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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: 1 hour 44 min ago

Warming Trend Begins This Afternoon

2 hours 36 min ago

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.

SUB-FREEZING START: Here are some temperatures (not official lows) just before daybreak this morning…

Black Creek 26 (Vic Bell, our Skywatcher there, has been below freezing since 9:30 last night)
Valley Head 28
Hayden 28
Crossville 28
Fort Payne 28
Gadsden 29
Gardendale 30
Sycamore 30
Cullman 31
Haleyville 31
Coker 31
Snead 31
Concord 31
Chelsea 32
Fayette 32
Russellville 32

Even a chill in the air down in far South Alabama; Mobile reports 37, and Gulf Shores is at 39.

WARMER TIMES AHEAD: We warm into the low to mid 60s today with ample sunshine; upper 60s are likely tomorrow with a partly sunny sky.

But, we should note tomorrow morning will be cold. While most places will see a low near 40, the colder valleys across Northeast Alabama will drop down into the mid 30s with a chance of frost. The coldest locations, like Black Creek and Valley Head, might even touch 32 briefly early tomorrow morning.

FRIDAY: A disturbance will bring the chance of some light rain to the state, especially along and south of I-20. No severe weather, probably no thunder, and nothing heavy. Friday’s high will be close to 70 degrees.

EASTER WEEKEND: Looks great with mostly sunny warm days and fair nights. The high Saturday will be in the upper 70s, and the GFS is printing a high of 80 degrees Sunday afternoon at Birmingham.

NEXT WEEK: A surface front will bring a chance of showers late Monday, Monday night, and Tuesday. Not much upper support and limited moisture, so no severe weather threat, and the rain probably won’t be all that heavy. And, no cold air… highs will be in the upper 70s Monday and Tuesday. Then, on Wednesday, as an upper ridge begins to build, low 80s are likely.

The good news is that the GFS shows no sign of any severe weather threat around here for the rest of April… see the Weather Xtreme video for the maps, graphics, and details.

AT THE BEACH: Sunny today with a high in the 60s from Panama City over to Gulf Shores. A slight risk of a shower tomorrow afternoon; showers become more likely tomorrow night and Friday. Then, the weekend looks great with mostly sunny days Saturday and Sunday. Highs over the weekend on the immediate coast will be around 70 degrees, with upper 70s inland. Dry weather continues Monday before showers return Tuesday. Sea water temperatures are mostly in the mid 60s.

NEED HELP WITH YOUR WEATHER RADIO? We will be at Academy Sports on Skyland Blvd in Tuscaloosa today from 3:30 until 6:30… we will program your weather radio, or be glad to answer questions if you have them.

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 today at Hayden Elementary in Blount County… then I will be headed to Tuscaloosa for the weather radio programming event. Won’t be able to produce an afternoon video, but I will post some fresh forecast notes here by 4:00 p.m. Enjoy the day!

Categories: Weather

A Legend Retires

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 18:21

It is my sad duty to let you know that “the world’s greatest weatherman”… J.B. Elliott… is officially retiring this week from weather work.

J.B. is my mentor, and the main reason I am a professional meteorologist today. He is a trusted friend that never seems to have a bad day.

His roots are in rural Hale County, at Havanna Junction, south of Moundville. J.B. was born April 17, 1932, and it seems like he loved weather from the day he was born. The passion has never faded, and his enthusiasm for the science of meteorology spreads like wildfire.

He worked for the National Weather Service as a forecaster for 32 years… and all of that time was spent at the office here in Birmingham. He is has lived and worked through so much weather history… he was the one that issued most of the tornado warnings during the “SuperOutbreak” of tornadoes April 3-4, 1974.

Upon his retirement from the NWS, we had a deal for him waiting to join “The Weather Company”… now known as “The Weather Factory”. That is our private business that provides support for ABC 33/40; J.B. is widely known for his daily afternoon forecast package here on the blog. Not only is he known for detailed, accurate forecasts, he is also loved because of the personal stories he shares. For many years, the adventures of his dog “Little Miss Molly” warmed many hearts.

I cherish all the times we rode together to school visits over the years on the “roads less traveled”.

J.B. has been the long time severe weather voice for local radio stations WBHK (Kiss-FM), WBHJ, and WAGG.

J.B.’s wife Judy had a serious fall a few weeks ago, and both Judy and J.B. have decided it is the time to retire. But, even in retirement, we will always check in with J.B. anytime we have a big weather threat since he is the voice of experience and logic around here.

I hope J.B. and Judy enjoy the retirement years; they are active members of Huffman Baptist Church and live in Trussville. It has been my honor to work alongside the “legend” for all these years, and I will always be appreciative of his support and encouragement.

You can drop J.B. a note anytime over on his Facebook page….

Categories: Weather

Freeze Warning Tonight

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 15:41

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.

LONG NIGHT AHEAD FOR GROWERS: We are still projecting lows in the 25 to 35 degree range for most of North-Central Alabama early tomorrow morning with a clear sky and light wind. The colder readings will be in the lower valleys… some of the ridgetops will stay above freezing, but even there frost is likely. A freeze warning remains in effect for most of Alabama, and many communities will be below freezing for around 3 hours, generally between 4 and 7 a.m.

Birmingham’s record low for April 16, 32 set in 1983, is very much in danger. This won’t be the latest freeze on record, however… that came on April 23, 1986 when the low in Birmingham was 30.

Chilton County Peach Farmer Paul Knight told ABC 33/40 News today…

The freeze that we had a couple of weeks ago wiped out about 40% of the early crops for Chilton County, and a freeze tonight could bring that number up to a 60% loss. Some farms in lower elevations could be wiped out completely. The early crop is where farmers make most of their money due to demands on the market. He also said that the real damage may not show up for weeks or even months from now. And if the temperatures stay below freezing for more than an hour they could see a total loss on all crops.

About 110,000 styrofoam cups are being placed over tomato plants atop Chandler Mountain at K&B Farms to protect them from freezing temperatures tonight… photo below is from @tracygcash

Tomorrow will be a sunny day with a high in the mid 60s as a warming trend begins.

THURSDAY MORNING: We need to mention that we expect mid to upper 30s across the colder pockets of North/Central Alabama at daybreak Thursday, and some frost is possible. Won’t be as cold as early tomorrow, but growers need to be aware of the potential.

Thursday will be another sunny day with a high in the upper 60s.

SOME RAIN FRIDAY: A disturbance will bring the risk of showers to Alabama Friday, but with weak dynamics and limited moisture, rain should be light and spotty. Amounts will be generally under 1/4 inch, and a decent part of the day will be dry.

EASTER WEEKEND: Looks very nice. Mostly sunny mild days, fair cool nights. Highs in the mid 70s, lows in the 50s.

We will bring in the chance of some rain early next week on Monday, but at this point it doesn’t look like a heavy rain or severe weather threat. See the Weather Xtreme video for the maps, graphics, and details.

AT THE BEACH: Lots of sun tomorrow from Panama City over to Gulf Shores with a high in the upper 60s on the immediate coast. A few widely scattered showers are possible Thursday and Friday, then expect mostly sunny weather over the weekend. Highs Saturday and Sunday on the coast will be in the low 70s, with mid 70s inland. The sea water temperature at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab this afternoon is 65 degrees.

NEED HELP WITH YOUR WEATHER RADIO? We will be at Academy Sports on Skyland Blvd in Tuscaloosa tomorrow from 3:30 until 6:30… we will program your weather radio, or be glad to answer questions if you have them.

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 the kindergarten kids at Paine Primary School in Trussville, and the first graders at Alexandria Elementary School in Calhoun County. Be looking for them on the Pepsi KIDCAM today at 5:00 and 6:00 p.m. on ABC 33/40 News! The next Weather Xtreme video will be posted here by 7:00 a.m. tomorrow….

Categories: Weather

Freeze Warning Tonight

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 12:45

Here comes the late season freeze. A very cold night is ahead, as all of Alabama will fall into the the 30s tonight, and that includes areas along the Gulf Coast. Across much of Central Alabama, most locations will go below freezing, and several areas will drop into the 20s.  For this reason, the National Weather Service has placed nearly all of Alabama under a freeze warning for tonight and tomorrow morning. Take any and all precautions needed to protect sensitive vegetation as well as pets.

This will be a one night event for most us. Tomorrow, highs will climb into the mid-60s before cooling back-off into the upper 30s for Wednesday night. For the rest of the week, our temperatures will slowly moderate back to those pleasantly warm spring temperatures we have become so accustomed too lately.

…A STRONG COLD FRONT WILL BRING BELOW FREEZING TEMPERATURES
TONIGHT FOR ALL OF CENTRAL ALABAMA…

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BIRMINGHAM HAS ISSUED A FREEZE
WARNING…WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 1 AM TO 8 AM CDT WEDNESDAY.

* TIMING…TEMPERATURES WILL FALL BELOW FREEZING BETWEEN 1 AM
AND 4 AM LATE TONIGHT ACROSS THE MAJORITY OF CENTRAL ALABAMA.
TEMPERATURES SHOULD WARM ABOVE FREEZING BY 8 AM WEDNESDAY MORNING.

* TEMPERATURES…WILL RANGE FROM THE UPPER 20S NORTH TO THE LOWER
30S ELSEWHERE.

* IMPACTS…THE FREEZING TEMPERATURES MAY DAMAGE OR KILL VEGETATION
THAT HAS ALREADY BLOOMED OR BUDDED OUT FOR THE SPRING.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A FREEZE WARNING MEANS SUB-FREEZING TEMPERATURES ARE IMMINENT OR
HIGHLY LIKELY. THESE CONDITIONS WILL KILL CROPS AND OTHER
SENSITIVE VEGETATION.

Categories: Weather

Skies are Clearing

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 11:00

A very chilly, windy, and cloudy day is ongoing across Alabama. The winds will continue the rest of today as they help advect a much colder and drier air mass into the state.

As the dry air moves in, we will begin to see our clouds mix out and sunshine return. The sun’s return will occur from northwest to southeast across the state. Looking at the latest satellite image, we are beginning to see breaks in the clouds over western portions of the state, and actually severe clear over northern Mississippi and western Tennessee. During the next few hours we will see the skies clearing over Alabama, which will allow us to see a lot of sunshine this afternoon. The sun will not help much with our temps though, as highs this afternoon will struggle to reach the 50s, with many locations remaining in the 40s.

The winds will subside later this evening, and under a clear sky, we will have ideal radiational cooling conditions. This will allow our temps to drop like a rock later tonight and give us all a very cold and freezing night across the state.

Categories: Weather

A Wet April – So Far

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 09:06

I’m sure it is no surprise to anyone in Central Alabama that April has been wet. So just how wet has it been? Seems like a fair question considering we are tipping over the mid point of the month which also happens to be the dreaded tax filing day! So, while some are rushing to get their tax figures figured, how does April shape up on rainfall?

Here is a table showing the rainfall through April 14th from the primary observing sites in North and Central Alabama, the ranking of that rainfall for 2014, and the record rainfall and year of that record. All of this data comes from published reports and databases from the National Weather Service in Birmingham.

Since we are at the halfway point in the month, if the second half of the month is as rainy as the first half, we will likely see most observing sites reaching values putting April, 2014, into the top 15 of our all time wettest Aprils.

City Rainfall Ranking Record/Year Birmingham 6.20″ 30th 13.75″/1979 Tuscaloosa 6.22″ 16th 14.41″/1979 Anniston 5.13″ 20th 17.30″/1979 Calera 6.31″ Unknown Unknown Montgomery 5.84″ 33rd 15.94″/1912 Muscle Shoals 3.19″ 39th 12.81″/1983 Huntsville 3.77″ 30th 14.00″/1911 Troy 6.67″ Unknown Unknown

The next few days are expected to be dry, but some limited showers are forecast to return around Friday.

-Brian-

Categories: Weather

Storm Totals in Latest Rain

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 08:36

Below is a compilation of rainfall reports made by the National Weather Service office in Birmingham for the latest rain event. Rainfall totals varied from as little as 1 inch to just over 3 inches. The majority of the reporting stations fell in the range of 1.50″ to 2.25″. The resultant runoff has pushed some rivers and streams back above flood stage with flood warnings currently posted on portions of the Tombigbee River, the Alabama River, and the Black Warrior River.

On top of the rain, we have some late season cold air to deal with, too. Temperatures today will feel more like January with readings holding in the 40s with a stiff north to northwest wind. By Wednesday morning, temperature values are likely to fall below freezing generally along and north of the Interstate 20 corridor and into the lower and middle 30s from the I-20 corridor southward into South Alabama. Consider taking protective action for any plants and vegetation that could be adversely affected by freezing temperatures.

-Brian-

NOUS44 KBMX 151306 PNSBMX ALZ011>015-017>050-160105- PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BIRMINGHAM AL 805 AM CDT TUE APR 15 2014 ...LATEST 48 HOUR RAINFALL REPORTS ACROSS CENTRAL ALABAMA... LOCATION AMOUNT TIME/DATE LAT/LON ...AUTAUGA... 2 NE PRATTVILLE 1.99 IN 0747 AM 04/15 32.49N/86.42W 1 NNW PRATTVILLE 1.32 IN 0743 AM 04/15 32.48N/86.45W 2 SE PRATTVILLE 1.27 IN 0755 AM 04/15 32.44N/86.43W ...BARBOUR... CLAYTON 1.21 IN 0600 AM 04/15 31.88N/85.48W 7 SSW FLORENCE MARINA STATE PA 1.13 IN 0752 AM 04/15 32.01N/85.09W ...BIBB... 6 SW CENTREVILLE 1.81 IN 0600 AM 04/15 32.87N/87.24W 1 NNE BRENT 1.61 IN 0726 AM 04/15 32.96N/87.17W ...BULLOCK... 7 WSW UNION SPRINGS 1.69 IN 0747 AM 04/15 32.10N/85.83W ...CALHOUN... 1 ENE BYNUM 1.96 IN 0746 AM 04/15 33.62N/85.94W 2 E FORT MCCLELLAN 1.61 IN 0746 AM 04/15 33.72N/85.76W ANNISTON ARPT ASOS 1.49 IN 0653 AM 04/15 33.59N/85.86W JACKSONVILLE ST UNIV 1.15 IN 0630 AM 04/15 33.83N/85.76W ...CHAMBERS... FIVE POINTS 1.19 IN 0753 AM 04/15 33.02N/85.35W ...CHEROKEE... WEISS DAM POWER HOUSE 0.80 IN 0700 AM 04/15 34.13N/85.80W ...CHILTON... 4 NE THORSBY 1.90 IN 0744 AM 04/15 32.96N/86.67W ...CLAY... 2 ENE ASHLAND 3.11 IN 0731 AM 04/15 33.28N/85.80W 3 NE LINEVILLE 2.41 IN 0753 AM 04/15 33.35N/85.72W ...CLEBURNE... 2 W HEFLIN 1.28 IN 0714 AM 04/15 33.65N/85.63W ...DALLAS... SELMA 1.26 IN 0600 AM 04/15 32.41N/87.02W ...ELMORE... 2 S TALLASSEE 2.00 IN 0536 AM 04/15 32.50N/85.89W ...ETOWAH... SARDIS CITY 0.99 IN 0754 AM 04/15 34.17N/86.11W ...FAYETTE... 3 S BERRY 1.89 IN 0630 AM 04/15 33.62N/87.61W ...GREENE... GAINESVILLE 2.45 IN 0500 AM 04/15 32.83N/88.13W ...HALE... WARRIOR LOCK AND DAM 2.10 IN 0530 AM 04/15 32.77N/87.83W ...JEFFERSON... 1 WSW LEEDS 2.79 IN 0755 AM 04/15 33.54N/86.57W 3 NE FAIRFIELD 2.32 IN 0700 AM 04/15 33.52N/86.88W CITY SEWAGE PLT 1.86 IN 1200 AM 04/15 33.39N/87.01W 4 NW ARGO 1.65 IN 0630 AM 04/15 33.72N/86.56W BIRMINGHAM ARPT ASOS 1.64 IN 0653 AM 04/15 33.57N/86.75W VESTAVIA HILLS 1.58 IN 0751 AM 04/15 33.43N/86.78W 1 NW TRUSSVILLE 1.53 IN 0752 AM 04/15 33.65N/86.62W 2 NE HOOVER 1.50 IN 0756 AM 04/15 33.40N/86.80W 4 NNE PINSON 1.38 IN 0744 AM 04/15 33.74N/86.64W ...LAMAR... 6 WNW VERNON 2.19 IN 0755 AM 04/15 33.79N/88.21W 5 W MILLPORT 1.75 IN 0753 AM 04/15 33.55N/88.17W ...LEE... AUBURN 1.73 IN 0655 AM 04/15 32.62N/85.43W 3 NNE AUBURN 1.44 IN 0752 AM 04/15 32.63N/85.47W 2 NW OPELIKA 1.35 IN 0755 AM 04/15 32.68N/85.40W ...MACON... 9 ESE NOTASULGA 2.06 IN 0726 AM 04/15 32.48N/85.56W ...MARENGO... LOCK AND DAM 2.20 IN 0600 AM 04/15 32.52N/87.88W DEMOPOLIS 2.20 IN 0753 AM 04/15 32.52N/87.84W ...MARION... 3 S HAMILTON 2.12 IN 0700 AM 04/15 34.10N/87.99W ...MONTGOMERY... 5 E MONTGOMERY 1.81 IN 0756 AM 04/15 32.35N/86.19W MONTGOMERY DANNELLY FIELD 1.55 IN 0653 AM 04/15 32.30N/86.41W 7 WSW SHORTER 1.36 IN 0751 AM 04/15 32.37N/86.06W 6 SW MONTGOMERY 1.18 IN 0800 PM 04/14 32.26N/86.22W ...PERRY... 9 WNW MAPLESVILLE 1.45 IN 0741 AM 04/15 32.83N/87.04W ...PICKENS... ALICEVILLE LOCK AND DAM 3.49 IN 0500 AM 04/15 33.21N/88.29W ...PIKE... TROY MUNICIPAL APT 1.43 IN 0653 AM 04/15 31.78N/85.95W ...RANDOLPH... R.L. HARRIS DAM 2.06 IN 0700 AM 04/15 33.25N/85.62W WADLEY NR 2 1.24 IN 0530 AM 04/15 33.13N/85.58W ...RUSSELL... HURTSBORO 1.05 IN 0749 AM 04/15 32.24N/85.42W ...SHELBY... SHELBY COUNTY AIRPORT 1.98 IN 0653 AM 04/15 33.18N/86.78W 3 SE PELHAM 1.86 IN 0700 AM 04/15 33.27N/86.76W 2 SSW PELHAM 1.70 IN 0716 AM 04/15 33.27N/86.81W 1 SE HELENA 1.67 IN 0753 AM 04/15 33.27N/86.83W 1 SW MEADOWBROOK 1.66 IN 0700 AM 04/15 33.39N/86.71W 1 WNW HELENA 1.58 IN 0755 AM 04/15 33.30N/86.87W 3 N CHELSEA 1.58 IN 0752 AM 04/15 33.37N/86.64W 1 S HELENA 1.34 IN 0755 AM 04/15 33.27N/86.86W ...ST. CLAIR... LOGAN MARTIN DAM 1.52 IN 0700 AM 04/15 33.43N/86.33W 2 SSW MARGARET 1.33 IN 0728 AM 04/15 33.66N/86.49W 2 E MARGARET 1.31 IN 0755 AM 04/15 33.69N/86.44W ...SUMTER... 1 SSW LIVINGSTON 2.81 IN 0630 AM 04/15 32.57N/88.19W ...TALLADEGA... WATER PLANT 2.40 IN 0700 AM 04/15 33.21N/86.21W 1 ENE TALLADEGA 1.66 IN 0726 AM 04/15 33.44N/86.08W ...TUSCALOOSA... 12 S BERRY 2.39 IN 0630 AM 04/15 33.48N/87.60W OLIVER LOCK AND DAM 2.23 IN 0400 AM 04/15 33.21N/87.59W 11 SSE HOLT 2.20 IN 0700 AM 04/15 33.08N/87.40W TUSCALOOSA REGIONAL AIRPORT 2.15 IN 0653 AM 04/15 33.22N/87.61W 5 W NORTHPORT 2.06 IN 0700 AM 04/15 33.24N/87.69W 2 NE HOLT 1.82 IN 0700 AM 04/15 33.25N/87.45W 8 NE VANCE 1.62 IN 0750 AM 04/15 33.27N/87.16W 14 N BROOKWOOD 1.18 IN 0700 AM 04/15 33.46N/87.35W ...WALKER... 2 ENE JASPER 1.46 IN 0754 AM 04/15 33.86N/87.24W ...WINSTON... ADDISON 1.50 IN 0630 AM 04/15 34.20N/87.18W 3 NNE HALEYVILLE 1.29 IN 0656 AM 04/15 34.28N/87.60W OBSERVATIONS ARE COLLECTED FROM A VARIETY OF SOURCES WITH VARYING EQUIPMENT AND EXPOSURE. NOT ALL DATA LISTED ARE CONSIDERED OFFICIAL. $$ NWS BIRMINGHAM AL
Categories: Weather

Raw, Cold Day Ahead

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 06:16

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.

MORE LIKE JANUARY: This won’t be a “Chamber of Commerce” kind of day around here as strong north winds of 15-30 mph usher in much colder air. Places like Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, and Anniston will struggle to reach the low to mid 50s today, and many communities to the north of these cities won’t get out of the 40s.

We begin the day with clouds and some drizzle; we will forecast gradual clearing this afternoon. But, it will be a raw day.

FREEZE WARNING TONIGHT: Most of Alabama is under a freeze warning for late tonight and early tomorrow. Not much change in our thinking; the sky will become clear tonight and the wind will die down, setting up a late season freeze.

The range tomorrow morning for most communities will be from around 25 to 35 degrees. The colder readings will be in valleys; some ridge tops will avoid a freeze with mid 30s, but even there frost is likely. It is possible some of the coldest places (like Black Creek and Valley Head) will reach the low 20s.

Most places across North/Central Alabama will be below freezing for about 3 to 4 hours. And, the record low for Birmingham tomorrow (April 16) of 32, set in 1983, is very much in danger. Growers will need to protect all tender plants and vegetation tonight.

On the positive side, it is likely this is the last freeze threat of the season around here.

A warming trend begins tomorrow afternoon with a sunny sky as we rise into the mid 60s, and upper 60s are likely Thursday.

FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: We will bring in the chance of rain showers statewide Friday. This won’t be a heavy rain event, and there won’t be any severe weather, but confidence is high there will be some rain at times during the day Friday, and possibly Friday night; Friday’s high will be around 70 degrees.

The news for the weekend is generally good. Both the GFS/ECMWF models are suggesting the chance of a shower Saturday is very small, and most places will be dry, and Sunday for now looks like a dry day with a decent amount of sun. Highs over the weekend will be in the mid 70s.

NEXT WEEK: Moisture levels rise and a few showers are possible Monday and Tuesday, but it doesn’t look like a big rain event. See the Weather Xtreme video for the maps, graphics, and more details.

AT THE BEACH: Clearing today in the zone from Panama City over to Gulf Shores, but windy and cool with a high in the low 60s. Lots of sun tomorrow with a high in the upper 60s on the immediate coast. A few widely scattered showers are possible Thursday and Friday, then expect mostly sunny weather over the weekend. Highs Saturday and Sunday on the coast will be in the low 70s, with mid 70s inland.

NEED HELP WITH YOUR WEATHER RADIO? We will be at Academy Sports on Skyland Blvd in Tuscaloosa tomorrow from 3:30 until 6:30… we will program your weather radio, or be glad to answer questions if you have them.

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

Busy day ahead… I have weather programs today at Paine Primary School in Trussville, and at Alexandria Elementary in Calhoun County. Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 or so this afternoon. Enjoy the day!

Categories: Weather

WeatherBrains 429: Not a Cheerwine Virgin

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 05:15

WeatherBrains Episode 429 is now online (April 14, 2014). If you are crazy about weather, this is THE netcast audio program for you!

Tonight’s Guest WeatherBrain is Doug Hilderbrande, the Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador initiative lead at National Weather Service Headquarters within the Director’s office. He has been at the National Weather Service for 12 years now, starting at NCEP’s Weather Prediction Center, then moving on to the Office of Science and Technology and a 2-year stint as the NOAA Policy Adviser for weather and satellites. He has a Bachelors Degree from Bucknell University in Central Pennsylvania, a masters in geology from University of South Florida, and a masters in meteorology from North Carolina State University.

Tonight’s Guest Panelist, Todd Foisy, is a repeat performer and a friend of the podcast. He is a WeatherBrains alum having appeared as the guest panelist on show 204 on December 21, 2009, and as the Guest Weatherbrain on Show 346 in December, 2012. He is the Science and Operations Officer, or SOO, from the National Weather Service in Caribou, ME. He joins us from his home in northern Maine.

Other discussions in this weekly podcast include topics like:

  • Extremes: 100 at Death Valley, CA, and -7 at Lake Yellowstone, WY
  • Severe thunderstorm watches in effect this evening for Gulf Coast area
  • Severe weather risk shifts to Southeast US coast on Tuesday
  • Cold air once again invading the eastern US
  • and more!
  • Our email bag officer finally makes a show so perhaps she’ll catch up on the incoming messages from our listeners.

    From The Weather Center:

    WeatherBrains 101: In honor of the fact that three of the WeatherBrains crew were at the 2014 National Tropical Weather Conference this past week, this episode of 101 takes a brief look at the naming of hurricanes in the Atlantic Basin as well as the names we’ll see on the advisories and statements issued during the upcoming season.

    TWIWH: Bill Murray looks back at the week of April 14th.

    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 429:

    Weather-Ready Nation

    Preparathon

    Picks of the Week:

    Todd Foisy – Enhanced Weather Display

    Doug Hildebrand – Living on the real world

    Nate Johnson – Colorado State seasonal hurricane forecast

    Bill Murray – book called Infinite Monster

    Brian Peters – National Tropical Weather Conference

    James Spann – College of DuPage Weather Lab

    Aubrey Urbanowicz – Virtual Telescope

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

    Categories: Weather

    Another Look at the Radar

    Mon, 04/14/2014 - 19:07

    Moderate to heavy rain is moving into western portions of state. The rain will continue to spread east across the state the next few hours. No storms are currently severe in Mississippi, and we are not expecting severe weather in Central Alabama. Storms could produce gusty winds, lightning, perhaps some small hail, and very heavy rainfall.

    The bulk of the rainfall is between Interstate 65 in Alabama and Interstate 55 in Central Mississippi. There have been several flash flood warnings back in Mississippi and we certainly could see some flash flooding throughout the area as the rain moves through. Expect several hours of rain before the rain begins to taper off from west to east across the state later tonight.

    Categories: Weather

    Early Evening Radar Check

    Mon, 04/14/2014 - 17:12

    We continue to have scattered light rain across much of the state this evening. This rain will continue the next few hours. We are watching activity to our west over Central Mississippi in and around the Jackson area, where some stronger storms are ongoing currently. This activity will continue to head east through the evening and will be moving across Alabama during the overnight.

    Roughly the southern third of the state remains outlined in a slight risk for severe weather. There is a severe thunderstorm watch across Mississippi and Louisiana with a few warnings in Central Mississippi. Though some of the storms are severe, we are not expecting severe storms to impact North-Central Alabama. We could see a few strong storms in the area, with gusty winds and some hail, but most locations will just see the heavy rains.

    Severe storms will be possible across our southern counties and we could even see a watch issued for some of our southwestern counties, but the main concern continues to be the threat for flooding. All of Central Alabama remains under a flash flood watch until 1 PM Tuesday. With the soaking rains from earlier today and additional heavy rain set to arrive after while, we could certainly see a few flash flood warnings.

    Categories: Weather

    Much Colder Tomorrow

    Mon, 04/14/2014 - 15:46

    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.

    STILL WET TONIGHT: A flash flood watch remains in effect for most of Central and South Alabama through tonight as more rain will fall tonight ahead of a strong cold front. Additional rain amounts of around one are likely, and some minor flooding issues are possible, but nothing like the big event we had a week ago in the Birmingham metro area.

    The good news is that SPC dropped the severe weather risk for North and Central Alabama earlier this morning; the risk of severe storms for tonight is confined to the far southern counties of the state, where there is better instability.

    The rain will end from west to east after midnight. Clouds hang tough, so no chance of seeing the lunar eclipse in Alabama. Sorry….

    RAW, WINDY, COLD TOMORROW: It sure won’t feel like April tomorrow. Strong north winds of 15-30 mph will usher in some very cold air; the high will be only in the low to mid 50s, and some communities over the northern third of the state might not get out of the 40s. We project gradual clearing tomorrow afternoon as subsidence takes over.

    FREEZE WEDNESDAY MORNING: The new run of the NAM model is printing a low of 28 degrees for Birmingham at daybreak Wednesday. We expect the range to be generally from 25 to 35 degrees, and growers will need to protect tender plants and vegetation. Some of the coldest valleys and protected areas (like Black Creek and Valley Head) could see low 20s. And, across higher terrain where temperatures stay above freezing, frost is likely.

    A warming trend begins Wednesday afternoon with a high in the mid 60s. Thursday will be another sunny day with a high around 70 degrees.

    FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: A disturbance will bring the risk of showers late Friday afternoon, Friday night, and possibly into Saturday morning. Upper support is not impressive, and severe weather should not be an issue. And, rain not especially heavy.

    The surface front will stall out over Central Alabama Saturday along with a moisture axis. Rain on Saturday should be light and spotty, and there is no risk of severe weather. The high will be in the mid 70s, and the sky will be generally cloudy.

    All of a sudden the 12Z GFS brings in a wave of low pressure along the front, and more rain into Alabama. This solution seems plausible and is accepted for this forecast package, so we will amend the forecast to include the risk of rain Sunday. The weather stays mild with a high well into the 70s.

    NEXT WEEK: Drier air arrives Monday with a clearing sky, and mostly dry weather is likely for Tuesday and Wednesday. See the Weather Xtreme video for the maps, graphics, and details.

    AT THE BEACH: A chance of showers and storms tonight, a few severe storms are possible from Gulf Shores over to Panama City. Then, clearing, windy, and cooler tomorrow with a high only in the low 60s. The weather will be dry through mid-week with sunny days and fair nights Wednesday and Thursday. Highs back in the 67 to 70 degree range on the immediate coast on these two days. Just a few scattered showers for Friday and Saturday; rain will be a little more likely Sunday.

    WEATHER RADIO HELP: We will be at Academy Sports in Tuscaloosa on Skyland Blvd. Wednesday from 3:30 until 6:30 p.m. If you need your weather radio programmed, or have questions, come see us…

    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 at 8:30 tonight; watch it live 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
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    I enjoyed seeing the kids at Hokes Bluff and Chelsea Park Elementary Schools today… 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

    Flash Flood Watch Expanded

    Mon, 04/14/2014 - 12:30

    THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BIRMINGHAM HAS EXPANDED THE
    FLASH FLOOD WATCH TO INCLUDE PORTIONS OF CENTRAL ALABAMA…
    EAST CENTRAL ALABAMA AND SOUTHEAST ALABAMA…INCLUDING THE
    FOLLOWING AREAS…IN CENTRAL ALABAMA…LOWNDES AND MONTGOMERY.
    IN EAST CENTRAL ALABAMA…LEE…MACON AND RUSSELL. IN
    SOUTHEAST ALABAMA…BARBOUR…BULLOCK AND PIKE.

    * THROUGH TUESDAY AFTERNOON

    * WIDESPREAD HEAVY RAINFALL OF 1 TO 3 INCHES IS EXPECTED IN THE
    WATCH AREA…WITH LOCALIZED HIGHER AMOUNTS.

    * THE ACCUMULATED RAINFALL EXPECTED WITH THIS SYSTEM WILL BE
    ENOUGH TO AGGRAVATE SOME RIVERS AND STREAMS THAT ARE ALREADY
    RUNNING ABOVE NORMAL…AND SOME RIVERS ARE FORECAST TO REACH
    STAGES OF MINOR FLOODING. ROADWAYS IN LOW LYING AREAS WILL
    LIKELY FLOOD…ESPECIALLY ROADS THAT ARE CLOSE TO CREEKS AND
    STREAMS. PONDING OF WATER WILL BE LIKELY IN URBAN AREAS WHERE
    POOR DRAINAGE EXISTS.

    PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

    A FLASH FLOOD WATCH MEANS THAT CONDITIONS MAY DEVELOP THAT LEAD
    TO FLASH FLOODING. FLASH FLOODING IS A VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION.

    YOU SHOULD MONITOR LATER FORECASTS AND BE PREPARED TO TAKE ACTION
    SHOULD FLASH FLOOD WARNINGS BE ISSUED.

    …FLASH FLOOD WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT THROUGH TUESDAY
    AFTERNOON…

    THE FLASH FLOOD WATCH CONTINUES THROUGH TUESDAY AFTERNOON FOR

    * PORTIONS OF CENTRAL ALABAMA…EAST CENTRAL ALABAMA…NORTHEAST
    ALABAMA…NORTHWEST ALABAMA AND WEST CENTRAL ALABAMA…
    INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING AREAS…IN CENTRAL ALABAMA…AUTAUGA…
    BIBB…BLOUNT…CHILTON…COOSA…DALLAS…ELMORE…
    JEFFERSON…PERRY…SHELBY…ST. CLAIR…TALLADEGA AND WALKER.
    IN EAST CENTRAL ALABAMA…CALHOUN…CHAMBERS…CLAY…
    CLEBURNE…RANDOLPH AND TALLAPOOSA. IN NORTHEAST ALABAMA…
    CHEROKEE AND ETOWAH. IN NORTHWEST ALABAMA…MARION AND
    WINSTON. IN WEST CENTRAL ALABAMA…FAYETTE…GREENE…HALE…
    LAMAR…MARENGO…PICKENS…SUMTER AND TUSCALOOSA.

    Categories: Weather

    Weather Radio Programming – Tuscaloosa

    Mon, 04/14/2014 - 09:15

    The ABC 3340 Weather Team will be helping folks program their weather radios this coming Wednesday at the Academy Sports store in Tuscaloosa from 3:30 to 6:30 pm. If you have a weather radio – or need to purchase a new weather radio – and you want to be sure it is programmed correctly, we can help. Just bring it by Academy Sports this coming Wednesday, and ABC 3340 folks will be there to make sure you are ready for whatever Spring 2014 throws at us.

    As an added bonus, you can see James Spann live doing the weather from there or see the our new full-sized cardboard cut out of him!

    Tuscaloosa not convenient? We’ll also be making stops in Bessemer at Publix on April 23, Pell City at Publix on April 30, Gadsden at Academy Sports on May 7, and Hoover at Publix on May 14.

    Hope to see you there.

    -Brian-

    Categories: Weather

    North-Central Alabama Cleared from Severe Weather Risk

    Mon, 04/14/2014 - 08:27

    The latest outlook from the SPC has cleared much of North-Central Alabama from the risk of severe weather today. Ongoing showers and storms this morning continue to stabilize the atmosphere over the state. The risk for severe weather in the state (outlined in green), is along and south of U.S. 80 across the Black Belt Region of the state to Montgomery, and also includes, Mobile, Dothan, Troy, Monroeville, and Jackson.

    This morning, showers and storms continue to push towards the south across the state. In the wake of the front edge of this convection, moderate rain continues to fall across central portions of the state. This activity will last for several more hours and will give most locations a soaking rain today.

    With the persistent rain over the region, it does not appear the atmosphere will have time to recover and destabilize before the front moves through the area. If this would have occurred, there would have been the threat for severe storms later today. Once again, this does not look likely today, but in any case, we will have to watch the front as it moves into the state this afternoon as it could produce a some additional showers and storms.

    With the threat of severe weather diminishing today, we now turn our focus to the flooding threat that could possible develop. Many areas of Central Alabama could receive 1-2 inches of rain today with some locations in West Alabama possibly receiving more. Much of Central Alabama remains under a flash flood watch until 1PM Tuesday.

    Categories: Weather

    Flash Flood Watch Today

    Mon, 04/14/2014 - 06:24

    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.

    RAIN AND STORMS: Another wet Monday for Alabama. No, not as much rain as last Monday morning (thankfully), but average rain amounts of two inches are likely across North-Central Alabama, and the NWS has issued a flash flood watch for our part of the state. We do note the high resolution HRRR model, which performed very well during the last event, brings in some 4 inch rain totals near Tuscaloosa through this evening…

    So, we expect the higher rain totals today west of I-65, and that is where we will find the greatest risk of flooding. Nothing like the flash flood emergency we dealt with last Monday morning in the Birmingham metro.

    SEVERE WEATHER? The severe weather threat over the northern half of Alabama is marginal at best. The big rain mass this morning will make for a stable atmosphere, it remains to be seen if the air can recover for strong or severe storms this evening ahead of the surface boundary. Clearly the best chance of severe weather will come over the southern half of the state where parameters are better, but even there the low level jet looks pretty weak this evening.

    Still, SPC has much of Alabama in the standard “slight risk” of severe weather, so we will watch radar trends. See the Weather Xtreme video for the maps, graphics, and more details.

    Bad news for those hoping to see the lunar eclipse tonight; clouds are going nowhere, and they will cover Alabama through the night.

    RAW, COLD DAY TOMORROW: Strong north winds of 15-30 mph will usher in much colder air into our state tomorrow. The high around here will be only in the low to mid 50s, and some North Alabama communities won’t make it out of the 40s. We will forecast gradual clearing tomorrow afternoon, but the day will be raw, windy, and cold.

    WEDNESDAY MORNING FREEZE: Growers will need to protect plants and vegetation tomorrow night into Wednesday morning. The GFS is printing a low of 32 for Birmingham, while the NAM is showing 28 degrees. We all know this is not a “one number” place when it comes to forecasting lows on a clear, calm morning. We figure the actual range will be from 24 to 34 degrees, with the colder readings in valleys and protected areas. Traditionally colder places like Valley Head and Black Creek could see low 20s. Most of the larger metropolitan areas like Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, and Anniston will be clustered in the 28-33 degree range. Gadsden a bit colder.

    A warming trend begins Wednesday afternoon with a sunny sky and a high in the mid 60s.

    LATER THIS WEEK: Thursday will be sunny with a high close to 70, then clouds increase during the day Friday ahead of the next weather system.

    THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Looks like we will have a chance of showers, and possibly a thunderstorm, Friday night into Saturday morning. With the main dynamic support so far north, we don’t expect severe weather, and rain amounts should not be too heavy (mostly under 1/2 inch). Sunday promises to be a beautiful day with lots of sun and a high in the mid 70s.

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

    WEATHER RADIO HELP: We will be at Academy Sports in Tuscaloosa on Skyland Blvd. Wednesday from 3:30 until 6:30 p.m. If you need your weather radio programmed, or have questions, come see us…

    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 live 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 have weather programs today at Hokes Bluff Elementary School in Etowah County, and Chelsea Park Elementary School in Shelby County. Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 or so this afternoon. Enjoy the day!

    Categories: Weather

    Early Morning Update

    Mon, 04/14/2014 - 03:32

    We are watching a line of strong storms moving across northern Mississippi this morning. There are currently no severe storms with this line of activity but these cells are just below severe limits. There are producing very heavy rainfall, gusty winds, small hail, and frequent and dangerous lightning. This activity will continue to race off to the east and will be impacting Alabama later this morning. The good news is the storms appear to be slowly weakening as they approach the state.

    Showers and some rumbles of thunder are already moving into our northwestern counties, but the more intense line of activity will be entering Alabama after 4 AM. It will continue to move across the state during the morning hours. Behind this initial activity we will have to be on guard later today. If the sunshine pops back out and allows the atmosphere to become unstable, we could see a threat of severe weather later today across the state as the actual cold front moves into the state. The latest day one convective outlook from the SPC for Monday has much of Alabama, as well as Mississippi and Louisiana outlined in a slight risk for severe weather.

    If we do see the atmosphere recover today from this morning’s activity, we will likely see showers and storms develop mid to late afternoon as the cold front moves into the state. The main threat with the storms that develop will be damaging straight-line winds. With thunderstorms, it is always wise to expect the unexpected and the chance for hail and a tornado or two cannot be ruled out. We will also have to monitor the threat of flash flooding. Much of Central Alabama has been placed under a flash flood watch which will go into effect at 7AM this morning. Remember to TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN if you encounter flood waters.

    Categories: Weather

    Late Night Update

    Mon, 04/14/2014 - 00:13

    Two lines of showers and storms continue early this morning.

    The first extends over western Tennessee and northern Mississippi into northern Lousiana.

    The second extends across southeastern Missouri, across Central Arkansas and into northern Louisiana.

    All of this activity will push across northern Mississippi overnight.  It should weaken as it does.
    There are only five severe thunderstorm warnings still in effect and no tornado warnings.  Severe thunderstorm watches extend from northeastern Texas across much of Arkansas to western Tennessee.

    The first round of showers/storms will enter the area around sunrise and continue to impact the area through the mornings hours.  Showers and storms will build again to our west by Afternoon and some of them may become severe Monday afternoon and evening.

    Please check the latest information this morning and review your severe weather safety plans.

    We will monitor the situation all night.  Expect the next update around 3 a.m. , unless conditions warrant an earlier notification.

    Categories: Weather

    Watching to the West

    Sun, 04/13/2014 - 21:05

    It is an active night of severe weather in areas to the west of Alabama as a dynamic storm system continues to come together.

    As we have been advertising, it is a two prong system. The first upper disturbance is moving into Arkansas from Oklahoma tonight, weakening as it goes. Showers and storms extend from southwestern Illinois to southeastern Missouri to Central Arkansas. Further south, new development is building over Central Louisiana.

    Flash flood warnings are in effect around Little Rock, where water rescues are going on at this hour from West Little Rock into downtown.

    A stronger, intensifying disturbance is moving out of the Rockies tonight. This disturbance is opening the door for a big Arctic airmass to come south. That impressive boundary extends from Chicago to Des Moines to Kansas City to Oklahoma City to Amarillo.

    It is 68F at Springfield MO while just a short distance on the other side of the boundary, it is 39F in Salina and 32F in Hill City KS. Just yesterday, Salina was setting a record high with 91F. In Texas, it is 81F at Wichita Falls and 51F at Pampa in the Panhandle. Further back in the cold air it is 24F in Denver with heavy snow.

    The main squall line extends from Central Missouri west of St. Louis into northwestern Arkansas across southeastern Oklahoma to the Red River between Texas and Oklahoma. Severe thunderstorm warnings extend from Central Missouri into western Arkansas. A tornado warning was in efect for areas near Ardmore OK a little earlier.

    There have been only three tornado reports today, including two from Iowa and one from Oklahoma.

    The initial activity will push across northern Mississippi this evening and reach Northwest Alabama before sunrise. The system will be weakening as it pushes through West Alabama, reaching I-59 on mid-morning.

    Meanwhile, activity should intensify over northern Louisiana, northern Mississippi and western Tennessee during the day ahead of the main trough and powerful cold front. This activity should reach Northwest Alabama by late afternoon and push through western Alabama between 6-8 p.m. and into the I-59 corridor between 7-9 p.m. It will reach eastern Alabama during the late evening. Showers and storms will continue until the cold front moves through during the predawn hours Tuesday morning.

    There is a chance that instabilities will be pretty impressive over western Alabama late tomorrow afternoon. In addition, wind shear values will be high as well, In fact, 0-1 km helicities may be in the 250-300 m2/s2 range. Surface temperatures will push into the middle 70s and dewpoints should be in the middle 60s.

    So, we will be monitoring the severe weather potential across Central Alabama through early Tuesday. Indications are that the threat tonight is very low. But we will keep an idea on it. The main threat should come late tomorrow afternoon through tomorrow evening. Hail and damaging winds will be possible and we can’t rule out the threat of tornadoes as well. Stay tuned.

    In addition to the severe weather threat, there is a flash flooding threat. Rainfalls across Central Alabama will average 1.5-2.5 inches through Tuesday morning. Flash flood watches are in effect through Tuesday afternoon.

    Categories: Weather

    Jackson NWS Adds to Flash Flood Watches

    Sun, 04/13/2014 - 15:18

    As Bill noted below, the NWS in Birmingham has issued a flash flood watch in effect from Monday morning (7:00 am CDT) through Tuesday midday (1:00 pm CDT) for all of Central Alabama. Just a short time ago, the NWS in Jackson, MS, has added their own flash flood watch which extends further west into Central Mississippi as you can see from the map below.

    Besides the severe weather threat, the threat of heavy rain could produce two problems for us. The first is rapid flooding due to the heavy rain. The second is resulting rise in streams and creeks and rivers from what could be a widespread 1 to 3 inch rain total for the storm.

    Be sure to stay up with the latest weather information by bookmarking the Alabama Weather Blog.

    -Brian-

    Categories: Weather