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: 12 min 41 sec ago

Wind Gusts to 40 mph Possible with Line of Showers

5 hours 42 min ago

A line of strong showers is dropping into Central Alabama late this afternoon.

It extends from northern Marion County into northern Winston to near Cullman, then into northern Blount County, and on to near Albertvlle and Fort Payne.

It has a history of producing strong wind gusts and even brought down some trees and power lines southeast of the City of Madison in Madison County, west of Huntsville.

Winds gusted to 40 mph at Huntsville International Airport and 30 mph at Decatur and Muscle Shoals.

Winds will gust in excess of 40 mph as this line drops south, especially over Blount and Etowah Counties.

The tops of the showers are under 20,000 feet, so no lightning. There just isn’t much instability, and dewpoints are only in the upper 40s and lower 50s.

The line will reach Birmingham a little after 7. Gadsden should see the activity before 615 p.m. Anniston around 645 pm.

Categories: Weather

Daily Radio Uploads

6 hours 28 min ago

Radio Station Uploads

ALABAMA
Birmingham
WZZK
WZNN
WBHK
WAGG

Tuscaloosa
WTUG
WTSK
WFFN
WDGM
WBEI

Huntsville
WZYP
WVNN
WWFF
WHRP
WUMP

TEXAS
McAllen
KVMV

Categories: Weather

Showers This Evening, Then Dry For A While

9 hours 7 min ago

RADAR CHECK: As advertised, a band of showers and storms is approaching North Alabama this afternoon ahead of an “Alberta Clipper” type system…

Showers will move southward in coming hours; a bit of thunder is possible, but overall rain will be light with amounts generally under 1/4 inch. The rain should reach the Birmingham/Tuscaloosa/Anniston/Gadsden areas in the 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. time frame.

TOMORROW/FRIDAY: Dry, cool, continental air will cover Alabama, meaning sunny pleasant days and clear cool nights. Early morning lows will be in the 45-50 degree range; well below average but no record… the record low for both mornings is 38 (for Birmingham). The high tomorrow will be in the 68-71 degree range, followed by mid 70s Friday afternoon.

THE WEEKEND: More delightful weather with a warming trend. Sunny Saturday and Sunday… low 80s are likely Saturday afternoon, followed by mid 80s Sunday.

NEXT WEEK: Monday will stay warm and dry, but we will need to bring back the chance of showers and thunderstorms Tuesday and Wednesday. With weakening dynamics, for now it doesn’t look like a big severe weather threat, and rain amounts should be in the 1/2 to 1 inch range for most. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

AT THE BEACH: Sunny days and clear nights on the coast from Gulf Shores over to Panama City Beach through Monday. Highs in the 70s on the immediate coast; but 80s are likely inland over the weekend. See a very detailed Gulf Coast forecast here.

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

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

Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus
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I had a great time today visiting with the first graders at Alexandria Elementary School in Calhoun County… 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

Wednesday Midday Nowcast for North/Central Alabama

12 hours 41 min ago

Mostly sunny conditions greet you at this hour across North/Central Alabama. No rain on radar for the state right now, but that will change later this afternoon. The Alberta Clipper system that is expected to move into Alabama later today is currently located up in Kentucky stretching up to the north through western Ohio and through much of Michigan.

QUICK LOOK AT TEMPERATURES: Temperatures this morning are cool, with almost every station reporting in the 60s with the exception of Dothan. Here is a list of temperature readings from across the state at this time:

Birmingham 64
Tuscaloosa 66
Muscle Shoals 65
Huntsville 65
Anniston 65
Alexander City 65
Montgomery 66
Dothan 70
Mobile 67

REST OF TODAY: It will be mostly sunny for the rest of the morning and early afternoon hours, with highs reaching the mid 70s for most communities. Clouds will start to build with the approach of the disturbance from the north. A line of showers will start to enter North Alabama around the 3-5PM time frame, reaching Birmingham between 6-8PM. Rain totals will mostly be 1/4 inch or less for most areas. The line starts to fall apart and fizzle out before reaching South Alabama. Rainfall could dissipate completely by midnight. Clearing will take place soon after the clipper passes.

THURSDAY: Sunny skies and cooler will be the theme for tomorrow. The morning starts off rather cool, with the morning low at or near 50. It will become breezy later in the morning. We will struggle to reach 70 for the afternoon high.

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

Categories: Weather

A Few Showers Later Today

17 hours 59 min ago

COOL MORNING: Vic Bell up at Black Creek, in Etowah County northeast of Gadsden, reports 45 degrees just before sunrise… John Talbot at Concord checks in with 48. Enjoy these mornings since the long, hot summer is almost here.

We start the day with a mostly sunny sky this morning, but clouds will move in this afternoon ahead of a clipper, and a few showers are likely between 5:00 and 8:00 p.m. Needless to say, moisture is very limited, so rain amounts will be under 1/4 inch, and the showers will fizzle out south of I-20.

TOMORROW/FRIDAY: Sunny pleasant days, clear cool nights. We should be in the upper 40s both tomorrow and Friday morning; highs will be close to 70, followed by mid 70s Friday. Many communities north of Birmingham won’t make it out of the 60s tomorrow.

THE WEEKEND: Dry weather continues with sunny days and a warming trend. The high Saturday will be in the low 80s, followed by mid 80s Sunday.

NEXT WEEK: Mostly sunny, warm weather continues Monday; we will mention the chance of a shower by Tuesday afternoon, with a better chance of showers and storms Wednesday. For now the severe weather risk looks low… see the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

AT THE BEACH: Sunny days, clear nights along the coast from Gulf Shores to Panama City Beach through early next week. Highs in the 70s, although 80s return for inland areas this weekend. The sea water temperature early this morning at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab is 76 degrees. See a very detailed Gulf Coast forecast here.

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

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

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

Categories: Weather

Quiet Pattern For The Rest Of The Week

Tue, 05/03/2016 - 15:27

RADAR CHECK: As expected, showers and storms are confined to the southeast corner of our state this afternoon…

Drier air is over North Alabama, and tonight will be mostly fair and cool with a low in the low 50s early tomorrow.

TOMORROW: Expect a mostly sunny morning, but some clouds move in from the north tomorrow afternoon, and a band of showers will pass through early tomorrow night ahead of an Alberta Clipper system. Moisture will be limited, and rain amounts should be 1/4″ or less for most places. The best chance of showers will come from about 5:00 until 9:00 p.m.

The high tomorrow afternoon will be in the 72-75 degree range, about five degrees below average for early May.

THURSDAY/FRIDAY: Delightful weather both days; sunshine in full supply and cool nights. We drop into the 40s early Thursday and Friday morning, and the humidity will be very low.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Sunny weather continues Saturday and Sunday with a warming trend; we reach the low 80s Saturday, followed by mid 80s Sunday.

NEXT WEEK: Dry weather continues Monday; the latest GFS run is a little faster with the next system, suggesting showers and storms could arrive by Tuesday afternoon or Tuesday night. And, for now, the chance of severe weather looks low. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

AT THE BEACH: Expect mostly sunny days and fair nights on the coast from Panama City Beach to Gulf Shores tomorrow through the weekend; highs mostly in the 70s, with 80s for inland areas by the weekend. See a very detailed Gulf Coast forecast here.

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

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

Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus
Instagram

I had a great time today visiting with the kids at Salter Elementary in Talladega, and with a big home school coop group in Hayden at Cross Roads Baptist Church. Be looking for them on the Pepsi KIDCAM today at 5:00 and 6:00 on ABC 33/40 News! The next Weather Xtreme video will be posted here by 7:00 a.m. tomorrow…

Categories: Weather

Tuesday Midday Nowcast for North/Central Alabama

Tue, 05/03/2016 - 11:46

Cooler and drier air is moving into the northwestern parts of the state, and is making its way into Central Alabama. Temperatures at this hour are already cooler compared to the last few days. Cloud cover is starting to break up for North/Central Alabama, and most of the clouds are lined up with the cold front that is currently pushing through the state.

A few scattered showers are showing up on radar ahead of the cold front. One large shower is currently moving into Georgia from Randolph and Chambers Counties. A few smaller scattered showers are showing up in Lee, Macon, Bullock, and Montgomery Counties.

TEMPERATURES: A difference in temperatures can be felt in the air across Alabama today, as a cold front is currently draped across the southeastern parts of the state. Cooler temperatures are behind the front, with warmer temperatures ahead of it. Here is a list of temperature readings from across the state at this time:

Birmingham 69
Tuscaloosa 70
Muscle Shoals 64
Huntsville 68
Anniston 69
Alexander City 67
Montgomery 72
Dothan 76
Mobile 76

TODAY & TONIGHT: Expect a mix of sun and clouds for the remainder of the day for North/Central Alabama. There is a very small chance of a shower, but with drier air already moving in, it will be very hard to find one in the area. The best chance for showers and thunderstorms will come ahead of the cold front in South Alabama.

The SPC has defined communities south of a line from Mobile to Troy to Phenix City under a “Marginal Risk” for severe storms through the day. Daytime highs will reach the mid 70s in most communities, with overnight lows reaching the upper 40 to near 50.

WEDNESDAY: The daytime hours will be dry, as we begin the day with sunny skies during the morning. An Alberta Clipper will bring clouds in during the latter part of the day, with a band of showers passing through the area around the 5PM to 9PM time frame. Rain totals for tomorrow should be generally under 1/4 inch, and severe weather is not expected. Daytime highs will reach the mid 70s.

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

Categories: Weather

Best Shower Coverage Over South Alabama Today

Tue, 05/03/2016 - 05:46

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus
Instagram

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

Categories: Weather

WeatherBrains 537: I’m Not Wearing Any Pants

Tue, 05/03/2016 - 05:15

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

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

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

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

Other discussions in this weekly podcast include topics like:

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

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

From The Weather Center:

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

Listener Surveys: Okay, we continue to drive this topic into the ground, but we really do like to hear from you. Many thanks to everyone who has taken the time to fill out the Listener Survey. The survey takes just a minute or two to complete and provides us with an opportunity to learn where you are and hear your thoughts and comments on the show. Click here to take the survey.

Web Sites from Episode 537:

The Weather Channel

BUF Kit home page

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

Picks of the Week:

Bill Murray – Buffalo flakes

Thomas Niziol – NASA worldview

Brian Peters – Windows 10 Upgrade photo bombs weather segment

Kevin Selle – Storm Warriors

Rick Smith – SPC Product Descriptions

James Spann – Drone footage of tornado warned storm near DC

Aubrey Urbanowicz – Drone video of severe storm over Harrisonburg

SkyDavers Blog – The Fog Bank

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

Categories: Weather

Showers/Storms Increasing Across Alabama

Mon, 05/02/2016 - 15:21

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus
Instagram

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

Categories: Weather

Monday Midday Nowcast for North/Central Alabama

Mon, 05/02/2016 - 11:57

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Categories: Weather

The Alpha and the Omega from Satellite Sheldon

Mon, 05/02/2016 - 09:26

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

– Sheldon

Click image to enlarge

Categories: Weather

Wet Weather Continues

Mon, 05/02/2016 - 05:42

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus
Instagram

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

Categories: Weather

40 Laps To Go

Sun, 05/01/2016 - 14:44

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

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

THE ALABAMA WEATHER SITUATION

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

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

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

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

Categories: Weather

Welcome to May!

Sun, 05/01/2016 - 14:00

Infographic by AlabamaWX Meteorologist Scott Martin – Click to Enlarge

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

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

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

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

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

Categories: Weather

Turning Wet for West Alabama

Sun, 05/01/2016 - 13:29

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Brian-

Categories: Weather

Storms Heating Up around Birmingham, Heads Up Lamar and Pickens

Sun, 05/01/2016 - 12:34

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Categories: Weather

Weather Update at 11:05 am

Sun, 05/01/2016 - 11:03

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

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

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

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

-Brian-

Categories: Weather

Scott Martin

Sun, 05/01/2016 - 10:31

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

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

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

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

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

Categories: Weather

Showers Developing

Sun, 05/01/2016 - 09:37

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

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

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

-Brian-

Categories: Weather