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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: 6 min 33 sec ago

Rain, Storms Lifting Northeast

Wed, 05/27/2015 - 19:11

It is nice to see our old friend SimuAWIPS working again. It is a go to site for me for rapid analysis of the state of the atmosphere.

Here is the SimuAWIPS depiction of the radar across the Southeast in the large panel. You can clearly see the shield of rain and storms. If you look closely, you also see some curvature in the radar echoes over Mississippi. This is a weak surface low or mesoscale convective vortex that is moving to the northeast.

That little surface low was kicked up by a trough of low pressure in the mid-levels of the atmosphere that swept southeastward during the early morning hours out of Louisiana and across southern Mississippi.

There have been a few reports of trees down and isolated power outages with the storms this afternoon, but nothing serious. Torrential rains will cause minor flooding spots. There has already been flooding in Lamar County and an areal flood advisory has been posted for Talladega County. It is raining to beat the band in the city of Talladega right now.

Lots of lightning down there between Selma and Clanton will be lifting northeast and bringing very heavy rain, deadly lightning and gusty winds to Chilton, Coosa, Talladega and southeastern Shelby Counties for the next couple of hours. Shouldn’t become severe but will be packing a punch for sure.

The storms will continue to lift northeastward this evening, slowly weakening as they go. Parts of the area could get a few more hours of generally light to moderate rain. Here is the HRRR model radar simulation through the evening and overnight.

You can see that additional development is possible overnight, starting over southwestern sections around Demopolis around 10 p.m. and moving northeast, reaching Birmingham after midnight. Rainfall amounts will be generally light.

NOTE FROM NORTHWEST ALABAMA
Reports indicate that flooding is pretty bad in Russellville in Franklin County where water is about to get into homes and a water rescue of a motorist is underway.

Here is a picture retweeted by meteorologist Ben Smith at WHNT in Huntsville of flooding along highway 43 in Russellville:

Categories: Weather

Scary Clouds

Wed, 05/27/2015 - 18:24

They are just that. Scary clouds.

Several people around The Summit have been observing menacing looking funnel like clouds to the south over Double Oak Mountain. Here is an example from @jmdrennen.

These are harmless scud clouds developing as air is lifted by the cooler, moist outflow of nearby storms. Cloud fragments, known as scud, will form in mid-air or under the base that can protrude downward, appearing to be a funnel cloud.

These false funnels are distinguishable from true funnel clouds or tornadoes because they will not be rotating. They are also more ragged and often rising and descending intermittently.

Categories: Weather

Birmingham Metro Storms Packing a Punch

Wed, 05/27/2015 - 18:08

The storms moving into the Birmingham Metro area right now are strong, with torrential rains, deadly lightning, gusty winds and even some small hail possible. There was a severe thunderstorm warning for Shelby, Bibb and Chilton Counties, but it has expired.

Here is the radar just after 6 p.m.:

No warnings are in effect for Central Alabama at this time. A severe thunderstorm warning was just issued for Limestone, Madison and Morgan Counties.

Winds have only gusted to 25 mph at the Shelby County Airport.

There are lots of pictures of beautiful but menacing shelf clouds across the area on the front end of the storms. Here is one from @theHoff_MAN91 via Twitter in Vestavia:

There are some isolated power outages being reported from places like Hoover and West Homewood.

Further south, winds gusted to an estimated 50-60 mph at Clanton with some tree and power line damage just before 5:45. Those storms are now over northeastern Chilton County.

All of the activity is associated with a mesoscale convective vortex currently passing along the Walker/Jefferson County line.

Categories: Weather

Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Bibb, Shelby and Chilton

Wed, 05/27/2015 - 17:29

A line of strong storms continues to lift northward across Central Alabama late this afternoon.

Lots of intense lightning, strong gusty winds, some hail and torrential rains in all of the storms. In the warning area, we could see 60 mph winds, which can bring down trees and power lines and one inch hail.

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BIRMINGHAM HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR…
EAST CENTRAL BIBB COUNTY IN CENTRAL ALABAMA…
SOUTHERN SHELBY COUNTY IN CENTRAL ALABAMA…
NORTH CENTRAL CHILTON COUNTY IN CENTRAL ALABAMA…

* UNTIL 600 PM CDT

* AT 526 PM CDT…A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WAS LOCATED OVER WILTON…OR
OVER MONTEVALLO…MOVING NORTHEAST AT 45 MPH.

HAZARD…60 MPH WIND GUSTS.

SOURCE…RADAR INDICATED.

IMPACT…EXPECT DAMAGE TO ROOFS…SIDING AND TREES.

* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE…
ALABASTER…PELHAM…HELENA…CALERA…MONTEVALLO…COLUMBIANA…
WILSONVILLE…WILTON…UNIVERSITY OF MONTEVALLO…BRIERFIELD
IRONWORKS PARK…AMERICAN VILLAGE…ASHBY…MAYLENE…SHELBY COUNTY
AIRPORT…OAK MOUNTAIN STATE PARK…ALABASTER VETERANS PARK…
SAGINAW…SADDLE LAKE FARMS…DOGWOOD AND BALLANTRAE.

Categories: Weather

Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Bibb and Tuscaloosa Counties

Wed, 05/27/2015 - 17:05

The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for parts of Bibb and Tuscaloosa Counties in West Central Alabama. The warning is outlined in yellow. The peach outline is a significant weather alert from the NWS Birmingham for strong storms that will affect the alert area through 5:30 p.m. That area will see strong gusty winds, small hail and torrential rains.

A line of thunderstorms extends generally along US-82 at this hour from Pickens and Lamar Counties through Tuscaloosa County down to the Montgomery area.

The most intense storms are from near Brookwood to Vance to north of West Blocton moving north northeast. They will affect West Blocton, North Bibb and Lake View over the next 30 minutes.

They will reach southwestern Jefferson County by 5:45 and move across the Birmingham Metro between 6 and 7 p.m.

Large hail to one inch in diameter and 60 mph winds are possible.

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BIRMINGHAM HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR…
CENTRAL BIBB COUNTY IN CENTRAL ALABAMA…
SOUTHEASTERN TUSCALOOSA COUNTY IN WEST CENTRAL ALABAMA…

* UNTIL 530 PM CDT

* AT 504 PM CDT…A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WAS LOCATED NEAR EOLINE…OR
NEAR CENTREVILLE…MOVING NORTH AT 25 MPH.

HAZARD…60 MPH WIND GUSTS AND QUARTER SIZE HAIL.

SOURCE…RADAR INDICATED.

IMPACT…HAIL DAMAGE TO VEHICLES IS EXPECTED. EXPECT WIND DAMAGE
TO ROOFS…SIDING AND TREES.

* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE…
BRENT…CENTREVILLE…LAKE VIEW…BROOKWOOD…VANCE…WOODSTOCK…
WEST BLOCTON…EOLINE…NORTH BIBB…MERCEDES BENZ OF ALABAMA…
ABERNANT…TANNEHILL IRONWORKS STATE PARK…HEBRON…HARMON…
CAFFEE JUNCTION…MARVEL…BUCKSVILLE…EAST BROOKWOOD AND GREEN
POND.

Categories: Weather

Storms Increasing Across Alabama

Wed, 05/27/2015 - 15:23

RADAR UPDATE: Showers and storms continue to increase, especially over the western half of the state at mid-afternoon. A severe thunderstorm watch is up for parts of East Mississippi until 7p CT.

Showers and storms will progress eastward tonight; the main issues will come from gusty winds, frequent lightning, and brief heavy rain. Storms will end between 9:00 and midnight.

TOMORROW/FRIDAY: A pool of warm, moist air will stay locked over the Deep South, so we will need to mention the risk of scattered showers and thunderstorms both days. Then will be pretty random, and mostly during the afternoon and evening hours. Otherwise, mixed sun and clouds both days with a high in the mid 80s.

THE WEEKEND: No real change; the chance of any one spot seeing a shower or storm Saturday and Sunday is about one on three, and again the core risk will come during the 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. time frame. We reach the mid 80s both days with a partly sunny sky away from the showers and thunderstorms. Another words, very routine weather for the end of May in Alabama.

And, similar weather will continue into early next week. Warm, muggy days with the risk of scattered showers and thunderstorms.

GULF COAST WEATHER: About 7 to 9 hours of sunshine each day tomorrow through the weekend with a few widely scattered showers and thunderstorms around each day; highs on the immediate coast from Panama City west to Gulf Shores will be in the low 80s… the sea water temperature this afternoon at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab is 79 degrees.

COLLEGE SOFTBALL WORLD SERIES: We have Alabama and Auburn playing in Oklahoma City in the tournament that begins tomorrow; if you are headed that way understand showers and storms are possible on a daily basis, and rain delays are certainly possible, if not likely. The weather will trend drier by Sunday with few, if any showers around by then.

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

Categories: Weather

NOAA Hurricane Season Outlook

Wed, 05/27/2015 - 12:54

NOAA released the annual hurricane season outlook today… here is the release:

NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center says the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season will likely be below-normal, but that’s no reason to believe coastal areas will have it easy.

For the hurricane season, which officially runs from June 1 to November 30, NOAA is predicting a 70 percent likelihood of 6 to 11 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 3 to 6 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including zero to 2 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher). While a below-normal season is likely (70 percent), there is also a 20 percent chance of a near-normal season, and a 10 percent chance of an above-normal season.


“A below-normal season doesn’t mean we’re off the hook. As we’ve seen before, below-normal seasons can still produce catastrophic impacts to communities,” said NOAA Administrator Kathryn Sullivan, Ph.D., referring to the 1992 season in which only seven named storms formed, yet the first was Andrew – a Category 5 Major Hurricane that devastated South Florida.

“The main factor expected to suppress the hurricane season this year is El Niño, which is already affecting wind and pressure patterns, and is forecast to last through the hurricane season,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. “El Niño may also intensify as the season progresses, and is expected to have its greatest influence during the peak months of the season. We also expect sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic to be close to normal, whereas warmer waters would have supported storm development.”

Included in today’s outlook is Tropical Storm Ana, but its pre-season development is not an indicator of the overall season strength. Ana’s development was typical of pre-season named storms, which often form along frontal boundaries in association with a trough in the jet stream. This method of formation differs from the named storms during the peak of the season, which originate mainly from low-pressure systems moving westward from Africa, and are independent of frontal boundaries and the jet stream.

With the new hurricane season comes a new prototype storm surge watch/warning graphic from NOAA’s National Hurricane Center, intended to highlight areas along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts of the United States that have a significant risk of life-threatening inundation by storm surge from a tropical cyclone.

The new graphic will introduce the concept of a watch or warning specific to the storm surge hazard. Storm surge is often the greatest threat to life and property from a tropical cyclone, and it can occur at different times and at different locations from a storm’s hazardous winds. In addition, while most coastal residents can remain in their homes and be safe from a tropical cyclone’s winds, evacuations are often needed to keep people safe from storm surge. Having separate warnings for these two hazards should provide emergency managers, the media, and the general public better guidance on the hazards they face when tropical cyclones threaten.

Also new this season is a higher resolution version (2 km near the storm area) of NOAA’s Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting model (HWRF), thanks to the upgrades to operational computing. A new 40-member HWRF ensemble-based data assimilation system will also be implemented to make better use of aircraft reconnaissance-based Tail Doppler Radar data for improved intensity forecasts. Retrospective testing of 2015 HWRF upgrades demonstrated a five percent improvement in the intensity forecasts compared to last year.

This week, May 24-30, is National Hurricane Preparedness Week. To help those living in hurricane-prone areas prepare, NOAA offers hurricane preparedness tips, along with video and audio public service announcements at www.hurricanes.gov/prepare.

“It only takes one hurricane or tropical storm making landfall in your community to significantly disrupt your life,” said FEMA Deputy Administrator Joseph Nimmich. “Everyone should take action now to prepare themselves and their families for hurricanes and powerful storms. Develop a family communications plan, build an emergency supply kit for your home, and take time to learn evacuation routes for your area. Knowing what to do ahead of time can literally save your life and help you bounce back stronger and faster should disaster strike in your area.”

NOAA will issue an updated outlook for the Atlantic hurricane season in early August, just prior to the historical peak of the season.

Categories: Weather

Forecast for Today’s Rickwood Classic: Fun!

Wed, 05/27/2015 - 10:24

Today is my favorite baseball day of the year! It is the day that one of the best sporting events of the year in all of world occurs. An event that ESPN says is one of the 100 Things That a Sports Fan Has To Do Before They Die.

The Birmingham Barons and Jacksonville Suns will turn the calendar back to 1948 for the 20th iteration of the Rickwood Classic. In that year, the Black Barons were the Negro American League Champs and the Barons won the Dixie Series. Willie Mays was a 17 year old star on the Black Barons team.

It is hard to believe that we have been making the pilgrimage to Rickwood each year for the Classic since 1996. The historic ballpark is the oldest professional ballpark still in use in the U.S. It was built in 1910 and played host to the Barons from 1910-1965, the Birmingham A’s from 1967-1975 and the Barons again from 1981-1987. The Black Barons played there basically from 1920-1960. The Philadelphia Phillies actually held spring training there in 1911 and 1920.

The game is put on by the Friends of Rickwood, a group of local fans who work to maintain and preserve the park. The Classic is one of their major fundraisers. They do a great job with the event each year. First pitch is 12:30 p.m., but arrive early to experience the park. Have a great hot dog. Enjoy the throwback uniforms. Some fans even dress up in period clothing. Meet the Negro League alumni. They are living history. You will fin dthem on the third base side in reserved seating. Check out the hand operated scoreboard.

And be generous if you see a Friend of Rickwood with their charity buckets. Your donation will go to preserve this temple of baseball.

HOW ABOUT THE WEATHER
Everyone is worried about that high chance of rain today. Indications are that a few showers may start forming in the Birmingham area around 12:45 to 1 p.m. but they will be widely spaced until around 4-5 p.m. and the heavy stuff shouldn’t arrive until 6-7 p.m. or so. So there could be a couple of passing showers during the game, so take a light rain jacket. The general admission seats are under the roof. If you have box seats, you might take a towel to dry off your seat after any showers zip by. Temperatures will be around 80F and it will be muggy. Take some sunscreen for those periods when the sun is out. It can burn you quickly!

So take a late lunch and head out to Birmingham’s west side for a bit of baseball and Birmingham history.

Categories: Weather

On This Date 42 Years Ago

Wed, 05/27/2015 - 06:32

On Sunday night, May 27, 1973, I saw serious tornado damage for the first time in my life, and it changed my life. The sights and sounds are still fresh in my mind; almost like it happened yesterday.

I was wrapping up my junior year at Tuscaloosa High School, and on that Sunday night we received a call for help from our friends in Bibb County. A tornado had gone right through the center of Brent, and amateur radio operators from Tuscaloosa were needed to establish communication with relief agencies in Birmingham and other places. Remember, there were no cell phones in 1973, and this was an urgent need. I arrived with a group from Tuscaloosa within one hour of the tornado, and we were all stunned at what we saw. Eerie darkness, an odd odor (many people that have experienced call it the “smell of death”), roads blocked by trees, and debris everywhere. I wound up coming back the next morning, and stayed in Centreville (adjacent to Brent) handling communication from a church.

Down in Brent, a total of 5 people died in the storm, including Andrew Mitchell, who was attending evening worship services at the Brent Baptist Church, which was destroyed. Many more were injured, and town was just about wiped out by the EF-4 twister. That was actually just a segment of the damage; the tornado first touched down just northeast of Demopolis, and went through Greensboro, where one person was killed and 72 injured. It continued northeast, and took out the old National Weather Service radar site on Alabama Highway 25 before striking downtown Brent. The crew at the radar site had to take cover in the ditch across the street.

From Brent, the path continued near Montevallo and Childersburg, before it finally lifted on the western slope of Mount Cheaha in East Alabama. A total of 216 buildings were destroyed, 570 buildings were damaged, 97 mobile homes were destroyed, and 45 businesses were damaged or destroyed. More than 12,000 acres of timber was destroyed. It was a storm I will never forget, even though it happened 42 years ago.

We should note an EF-3 tornado that same day impacted a Tarrant-Center Point-Springville-St Clair Springs-Ashville-Gadsden path. Heavy damage occurred in Center Point where 32 homes and 48 mobile homes were destroyed. Over 300 homes were damaged. One person was killed by that storm.

This came at the tail end of the spring tornado season; a reminder we can have a strong/violent tornado in late May in Alabama.

This great site from John Brasher has more details about the situation in Brent.

Categories: Weather

Showers/Storms Develop Later Today

Wed, 05/27/2015 - 06:11

AT DAYBREAK: It is a quiet late May morning across the great state of Alabama; nothing on radar… the sky is mostly cloudy, and temperatures are mostly in the 65 to 70 degree range. The high resolution HRRR model suggests the best chance of rain today will come this afternoon with a band of showers and storms passing through.

SPC has all of the state in a “marginal” risk of severe weather today… a few of the afternoon storms could produce gusty winds and brief heavy rain, but organized severe weather isn’t likely.

TOMORROW/FRIDAY: Showers and storms remain possible, but they should be more scattered in nature, and mostly during the afternoon and evening hours. Otherwise, a mix of sun and clouds both days with a high up in the low to mid 80s.

THE WEEKEND: No real change… a moist airmass stays in place, but not much dynamic forcing for rain. So, we will deal with “scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms Saturday and Sunday with a partly sunny sky both days. Highs will be in the mid 80s, right at average levels for the end of May in Alabama.

NEXT WEEK: Monday marks the beginning of meteorological summer, and is also the first day of the Atlantic/Gulf of Mexico hurricane season. Looks like the weather will be very routine for the week with warm, humid weather continuing along with some risk of scattered showers and storms on a daily basis. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

AT THE BEACH: About 6 to 8 hours of sunshine today with a passing shower or storm possible from Panama City west to Gulf Shores. Then, 7 to 9 hours of sun daily tomorrow through the weekend with widely scattered showers and storms. Highs on the immediate coast will remain in the low 80s, and the sea water temperature early this morning at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab is 78 degrees.

COLLEGE SOFTBALL WORLD SERIES: We have Alabama and Auburn playing in Oklahoma City in the tournament that begins tomorrow; if you are headed that way understand showers and storms are possible on a daily basis, and rain delays are certainly possible, if not likely. The weather will be mostly rain-free by Sunday, however. Highs will be mostly in the mid to upper 70s.

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

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

Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus
Instagram

I will be speaking at UAB’s Deep South Center for Occupational Health & Safety this morning, and at Hueytown Baptist Church tonight between newscasts. Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon… enjoy the day!

Categories: Weather

Unsettled Weather Continues Tomorrow

Tue, 05/26/2015 - 15:25

RADAR CHECK: Some light rain lingers over East Alabama this afternoon, but the stronger storms are now over Georgia. The sky is mostly cloudy, and temperatures are mostly in the mid to upper 70s.

TOMORROW: Showers and storms remain possible, but it won’t rain all day, and the sun could peek out at times. We note SPC has much of the state in a “marginal” severe weather threat, but like today the overall chance of severe storms looks small. We should rise into the low 80s tomorrow afternoon.

THURSDAY/FRIDAY: Showers become fewer in number and more scattered… and mostly during the afternoon and evening hours. Otherwise, a mix of sun and clouds both days with a high in the low to mid 80s.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Very routine weather for late May; partly sunny, warm, and humid days with the risk of “scattered, mostly afternoon and evening” showers and thunderstorms. Chance of any one spot getting wet each day is about one in four, and highs will be in the mid 80s, right at seasonal levels. And, we stay in that pattern into the first few days of June.

AT THE BEACH: We project about 6 to 8 hours of sunshine each day tomorrow through the weekend, with the daily risk of scattered showers and thunderstorms (very routine for summer). Highs will remain in the low 80s on the immediate coast; the sea water temperature early this morning at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab is 79 degrees.

If you missed it, a waterspout developed just off the Alabama Gulf Coast this morning around 8:15… this photo is from @yankeemikep

WOMEN’S COLLEGE WORLD SERIES: Both Auburn and Alabama are playing in Oklahoma City later this week and over the weekend; showers and thunderstorms are likely on a daily basis Thursday through Saturday, so expect rain delays. Showers thin out a bit Sunday; highs will be in the 77-81 degree range most days. Some flooding issues are not out of the question since the soil there is totally saturated.

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

Line of Storms Moving East, Not Severe

Tue, 05/26/2015 - 09:04

Our line of showers and storms has been fairly well behaved this morning. There was one severe thunderstorm warning for Jackson MS overnight, with some tree and power line damage reported there, but the line continued to slowly weaken as it moved into Alabama early this morning.

The line has been nearly as straight as a ruler but it starting to lose is organization. The good news is that this orientation tends to produce the least damaging winds. The strongest storms are from western Tuscaloosa County through Hale County just before 9 a.m. Others extend from Fayette, western Walker and Winston Counties.

Here is a radar animation over the past four hours.

The line should continue its steady eastward progression. None of the storms are severe or are expected to become severe this morning. Alabama is not included in the Slight Risk outlook area from the SPC.

Others storms may form late this evening and move across the area, but they shouldn’t be severe either.

More rain and storms are on tap for tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday it appears, although they should start to thin a bit after tomorrow.

Categories: Weather

More Rain/Storms For Alabama Today

Tue, 05/26/2015 - 06:16

RADAR CHECK: The band of severe storms that brought serious flooding and some wind damage to parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana last night, as expected, has been steadily weakening early this morning, and is entering West Alabama as I write this around sunrise.

We will forecast a good chance of rain and thunderstorms for all of Alabama again today, and we remain unimpressed with the severe weather threat. SPC has dropped the “slight risk” for our state, and we are now just in a “marginal risk” through tonight. Wind fields are weak, and overall severe weather parameters are low. But, a few strong storms are possible later with gusty winds and heavy rain.

Rain tapers off from west to east this afternoon; many communities won’t get out of the 70s again today because of clouds and rain.

TOMORROW: Another fairly wet day with a deep moisture axis in place; we expect scattered to numerous showers and thunderstorms with a high in the low 80s. SPC has a “marginal” risk of severe weather in place for much of Alabama.

THURSDAY/FRIDAY: Showers and storms become more scattered in nature, and will happen mostly during the afternoon and evening hours as the air aloft become warmer. Expect a mix of sun and clouds both days with a high in the low to mid 80s.

THE WEEKEND: Not much change. Partly sunny, warm, and humid Saturday and Sunday with the usual risk of “scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms”. Highs over the weekend will be generally in the 83 to 86 degree range, right at seasonal levels for late May in Alabama.

And, no real change is expected into early next week as June begins. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

AT THE BEACH: Occasionally cloudy today from Panama City over to Gulf Shores with a few showers and storms likely, then about 6 to 8 hours of sunshine each day tomorrow through the weekend, with the daily risk of scattered showers and thunderstorms (very routine for summer). Highs will remain in the low 80s on the immediate coast; the sea water temperature early this morning at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab is 79 degrees.

WOMEN’S COLLEGE WORLD SERIES: Both Auburn and Alabama are playing in Oklahoma City later this week and over the weekend; showers and thunderstorms are likely on a daily basis Thursday through Saturday, so expect rain delays. Showers thin out a bit Sunday; highs will be in the 77-81 degree range most days. Some flooding issues are not out of the question since the soil there is totally saturated.

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 as we remember J.B. Elliott, the great American weather legend that passed away earlier this month.

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

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

Categories: Weather

WeatherBrains 487: Tribute to JB

Tue, 05/26/2015 - 05:15

WeatherBrains Episode 487 is now online (May 25, 2015). If you are crazy about weather, this is THE netcast audio program for you! This is the longest running podcast on weather having been on the air for nearly 10 years.

Tonight’s show will be a little different as we pay tribute to our friend, JB Elliott. JB was a long time mentor for many of the WeatherBrains gang especially our host, James Spann, so it was appropriate to honor him on this Memorial Day.

Other discussions in this weekly podcast include topics like:

  • Extremes: 102 at Death Valley, CA, and 29 at Yellowstone Lake, WY, Santa Maria, CO, & Waverly, CO
  • Epic flooding in Texas and Oklahoma
  • Severe weather across Central Plains area
  • All time monthly record rainfall for Wichita Falls at around 14 inches
  • Wild weather in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and Louisiana with severe weather and floods
  • and more!
  • Our email bag officer is continuing to handle the incoming messages from our listeners.

    From The Weather Center:

    WeatherBrains 101: This episode of 101 goes off the beaten path just a little to explore something called petrichor. This is a quick explanation about that refreshingly aromatic smell that comes with a light rain after a short dry spell and how it works.

    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 487:

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

    Loss of a Legend

    November, 1989, home video of JB Elliott by David Black

    Picks of the Week:

    Bill Murray – Weather story map

    Brian Peters – Water woes for Wichita Falls

    Kevin Selle – Boston Globe Cities in the Cloud

    James Spann – WeatherBrains audio archive

    SkyDavers Blog – The Fog Bank

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

    Categories: Weather

    Storms To Our West Due in Here Tomorrow Morning

    Mon, 05/25/2015 - 22:35

    It has been a rough afternoon and night to the west of Alabama with a huge squall line producing tornadoes in Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana. Tornadoes have threatened the Shreveport Metro, the Little Rock Metro and menaced Denison, Texas. A flash flood emergency has been in effect for Austin, Texas, where catastrophic flooding was reported.

    The day started with at least an EF1 and perhaps an EF2 in Amory, Mississippi around 9 a.m. The NWS in Memphis will make a final determination based on further evidence. There were actually two tornadoes from that same mesoscale convective vortex.

    The line of storms has been racing east all day and is crossing the Mississippi River. It will reach West Alabama around 6-8 a.m. It will be weaker than earlier today, but storms could still pack a punch. Additional showers and storms will form overnight it appears in areas along and east of I-59 and those could affect the storms’ ability to become intense tomorrow. But if the line is slower and we can get some heating ahead of it, instability levels will be higher and there is a chance some of the storms could become severe. The SPC Day Two Outlook has had Alabama in a slight risk, their standard base level severe weather threat forecast.

    Here is the High Resolution Rapid Refresh model depiction of the line overnight.

    The line will reach the Mississippi River after midnight and West Alabama around 5-6 a.m. probably getting to Birmingham around midmorning.

    So rest easy overnight but watch out tomorrow (especially West Alabama early) in case the storms are severe.

    Categories: Weather

    Occasional Showers/Storms

    Mon, 05/25/2015 - 15:46

    **No afternoon Weather Xtreme video today; we will resume the “two a day” schedule tomorrow**

    RADAR CHECK: The stronger storms have shifted into East Alabama this afternoon…

    Storms in East Alabama are not severe, but they are producing a good bit of lighting and heavy rain as they move east. A few passing showers and storms remain possible through the night across our state as moist air stays in place.

    TOMORROW: SPC maintains the standard “slight risk” of severe weather for a decent part of North and Central Alabama, with a “marginal risk” all the way down to the coast…

    It remains to be seen if some of the high surface based instability forecasts can be reached; clouds could very well be locked in place much of the day, limiting the buoyancy of the atmosphere. Wind fields are not especially strong, so for the moment we remain rather unimpressed with the overall severe weather threat tomorrow, but if the sun breaks out during the morning, things could get active during the afternoon and evening hours. The rain tomorrow would be heavy at times, and some localized flash flooding issues are certainly possible.

    WEDNESDAY THROUGH FRIDAY: While showers and storms remain possible on these three days, they should be more scattered in nature, and mostly during the afternoon and evening hours. The sun will break out at times, and the high will be in the mid 80s.

    THE WEEKEND: Pretty much the same story for Saturday and Sunday… a mix of sun and clouds both days with the risk of scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms. Afternoon highs will remain mostly in the mid 80s. Same setup for early next week.

    GULF COAST WEATHER: About 3 to 5 hours of sunshine tomorrow with a few passing showers and storms likely from Panama City west to Gulf Shores, but then 7 to 9 hours of sunshine daily from Wednesday through the weekend with only widely scattered showers and thunderstorms each day. Highs will remain in the low 80s, and sea water temperatures are also generally in the low 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 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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    Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 7:00 a.m. tomorrow….

    Categories: Weather

    Stronger Storms Over Northwest Alabama

    Mon, 05/25/2015 - 12:01

    Here is the radar at noon:

    Strong thunderstorm continue late this morning over Northeast Mississippi into Northwest Alabama, from Monroe County MS into western Marion County in Alabama. An areal flood advisory was just posted for Marion County where minor flooding is likely. Others are moving through Lawrence and Limestone Counties.

    Further southwest, other strong storms are approaching Starkville MS.

    None of these storms are severe, but they are producing heavy rain and lightning as well as some gusty winds.

    A flash flood warning is now in effect for Monroe County MS, which includes Aberdeen and Amory. A likely tornado touched down in Amory around 9 a.m. It also caused damage in Smithville, a community hard hit on April 27, 2011.

    All of this activity is associated with the disturbance that is currently pushing into southern Tennessee. The southern end will continue to push slowly east into West and Northwest Alabama.

    To the south, showers and storms were passing just south of Selma moving northeast.

    Over South Alabama, widespread thunderstorms have developed and are pushing northward. They extend from Citronelle to Evergreen to Florala.

    All of this activity is forecast to increase in coverage and intensity through mid-afternoon as it all moves north. Although significant severe weather is not expected, we can rule out a few strong storms and there could even be a couple of warned storms. The main threat will be damaging winds.

    It is a day of outdoor activities across the state as we honor our veterans. Be alert to the weather through the afternoon. Have a source for weather warnings and keep an eye to the sky for storms that are below severe limits. They will produce deadly lightning, strong gusty winds and very heavy rains.

    Categories: Weather

    Possible Tornado/117 mph Wind Gust in Amory MS Earlier?

    Mon, 05/25/2015 - 10:07

    LATE REPORT
    From the NWS Memphis: Smithville [Monroe Co, MS] public reports TORNADO at 09:03 AM CDT — smithville marina reports boats toppled over and buildings demolished. definite path of destruction.

    ORIGINAL POST
    That impressive little mesoscale convective vortex over Northeast Mississippi that prompted the tornado warning for the Amory and SMithville areas weakened as it moved into more stable air over Northwest Alabama and is no longer considered severe by the definition. It is still capable of strong gusty winds and is producing a fair amount of lightning and heavy rain.

    It extends along an arc from Tishomingo MS to Vina in Franklin County, Alabama to near Hamilton in Marion County. It is moving northeast at about 35 mph. The strongest winds are now approaching Hamilton. It will impact the rest of Franklin and Marion Counties over the next hour.

    Reports from Amory say that there is a considerable amount of damage in the downtown area from straight line winds or possibly a small tonado.

    Here is a Twitter image of what may have well been a tornado in Amory. There was certainly a strong velocity couplet in the area at the time.

    A home weather station in Amory reported a wind gust to 117 mph. While not official, that is still impressive.

    To the south, more strong storms are north of Columbus MS and will affect northern Lamar and Marion Counties.

    Further south, a severe thunderstorm warning is in effect for a small but strong cell in southwestern Noxubee County MS southwest of Macon. The warning includes Macon. This is going to affect Columbus in 90 minutes or so. It is part of an area of storms southwest of Columbus that will run into some higher instabilities as it translates eastward over the next couple of hours and pushes into West Alabama.

    Categories: Weather

    Could a Watch Be In Our Future?

    Mon, 05/25/2015 - 09:19

    A potent little mesoscale convective vortex is rotating into Northwest Alabama early on this Memorial Day.

    There is very little instability ahead of the system, but it is ingesting unstable air from the south on a strong low level wind. So it is uncertain how long it will be able to maintain itself, but it has impressive rotation and is moving into an area with southeasterly surface winds, so there is a small tornado threat

    The SPC has just put out a statement that a tornado watch is possible if the feature holds together.

    The SPC does not have Alabama outlooked for severe weather today since the threat for severe weather is not significant or widespread enough to warrant a risk forecast. But a small feature like this can sometimes trigger localized severe weather and we will be monitoring it.

    There is a moderate risk today over southern Oklahoma and northern Texas into extreme southwestern Arkansas where the SPC feels that a very strong upper level disturbance approaching from the southwest.

    Categories: Weather

    Heads Up Lamar/Marion Counties

    Mon, 05/25/2015 - 08:45

    8:45 a.m. Monday

    As expected, the first line of storms weakened as it crossed into Alabama overnight, but stronger storms are over Northeast Mississippi at this hour, poised to enter West Alabama within the hour.

    A severe thunderstorm warning is in effect for the Aberdeen area in NE Mississippi. This is for a pronounced bow echo Okolona to Aberdeen to West Point. Bow echoes are a part of a line of thunderstorms that “bows” out in front of the rest of the line. Along the arc of the bow, very strong winds are possible.

    This bow will target Lamar and Marion Counties within the hour, pushing near Bexar, Detroit, Sulligent and Hamilton.

    At the head of the bow, tornadoes can occur, and the NWS Memphis has also issued a tornado warning for the area around Amory and Smithville. The possible tornado is near Egypt, MS. On its current track it will impact Smithville MS and move toward Bexar in Marion County between 9:30-9:45 a.m.

    There has been a definite velocity couplet on the storm, indicating rotation and possible tornado.

    Categories: Weather