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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 25 min ago

WeatherBrains 449: Remembering AM Weather

Wed, 09/03/2014 - 04:30

WeatherBrains Episode 449 is now online (September 2, 2014). If you are crazy about weather, this is THE netcast audio program for you!

Tonight’s Guest WeatherBrain is the Program Lead for New and Enhanced Products for NOAA’s National Weather Service. She is better known to this audience as one of the hosts of AM Weather, the long running show produced by NOAA and Maryland Public Broadcasting in the 70s, 80s and 90s. Joan von Ahn, welcome back to WeatherBrains. Joan gets a welcome back because she appeared on show 196 in October, 2009.

Tonight’s Guest Panelist has over 25 years of experience in forecasting Gulf Coast weather…tracking hundreds of tropical storms and hurricanes including major Louisiana storms such as Andrew, Lili, Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike. He is the Chief Meteorologist at KATC in Lafayette LA. Rob Perillo, welcome to the show.

Our email bag officer is looking into the backlog of incoming messages from our listeners.

From The Weather Center:

WeatherBrains 101: This week the 101 segment continues looking into the topic of air pressure. Last week we talked about pressure in a container, but the Earth’s atmosphere is not a container exactly.

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 449:

KATC – TV

Picks of the Week:

Nate Johnson – What we know and don’t know about tornado formation

John Scala – Labor Day 1935 Hurricane Monthly Weather Review Article

Kevin Selle – WxSat App for iPhone

Rick Smith – NWS Enhanced Data Display

James Spann – Spann Instagram feed

SkyDavers Blog – The Fog Bank

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

Categories: Weather

Hot, Humid, Scattered Storms

Tue, 09/02/2014 - 15:33

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

RADAR CHECK: So far today the majority of the showers and storms have been over the western half of Alabama; they are random, scattered, and not moving much. Otherwise, it is a partly sunny day with temperatures mostly in the low 90s at mid-afternoon. The showers and storms will fade away this evening once the sun goes down.

REST OF THE WEEK: No real change in the weather; the primary jet stream will remain north of Alabama, and our weather will be pretty typical of early September. Partly sunny days with the risk of “scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms”. The chance of any one spot getting wet each afternoon is about one in three… the showers and storms will form in random places and probably won’t move very much.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Still no sign of any serious weather change. Mixed sun and clouds Saturday and Sunday with the risk of scattered showers and thunderstorms, mostly during the afternoon and evening hours. Afternoon highs will be close to 90 degrees.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: For the high school games Thursday and Friday evening… the weather will be very warm and humid with kickoff temperatures mostly in the mid to upper 80s. A shower or storm will be possible during the first half at a few stadiums; the specific risk of rain for any one given field is about 30 percent.

Alabama hosts Florida Atlantic University (FAU) at Bryant-Denny Stadium Saturday (11:00a kickoff)… expect a mix of sun and clouds with the risk of a passing shower or thunderstorm during the game. The temperature will rise from near 85 at kickoff, to near 90 by the final whistle.

Auburn will host San Jose State at Jordan-Hare Stadium Saturday evening (6:00p kickoff)… it will be warm and humid with a kickoff temperature in the mid to upper 80s; the chance of a shower or storm is about one in three, mainly during the first half of the game. Temperatures will fall into the upper 70s by the fourth quarter.

UAB is on the road, playing Mississippi State at Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville (2:00p kickoff). Hot and muggy conditions are likely during the game, with a kickoff temperature near 90 degrees. A shower or storm is possible during the game, but the rain won’t be continuous, and the sun will be out at times.

NEXT WEEK: Heat levels come down a bit with highs mostly in the 80s, but no sign of any serious cool down. See the Weather Xtreme video for the maps, graphics, and details.

TROPICS: Tropical Storm Dolly, in the far Southwest Gulf of Mexico, is packing sustained winds of 50 mph, and will move into the coast of Mexico, well south of Brownsville, Texas, late tonight after midnight. The rest of the Atlantic basin is very quiet.

WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly 90 minute netcast anytime on the web, or on iTunes. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists here at ABC 33/40. We will produce this week’s show tonight at 8:30 CT… you can watch it on “James Spann 24/7″ on cable systems around the state, or on the web here.

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

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I enjoyed seeing the big crowd today at the Chilton County Chamber of Commerce monthly banquet in Clanton… look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 7:00 a.m. tomorrow….

Categories: Weather

Scattered Afternoon Storms

Tue, 09/02/2014 - 06:05

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.

DOESN’T FEEL LIKE FALL: We all know it can be very hot in Alabama in early September. In fact, our hottest temperature on record was recorded on September 5, 1925, when the high in Centreville (Bibb County) was 112 degrees. Nothing like that this week, but we do project highs in the low 90s each afternoon through Friday.

Each day will feature a mix of sun and clouds, and each afternoon we expect developing showers and thunderstorms in scattered and random locations. The chance of any one spot getting wet each day through Friday is about one in three, and the best chance of seeing a shower or storm will come from about 2:00 until 8:00 p.m. A very typical late summer weather pattern.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: The primary “jet stream” over North America will stay well to the north of Alabama, and the weather probably won’t be changing very much. We will forecast a partly sunny sky Saturday and Sunday, and we will also maintain the risk of “scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms”. Both Alabama and Auburn have in state football games Saturday; the chance of a shower or storm at both sites is about 30 percent. We will have a much more specific kickoff forecast tomorrow.

A front north of the state according to the latest model data won’t get south of I-40 in Tennessee, so no dry air is expected to reach our state.

NEXT WEEK: Heat levels should be a bit lower next week with highs dropping into the upper 80s; no sign of the first good cold front of the fall season, however. See the Weather Xtreme video for the maps, graphics, and more details.

TROPICS: Tropical Storm Dolly has formed over the Bay of Campeche with top winds of 45 mph; it will move into the coast of Mexico well south of Brownsville, Texas after midnight tonight. The rest of the Atlantic basin is amazingly quiet for early September.

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…

Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus
Instagram

I will be speaking today at the monthly meeting of the Chilton County Chamber of Commerce in Clanton… look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 or so this afternoon. Enjoy the day…

Categories: Weather

Five Forms

Mon, 09/01/2014 - 16:14

Air Force reconnaissance found a well defined circulation is the Bay of Campeche about 250 miles from the Mexican Gulf Coast.

The storm is moving WNW at 13 mph and will move inland in Mexico tomorrow evening.

Top winds are 30 mph and the plane recently found a central pressure of 1008 mb.

The water is warm but wind shear is strong and Five will only slowly strengthen. It should become Tropical Storm Dolly tomorrow afternoon before landfall.

Categories: Weather

A Few Scattered Storms Around

Mon, 09/01/2014 - 15:22

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

RADAR CHECK: Widely scattered showers and storms have fired up across parts of Alabama this Labor Day afternoon. Most of them at mid-afternoon were south of I-20, and east of I-65… they are moving northeast, and will fade away once the sun goes down later this evening. Temperatures are generally in the 90-93 degree range.

REST OF THE WEEK: The weather just won’t change very much through Friday. Partly sunny days, and the daily risk of the hit and miss, “scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms”. Storms in an environment like this form in random places, and come and go pretty quickly. But, they can be strong and produce brief heavy rain in a few places. Afternoons highs will be somewhere between 91 and 94 degrees in most communities.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: The ridge weakens a bit, and a surface front will ease down into Tennessee Saturday. This could give us a little bump in the number of thunderstorms Saturday and Saturday night, but it still won’t rain everywhere, and the day Saturday will feature a mix of sun and clouds with a high around 90 degrees.

There is a chance drier air could temporarily drop into far North Alabama Sunday, but the front will probably fizzle out near the Tennessee Valley, and we will continue to mention at least a chance of a pop up shower or storm Sunday afternoon; the high will stay close to 90 degrees.

NEXT WEEK: Heat levels should back off a bit as the ridge weakens; looks like highs in the mid to upper 80s. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

TROPICS: A disturbance in the Bay of Campeche has a decent chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm over the next 36 hours, but it will move into the Mexican coast far south of Brownsville, Texas Wednesday. The rest of the Atlantic basin is very quiet. In fact, there is not a single tropical cyclone on the planet this afternoon, a very rare thing for September 1.

GULF COAST WEATHER: About 6 to 8 hours of sunshine from Panama City to Gulf Shores through Friday with a few scattered storms around daily; highs on the immediate coast will be in the 87 to 90 degree range. The sea water temperature this afternoon at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab is 85 degrees.

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

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

Meteorological Fall Begins

Mon, 09/01/2014 - 06:30

**No Weather Xtreme video this morning… I will produce one this afternoon before 4:00**

STILL LIKE SUMMER: The calendar says today is the first of September, but the weather will still be like August this week thanks to an upper ridge across the Deep South. We project a high in the low to mid 90s today and tomorrow with ample sunshine and only widely scattered afternoon showers or storms.

LATER THIS WEEK: The upper ridge will break down a bit, allowing an increase in the number of afternoon showers and thunderstorms Wednesday through Friday; the chance of any one spot seeing an afternoon shower or storm on these three days is about one in three with a high in the low 90s.

WEEKEND FORECAST: Not much change; a typical late summer pattern continues with a few scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms possible Saturday and Sunday with a high at or just over 90 degrees. The primary storm track remains to the north of Alabama, and cooler air isn’t allowed to drop this far south.

LONG RANGE: Model data suggests temperatures will fall next week, with highs in the 80s and lows in the 60s, making it feel more like September…

GULF COAST WEATHER: About 6 to 8 hours of sunshine each day this week along the coast from Panama City to Gulf Shores with just a few widely scattered storms; highs in the 87-91 degree range on the immediate coast, with sea water temperatures mostly in the mid 80s.

TROPICS: The Atlantic basin is very quiet; the only system to discuss is over the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico… this has some chance of becoming a tropical storm over the next 48 hours, but it will move west into the Mexican coast, south of Brownsville, Texas at mid-week and is no threat to the U.S.

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 tomorrow night due to the Labor Day holiday.

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

Facebook
Twitter
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Look for today’s Weather Xtreme video and a new discussion here by 4:00 this afternoon… enjoy the day…

Categories: Weather

Settling Back into a Summer-like Pattern

Sun, 08/31/2014 - 06:59

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.

After a wet start to the Labor Day weekend, showers should be less numerous across Alabama with the better chances for seeing an isolated storm across the northern third of Alabama generally Birmingham and northward. Some patchy fog was occurring thanks to the widespread rain yesterday, but it should burn off by 9 am or so. The sky will contain a mixture of sun and clouds as we see highs climb mainly into the lower 90s. The upper air disturbance that moved out of the Northwest Gulf yesterday and produced a good rainfall event for a sizable chunk of the state especially the western half was moving into the Ohio River Valley today where a number of flash flood watches were posted for heavy rain.

As this disturbance pulls northeastward, the upper ridge will build into and across the Southeast US for the next week pretty much settling us back into a summer-like pattern with daily shower and storm chances thanks to daily heating. As the upper ridge remains the main feature, high temperatures should reach into the lower and middle 90s, generally the 92 to 95 range, for most of the week.

Good looking forecast for the beaches of Alabama and Northwest Florida. While there will be some passing storms possible each day, there will still be plenty of sunshine. Highs at the beach will be near 90, with morning lows near 80. For the week ahead, the weather looks fairly typical along the northern Gulf Coast for the first week in September. Water temperature at Perdido Pass was 85.9 degrees.

Tropics are generally quiet with just one area of disturbed weather moving westward across the Yucatan Peninsula. Conditions are expected to be favorable for strengthening of this system on Monday and Tuesday as it moves out of Yucatan and into the Southwest Gulf of Mexico. The upper ridge across the Southeast US should keep it moving westward into Mexico.

Looking out into voodoo country, the ridge remains the big player for the Southeast US into Week 2, but the GFS is still setting the stage for a substantial rain event around the 12th and 13th of September with a strong trough moving across the Central US that could bring a cold front to the Southeast US.

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

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

I’ll be filling in for Charles on Good Morning Alabama on Monday, Labor Day. James Spann will have the next edition of the Weather Xtreme Video on Monday morning. Godspeed.

-Brian-

Categories: Weather

Storms Over Alabama

Sat, 08/30/2014 - 16:46

We continue to see widespread convection this afternoon. The last few hours, the bulk of the activity has been over western portions of the state, as the storms became somewhat linear. Storms today are producing quite a bit of lightning, gusty winds, and torrential rainfall. The general motion continues to be towards the north.

Over the next several hours, storms will persist as they lift north. The more intense storms at this time are affecting Winston, Walker, Fayette, Bibb, and Chilton counties. Storms should be approaching the Birmingham Metro during the next hour or so. Where it is raining, we are seeing much cooler temps down in the 70s, but where it is not, still 90s.

Categories: Weather

Showers Developing

Sat, 08/30/2014 - 12:13

A very soupy air mass is in place across the state today. Dew points have climbed back into the 70s, and that is making it feel very humid out there this afternoon. Add in a little daytime heating, and uplift provided by a shortwave trough approaching from the west, and we are looking at some unsettled weather the next couple of days.

Late this morning, showers began developing across the state. With a strong southerly flow across the state, general movement of today’s activity is from south to north. For the rest of today, with such a moist and unstable air mass in place, convection will continue to develop and we will see widespread and numerous showers and storms. It will not be continuous rain, but there could be several rounds of showers to impact your specific location.

Click image to enlarge.

Categories: Weather

Showers Today Falling Off Sunday

Sat, 08/30/2014 - 06:47

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.

Moisture increased overnight keeping our temperatures up a bit. But those same clouds will help to keep the afternoon highs today mainly in the upper 80s for most spots. Showers and storms will be possible throughout the day and radar showed several showers across western sections this morning from near Demopolis to Muscle Shoals. An isolated strong thunderstorm is possible as CAPE values reach the 1500 to 2500 j/kg range. The most likely impact would be potential of damaging wind.

The unsettled weather today is the result of a weak upper level disturbance moving out of the northwest Gulf northeastward across the Lower Mississippi River Valley. This disturbance will enhance showers over this area with an east-to-west gradient in showers. This will put better chances for showers across western Alabama and a little less coverage of showers across eastern sections.

The disturbance coming out of the Gulf will move quickly northeast ahead of a trough coming across the Upper Mississippi River Valley Sunday and Monday. As this trough move across the Great Lakes area, ridging will occur across the Southeast US. This should return Central Alabama to a summer-like pattern with daily chances for showers for the first part of September.

An area of disturbed weather in the western Caribbean is moving steadily westward. While conditions are expected to become conducive for some development, the area is very close to land, so any strengthening in likely to be limited. The track of this area of weather should take it into the Southwest Gulf early next week where additional development could occur. The ridge across the Southeast US is likely to keep the westward motion and take the disturbance into Mexico.

Auburn kicks off their season with a game against Arkansas at Jordan-Hare Stadium at 3:00 pm. The sky will be mostly cloudy, and there is a 50/50 risk of a shower or thunderstorm during the game. Kickoff temperature near 86, falling into the lower 80s by the final whistle. You should take rain gear in case a shower wants to roll through the Plains.

Alabama will play West Virginia in the Georgia Dome, so no rain concerns for the game; you may need some rain gear getting to and from the game with a shower or thunderstorm possible in Atlanta during the afternoon and evening hours. The high in Atlanta will be in the mid to upper 80s.

UAB opens with a home game against Troy at Legion Field in Birmingham (11:00 a.m. CT kickoff)… mostly cloudy with 86 degrees at kickoff, rising into the upper 80s by the fourth quarter. A passing shower or thunderstorm is possible during the game, but much of the game is likely to be dry.

For beach goers, about 3-6 hours of sun with a few passing thunderstorms in the zone from Panama City to Gulf Shores. Sunshine will be a little more plentiful Sunday and Monday as storms become more widely spaced. Highs on the immediate coast will be in the upper 80s, and sea water temperatures are mostly in the mid 80s.

Looking well into the future, a strong trough is expected to move across the Central US around the 11th which could bring a good rain event to Alabama. But the ridge returns for some warm weather for the middle of September.

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

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

I expect to post the next Weather Xtreme Video by 8 am or so on Sunday morning. Enjoy the day and Godspeed.

-Brian-

Categories: Weather