ABC 33/40 Weather Blog

Syndicate content
The latest information on Alabama weather, tornadoes, hurricanes, winter storms, national weather headlines and the science of meteorology in general.
Updated: 19 min 8 sec ago

Tuesday’s Severe Weather Threat

Sat, 01/30/2016 - 10:08

Here are a few quick notes concerning the severe weather potential in Alabama Tuesday.

Our friends at the Storm Prediction Center have shifted the higher risk a little westward, but it still includes the northwest corner of Alabama…

The good news is that global models (American and European) have trended farther north with the surface low, and the associated upper support, in recent runs. Below is the GFS (06Z run) valid at 6pm CT Tuesday…

Note how the surface low is near Chicago; earlier runs had it closer to St. Louis.

Based on these trends… here is what I am thinking now…

TIMING: The main window for severe storms across North/Central Alabama will come from 4:00 p.m. Tuesday through 2:00 a.m. Wednesday.

THREATS: The tornado threat for Alabama has lessened somewhat, but is still there. Highest risk of a tornado with this event will be in places like Memphis; in our state higher tornado probabilities will be up around Muscle Shoals, in the northwest corner of the state. Storms will evolve into a long line Tuesday night with potential for damaging straight line winds, and some hail.

RAIN: Amounts of 1/2 to 1 inch are likely, and flooding is not expected.

This system will get into the American upper air network over the next 48 hours, and forecast confidence will continue to grow. Enjoy this fine weekend, and just understand severe storms will be possible in Alabama late Tuesday and Tuesday night. You might want to check your weather radio sometime this weekend, and put in a fresh backup battery. Be sure you know where are you are going if you do get into a tornado warning polygon, and have a readiness kit in that safe place including helmets, airhorns and whistles, and hard sole shoes.

We will keep you updated through the weekend.

Categories: Weather

Very Nice Weekend; Latest on Tuesday Severe Weather Threat

Sat, 01/30/2016 - 08:17

Perhaps a little good news in the severe weather department about the upcoming event which will be in here on Tuesday, but we’re not out of the woods with this very dynamic system. Let’s dig into the details.

NICE WEEKEND IN STORE: After a nice day on Friday with highs in the upper 50s and lower 60s, today and Sunday promise to be blockbuster days for late January with a good supply of sunshine both days and highs in the upper 60s. There will even be a few 70F+ readings on Sunday, especially down around Demopolis, Selma and Montgomery. A weakening cold front will push toward the area Sunday night, triggering a few showers across the area, but rainfall amounts and coverages will be low. Lows tonight will be in the 40s and in the 50s Sunday night.

SETTING THE STAGE: By Monday, that front will be falling apart and a powerful upper level system will be getting its act together over the western U.S. and a surface low will be preparing to move out onto the Plains. Big time snows will fall over parts of Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico, which is great news for the skiers, but bad news for those of us ahead of the system in the warm sector of the low, because that means thunderstorms.

SEVERE WEATHER THREAT: Overnight runs of our global models have trended slower and less unstable, especially for us here in Alabama. Warmer air aloft means less instability and the system arriving later in the evening Tuesday night would be well after the peak heating of the day, meaning less volatile conditions. This is encouraging that the system might not be as high impact as we have been thinking, but it still will be a severe weather producer for us in the state.

SPC SHIFTS HIGHEST RISKS SLIGHTLY WEST: The SPC has shifted the highest probabilities for severe weather a little west, pushing the 30% probability back over West Central and Northwest Alabama, from Lamar and Pickens Counties up through the northwestern part of the state then into western Tennessee and Mississippi.

Having said that, nearly all of Central Alabama is still in the standard “slight” risk for severe weather according to the SPC. It looks like the showers and storms will break out over Arkansas and Louisiana late Tuesday morning and will push east. They should get into western Alabama in the 6-9 p.m. time frame and will push across the state during the evening hours. This 6 hour delay could make a big difference in the instabilities. The latest model runs have trended more in the 500 joule/kg range, instead of over 1,000 joules.

Still, the system is very dyanmic A 130 knot+ jet streak (at 200 mb) is forecast to move over the region, and the low level jet (5,000 feet/850 mb) will exceed 60 knots over North Alabama. Storm relative helicity values will be high, and LCL values low (Lifted Condensation Level). Bottom line is that both dynamic and thermodynamic profiles will be very supportive of severe storms here.

So, here is the latest thinking:

*There will be a risk of strong to severe thunderstorms over much of Alabama Tuesday evening. For North/Central Alabama, highest risk will come from roughly 6:00 p.m. until 3:00 a.m.

*All modes of severe weather are possible, including large hail, damaging winds, and a few tornadoes.

*The highest risk of a tornado will be roughly over Lamar, Pickens, Marion, Franklin, Colbert, Lauderdale and Lawrence Counties in the “30 percent enhanced” area as defined by SPC, and in discrete storms that manage to form during the afternoon and evening hours ahead of the main squall line/QLCS.

*Rain amounts of around 1 inch are likely, and flooding is not expected to be an issue.

No need to be worried or anxious; we have a number of severe weather threats every year in Alabama. It has just been unusually quiet in recent years. And, remember, this is still 5 days out and the forecast can change.

REST OF NEXT WEEK: Colder air rolls into the state over the latter part of next week, with highs dropping generally in the 40s. Here are temperature trends from the GFS ensembles:

See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

I will be back with another Weather Xtreme video tomorrow morning. We will have updates throughout the weekend on the blog.

Categories: Weather

Warmer Days Ahead; Severe Storms Tuesday

Fri, 01/29/2016 - 16:33

BLUE SKY: Hard to find a decent cloud in the Alabama sky this afternoon across the great state of Alabama; temperatures are mostly in the mid to upper 50s; a few spots over West Alabama have reached the low 60s.

Tomorrow will be dry and even warmer with a high up in the mid 60s, and a few communities could reach 70 degrees by Sunday. There will be a gradual increase in clouds Sunday, and a few showers could reach North Alabama Sunday night ahead of a weak front.

Monday will be mostly cloudy and mild with a chance of scattered showers and a high around 70 degrees.

SEVERE WEATHER THREAT TUESDAY: SPC has an enhanced severe weather threat Tuesday afternoon and Tuesday night over Northwest Alabama, with the standard risk down to near Mobile…

New guidance this morning continues to point to a potential high impact severe weather threat for a decent part of Alabama. Surface based CAPE values surge to 1,000 j/kg Tuesday afternoon, more than enough instability for severe storms, and a dynamic upper trough will produce excellent diffluence aloft and strong lapse rates. And, a deepening surface low will move through Missouri, into Illinois, with high bulk shear values over the region. And, wind fields at the surface and aloft will be moderate to strong.

This is our latest thinking…

TIMING: The core threat of severe storms will come from 3:00 p.m. Tuesday through 12:00 midnight Tuesday night. Please note this event is still 4-5 days away, and the timing could change.

MODES: All severe weather modes will be possible, including large hail and damaging winds. The highest tornado threat will come from discrete storms that form Tuesday afternoon across North and West Alabama, in the SPC “30% area”. We do note that analogs (looking at past weather events under similar meteorological patterns) suggest that one or two long track tornadoes will be possible in this area as well. By Tuesday night the threat will shift to mainly straight line winds from the passing line of storms.

RAIN: Rain amounts of 1/2 to 1 inch are likely; flooding is not expected.

GRADIENT WINDS: Even away from thunderstorms, it will be windy with south winds of 15-25 mph, gusting to 30 mph at times.

CALL TO ACTION: Just be sure you have a way of hearing warnings, and think about where you go if you do happen to fall under a tornado warning polygon. And, don’t forget your readiness kit in that safe place with things like helmets for everyone, whistles or air horns (if you need to get the attention of first responders), and hard sole shoes.

And, considering passing along knowledge of the threat Tuesday to people that don’t usually pay attention to weather.

Interesting to note one of the top analogs that shows up is the “Super Tuesday” tornado outbreak of February 5-6, 2008…. that one produced 57 tornadoes, and the death toll was 57 in states mostly just north and west of Alabama.

REST OF NEXT WEEK: Clouds linger Wednesday, and we turn colder, and the rest of the week looks cold and dry. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

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

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

Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus
Instagram

I had a great time today seeing the kids at Vernon Intermediate School in Lamar County… be looking for them on the Pepsi KIDCAM today at 5:00 on ABC 33/40 News! My next Weather Xtreme video will be posted here by Monday morning at 7:00… Bill Murray will have the video updates tomorrow and Sunday. Enjoy the weekend!

Categories: Weather

This Week’s Good News from Alabama NewsCenter

Fri, 01/29/2016 - 16:03

How about some good news to go along with this beautiful weather? Here are some of our favorite stories from the past week from our friends at Alabama NewsCenter.

Jake Ganus stood out at UAB and Georgia and hopes to do the same at the Senior Bowl

Roll Tide revelry as Alabama Crimson Tide celebrate national championship with fans

Cam Newton sets his sights on a Super Bowl championship for Carolina Panthers

Southern Living at 50: Editors reflect and look toward the future

Southern Living ‘Evening with the Editors’ kicks off magazine’s 50th anniversary celebration in Birmingham

Alabama and Auburn working together? Ron Anders awarded for doing the impossible

Foundation for Progress in Journalism buys The Birmingham Times

Airbus relaxes some hiring criteria in Mobile with latest wave of openings

Small town grocers impact communities across the state in big ways

See the ‘Greatest Show on Earth,’ a lovely bird sanctuary or timeless theater with Can’t Miss Alabama

Good times roll as Mobile prepares for Mardi Gras

How well do you know your Mobile Mardi Gras and Carnival history?

Rock on: Birmingham’s Daniel C. Jackson picks up guitar again for ‘Rock of Ages’

UAB Adult Sickle Cell Clinic receives $1 million from Sickle Cell Foundation

KBR signs big lease in Hoover’s Galleria Tower

Patti Callahan Henry touches hearts and inspires spirits through writing

Bright Star broiled seafood platter, one of ‘100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die’

Alabama Power Foundation announces Students to Stewards grant recipients

Alabama Power warns of Birmingham area scam

Lake Martin hits new December peak for residential sales

Home sales in Wiregrass up slightly in December

Phenix City finishes 2015 strong in home sales

Athens closes out 2015 with 18 percent more home sales than 2014

Shoals narrowly misses new peak in home sales during December

Birmingham 2015 home sales up 6 percent over 2014

Baldwin County annual home sales were 12 percent higher than 2014

Rocket City home sales lift off in December

Categories: Weather

Fine Weekend; Severe Threat Tuesday

Fri, 01/29/2016 - 07:10

QUIET THROUGH SUNDAY: Let’s enjoy some nice weather in the short term. Sunshine in full supply today and tomorrow; we reach the mid 50s today, followed by mid 60s tomorrow as a nice weekend warm-up begins. Some places around here will be close to 70 degrees by Sunday afternoon with a mix of sun and clouds. A few showers could reach North Alabama Sunday night ahead of a weak front.

Scattered showers remain possible Monday, and we stay mild with a high around 70 degrees. But, we will be watching developments to the west closely as a major storm system will form over the Southwest U.S…. with big snows likely for places like Denver and Albuquerque.

SIGNIFICANT SEVERE WEATHER THREAT TUESDAY: The SPC has now introduced higher severe weather probabilities for Tuesday and Tuesday night, with the “30 percent enhancement” including North and West Alabama…

The standard risk runs all the way from New Orleans to Cincinnati.

A vigorous upper trough will support a deepening surface low that will move from the Four Corners (where Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado meet), to near Tulsa, and then on to St. Louis. Heavy snow, and possibly blizzard conditions are likely in the cold sector north of the low track, with severe storms in the warm sector.

Global model consistency remains good, and forecast confidence remains high.

Across North/Central Alabama, surface based CAPE values (instability) will rise to over 1,000 j/kg Tuesday afternoon, which is pretty robust for early February, along with surface dewpoints in the 60s.

A 130 knot+ jet streak (at 200 mb) is forecast to move over the region, and the low level jet (5,000 feet/850 mb) will exceed 60 knots over North Alabama. Storm relative helicity values will be high, and LCL values low (Lifted Condensation Level). Bottom line is that both dynamic and thermodynamic profiles will be very supportive of severe storms here.

So, this is what we are thinking now…

*There will be a risk of strong to severe thunderstorms over much of Alabama Tuesday afternoon and Tuesday night. For North/Central Alabama, highest risk will come from roughly 3:00 p.m. until 12:00 midnight.

*All modes of severe weather are possible, including large hail, damaging winds, and a few tornadoes.

*The highest risk of a tornado will be roughly along and north of I-59, in the “30 percent enhanced” area as defined by SPC, and in discrete storms that form during the afternoon and evening hours ahead of the main squall line/QLCS.

*Rain amounts of around 1 inch are likely, and flooding is not expected to be an issue.

No need to be worried or anxious; we have a number of severe weather threats every year in Alabama. It has just been unusually quiet in recent years. And, remember, this is still 5 days out and the forecast can change.

REST OF NEXT WEEK: Colder air rolls into the state over the latter part of next week, with highs dropping generally in the 40s. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

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

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

Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus
Instagram

I have a weather program this morning at Vernon Intermediate School in Lamar County… look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon. Enjoy the day!

Categories: Weather

Severe Storms Possible Tuesday

Thu, 01/28/2016 - 16:40

DRY THROUGH THE WEEKEND: A secondary surge of dry, continental air drops into Alabama tonight, and tomorrow should be much like today… ample sunshine with a high in the mid 50s.

Then, the weather turns spring-like for the weekend. Saturday will feature a sunny sky with a high in the mid 60s, and Sunday’s high will be very close to 70 degrees with a mix of sun and clouds. A few light showers could creep into North Alabama Sunday night ahead of a weak front.

Monday will stay very mild with a high around 70 with just a few scattered showers. But, eyes will be on a major storm system forming west of Alabama. Big snows are likely Monday for cities like Flagstaff, Denver, and Albuquerque, and as that system lifts out of the Southwest U.S., it will set the stage for an active severe weather day for parts of the southern U.S. Tuesday.

SPC continues to have much of Alabama in their “Day 6” severe weather outlook, which covers the 24 hour period from 6:00 a.m. CT Tuesday through 6:00 a.m. CT Wednesday.

Note the surge of unstable air up into Alabama; surface based CAPE values are expected to reach 1,000 j/kg Tuesday evening, pretty impressive for early February.

The bottom line is that there should be excellent dynamic and thermodynamic support for deep convection.

Please understand this risk is 5-6 days away, so it is just about impossible to get really specific. But, this is the current thinking…

*Strong to severe storms will be possible across North and Central Alabama Tuesday afternoon into Tuesday night. Storms will be capable of producing large hail, damaging winds, and a few tornadoes.

*The greatest threat of tornadoes will be in discrete cells that form ahead of the main squall line/QLCS, although a small tornado is possible within the line in close to line breaks and some bowing segments.

*Rain amounts of 1/2 to 1 inch are expected, not enough to bring widespread flooding problems.

Understand severe weather is fairly routine in Alabama; this is nothing “historic” or really out of the ordinary, but it certainly has potential to be a medium to high impact event, and we will watch developments closely in coming days.

LATER NEXT WEEK: Wednesday will be dry and cooler with highs back in the 50s, but even colder air arrives Thursday and Friday with highs in the 40s. Some North Alabama communities won’t get out of the 30s Thursday afternoon. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details…

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

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

Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus
Instagram

I had a great time today visiting with the students at Salter Elementary in Talladega… be looking for them on the Pepsi KIDCAM today at 5:00 on ABC 33/40 News! Also, thanks to the senior adults at First Baptist of White Plains for their very kind hospitality today and a great lunch! Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 7:00 a.m. tomorrow…

Categories: Weather

Dry Through The Weekend

Thu, 01/28/2016 - 07:14

NICE AND QUIET IN THE SHORT TERM: The focus of this discussion will be on the severe weather potential Tuesday of next week, but let’s enjoy some nice, calm weather through the weekend. Today and tomorrow will feature a good supply of sunshine with highs in the mid 50s; right at seasonal averages for late January in Alabama.

MILD WEEKEND: This weekend will be outstanding (at least in terms of weather!)… we rise into the mid 60s Saturday, followed by upper 60s Sunday. The sky will stay sunny Saturday, followed by a mix of sun and clouds Sunday. A few showers could reach North Alabama Sunday night ahead of a weak surface front.

MONDAY: A vigorous storm system will form over the Southwest U.S. Monday, with a surface low lifting out into the Great Plains. A big snow event will unfold in the cold air sector of the storm, and we will continue to be in a large warm sector; temperatures will approach 70 degrees here Monday afternoon. A few showers are possible Monday, but nothing widespread or heavy.

SEVERE WEATHER THREAT TUESDAY: Let me say up front I always have concern over too much hyperbole when it comes to a potential high impact event like this when it is discussed 5-6 days in advance. Please understand this is Alabama, and we have severe weather threats like this many times through the year. It is not unusual, and it is our job here to tell you what we know, and likewise, not tell you things we don’t know.

This is what it looks like now…

*SPC continues to have a pretty large of Alabama included in their “Day 6” severe weather outlook…

Understand this outlook runs from 6:00 a.m. CT Tuesday through 6:00 a.m. CT Wednesday.

*The “warm sector” of the storm system will feature some pretty impressive stability values for early February, with surface based CAPE values expected to rise to near 1,500 j/kg over Alabama Tuesday afternoon.

*Dynamic support for strong to severe storms will be excellent, with a deep upper trough supporting the surface low, which will run from near Wichita to Chicago.

*The low level jet (winds around 5,000 feet off the ground) will rise to near 60 knots over North Alabama Tuesday afternoon/evening, meaning there will certainly be a risk of storms with strong, damaging straight line winds.

*There will be sufficient shear for a few tornadoes, especially in any discrete storms that can form ahead of the developing squall line/QLCS.

But, please understand we still won’t know about the small scale features, that can really make or break a big severe weather event, until Sunday/Monday. No need to be worried or anxious about this, but just understand the potential, and keep up with these blog posts in coming days.

LATER NEXT WEEK: Much colder air will follow the storms, and we might hold in the 30s all day Thursday. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

TWO YEARS AGO TODAY: Alabama’s “Snowmaggendon”… Only two inches of snow fell at Birmingham, but it turned out to be a humanitarian crisis. Temperatures had reached the 60s a few days prior to the event, and the ground was relatively warm, but a brutally cold Arctic airmass rolled in January 27. When light snow started on Tuesday morning January 28, there was some initial melting due to the warm ground, immediately followed by a “flash freeze” (surface temperatures hovered around 20 degrees all day… I can’t recall a day with accumulating snow with a surface temperature that low in my 37 years on duty here), that put down a base of ice on all roads across North/Central Alabama. Which, in turn, brought the travel impact you would expect with a serious ice storm.

While we did forecast light snow that day, our impact forecast was simply horrible. Major travel impact was not expected, and accordingly thousands of people were stranded on highways, and hundreds and hundreds of cars were abandoned. In the end, Alabama State Troopers responded to 731 vehicle accidents across the state during the period Tuesday through Friday (Jan 28th-31st). Sadly, there were nine deaths attributed to accidents that occurred due to the icy road conditions.

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 show notes on the new episode we recorded last night.

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

Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus
Instagram

Busy day ahead… I have a weather program today at Salter Elementary in Talladega… and then I will speak to the senior adults at White Plains Baptist Church. Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon. Enjoy the day!

Categories: Weather

WeatherBrains 523: Between Storms

Thu, 01/28/2016 - 06:15

WeatherBrains Episode 523 is now online (January 27, 2016). If you are crazy about weather, this is THE netcast audio program for you!

Tonight’s guest on this slightly delayed episode of WeatherBrains are Jeff Piotrowski and John Huntington. This will be Jeff’s fifth appearance on our podcast having appeared in Episodes 384, 354, 289, and 282. John Huntington is also a repeat guest having been on Episode 290. Both of our guests were at ChaserCon 2016 along with our own Rick Smith.

Other discussions in this weekly podcast include topics like:

  • Extremes: 83 at Opa Locka, FL, and -23 at Antero Reservoir, CO, & Crested Butte, CO
  • What a difference a week makes
  • Snow storm is gone but some of that snow is still around
  • Lower 48 snow cover stands at 44 percent
  • SPC has defined severe wx area for Day 7 (next Tue-Wed)
  • This could mean a severe episode for Lower Mississippi River Valley
  • Astronomy Outlook with Tony Rice
  • and more!

Our email bag officer is just like the Post Office – neither rain nor sleet nor snow shall keep her from the email bag and those wonderful emails from our listeners. But a cold or some other bug has taken her out before the show reached the email segment. But we also have an audio file from our Estonia correspondent.

From The Weather Center:

WeatherBrains 101: This week in our 101 segment we take a look at one of those early pioneers who studied lightning. G. W. Richmann also became the poster child for lightning safety. Listen in to learn how he accomplished this feat.

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 523:

Human Element in Weather Forecasting by Chuck Doswell

Chaser Con 2016 recorded sessions

John Huntington Photography

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

Picks of the Week:

John Huntington – Coney Island Cam

Bill Murray – Incredible snow time lapse

Brian Peters – NASA’s web site on Suomi-NPP

Jeff Piotrowski – 3 inch hail in California

John Scala – Summary of DC Snowstorms (scroll to bottom)

Kevin Selle – Tornado Pod

Rick Smith – Time Lapse of Washington, DC, Snowfall

James Spann – Over Reliance on Models?

Aubrey Urbanowicz – Summary of Snowzilla by Capital Weather Gang

SkyDavers Blog – The Fog Bank

The WeatherBrains crew includes your host, James Spann, plus other notable geeks like Nate Johnson, Bill Murray, Dr. John Scala, 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.


WeatherBrains is a proud affiliate of NetAtmo Weather Stations.

Easy to install and affordable. Get your’s today!

You can monitor your data on iOS 4 or higher, Android 4.0 or higher, or a Windows Phone 8.0 or higher.

Categories: Weather

Several Sunny Days Ahead

Wed, 01/27/2016 - 12:49

RADAR CHECK: At midday most of the rain is over Southeast Alabama, and the sky has cleared nicely over the northwest part of the state…

The clearing will continue to push southward, and tonight will be clear and cold with a low in the 28-32 degree range early tomorrow for most places.

Tomorrow and Friday will feature sunny pleasant days and clear cold nights; the high both days will be in the mid 50s.

MILD WEEKEND: Saturday looks really nice; sunshine in full supply along with a high in the mid 60s. And, the latest data suggests we stay dry and mild Sunday, with a mix of sun and clouds along with a high in the 66-69 degree range. A few showers could show up Sunday night and Monday with a weak front drifting into Alabama from the north.

SEVERE WEATHER POTENTIAL NEXT WEEK: The new global model runs continue to show a dynamic weather system that will have the potential to bring strong to severe thunderstorms to the southern U.S. around Tuesday, or Tuesday night of next week. SPC already has this region in a risk of severe weather on their “Day 7” convective outlook…

You can’t be very specific when it comes to modes of severe weather and timing so far in advance, but just be aware of the potential. For Alabama at this time it looks like the main threat will come late Tuesday and Tuesday night.

This system will also spread very heavy snow in the cold sector from the Southwest U.S. up through the High Plains and into the Great Lakes. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

Drier air returns Wednesday, and we should turn sharply colder late in the week.

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 online here.

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

Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus
Instagram

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

Categories: Weather

Colder Today; Some Clearing This Afternoon

Wed, 01/27/2016 - 07:09

RAIN PUSHING SOUTH: Rain continues to sag slowly southward across Alabama this morning… rain is falling in spots along I-20, but by midday almost all of the rain should be over the southern half of the state.

Colder air has moved into North Alabama; some spots are at freezing, but the precipitation has moved out, and there are no winter weather travel issues.

We will be optimistic in the forecast and forecast gradual clearing this afternoon for the northern third of the state, but clouds will hang tough in many places. Expect a high today in the 48-52 degree range.

TOMORROW/FRIDAY: Sunny pleasant days, clear cold nights. Tomorrow morning should be the coldest, with upper 20s likely; the high tomorrow will be in the mid 50s, followed by mid to upper 50s Friday.

MILD WINTER WEEKEND: This will be one of the nicest weekends we have enjoyed in a while. Saturday will feature a sunny sky with a high in the mid 60s, and on Sunday we rise into the 66-69 degree range. Clouds will begin to increase Sunday, and we could see a few showers Sunday night ahead of a cold front.

The front will lose upper support, and drift into Alabama Monday with a risk of showers. Nothing widespread or heavy, and we stay in the 60s.

SEVERE WEATHER POTENTIAL NEXT WEEK: Interesting to note our friends at the Storm Prediction Center have put a decent part of Alabama in a severe weather risk on the “Day 7” convective outlook, which is for Tuesday, Tuesday night, and early Wednesday morning of next week.

Global models develop a very dynamic weather system, that will bring big snow to the southern Rockies Sunday, and ultimately out across the High Plains and the Great Lakes. We will be in the warm sector of the system, and it certainly looks like a setup for strong to severe storms for parts of the southern U.S.

Understand there is no way we can be specific so far in advance, but just be aware of the potential for some active thunderstorms in here in 6 days or so. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

Colder air will follow the storms over the latter part of next week.

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 actually produce this week’s show tonight at 8:30 CT… you can watch it here.

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

Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus
Instagram

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

Categories: Weather

Rain Today, Colder Wednesday

Tue, 01/26/2016 - 07:44

A cold front will be moving slowly but steadily across the Southeast US today and Wednesday. This will produce a rainy day for today and usher in some colder weather for Wednesday. Fortunately for us, colder does not mean extreme cold as the upper flow does not become strongly northwesterly. Temperatures will be held down today as compared with yesterday but we should still see most places reach the upper 50s. The rain will take its time moving across the state but should be exiting Central Alabama late tonight. Wednesday will see a good deal of clouds as the somewhat colder air reaches us with highs in the upper 40s.

The trough finally comes by Thursday which will see the coolest morning with lows around 30 degrees. Highs Thursday should bounce back a little with highs in the lower and middle 50s.

As the surface high moves by us on Friday, the upper flow will become nearly zonal across the southern tier of the US. This signals a nice warmup as we head into the weekend. By Saturday the morning lows will still be in the 30s but most spots should stay at or slightly above freezing. With a good supply of sunshine, the upper flow becoming southwesterly, and the surface flow coming around to the south, those afternoon highs should surge upward with highs in the lower 60s. Those values will be about 8 to 10 degrees above the late January 30-year averages.

We stay dry until Tuesday as we benefit from the southerly surface flow as well as the southwesterly flow aloft. That should keep highs in the 60s and lows in the middle 40s to lower 50s. The next good chance for rain will come on Tuesday with the approach of a cold front. The main storm system located in the Central Plains is expected to be a very strong one. This could mean a round of severe weather for Tuesday from the Lower Mississippi River Valley into the Ohio River Valley as well as a significant round of winter weather behind the low from Colorado to Minnesota. We’re verging on voodoo country here, so no specifics just yet, but this will definitely bear close watching.

That strong upper low will come by around the 3rd of February as we trend colder once again but not extremely cold. Another trough comes across the Lower Mississippi River Valley around the 5th, but that trough is followed by a nearly zonal flow for the last several days of the forecast period. So for now there does not appear to be any signs of any extreme cold for us to deal with.

I’m filling in for James Spann this morning, since he has been taken down by a strong bug. I’ll be filling in tomorrow morning for Charles Daniel, so not completely sure as to when the next Weather Xtreme Video will be posted. There will be notes here on the weather for Central Alabama. Enjoy the day, take an umbrella with you and perhaps a jacket – temperatures in the 50s aren’t too bad but when it’s wet it just feels colder. Godspeed.

-Brian-

Categories: Weather

Tonight’s WeatherBrains Postponed ’til Wednesday Night

Mon, 01/25/2016 - 20:02

Hey WeatherBrains Fans!

Tonight’s show has been postponed til Wednesday night due to the big nor’easter on the East Coast. No, not really.

The show has been postponed til Wednesday night because the Eveready Bunny that is our host is under the weather.

Yes, you heard me right. James is under the weather. He should be back Wednesday.

The rest of the team will be filling in for him until he returns.

– Bill

Categories: Weather

Rainy Tuesday Ahead

Mon, 01/25/2016 - 16:18

THIS AFTERNOON: While clouds are increasing, we have enough sunshine available to make this a very pleasant day; many places have risen into the low 60s this afternoon. Clouds thicken tonight, and rain pushes into the northern counties after midnight ahead of a cold front.

WET DAY TOMORROW: Rain becomes widespread tomorrow, with amounts averaging 1/2 to 1 inch. A clap of thunder is possible over South Alabama, but no severe storms are expected.

WINTER MISCHIEF FOR FAR NORTH ALABAMA EARLY WEDNESDAY? As the cold front pushes deeper into Alabama, colder air returns late tomorrow night, and it seems like there is a window for a light “wintry mix” of precipitation over far North Alabama early Wednesday morning. A little light freezing rain, sleet, and snow is possible, generally north of U.S. 278 (north of a line from Hamilton to Cullman to Gadsden).

I still think the impact will be generally low, however, since the precipitation will be ending as temperatures hit 32 degrees across the Tennessee Valley. Also, the ground will be wet and relatively mild after the soaking rain, and the bridge infrastructure won’t be really cold. Just be aware of the possibility if you will be driving early Wednesday over far North Alabama.

Rain will end from north to south Wednesday morning, and by afternoon most of the rain will be south of I-20. Otherwise, Wednesday will be cloudy and colder with a high in the upper 40s.

THURSDAY/FRIDAY: Dry air returns; we expect sunshine in full supply both days. The coldest morning will come early Thursday when mid to upper 20s are likely, then we warm into the low 50s Thursday afternoon, and upper 50s Friday.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Saturday looks like a delightful day, with ample sunshine and a high in the mid 60s. Clouds begin to return Sunday, but for now the day looks dry, and again we expect a high up in the 63-66 degree range.

The chance of rain will slowly increase early next week; see the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details…

WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly 90 minute netcast anytime on the web, or on iTunes. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists here at ABC 33/40. We will produce this week’s show tonight at 8:30 CT… you can watch it online here.

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

Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus
Instagram

I enjoyed seeing a big home school group today at Lakeview Baptist Church in Southside… 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

Recap of the Good News from Alabama NewsCenter

Mon, 01/25/2016 - 10:00

Here is a recap of the good news from the past week from our friends at Alabama NewsCenter.

Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide found on the streets of Jerusalem

Is Nick Saban knocking on Bear Bryant’s door?

Jacksonville State’s John Grass recognized as FCS 2015 AFCA National Coach of the Year

Order on the court as SEC teams are finding success in a different sport

Yorozu breaks ground on $100 million auto supplier plant in Jasper

Southwest Alabama needs nearly 5,000 skilled workers, survey reveals

Worthington Industries eyes Alabama facility for $8.5 million investment, consolidation

Alabama-made Honda Ridgeline tackles pickup market high and low

Austal is cruising with a spike of shipbuilding activity in Mobile

Freedom Soap takes a pure path to being an Alabama Maker

Hope finds a home at Brother Bryan Mission in Alabama Bright Lights

Code.org, A+ College Ready and Alabama Department of Education aim to elevate computer science graduates

Familiar Alabama face Tommy Dewey joins CBS drama series ‘Code Black’ tonight

Helena’s Rebecca Luker returns to her role in Broadway’s ‘The Secret Garden’

Enjoy the best boat show, intrigue your inner artist, run for a reason in this edition of Can’t Miss Alabama

Birmingham honors Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King’s vision shared at Unity Breakfast

Alabama Power employees join others in remembering Martin Luther King

Southern Company subsidiary in Alabama awarded grant to lead advanced nuclear technology development

Renew Our Rivers enters its 17th year in Alabama

Alabama Power begins operating under new Martin Dam license today

Saw’s BBQ pork-stuffed tater is on the menu in 100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die

Heavy hitters of Alabama commercial real estate to lead ACREcon 2016 panel discussion

Emerging trends: Alabama commercial real estate industry predictions for 2016

Alabama’s most improved housing markets during November

Alabama foreclosure rate drops again in November

Cullman December homes selling at brisker pace

Dothan December home sales up 17 percent over 2014 numbers

Categories: Weather

Another Satellite View of Snow

Mon, 01/25/2016 - 09:32

Just perusing a variety of weather resources this morning, and I happened upon another view of the snowfall from the storm that dumped so much snow on the Mid-Atlantic states.

This image was taken by the Suomi NPP satellite’s VIIRS instrument around 1815Z (12:15 pm CST) on January 24, 2016. Over the last decade, NASA launched a series of satellites that offer an unparalleled view of Earth from space. That series, known collectively as NASA’s Earth Observing System (EOS), has provided striking new insights into many aspects of Earth, including its clouds, oceans, vegetation, ice, and atmosphere. However, as the EOS satellites age, a new generation of Earth-observing satellites are poised to take over.

The Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership represents a critical first step in building this next-generation satellite system. Suomi NPP orbits the Earth about 14 times each day and observe nearly the entire surface. The NPP satellite continues key data records that are critical for climate change science. The Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) spacecraft lifted off at 5:48 am EDT on October 28, 2011, to begin its Earth observation mission.

-Brian-

Categories: Weather

Rain On The Way

Mon, 01/25/2016 - 07:19

NICE WARM-UP TODAY: The colder temperatures are over Northeast Alabama this morning, where we are seeing mid 20s around Gadsden and Fort Payne, but we expect a very nice warm-up statewide today, with highs in the mid 50s for most communities. But, clouds will be increasing as well, and some rain could reach the state late tonight ahead of a slow moving cold front.

WET DAY TOMORROW: Tomorrow will be a wet day with rain likely; maybe some thunder over the southern counties of the state (but no risk of severe storms). The high will be in the mid 50s, and rain amounts of at least one inch are likely.

WEDNESDAY: The front stalls out over South Alabama, and a wave of low pressure forms on the front. Rain will continue during the day Wednesday, mainly in places south and east of Birmingham. And, the day will be colder with the front to the south; most North/Central Alabama communities won’t get past the mid 40s.

We need to mention that thermal profiles suggest the rain could end as a “wintry mix” over the Tennessee Valley of far North Alabama early Wednesday morning. But for now significant impact is not expected due to a relatively warm ground and infrastructure. We will keep a close eye on this potential, however, as we get closer to the event.

THURSDAY/FRIDAY: These two days will feature a good supply of sunshine with a warming trend; we reach the mid 50s Thursday, and Friday’s high will be close to 60.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Saturday looks like a delightful day; ample sunshine along with a high in the low 60s. Clouds increase Sunday, but only a small risk of a shower. Sunday’s high will be up in the mid 60s.

NEXT WEEK: Showers are possible early in the week, and temperatures will be mild as we kick off the month of February. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly 90 minute netcast anytime on the web, or on iTunes. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists here at ABC 33/40. We will produce this week’s show tonight at 8:30 CT… you can watch it here.

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

Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus
Instagram

I will be doing a weather program this morning for a home school group in Gadsden… look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon. Enjoy the day!

Categories: Weather

The Space View of Snow

Sun, 01/24/2016 - 12:02

With clear skies covering most of the eastern half of the country, it gives us a great view of the snow cover across the large area of the US impacted by the storm on Friday and early Saturday. Here is the Southeast US view annotated with some arrows pointing to the snow cover. Even the northeast corner of Alabama saw enough snow for it to show up on the satellite view this morning.

Further northeast the snow cover is easy to see from Kentucky and Tennessee all the way to Massachusetts. Clouds do interview with the view in northwest Pennsylvania and the western half of New York state. The snow covered areas are fairly easy to distinguish from the clouds since those covered by snow have a somewhat “veiny” look while clouds are smoother and more uniform. The National Snow Analysis web site reports the snow cover across the continental US stands at 57 percent this morning.

It’s times like this that I’m happy to have had a career in the fascinating world of weather. I still find it hard to believe that this summer will mark my 50th year since my very first job for the US Weather Bureau in 1966.

-Brian-

Categories: Weather

Let the Warmup Begin

Sun, 01/24/2016 - 08:47

Starting out once again on a very chilly note with morning lows ranging from 17 to 22. But with a nice dose of sunshine today we should see our afternoon highs climb nicely into the upper 40s – that’s a good 10 degrees warmer than yesterday. For those south of the Birmingham area at places like Clanton, Alexander City, and Tuscaloosa, you could see highs top out at 50 to 52.

For Monday, we warm up even more. We’ll start the day with lows in the 28 to 32 range, but our afternoon highs should read the upper 50s. We’ll see the weather begin its transition to a wet weather with clouds increasing substantially during the afternoon and evening. Monday evening and Tuesday the cold front should enter Alabama from the northwest, but the upper flow is expected to go southwesterly with the trough aligned from the Great Lakes into Texas. This will slow the forward progress of the front with minor ripples along the front keeping us wet into midday Wednesday.

Wednesday afternoon into Thursday the southern portion of the trough is expected to move across the Southeast US, and this should push the front well southeast of us by Thursday afternoon. With the strong relatively low latitude upper trough, we’ll see another surface low generated just east of Florida, and the GFS really bombs this one out Thursday into Friday. Fortunately, it appears that it will be well offshore, so the effects to the US coast from South Carolina to New York won’t be as serious as the storm they just had. While not as serious from the point of view of snow, it will be causing some serious wind issues for the coast from the Carolinas to New England with the potential for serious coastal flooding.

For us in Alabama, temperatures will dip back once again with lows in the 28 to 32 range for Thursday and Friday and highs in the 40s. But a surface high settles in over the Southeast US for Friday and the weekend returning us into the 50s for highs. By Sunday the upper flow begins to become southwesterly and this will be bringing moisture out of the Pacific once again ahead of what could be a fairly powerful upper trough and closed low that will impact us around the first of February.

The powerful upper low around February 2nd is likely to produce a round of severe weather for the Lower Mississippi River Valley northward into the Ohio River Valley. At the same time, west of the upper low will see a significant round of winter weather. We’re getting into the early days of voodoo country, so no specifics. However, we are see consistency on this feature from the runs yesterday morning. Once that one goes by, we’ll have another strong trough around February 5th that promises some cold air once again for the Southeast US from the 5th to the 8th.

Headed out to Oak Mountain State Park later today for a program at the Alabama Wildlife Center on birds of prey. James Spann is expected back on Monday morning with the next edition of the Weather Xtreme Video. Enjoy the day as the warmup begins. Stay warm and Godspeed.

-Brian-

Categories: Weather

Record Setting Storm for NYC?

Sat, 01/23/2016 - 19:22

Here is an update as of 6:27 p.m. from the NWS in New York City:
Good evening, The storm total at Central Park, NY up to 7 pm is 25.1 inches. The liquid equivalent for the event is 2.19″ This snowfall ranks #3 since records have been kept in 1869.

ORIGINAL POST
The huge snowstorm pounding the East Coast is threatening to break several all time snowfall records, including the all time record from a single storm for Central Park in New York City. Central Park is the official record location for New York City.

NEW YORK CITY

Click image to enlarge.

So far, the three major NYC Airports have picked up the following snowfall amounts through 5 p.m. CST:

…LaGuardia 23″
…JFK 26″
…Newark 21″
…Central Park 25.1″ (through 6 p.m. CST)

And New York City is directly under a huge snow band that is basically stationary over the area. It may continue to snow heavily through 10 p.m. CST. With snowfall rates of 1-2 inches per hour and more, it is conceivable that Central Park could hit 25-29 inches! That would be the all time record for a single storm. The official forecast is for 26.5 inches. (We are expecting an update from Central Park any moment.)

New York City’s greatest snowstorms:
26.9 February 11-12, 2006
25.8 December 26-27,1947 (some sources say 26.4)
…25.1 January 22-23, 2016 (through 6 p.m.)…
21.0 March 12-14, 1888
20.9 February 25-26, 2010
20.2 January 7-8, 1996
20.0 December 26-27, 2010
19.8 February 16-17, 2003
19.0 January 26-27, 2011
18.1 January 22-24, 1935
18.1 March 7-8, 1941

WASHINGTON DC
17.8 is the official storm total for Reagan National (that information just in at 6:07 p.m. CST). This is good enough to tie for 4th place on the all time list for Washington DC snowstorms (tied with the February 25-26, 2010 storm). They could easily make 3rd place before the night is over despite the fact that the snow is diminishing in D.C.

Dulles has picked up 28.3 inches.

Blizzard conditions were officially observed this morning in D.C.

AMAZING TOTALS
So far, several snowfall totals over 36 inches have been observed, including 40 inches at Glengary WV. 39 inch totals have been observed at Jones Springs and Shpherstown WV and 39 inches near Philomont VA. In Maryland, 37 inches was observed at North Potomac Maryland.

The all time record 24 hour snowfall total for Maryland is 31 inches at Clear Spring in 1942. West Virginia’s is 35 inches at Flat Top in 1998. Virginia’s is 33.5 inches in 1994 in Luray. Some all time state records may fall.

Categories: Weather

Sunshine Returns, Remaining Cold & Blustery

Sat, 01/23/2016 - 14:54

We are seeing our sky clear today, but oh boy it remains a down-right miserably cold day across the state.

Temperature are just above freezing in Central Alabama, while locations in the Tennessee Valley remain in the 20s. Our winds continue to blow out of the north-northwest which just adds insult in injury, and wind chills are well below freezing this afternoon and that is where they will stay. Bundle up in layers if you have to head out and about today. Through the afternoon, we will see more sun than clouds, but despite the sunshine, temperatures will not go up.

With a clearing sky and our winds diminishing, we are going to see a very cold night. Lower and mid 20s are expected, and yes there will be some teens on the temperature maps tomorrow morning. For our Sunday, look for improving weather for the second half of our weekend. We are going to see plenty of sunshine, and tomorrow could be one of those days it will be hard to find a cloud in the Alabama sky. It will not be as windy, and we are going to see warmer temperatures with most locations climbing into the upper 40s to near 50F degrees.

Categories: Weather