storms becoming fewer in number. The high will be back around 90 degrees by the weekend.

NEXT WEEK: The latest GFS is suggesting a dry, continental airmass has a chance of moving down into the northern half of Alabama early in the week, with potential for some upper 50s early Tuesday. Not totally convinced this will happen, but potential is there. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details. One way or another, next week will be drier.

TROPICS: The wave in the Atlantic between Africa and the Lesser Antilles has a high chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm during the next 48 hours as it moves to the west/northwest. This feature is moving just below a layer of very dry air, and there isn’t much shear. So, this might become a hurricane by the end of the week. Long range model data shows it near Hispaniola early next week, and it remains to be seen if this survives, and if it will have a chance of impacting the U.S.

Again, watch the Weather Xtreme video for more details on this.

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 produced last night in Norman, Oklahoma.

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

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I will be traveling back to Alabama later today… so I doubt if I can produce an afternoon video, but I will post forecast notes here on the blog by 4:00. Enjoy the day!

Categories: Weather

WeatherBrains 499: Aubrey Can’t Go Own

Tue, 08/18/2015 - 05:15

WeatherBrains Episode 499 is now online (August 17, 2015). If you are crazy about weather, this is THE netcast audio program for you!

Tonight’s Guest WeatherBrain is co-founder and CTO of Green Electronics, the makers of the RainMachine. He is managing a team of hardware and software developers that focus on the industrial design, network architecture and hardware implementation aspects of the RainMachine product line. He is a strong proponent of OpenSource frameworks involving water conservation projects where increased conservation and efficiency can be achieved though better access of environmental information. Andrei Bulucea, welcome to WeatherBrains.

Tonight’s Guest Panelist is a native of Southern California and a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. He worked with Gary England in Oklahoma City before moving to Kansas City in 1992. He became the Chief Meteorologist at KSHB in 1999, where he has been ever since. Gary Lezak, welcome to WeatherBrains.

Other discussions in this weekly podcast include topics like:

  • Extremes: 122 at Death Valley, CA, and 27 at Stanley, ID
  • Tropics still quiet but disturbed area in far Atlantic
  • Next week is show #500!
  • Heat in Oklahoma but about to change
  • Astronomy Outlook with Tony Rice
  • and more!

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

From The Weather Center:

WeatherBrains 101: Our guest WeatherBrain last week mentioned storm surge and how it is often overlooked as being deadly. This prompted a little research on the topic from the helpful archives of the National Hurricane Center. And this will be the first of three episodes on storm surge.

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 499:

Weather2020

WeatherRate web site

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

Picks of the Week:

Bill Murray – How California is winning the drought

Brian Peters – Old Farmers Almanac gets ripped

Kevin Selle – Digital Meteorologist story

Rick Smith – Do You Have What It Takes to Predict the Future?

James Spann – Tropical Cyclone Guidance Project

SkyDavers Blog – The Fog Bank

Aubrey Urbanowitcz – These countries have the best 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

Wet At Times Through Mid-Week

Mon, 08/17/2015 - 15:24

RADAR CHECK: As expected, rain and storms are rather widespread across Alabama today…

Storms are well below severe limits, but the stronger ones are producing torrential rain and a good bit of lightning. Rain and storms are moving northeast, and we will maintain a good chance of rain at times through the night. Temperatures are only in the 70s due to the clouds and rain. Quite a break from the summer heat.

REST OF THE WEEK: The broad upper feature responsible for today’s wet weather won’t change much, so our weather will remain wet at times all the way through at least Friday. Expect periods of rain daily, along with a few thunderstorms. There will be some good breaks in the rain, and the sun could peek out at times, but the overall pattern will be wet. Additional rain amounts of 2-3 inches are likely through the end of the week.

We should note a strong upper trough will pass north of Alabama this week, and will bring the risk of severe storms to parts of the Great Plains and the Midwest, but the dynamic forcing with that feature should remain well to the north of us, and severe weather is not expected to be an issue here.

And, on the positive side, because of the lack of sun we expect highs to remain below 90 through Friday.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: The upper trough over the region will weaken, so we should begin to see some good intervals of sunshine Saturday and Sunday, but scattered showers and storms remain likely, especially during the afternoon and evening hours. We project highs between 87 and 90 degrees both days.

Next week should be warmer and drier, although the risk of at least “scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and storms” will need to stay in the forecast. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

AT THE BEACH: About 3 to 5 hours of sunshine daily on the coast from Gulf Shores west to Panama City Beach for the rest of the week, with a few passing showers and thunderstorms likely. Highs will be in the 80s, and the sea water temperature this afternoon at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab is 82 degrees.

See the complete Gulf Coast 7 Day Planner here. The Gulf Coast Beach Forecast is presented by Gulf Shores Plantation by Mandoki Hospitality Vacation Rentals. Escape to Gulf Shores Plantation where memories last a lifetime.

TROPICS: The wave in the eastern Atlantic has a decent chance of becoming Tropical Storm Danny later this week… it will move to the west/northwest just south of a layer of very dry air. It remains to be seen if this will impact the U.S., or any land mass.

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 live from Norman, OK… 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…

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

Categories: Weather

Tropical Action

Mon, 08/17/2015 - 09:10

It has been very, very quiet across the Atlantic basin this season, which is expected during an El Nino year. But, we have a wave in the far eastern Atlantic with a good chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm over the next five days…

The wave will move to the west/northwest…

And, most tropical models ramp this up into Tropical Storm Danny by late week…

Way too early to determine if this will impact the U.S. or any land mass.?

Categories: Weather