ABC 33/40 Weather Blog

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The latest information on Alabama weather, tornadoes, hurricanes, winter storms, national weather headlines and the science of meteorology in general.
Updated: 4 hours 57 min ago

Turning Cooler Tonight

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 15:53

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

COOLER AIR MOVING INTO NORTH ALABAMA: Temperatures are only in the low 80s over the northeast corner of Alabama this afternoon, and the dew point has dropped to 55 at Fort Payne, where they have a fresh north breeze gusting to 21 mph.

This cooler, drier air will keep moving southward tonight. And, to the south, along the cold front, strong to severe showers and thunderstorms have formed over South Alabama. A number of severe thunderstorm warnings have been posted for counties between Mobile and Montgomery… the main threat is from strong, gusty winds.

TOMORROW AND WEDNESDAY: What a nice fall preview. Low humidity levels, sunny days, cool nights. Highs in the mid 80s, and the low early Wednesday will be close to 60, with 50s for the cooler pockets. A number of new record lows are likely Wednesday (Birmingham’s record low for July 30 is 61 set in 1994). It will feel more like late September instead of late July.

THURSDAY/FRIDAY: Moisture returns, and we will mention the risk of an afternoon shower or thunderstorm Thursday. Scattered showers and storms are possible Friday with a mix of sun and clouds; highs will be in the mid to upper 80s.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: A pool of low level moisture will be in place, so there will be a risk of scattered showers and thunderstorms both Saturday and Sunday. Not a continuous kind of rain, but if you have something planned outdoors just understand a passing shower or storm is possible at just about anytime. The sky will be occasionally cloudy, and highs will hold in the mid to upper 80s.

Expect similar weather early next week… see the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and details.

TROPICS: A well organized tropical wave in the eastern Atlantic should become Tropical Storm Bertha later this week; most models recurve this into the open Atlantic before impacting the U.S. mainland.

GULF COAST WEATHER: A strong storm is likely in a number of spots along the coast tonight from Panama City to Gulf Shores… then beautiful weather tomorrow and Wednesday with sunny days and fair nights. Then, Thursday through the weekend, about 6 to 8 hours of sunshine each day with a few scattered showers and storms. Highs will remain mostly in the mid to upper 80s along the coast, and sea water temperatures are in the mid 80s in most places.

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 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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I enjoyed seeing the kids in the Alabaster City Schools summer program today at Meadow View Elementary… 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

Severe Thunderstorm Warning Barbour/Pike until 3:45 PM

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 15:08

A severe storm is racing off towards the southeast and is impacting portions of U.S. 231. Hail and damaging winds are possible with this storm. It will not be impacting the city of Troy, but is off to the south and east and will be impacting Clio and Brundidge.

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BIRMINGHAM HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR…
SOUTHWESTERN BARBOUR COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST ALABAMA…
SOUTHEASTERN PIKE COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST ALABAMA…

* UNTIL 345 PM CDT

* AT 306 PM CDT…THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE INDICATED A SEVERE
THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING QUARTER SIZE HAIL…AND DAMAGING
WINDS IN EXCESS OF 60 MPH. THIS STORM WAS LOCATED NEAR
BRUNDIDGE…AND MOVING SOUTHEAST AT 20 MPH.

* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE…
CLIO…DOSTER…HAMILTON CROSSROADS AND TENNILLE.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

FOR YOUR PROTECTION…MOVE TO AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF
YOUR HOME OR BUSINESS.

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

Categories: Weather

Heat Relief On The Way

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 06:12

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

RADAR CHECK: A few isolated showers are in progress across Alabama early this morning at daybreak from Tuscaloosa to Calera… these are moving southeast ahead of a push of cooler, drier air that is entering the far northern part of the state.

The drier air will win the battle, and later today showers and storms will be confined to the southern half of Alabama, south of U.S. 80. In fact, SPC has the standard “slight risk” of severe weather up for parts of South Alabama this afternoon and early tonight; strong winds will be the main threat.

FALL PREVIEW: Our weather will be delightful tonight through Thursday, with sunny days, clear cool nights, and low humidity levels. Highs in the mid 80s, lows dropping into the 57-61 degree range by early Wednesday. Birmingham’s record low for Wednesday morning (July 30) is 61 set in 1994… a good chance that record falls.

FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: Moist air returns to the state. A few scattered showers could break out Friday, and we will have the risk of scattered showers and thunderstorms both Saturday and Sunday. Not to say it will be a totally wet weekend, but keep in mind a passing shower or storm will be possible, especially during the afternoon and evening hours. Highs will remain in the 80s as a broad upper trough persists over the eastern half of the nation.

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

GULF COAST WEATHER: A passing strong storm is possible late this afternoon or tonight along the coast from Panama City over to Gulf Shores, then beautiful weather tomorrow through Thursday with sunny days and fair nights. A few scattered storms will return late this weekend and over the weekend, but you will still get about 6 to 8 hours of sunshine each day. Highs on the immediate coast will remain in the upper 80s, and the sea water temperature early this morning at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab is 86 degrees.

TROPICS: A tropical wave in the eastern Atlantic has some chance of gradual development in coming days as it moves west/northwest. Most tropical models have the system near the Leeward Islands in about five days… out in the longer range the GFS model hints this will recurve before impacting the U.S. mainland. If this becomes a tropical storm, the name will be Bertha. Details on the Weather Xtreme video.

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 8:30p CT… you can watch it on “James Spann 24/7″ on cable systems around the state, or on the web here.

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

Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus
Instagram

I will be speaking to students in the summer program at Meadow View Elementary in Alabaster this morning (and also to the teachers after the kid program)… look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon. Enjoy the day!

Categories: Weather

An Important Anniversary in Hurricane Forecasting

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 15:30

In July 1943, tracking hurricanes was a difficult business. Fewer ships were at sea because of the threat of German U-boats. Those that were at sea maintained radio silence. Britain suffered mightily from the lack of weather reports from over the Atlantic. The Brits were forced to use precious aircraft to fly weather observation missions. The U.S. feared that the West Indies would become a major theater of war if the Germans decided to attack through Central and South America.

In Bryan, Texas, Col. James P. Duckworh was in charge of the Instrument Flying Instruction School. Before the 1930s, there wasn’t any such thing as instrument flying. Everything was visual. Duckworth had been a pilot for Eastern Air Transport, the precursor to Eastern Airlines. He had resigned to go to active duty with the Army Air Corps Reserve. Duckworth said that he knew that the war wasn’t going to stop because of weather.

Weather map from the morning of July 27, 1943.

On the morning of Sunday, July 27th, Col. Duckworth made his way to the base to have breakfast. As he ate, he learned that there was a hurricane making landfall near Galveston. Hard to believe, since it was a beautiful morning at Bryan, about 100 miles from Galveston. The storm was expected to pass near Houston during the afternoon. Duckworth saw it as the perfect opportunity to do what no one had done intentionally up to that time: fly into a hurricane.

Joe suggested to one of his breakfast companions, Lt. Ralph O’Hair that they take an single engine AT-6 trainer and fly into the storm for fun. There were four new B-25‘s at the base, but it would be hard to justify using one of them for this unsanctioned mission. As 100 mph winds were raking the coast. Duckworth and O’Hair took off for Galveston. Enroute, they called the tower at Houston and said they were flying Galveston. The incredulous operator asked them if they knew there was a hurricane. When they said yes, the controller asked for updates so he would be able to direct crews to the wreckage.

As they flew toward the hurricane, they were in the weaker western semicircle of the storm. As they neared the eyewall, they experienced violent up and down turbulence that made them feel like a “bone in a dog’s mouth”. Suddenly, they broke into the clear air of the eye. They flew around for a few minutes and headed back to the base where they were met by the staff meteorological officer. The weatherman wanted to know why they had not included him in their historic flight. They responded by telling him to hop in, they would take him to the center. The meteorologist kept a very detailed diary of observations.

Duckworth did not immediately realize the significance of his feat. Later that year, one of his superiors summoned him to tell the pilot that he had been recommended for the Distinguished Flying Cross. The unassuming Colonel did receive the Air Medal for flying into a hurricane for the first time, twice in the same day.

Realizing the benefit of more specific information on hurricanes, regular reconnaissance flights were started the next year. Weather Bureau meteorologists used the information about 1944’s Great Atlantic Hurricane to issue better warnings.

Categories: Weather

Tropics Quiet…For Now…

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 14:00

Tropical Storm Bertha next Saturday evening?

We are tracking a tropical wave in the far eastern Atlantic on this last Sunday of July.

Right now it doesn’t look like much, but several of the global models, including the American GFS and the UKMET are now on board with the idea that it will become tropical depression number 3 in the week ahead as it steams across the Atlantic. There is a chance it could even go on to become Tropical Storm Bertha.

It is expected to move near the northern Lesser Antilles or Virgin Islands Friday night and could affect Puerto Rico as well. After that, the GFS currently projects it curving around the Bermuda High and flirting with the U.S. East Coast, but not making landfall.

Another system will come off the African coast late in the week, but indications are that it will head toward weakness over the western Atlantic as the subtropical high shifts a little east temporarily.

Categories: Weather

Warmest Day of the Year?

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 11:53

An impressive cumulus field was blossoming across Central Alabama on this last Sunday in July. The healthy fair weather clouds have multiplied in the deeper moisture that is over the state today. Morning dewpoint levels are in the lower and middle 70s, some 6-7 degrees higher than those of the same time yesterday.

The fair skies are the result of sprawling upper level high pressure over the southern tier of states, stretching from Utah to Alabama. This high should again put the kibosh on showers this afternoon.

It will also allow the mercury to warm well into the middle and upper 90s across the area. It was already 91F at Tuscaloosa at 11 a.m. and 88F at Birmingham. The Birmingham reading is some three degrees ahead of the temperature at the same time yesterday.

LATE NOTE: It had reached 91F at the Birmingham Airport at noon as temperatures continue to soar.

This may allow today to be the warmest day of the year in the Magic City. The 95F yesterday is currently tie with two other July days for the warmest day of 2014.

HEAT ADVISORY: With the combination of highs in the middle and upper 90s and high humidity, the National Weather Service has issued a Heat Advisory for West Central and South Central Alabama. Places like Vernon, Tuscaloosa, Demopolis, Selma, Montgomery and Troy are in the Heat Advisory for heat index values pushing 105F degrees today. Elsewhere, in places like Birmingham, Hamilton, Cullman, Gadsden, Anniston, Alex City and Auburn, heat indices today will top out above 100F, but remain just below Advisory criteria.

A line of showers and storms storms is expected to develop by mid-afternoon near the Ohio River and push southeastward this afternoon and evening. It will arrive at the Northwest Corner of Alabama around 9 p.m. and die out as it progresses. It should be completely gone by the time it gets to Birmingham and I-20.

This activity is ahead of a cold front that has passed St. Louis this afternoon. It will arrive in Northwest Alabama afternoon midnight and clear the Birmingham area during the late morning.

Much of North Central Alabama may miss out completely on the rain and storm, with the best chances tomorrow coming south of Clanton. We note that the SPC does have much of southern Alabama in a slight risk severe weather outlook, their standard forecast.

Cooler and drier air will follow on the heels of the front, much like last week. Look for several 50s by Wednesday morning, which is record country for July 30th in Alabama

Categories: Weather

Second Driest July on Record?

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 10:18

As we start to close this books on July this week, I thought it would be fun to take a peek back at the month that was in the climate department, especially since there have been several nice stretches of cool weather.

So, at first glance, you would think that July 2014 was going to go down in the record books as one of the coolest in Birmingham history. But not so fast my friend.

We have broken a few record lows, and more records are on the way, but as far as the month goes, there will have been 29 Julys in Magic City climate history that have been cooler.  

The average high for the month should finish around 89.2F, which is 1.6 degrees below the 30 year average high of 90.8F. The average low for the month will finish at 68.7F, which is well below the 30 year average of 71.4F. That has really helped the month to feel a bit more comfortable. Warm lows in the middle and upper 70s really make it feel stifling.

The overall mean temperature for the month will finish at 79.0F, which is two degrees cooler than the long term average of 81.1.

We have only measured 0.92 inches of rain at the Birmingham Airport, and the prospects for more out of the approaching front or from the rest of the week are not good. In fact, it looks like we will be lucky to get to one inch of rain for the month.

If we total less than 1.11 inches of rain for the month, it will be the second driest July on record, drier than the horrible drought year of 1952.

We are now nearly four inches down to average for the year in the rainfall department at Birmingham.

Categories: Weather

Hot Again Today But a Change Coming

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 06:52

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

The upper ridge to our west forced itself eastward yesterday bringing Central Alabama one of the warmest days of the year. Today heat values will be up while we stay dry across the northern two-thirds of the state of Alabama. Highs will be in the 93 to 98 range today with heat indices climbing into the 100 to 105 range in the area generally south of Birmingham. The National Weather Service has posted a heat advisory for the southern portion of Central Alabama including places like Montgomery, Selma, Tuscaloosa, Clanton, Troy, and Demopolis to name a few. But another major change is coming with yet another summer cold front promising to bring thunderstorms on Monday with much cooler and drier air to the Southeast US on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The upper ridge gets pushed back later today with the digging of a strong trough across the Great Lakes region and into the eastern US. This will force a cold front – the fourth one in July this year – into the Southeast US and bring a round of thunderstorms to the area Monday. With the front coming in just a tad faster than I thought yesterday, SPC has defined a specific slight risk area for the development of isolated severe storms capable of damaging wind and perhaps large hail with the front on Monday afternoon mainly in South Alabama and stretching eastward into South Georgia and the coastal area of the Carolinas.

The trough sweeps in pushing the front well down into the Gulf of Mexico Monday evening setting us up for cooler and drier air once again. Wednesday morning we could see record lows set in Central Alabama. The current record for July 30th is 61 set in 1994 for Birmingham.

The pattern remains unchanged with a trough over the eastern half of the country for the latter half of the week, so we’ll see a gradual warming trend as moisture levels slowly come back up. But with the trough pattern over the East I expect us to stay below seasonal averages with highs mainly in the 80s for the latter part of the week and only small chances for showers by the end of the week.

Not quite as hot and dry at the coast for beach goers. There will be a good supply of sunshine for the coast today with only widely scattered storms. Highs will be in the upper 80s along the immediate coast, and Gulf water temperatures are generally in the low to mid 80s. Monday will be stormy at the beach especially for the afternoon hours, but the weather improves for the rest of the week.

The tropical Atlantic basin remains generally quiet. NHC is keeping an eye on a tropical wave south of the Cape Verde Islands. Tropical storm formation is not expected through the weekend but this could change into next week as the wave moves into an area where conditions are expected to be more conducive for development.

The first half of voodoo country as we head into August looks like a continuation of the eastern US trough pattern. The GFS does indicate a change to a more ridge like pattern with increased warmth as we get into the middle of August.

And you can follow news and weather updates from ABC 33/40 on Twitter here. Stay in the know by following the whole gang – here’s the list…

James Spann Charles Daniel Bill Murray Brian Peters E-Warn (AL wx watches/warnings)

I expect James Spann to have the next Weather Xtreme Video posted Monday morning as we watch yet another summertime front come into Alabama. Stay cool today and Godspeed.

-Brian-

Categories: Weather

“Warnings” – A Review

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 18:16

Most of you know I work a pretty long day… up before 5 a.m… not home until around midnight. My passion for weather keeps me going and energized. Unfortunately the long hours prevents me from reading many books, but I was able to finish “Warnings: The True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather” by my friend Mike Smith this month.

For those that love weather, this is one of those books that is hard to put down. Not only is it a history of the severe weather warning system in the United States, it also weaves in the personal story of Mike’s long career.

Most of us in applied meteorology had some event in our childhood that triggered a deep interest in weather. For Mike, it was the Ruskin Heights tornado on May 20, 1957, just south of Kansas City, that was rated EF-5, and would kill 44 people that Monday evening. There were no tornado warnings in 1957; the U.S. Weather Bureau had a fear that that would set off a panic if they even mentioned the immediate threat of a tornado. Mike describes watching news cut-ins during “I Love Lucy” on WDAF as reports came into their newsroom.

The book goes on to tell the story of the first operational tornado forecast had been issued by Air Force Officers E. J. Fawbush and R. C. Miller at Tinker Air Force Base in 1948. These men laid the foundation for the current watch and warning system in use today.

There are many case studies in Mike’s book; one of great interest to me is the mircoburst of August 2, 1985 that downed Delta Flight 191, a regularly scheduled service from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, Florida to Los Angeles International Airport, California, by way of Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. The crash came on the ground of DFW Airport in Texas; I happened to be the chief meteorologist for the CBS station in Dallas at the time, KDFW-TV, Channel 4. The plane went down during the first few minutes of our 6:00 news that evening, and soon it become pretty clear the big thunderstorm near DFW was responsible for the crash, which would kill 137 people.

Guess I can admit it now, but watching the live news coverage of the crash that night on our competing station, WFAA-TV, had a big impact on me, and inspired me to do long form coverage during tornadoes later in my career when it was allowed by management. Channel 8 did such a good job that night.

Mike also look at the warning process for Hurricanes Andrew and Katrina in deep detail… what went right, and what went wrong. It is especially interesting to read the chapter “Murder by Bureaucracy” concerning Katrina.

I do believe you need to know where you have been to have a better understanding of where you are going. This history of severe weather warnings in this nation is a very important story for all of us, and Mike did a masterful job of telling it. I encourage all in the weather enterprise, and those interested in weather, to get a copy. It is a very good read.

Categories: Weather

Sunny and Hot Saturday

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 12:53

It is certainly feeling like July this weekend across the state. The entire state is basking under a sunny sky as a ridge has built in across the region. There are a few fair weather clouds out there, but no showers or storms are showing up anywhere across the state. It is a terrific Saturday, it is just hot and humid, but that is what we expect during the middle of summer.

Under the sunny sky, our temps are hot this afternoon, as most locations are into the upper 80s and lower 90s. Over the next few hours, those temps will continue to increase, and most spots will see high ranging from 91-95 this afternoon. That is right at or just above seasonal averages for this time of year. For your Sunday, we can expect a near repeat of today, but temps could be a degree or two warmer. Don’t worry though, big changes are ahead, as a cold front will be arriving Monday.

Categories: Weather

Hot and Dry for the Weekend

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 06:52

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

The dreaded upper ridge to our west will force itself eastward today and Sunday bringing heat values up while we stay mostly dry across the northern two-thirds of the state of Alabama. Highs will be in the 91 to 95 range today and Sunday with heat indices climbing on Sunday into the 100 to 105 range. But hold on for the weekend, because another major change is coming with yet another summer cold front promising to bring thunderstorms on Monday with much cooler and drier air to the Southeast US on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The upper ridge gets pushed back toward the west late Sunday and into Monday with the digging of a strong trough across the Great Lakes region. This will force a cold front – the fourth one in July this year – into the Southeast US and bring a round of thunderstorms to the area Monday. While no specific slight risk area is defined by SPC, we’ll need to watch for the development of isolated severe storms capable of damaging wind and perhaps large hail with the front on Monday.

The trough sweeps in pushing the front well down into the Gulf of Mexico Tuesday setting us up for cooler and drier air once again. Wednesday morning we could see near record lows for Central Alabama. The current record for July 30th is 61 set in 1994 for Birmingham.

The pattern remains stuck with a trough over the eastern half of the country for the latter half of the week, so we’ll see a gradual warming trend as moisture levels slowly come back up. But with the trough pattern over the East I expect us to stay below seasonal averages with highs mainly in the 80s for the latter part of the week.

Not quite as hot and dry at the coast for beach goers. There will be a good supply of sunshine for the coast from Panama City over to Mobile through the weekend with only widely scattered storms. Highs will be in the upper 80s along the immediate coast, and Gulf water temperatures are generally in the low to mid 80s.

The tropical Atlantic basin remains generally quiet. NHC is keeping an eye on a tropical wave south of the Cape Verde Islands, but tropical storm formation is not expected through the weekend and into early next week.

The big news for voodoo country watchers is the continuation of the overall troughiness in the upper air pattern for the eastern half of the country. This will keep us out of any extreme heat and ever watchful for more of these anomalous summer-time cold fronts which seem to have become the new standard.

And you can follow news and weather updates from ABC 33/40 on Twitter here. Stay in the know by following the whole gang – here’s the list…

James Spann Charles Daniel Bill Murray Brian Peters E-Warn (AL wx watches/warnings)

I expect to have the next Weather Xtreme Video posted Sunday morning. Stay cool and Godspeed.

-Brian-

Categories: Weather

Hot Weekend; Much Cooler Next Week

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 15:35

**No afternoon Weather Xtreme video today**

HEAT LEVELS RISING: Showers, as expected, are confined to the southern half of Alabama today. The northern counties are dry, with temperatures generally in the 88-92 degree range.

The heat will crank up a notch over the weekend; we project highs in the 91-94 degree range both days with a partly sunny sky. Any showers will be few and far between, and mostly over the southern half of the state. The combination of heat and humidity will make it pretty uncomfortable.

BUT… Another big change next week. A cold front moves through Monday with some risk of a passing shower or storm, followed by a cooler, drier airmass Monday night. Tuesday and Wednesday look delightful with sunny days, clear cooler nights, and lower humidity levels. The low early Wednesday morning will be close to 60 degrees, right at record levels for late July in Alabama.

GULF COAST WEATHER: A good supply of sunshine for the coast from Panama City over to Gulf Shores through early next week with only widely scattered storms. Highs will be in the upper 80s along the immediate coast, and sea water temperatures are generally in the low to mid 80s.

TROPICS: The Atlantic basin remains very quiet, and tropical storm formation is not expected through the weekend.

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 enjoyed speaking at the ALAGASCO service center over in Anniston today… look for my next Weather Xtreme video here Monday morning by 7:00 a.m…. Brian Peters will have the video updates tomorrow and Sunday. Enjoy the weekend!

Categories: Weather

Drier Air Settles Into North/Central Alabama

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 06:22

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

PLEASANT SUMMER MORNING: Feels pretty good over North Alabama morning… Fort Payne has dropped to 61 degrees… we also have low 60s at Haleyville, Cullman, and Valley Head. The sky is clear, and the air is dry in the wake of a front that passed through late Thursday.

Today will feature sunshine in full supply with a high around 90 degrees.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Afternoon heat levels rise; we project low 90s tomorrow and Sunday afternoon, and a few spots over North and West Alabama might even touch the mid 90s. The air will remain dry over the northern half of Alabama, so most communities will remain rain-free over the weekend. A few showers or storms could pop up over the southern counties of the state, but even there they will be widely spaced.

COOLER NEXT WEEK: A cold front will push through Alabama Monday; still looks like it won’t be an especially big rain event, and the best chance of showers or storms will come during the morning hours. Then, a nice surge of cooler, drier air arrives Monday night.

We will be very close to record low temperature levels by daybreak Wednesday, with low 60s likely (Birmingham’s record low for July 30 is 61 set in 1994). Humidity levels will be low for the middle of the week with sunny days and fair nights. Moisture levels rise slowly by Thursday and Friday, but widespread rain for now doesn’t look likely.

GULF COAST WEATHER: About 7 to 9 hours of sunshine each day along the coast from Panama City west to Gulf Shores through Sunday with only widely scattered thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 80s, and the sea water temperature early this morning at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab is 82 degrees.

TROPICS: All remains quiet across the Atlantic basin, and tropical storm formation is not expected through the weekend.

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 doing a severe weather program this morning at the ALAGASCO service center in Anniston… look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon. Enjoy the day!

Categories: Weather

Drier Air Moving Into North Alabama

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 15:34

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

RADAR CHECK: A band of showers and storms is over North/Central Alabama ahead of a surface front, which is near I-59…

Showers are moving southeast, and drier air is entering North Alabama. The dry air will win the battle temporarily, at least for the northern half of the state as the sky becomes clear tonight.

TOMORROW THROUGH THE WEEKEND: The weather will be mostly rain-free over North Alabama; the risk of a shower tomorrow and Saturday is only about one in ten, barely worth the mention in the forecast. Expect a good supply of hazy sunshine both days, and the high will be close to 90 degrees. A few showers or storms are possible over the southern counties of the state, but even there they should be widely scattered.

Sunday still looks mostly dry with a high in the low 90s, but a cold front could trigger a few showers or storms Sunday night over North Alabama.

NEXT WEEK: Showers and storms will end Monday morning, and cooler, drier, continental air will move into Alabama Tuesday and Wednesday. It will be very comfortable for a time when the summer heat is usually peaking; we expect lower humidity and cooler nights. We will drop down into the low 60s early Wednesday morning, very close to record low temperature levels for July 30 (Birmingham’s record low is 61 set in 1994). Moisture returns later in the week with scattered showers and storms possible by Thursday and Friday. See the Weather Xtreme video for the maps, graphics, and details.

GULF COAST WEATHER: We project about 7 to 9 hours of sunshine each day through Sunday from Panama City to Gulf Shores with only widely scattered thunderstorms. Highs on the immediate coast will be in the upper 80s, and sea water temperatures are in the low to mid 80s.

TROPICS: The Atlantic basin remains very quiet, and tropical storm formation is not expected through the weekend.

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

Drier Air Arrives Tonight

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 06:06

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

FOGGY START: Nothing on radar at daybreak, but we do have areas of dense fog across the northern half of Alabama with very limited visibility in places. NWS Huntsville has issued a Dense Fog Advisory for their counties up in the Tennessee Valley.

A surface front is nearing the Alabama/Tennessee border, and as it drops south we expect developing showers and thunderstorms during the day. The coverage of the rain probably won’t be as great as yesterday, but still some spots could see a heavy downpour. The sky will be cloudy at times, and most places will see a high in the upper 80s.

Drier air will move into North Alabama tonight.

TOMORROW THROUGH THE WEEKEND: These three days look mostly rain-free for the northern half of our state, with partly to mostly sunny days and fair nights. Afternoon highs will be at or just over 90 degrees, and showers should be confined to the southern counties of Alabama. Even down there they should be pretty widely separated.

An approaching cold front could bring a band of showers or thunderstorms down into North Alabama Sunday night as the weekend wraps up.

NEXT WEEK: Another high amplitude upper air pattern will become established across the U.S., with a deep long wave trough over the eastern states. Showers and storms are possible Monday, especially during the morning hours, as a cold front moves southward, and we get into another refreshing airmass by Tuesday and Wednesday. Highs will drop into the mid 80s, humidity levels will be low, and nights will be cooler. We are projecting a low near 60 degrees at daybreak Wednesday, which is right at record low territory for July 30 (Birmingham’s record low that morning is 61 set in 1994).

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

AT THE BEACH: The weather looks good through the weekend from Panama City over to Gulf Shores, with about 7 to 9 hours of sunshine each day with only widely scattered thunderstorms. Highs on the immediate coast will be in the upper 80s, and the sea water temperature early this morning at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab is 82 degrees.

TROPICS: Dry air continues to cover much of the Atlantic basin, and tropical storm formation is not expected through the weekend.

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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I will be the emcee of the Light The Night Kick Off Celebration to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma society today at WorkPlay in Birmingham today… look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 or so this afternoon. Enjoy the day!

Categories: Weather

Drier Air Arrives Friday

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 15:48

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

SLOW MOVING SUMMER STORMS: Some communities across the northern half of Alabama have received some big rain totals today due to nearly stationary thunderstorms; the NWS in Huntsville issued a number of flash flood warnings for their counties up in the Tennessee Valley.

We will maintain the chance of a few showers and storms across Alabama through the night as a surface front approaches from the north.

That front will also mean a good chance of showers and thunderstorms tomorrow; organized severe weather is not expected, although a few storms are certainly possible, much like today. Tomorrow should be the 10th consecutive day with a high below 90 degrees in Birmingham.

FRIDAY AND SATURDAY: Drier air moves down into North Alabama, and these two days should be mostly rain-free for the northern half of the state. Scattered storms will be confined to South Alabama, and our highs will be pretty close to 90 degrees.

A cold front, supported by a deepening upper trough over the eastern third of the nation, will move into Alabama late Sunday or early Monday. The 12Z run of the GFS hints the best chance of showers and storms along the front could very well be from about 9 p.m. Sunday through 9:00 a.m. Monday. Drier air will begin flowing into North Alabama Monday afternoon.

ANOTHER REFRESHING AIRMASS: Here we go again… potential for more record lows across Alabama by Wednesday morning of next week. Highs drop into the low to mid 80s Tuesday and Wednesday with low humidity, and it looks like a low early Wednesday between 58 and 62 (the record low for July 30 is 61, set in 1994). This cool airmass will come at a time when summer heat is typically at it’s peak. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

TROPICS: Tropical depression two dissipated earlier today in the Atlantic, and with very dry air covering much of the Atlantic basin, tropical storm formation is not expected anytime soon.

GULF COAST WEATHER: Not bad at all. We project about 7 to 9 hours of sunshine each day from panama City to Gulf Shores through the weekend with only widely scattered storms each day. Highs in the mid to upper 80s on the immediate coast, with sea water temperatures mostly in the mid 80s.

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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I had a great time today visiting the kids at the Children’s Library in Alexander City… 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

Scattered Showers/Storms Again Today

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 06:08

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

RADAR CHECK: All is quiet across the great state of Alabama this morning; temperatures are mostly in the low 70s and there is no rain on radar at daybreak. A blanket of moist air continues to cover Alabama, and on the maps we have a weak upper low near New Orleans. This means the weather won’t change much today; scattered showers and storms will fire up later with a high in the upper 80s in most places.

Birmingham has gone eight consecutive days with a high below 90 degrees, and that streak will most likely continue today.

TOMORROW: We project a higher coverage of showers and thunderstorms tomorrow, especially during the afternoon hours, as a surface front approaches from the north. A few strong storms are possible, but organized severe weather is not likely. The sky will be generally cloudy with a high between 86 and 89 degrees.

DRIER FRIDAY AND SATURDAY: Drier air will move down into the northern half of Alabama on these two days, and the weather looks mostly rain-free with lower humidity levels and a decent amount of sunshine. The high will be around 90 degrees, and scattered storms should be confined to the southern counties of the state.

SUNDAY/MONDAY: Moist air returns Sunday with a chance of showers and thunderstorms, and another surface front will move down this way Sunday night into Monday. The 00Z run of the GFS is faster with the front, and brings down drier air into North Alabama Monday morning. For now we will keep a chance of showers/storms in the forecast Monday, but if the faster trend continues we will trend toward a drier forecast.

NEXT WEEK: Another high amplitude upper pattern will bring another refreshing airmass into Alabama during the mid-week period. Not sure this air will be quiet as cool as the ones we enjoyed earlier this month, but no doubt the humidity will be lower, and the lows Wednesday morning should be in the low 60s, with 50s for the cooler pockets across North Alabama. The record low for Birmingham for July 30 is 61 degrees set in 1994… we might give that a run for the money early Wednesday. See the Weather Xtreme video for the maps, graphics, and details.

TROPICS: Tropical depression two is hanging in there like a rusty fish hook, despite very dry air surrounding the system and moderate wind shear. This will pass through the Leeward Islands late tonight, and should dissipate, or become a remnant low over the eastern Caribbean late tomorrow. The rest of the Atlantic basin is quiet.

GULF COAST WEATHER: The weather is looking good from Panama City to Gulf Shores through the weekend; about 7 to 9 hours of sunshine each day with only widely scattered storms around. Highs on the immediate coast will be in the upper 80s, and the sea water temperature at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab this morning is 83 degrees.

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…

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I will be doing a weather program this morning at the public library in Alexander City… look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon. Enjoy the day!

Categories: Weather

No 90s Again Today

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 15:48

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

“COOL” SUMMER CONTINUES: Today is the 8th consecutive day for Birmingham with a high under 90 degrees; clouds and showers are keeping temperatures down.

Scattered showers and storms are in progress, moving from east to west around the top of an upper low that is over the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Those showers will fade away later tonight.

TOMORROW AND THURSDAY: Moist air stays in place, and we will mention the risk of “scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms” tomorrow with a high in the 87-90 degree range. Then, look for an increase in the number of showers and storms Thursday afternoon and Thursday night as a surface front moves down into North Alabama.

DRIER FRIDAY/SATURDAY: The weather looks generally rain-free for the northern half of Alabama on these two days with lower humidity levels; the risk of scattered showers and storms will continue over the southern counties of the state. Afternoon highs will be around 90 degrees, and we should drop into the 60s early Saturday morning.

SUNDAY/MONDAY: The chance of showers and storms will increase again on these two days; moist air returns Sunday, and a cold front will approach Monday from the north. The high will drop back into the mid to upper 80s because of clouds and showers.

ANOTHER “COOL” SHOT NEXT WEEK: Global models are in good agreement; a vigorous long wave upper trough will form over the eastern half of the nation, pulling down cooler, drier continental air into Alabama Tuesday through Thursday. Looks like we have a chance of going down into the 50s again Wednesday morning, close to record levels for the end of July. This will be one of the coolest Julys on record for many Alabama reporting stations if this verifies.

TROPICAL DEPRESSION TWO: TD 2 in the Atlantic, about 800 miles east of the Lesser Antilles, is expected to dissipate, or become a remnant low by the time it reaches the islands due to very dry air surrounding the system, and harsh winds aloft. The rest of the Atlantic basin is quiet.

GULF COAST WEATHER: We project about 6 to 8 hours of sunshine each day on the Gulf Coast through the weekend (from Panama City to Gulf Shores) with the usual daily risk of scattered showers and thunderstorms. Highs will remain in the mid to upper 80s on the immediate coast, and sea water temperatures are mostly in the mid 80s.

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 enjoyed having Oklahoma City TV meteorologist Gary England on the show last night… scroll down for the show notes.

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

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I enjoyed speaking to the residents at St. Martin’s in the Pines in Birmingham today… be looking for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 7:00 a.m. tomorrow…

Categories: Weather

Blanket of Moist Air Hangs Around

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 06:21

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

ON THE MAPS: An upper low is over South Alabama this morning, and drifting westward. The position of this feature should bring an increase in the number of showers and thunderstorms to the northern half of the state this afternoon and early tonight. It won’t rain everywhere, but any one spot stands about a 50/50 chance of getting wet. Like recent days, a few heavy downpours are possible. Otherwise, the sky will be occasionally cloudy with a high in the mid to upper 80s.

Interesting to note that Birmingham has gone seven consecutive days with a high below 90 degrees.

TOMORROW AND THURSDAY: The upper low will continue to drift west and dissipate, so we expect rather routine summer weather tomorrow. Partly sunny and the risk of scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms. The high tomorrow will be in the 87 to 90 degree range.

Then, on Thursday, an approaching surface front from the north should bring an increase in the number of showers and thunderstorms during the afternoon and nighttime hours. A few strong storms are possible, but organized severe weather is not likely.

FRIDAY/SATURDAY: The GFS continues to suggest that drier air will cover the northern half of Alabama on these two days, meaning most places will be rain-free, and humidity levels/dewpoints will be a tad lower. The afternoon high should be around 90 on both days.

SUNDAY AND EARLY NEXT WEEK: Moist air returns Sunday with a chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms, and another “cold front” will push in here late Monday, so the day Monday could be relatively wet with a good chance of showers and storms.

A high amplitude upper air pattern sets up next week with a deep, long wave upper trough over the eastern U.S., and this should set up another refreshing airmass for summer by Tuesday and Wednesday, with lower humidity levels and cooler nights. See the Weather Xtreme video for the maps, graphics, and details.

TROPICAL DEPRESSION TWO: TD 2 out in the Atlantic between the Lesser Antilles and the coast of Africa will struggle today due to dry air surrounding the system, and harsh winds aloft. NHC expects the system to weaken to a remnant low before it reaches the islands, and it is not expected to reach tropical storm strength.

Elsewhere, the Atlantic basin is quiet.

GULF COAST WEATHER: About 2 to 4 hours of sunshine today from Panama City to Gulf Shores with scattered showers and storms. Then, for the rest of the week and the weekend, brighter weather with 6 to 8 hours of sun each day with showers and storms being more widely scattered. Highs will hold in the mid to upper 80s along the immediate coast, and the sea water temperature this morning at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab is 84 degrees.

WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly 90 minute netcast anytime on the web, or on iTunes. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists here at ABC 33/40. Scroll down for the show notes on the new episode we recorded last night with Gary England of Oklahoma City.

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

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I will be speaking today at St. Martin’s in the Pines in Birmingham… look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon. Enjoy the day!

Categories: Weather

WeatherBrains 443: Gary England

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 04:45

WeatherBrains Episode 443 is now online (July 21, 2014). If you are crazy about weather, this is THE netcast audio program for you!

Tonight is sort of a Best of Show. But unlike other Best of Shows that are usually recorded, this is a live show bringing back three of our favorite all time guests. Tonight’s Guest Panelist won an opportunity to attend an NBA game with Bill Murray during the AMS in Atlanta. But she got to Phillips Arena and it was the guy from WeatherBrains, not the star of Groundhog Day. She recently is a recent graduate of the University of Oklahoma and a rising superstar at KFSM in Fort Smith, Arkansas, where she does mornings. Shelby Hays, congratulations and welcome back!

Since we already had a Guest Panelist, we had to make up a title for tonight’s third guest. James has five fantasy voices from the show over the years, and Morgan Palmer might be his favorite. When James’ rolls out the Big Pipes description, you know it’s big time. So tonight we welcome back Guest Big Pipes: Morgan Palmer, Chief Meteorologist none other than KIRO-Seattle. How you doin’ Morgan?

It is an oft-used line in introducing Guest WeatherBrains lately, that tonight’s GWB needs no introduction to our audience. And that is as true tonight as any time I have ever invoked it. He is a return Guest WeatherBrain, having appeared in December 2009 on show #202. He is an icon in Oklahoma, where he recently retired as arguably one of the most admired television meteorologists in America. Gary England, welcome back to the show!

Other discussions in this weekly podcast include topics like:

  • Extremes: 115 at Death Valley, CA, and 35 at Bryce Canyon, UT
  • New tropical depression in the Central Atlantic
  • and more!
  • 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.

    Picks of the Week:

    Nate Johnson – Updraft: A weather forecasting toolkit for iPad

    Bill Murray – WeatherBrains episode 202

    John Scala – Anomalous Mid-Summer Cold Air Intrusion of July 14–16, 2014

    Rick Smith – AMS Summer Community Meeting

    James Spann – WxGeeks Review

    SkyDavers Blog – The Fog Bank

    The WeatherBrains crew includes your host, James Spann, plus other notable geeks like Nate Johnson, John Scala, Bill Murray, Rick Smith, and Aubrey Urbanowicz. They bring together a wealth of weather knowledge and experience for another fascinating netcast about weather.

    Categories: Weather