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The latest information on Alabama weather, tornadoes, hurricanes, winter storms, national weather headlines and the science of meteorology in general.
Updated: 6 hours 40 min ago

Severe Thunderstorm Warning Parts of Lamar, Marion, Pickens till 6:30 PM CDT

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 17:43

Severe thunderstorms are now in effect for parts of Pickens, Lamar and Winston Counties in Alabama.

The NWS warns that 60 mph winds just above the surface are shown on radar and will be moving into Lamar County in the direction of Sulligent and Detroit.

These winds will cause trees and power lines to be downed. Be in a safe place as they approach. Be in the center of a solidly built home or building, on the lowest floor when they approach.

Winds gusted to 42 mph at the Columbus Airport as the outflow arrived.

A tree was reported down just northeast of Starkville MS at 5:11 from these same storms.

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BIRMINGHAM HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR…
LAMAR COUNTY IN WEST CENTRAL ALABAMA…
WEST CENTRAL MARION COUNTY IN NORTHWEST ALABAMA…
PICKENS COUNTY IN WEST CENTRAL ALABAMA…

* UNTIL 630 PM CDT

* AT 542 PM CDT…THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE INDICATED A LINE OF
SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS CAPABLE OF PRODUCING QUARTER SIZE HAIL…AND
DAMAGING WINDS IN EXCESS OF 60 MPH. THESE STORMS WERE LOCATED
ALONG A LINE EXTENDING FROM SMITHVILLE TO 9 MILES SOUTHWEST OF
BEVILL LOCK AND DAM…AND MOVING NORTHEAST AT 55 MPH.

* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE…
PICKENSVILLE…ALICEVILLE…SULLIGENT…VERNON…CARROLLTON…
MILLPORT…REFORM AND BEVILL LOCK AND DAM.

THIS INCLUDES…
US 78 EXIT NUMBERS 11 THROUGH 16…

Categories: Weather

Severe Thunderstorm Warning Marengo/Sumter til 6:15 PM

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 17:25

A very strong thunderstorm has developed over West Alabama and is capable of producing damaging winds and some hail. It will be impacting the U.S. 43 and 80 corridor as well as the city of Demopolis, Linden, Faunsdale, and Dayton. This storm is also producing a lot of lightning and very heavy rainfall as it continues to drift towards the east-southeast.

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BIRMINGHAM HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR…
NORTHERN MARENGO COUNTY IN SOUTHWEST ALABAMA…
SOUTHEASTERN SUMTER COUNTY IN WEST CENTRAL ALABAMA…

* UNTIL 615 PM CDT

* AT 525 PM CDT…THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE INDICATED A LINE OF
SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS CAPABLE OF PRODUCING QUARTER SIZE HAIL…AND
DAMAGING WINDS IN EXCESS OF 60 MPH. THESE STORMS WERE LOCATED
ALONG A LINE EXTENDING FROM JEFFERSON TO LINDEN…AND MOVING EAST
AT 5 MPH.

* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE…
LINDEN…DEMOPOLIS…PIN HOOK…JEFFERSON…FREDDIE JONES FIELD…
CHICKASAW STATE PARK…THOMASTON AND DAYTON.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

TO REPORT SEVERE WEATHER…CONTACT YOUR NEAREST LAW ENFORCEMENT
AGENCY. THEY WILL RELAY YOUR REPORT TO THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
IN BIRMINGHAM.

Categories: Weather

Arthur Nearly A Hurricane, Pressure Dropping

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 16:03

As expected, Arthur is strengthening and is very close to being a hurricane. The pressure reported by Air Force Recon is 992 millibars, down from 995mb 2 hours ago. It will likely become a hurricane tonight.

A hurricane warning has been issued for the North Carolina coast from Surf City to Duck, including the Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds.

Forecast track shifted just a little west. The intensity forecast is not really changed. But the global models think that the storm will increase in intensity significantly and in size of wind field. The westward shift and the increase in the wind field prompted the upgrade to hurricane warnings.

The storm continues to try to become more organized. You can see new thunderstorms building on the east side of the storm.

There are three reconnaissance planes in the storm right now sending back information on Arthur.

Categories: Weather

A Look at Alabama’s Weather This Afternoon

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 14:40

An interesting weather map this afternoon across the Southeast.

Click image to enlarge and explore.

On the visible satellite, you can clearly see tropical storm Arthur off the Northeast Coast of Florida, moving north northeast at 8 mph.

I overlaid the 500 mb height contours in green so that you can see a distinct upper level disturbance by the Mississippi River.

Radar shows intense storms along the Mississippi River north of Vicksburg. Severe thunderstorm warnings are in effect. The SPC has just issued a severe thunderstorm watch for much of Mississippi and Louisiana.

This activity will track eastward along a stalled frontal boundary that lies generally along I-59. You can see that in the top left panel. Temperatures are around 90F north ofthe front and in the middle 90s to the south.

The HRRR model indicates that the storms will weaken as they push into Alabama after 7 p.m. Here is the model reflectivity for 8 p.m.:

But they are dissipated a couple of hours later according to the model.

We will keep out eyes on them.

Categories: Weather

The New Potential Storm Surge Flooding Map

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 12:26

It is time to start learning about the new NWS Experimental Potential Storm Surge Flooding Map. The first ones were issued last evening by the National Hurricane Center for Arthur.

A few notes:

…The graphic shows a reasonable idea of worst-case scenario surge flooding from the storm. It is a map of the POTENTIAL flooding. It shows areas that COULD be affected by storm surge flooding, not necessarily how much water will be over each location in the shaded areas.

…There is a 10% exceedance factor, meaning that there is a 1 in 10 chance that the surge at any location could be higher.

…The flooding shows is only due to surge from the ocean, not rainfall flooding or flooding due to levee breaks or trapping.

…The product does take into account uncertainty in the track, size and intensity of the storm.

…Remember that weather conditions can change and so will this map.

…It is not a flood plain map. Storm surge can occur in areas that are NOT in a flood plain. Surge can occur miles inland.

…Evacuation zones may not correspond exactly with the surge flood map. People in evacuation aras should heed the advice of local emergency managers always.

…Remember that storm surge can occur well below and even after the center of the storm passes. In Ike on the Bolivar Peninsula, storm surge cut off evacuation routes nearly 36 hours before the arrival of the center.

…The product will be issued when hurricane or tropical storm watches are issued for any part of the Gulf or East Coasts of the United States.

Here is the current map from Advisory #7 at 10 a.m. this morning:

Zooming in on the Charleston SC area, a place that is very vulnerable to water inundation. The yellow shading indicates locations that could receive over 3 feet of flooding above ground, but less than 6 feet. The “above ground” indication is important since it takes into account land elevation. Keep in mind the 10% chance it could be

Take time to familiarize yourself with the product if you have interests along the Gulf of East Coast so that you will be ready to use it when a hurricane or tropical storm threatens.

Here is a short video on the product from the National Hurricane Center:

Categories: Weather

Melbourne Radar Loop

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 10:51

Categories: Weather

Notes on Arthur

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 10:22

I will keep some notes going today on here about Arthur, updating them at the top of the post until the next advisory comes out.

AT 10 AM CDT
———————————————–
LOCATION…29.1N 79.1W
ABOUT 105 MI…165 KM ENE OF CAPE CANAVERAL FLORIDA
ABOUT 260 MI…420 KM SSE OF CHARLESTON SOUTH CAROLINA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…60 MPH…95 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…N OR 360 DEGREES AT 7 MPH…11 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…997 MB…29.44 INCHES

Click image to enlarge

As you can see from the updated graphic, tropical storm warnings have now been issued for the entire North Carolina coast.

There is still a tropical storm watch for a portion of the South Carolina coast.

There is a hurricane watch for the Outer Banks.

There are numerous tropical storm warnings in effect for the coastal waters offshore.

The official forecast track has been nudged slightly east but brings the center within 50 miles of Cape Hatteras during the pre-dawn hours Friday.

The wind probabilities are about the same as late last night, except they have increased slightly on the Outer Banks for tropical storm force winds, around 75-80%.

SATELLITE
The storm ingested a little dry air last night and took a hit in appearance, but it appears to be moistening again this morning. Tropical cyclones are like little steam engines, puffing up and down as thunderstorms develop and mature. Arthur is starting to look stronger on satellite.

INTENSITY
Arthur is forecast to become a hurricane tomorrow and should peak at around 85 mph in intensity before it starts to weaken and lose tropical characteristics as it races northeast ahead of the approaching trough, moving over colder water.

RECON
No planes in the storm right now, but there are two low level missions that will reconnoiter the storm all day and night starting around noon. There are also three NOAA flights scheduled, including a high altitude flight for this evening.

Categories: Weather

Hot and Mostly Dry but Cooler Ahead

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 06:55

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.

Tuesday was a warm day with a cumulus field and no activity on radar. Today with the approach of a weak frontal boundary, we might see the development of an isolated thunderstorm or two, but we’ve also seen some pretty significant warming to the lower atmosphere and I expect we remain mostly dry with one of the hottest days so far for 2014. With highs climbing into the middle 90s and some spots getting into the upper 90s, we will also see heat indices climb into the 100 to 105 range.

Additionally some dry air aloft around 700 millibars has increased the microburst potential for the area. If we see convection initiate, we will need to watch for storms to become briefly severe with damaging wind the big threat.

The surface high off to our northwest, the significant trough moving across the Ohio River Valley, and the development of Arthur off the East Coast of Florida will combine to bring some drier and cooler air into North and Central Alabama for July 4th!

Arthur has continued to improve in structure with an interesting view from the Melbourne, FL, radar. There has been some indication of a restructuring of the center which has taken the position of Arthur slightly east of the earlier location. Radar animation shows a rather slow northward travel to the center. Because of the restructuring to the storm, the forecast track has been adjusted slight east of the track we saw yesterday. Also tropical storm and hurricane watches have been issued for a large portion of the Carolina coastline.

The trough moving through the Ohio River Valley moves off the Mid-Atlantic coast on Friday and this will take Arthur out into the northern Atlantic after it moves very closely by the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The northwesterly flow aloft and the drier air coming from the north will bring us a great July 4th with high temperatures dropping back into the upper 80s.

Moisture will gradually increase over the weekend with upper level ridging over the southern tier of the US into the first of next week. This should bring us back to a more summer time type pattern with daily chances for showers and thunderstorms as highs climb back into the lower 90s.

Beach goers will see warm weather at the beach for the next several days with only isolated showers possible. Highs will be around 90 on the immediate coast and into the middle 90s inland. Sunshine should be in good supply with 7 to 9 hours of good sun.

Voodoo country was dominated by a huge upper high on the run yesterday. Today, just as we see fairly often, the pattern has changed with a deep trough along the eastern seaboard with the big ridge over the western states. This pattern, if it verifies, would keep the heat in check for the eastern US. Ah, but what will tomorrow bring?

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)

The next Weather Xtreme Video is planned for 7 to 8 am on Thursday morning. Enjoy your day and Godspeed.

-Brian-

Categories: Weather

Arthur He Does As He Pleases

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 22:08

The references to the Christopher Cross song from the movie Arthur are irresistible as we track our first tropical storm of the Atlantic season. Someone said today that it will only affect areas between the moon and New York City. Gotta love that one. My contribution is the title of this post.

First, let us reiterate that Arthur will have no direct impact on our weather in Alabama or the weather along the northern Gulf Coast. It will have a small, indirect hand in making the weather better through the Fourth of July weekend.

But, Arthur is a potential worst case scenario for forecasters and emergency managers. We have a relatively weak storm that has the potential to grow in to a significant hurricane pretty quickly while only a short distance from a coastline crowded with holiday vacationers.

Arthur will be strengthening more tomorrow while tracking more northeastward about 100 miles off the coast of northeastern Florida. It should become a hurricane tomorrow or tomorrow night.

By Thursday morning, the center should be about 125 miles southeast of Charleston, South Carolina and by nightfall, it should be about 80 miles southeast of Myrtle Beach.

The center may pass right over the Outer Banks of North Carolina early Friday morning as a strong Cat 1 hurricane with top winds of 85 mph.

Here is the NWS National Digital Forecast Database representation of the storm at 1 a.m. Friday morning, depicted in the wind field.

On the graphic, I have overlain the probabilities of tropical storm force winds (39 mph – blue), strong tropical storm force winds (58 mph – yellow) and hurricane force winds (74 mph – red) on the little colored number stacks. You can see about an even chance places like Charleston and Myrtle Beach will see tropical storm force winds and a better chance along the North Carolina coast.

Click image to enlarge

The best chance for hurricane force winds will be along the Outer Banks, but based on the official forecast, the probability for hurricane force winds there is still only about 20%. Hurricane force winds will be most likely along much of the Outer Banks early Friday morning, with improving conditions later in the day on the Fourth.

I have overlain the wind swatch along the official track as well, shown in blue, gray and red for TS, strong TS and hurricane force.

There is a tropical storm watch (shown in yellow) along the East Coast of Florida.

The impact to the South Carolina coast will not be tremendous, with a nearly even chance of tropical storm force winds. With the onshore flow ahead of the center, ides will be high, and there will almost certainly be flooding Charleston where it floods with any good inshore wind.

It is important to note that the forecast track can have errors. In fact, the “cone of uncertainty” from the NHC could carry the center as far west of Charleston SC or take it 150 miles east of Cape Hatteras. The good news is that the strongest wind field will be on the east, or oceanic, side of the storm.

The storm will quickly lose tropical characteristics as it races northeast, reaching Nova Scotia Saturday afternoon and Newfoundland Sunday evening.

If you are traveling to South Carolina or eastern North Carolina over the holiday weekend, check the latest forecasts and emergency information.

Categories: Weather

First Tropical Storm of the 2014 Season

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 10:20

The National Hurricane Center has upgraded Tropical Depression One to Tropical Storm Arthur. The complete text of the advisory is below.

Arthur is expected to move slowly northward along the East Coast of Florida for the next couple of days as seen in the track graphic and gradually gaining strength as it curves northeastward Thursday and Friday become a hurricane near the coast of North Carolina. Track guidance is looking good because of the strong similarity of the various models.

Arthur is not expected to have any direct impact on Alabama. Sinking motion on the western side of the storm will help to keep convection suppressed for the latter half of the week. Strong northerly flow aloft will bring some drier and slightly cooler air to our area for the Fourth of July.

-Brian-

BULLETIN TROPICAL STORM ARTHUR ADVISORY NUMBER 3 NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL012014 1100 AM EDT TUE JUL 01 2014 ...DEPRESSION BECOMES A TROPICAL STORM OFFSHORE OF THE CENTRAL FLORIDA ATLANTIC COAST... SUMMARY OF 1100 AM EDT...1500 UTC...INFORMATION ----------------------------------------------- LOCATION...27.6N 79.3W ABOUT 95 MI...155 KM SE OF CAPE CANAVERAL FLORIDA ABOUT 80 MI...130 KM NNW OF FREEPORT GRAND BAHAMA ISLAND MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...40 MPH...65 KM/H PRESENT MOVEMENT...NW OR 315 DEGREES AT 2 MPH...4 KM/H MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1007 MB...29.74 INCHES WATCHES AND WARNINGS -------------------- CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY... NONE. SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT... A TROPICAL STORM WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR... * EAST COAST OF FLORIDA FROM FORT PIERCE TO FLAGLER BEACH A TROPICAL STORM WATCH MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE WITHIN THE WATCH AREA...IN THIS CASE WITHIN 24 TO 36 HOURS. INTERESTS ELSEWHERE ALONG THE SOUTHEAST COAST OF THE UNITED STATES SHOULD MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF THIS SYSTEM. FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA IN THE UNITED STATES... INCLUDING POSSIBLE INLAND WATCHES AND WARNINGS...PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR LOCAL NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FORECAST OFFICE. FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES...PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR NATIONAL METEOROLOGICAL SERVICE. DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK ------------------------------ AT 1100 AM EDT...1500 UTC...THE CENTER OF TROPICAL STORM ARTHUR WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 27.6 NORTH...LONGITUDE 79.3 WEST. ARTHUR IS MOVING TOWARD THE NORTHWEST NEAR 2 MPH...4 KM/H...AND THIS GENERAL MOTION SHOULD CONTINUE THROUGH TONIGHT...FOLLOWED BY A TURN TOWARD THE NORTH ON WEDNESDAY. ON THE FORECAST TRACK...THE CENTER OF THE TROPICAL CYCLONE IS EXPECTED TO REMAIN JUST OFFSHORE AND MOVE EAST OF THE EAST-CENTRAL COAST OF FLORIDA DURING THE NEXT DAY OR SO. THE SYSTEM IS FORECAST TO PASS EAST OF NORTHEASTERN FLORIDA ON WEDNESDAY AND WEDNESDAY NIGHT. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 40 MPH...65 KM/H...WITH HIGHER GUSTS. ADDITIONAL STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS. DURING THE PAST FEW HOURS...SETTLEMENT POINT OBSERVATION SITE ON GRAND BAHAMA ISLAND REPORTED SUSTAINED WINDS OF 38 MPH...61 KM/H...WITH GUSTS TO 44 MPH...70 KM/H. TROPICAL-STORM-FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 45 MILES...75 KM FROM THE CENTER. THE ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 1007 MB...29.74 INCHES. HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND ---------------------- WIND...TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE WITHIN THE WATCH AREA BY LATE TODAY. RAINFALL...ARTHUR IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE TOTAL RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF 1 TO 3 INCHES...MAINLY ACROSS THE EASTERN FLORIDA PENINSULA. ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF 5 INCHES ARE POSSIBLE THROUGH WEDNESDAY. RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF 2 TO 4 INCHES WITH ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF 6 INCHES ARE POSSIBLE OVER THE NORTHWESTERN BAHAMAS THROUGH WEDNESDAY. NEXT ADVISORY ------------- NEXT INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY...200 PM EDT. NEXT COMPLETE ADVISORY...500 PM EDT. $$ FORECASTER STEWART
Categories: Weather

Heat Goes Up

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 06:44

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.

In a relatively complex pattern for the start of July, a frontal system will approach from the northwest at mid-week while Tropical Depression One, soon to be Arthur, slowly churns off the east coast of Florida. The front would hint at increased shower chances, but the presence of the tropical disturbance and the sinking motion associated with it will counter the actions of the front. The result is a decrease in precipitation chances. Temperatures go up temporarily with Wednesday likely to be one of the warmest days so far in 2014.

But the presence of the circulation off the Southeast US coast will help to bring in stronger northerly flow aloft and along with it some much drier air to go along with the overall sinking motion to the northwest of the tropical system. This means that most of us will see dry weather for the next several days.

The heat goes up with the temporary building of a ridge between the approaching front and the tropical system off the East Coast of Florida. The combination of surface high pressure to our northwest and the tropical system to the southeast will increase the northerly flow aloft and drive some drier air into the area. The net effect will be to drive temperatures back down for Thursday and Friday. The drier and slightly cooler air should provide us with a fabulous Fourth.

As we watch the future Arthur scoot along the Southeast US coast, the trough to the northwest will move to the Mid Atlantic Coast. This should take Arthur out into the North Atlantic while an elongated west to east ridge builds across the southern US. Moisture levels will gradually work their way back up bringing isolated showers back into the forecast for the latter part of the Fourth of July weekend and into the first of next week.

For Beach Goers, the week ahead along the Gulf Coast looks great. You can expect 8 to 10 hours of sunshine and only small chances for an isolated thunderstorm. There will be a slightly better chance Thursday, as the front approaches. Highs will be in the lower 90s right along the shore, with middle and upper 90s further inland. Lows will be in the upper 70s. Expect to see a refreshing sea breeze each afternoon as Gulf water temperatures are in the middle 80s.

Unfortunately the long range outlook looks pretty hot. The dreaded 594 heat bubble will raise it’s ugly head promising some pretty good heat for the middle of July for much of the eastern two thirds of the country.

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)

Your next Weather Xtreme Video will be posted on Wednesday morning. Enjoy the day and Godspeed.

-Brian-

Categories: Weather