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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: 51 min 50 sec ago

Becoming More Unsettled

Thu, 08/07/2014 - 07:14

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While the weather pattern has been somewhat nondescript for the last several days, that is changing as moisture values gradually increase and a weak frontal boundary approaches the Tennessee River Valley from the north. To add to the forecast challenge, a northwesterly flow pattern could produce thunderstorm clusters over the Central Plains with the potential for those clusters to invade the Southeast US. There is not a great deal of skill in timing these events, so we’ll have to maintain a close watch on radar and storm development and adjust our forecasts as needed.

For today, hot once again with the potential for isolated showers and thunderstorms. With moisture creeping up, heat indices will likely reach the 100 to 105 range, so anyone with outdoor plans should be sure to stay hydrated and consider cutting back on the physical exertion.

While the Atlantic tropical basin is quiet again, the same can’t be said for the Pacific. Hawaii is under a hurricane warning with not just one storm to contend with. See the Xtreme for the detailed graphics.

Beach goers will enjoy a mostly sunny day on the Alabama and Northwest Florida beaches with highs in the upper 80s. Isolated showers possible today and the shower potential goes up for the weekend – but not expecting a complete washout. Sea water temperature running in the 82 to 84 range along the coast.

The upper air flow becomes increasingly northwesterly for the Southeast US with time, so our weather becomes more unsettled. I expect to see shower chances and coverage go up Friday and Saturday and perhaps stay up some into Sunday. Best chance for getting some rain appears to be Saturday. While I hate to see that for the weekend, we really could use some of Mother Nature’s rain to stem the dryness of the last week.

The northwesterly flow also opens us to the potential for mesoscale convective systems – MCSs – with weak disturbances that develop across the Central Plains and travel long distances. Timing these events is difficult, so recognizing the pattern and maintaining a watchful eye for this development will be necessary.

The overall upper air pattern does not see much change as we head into a good portion of next week. This is good news for us since it should keep any extreme heat away with highs mainly in the lower 90s with a chance of daily showers driven primarily by afternoon heating.

Looking at voodoo country, and we see clearly why James has given it that nickname! The pattern flipped yesterday and it has flipped again today back to what we’ve been seeing with a fairly strong trough positioned over the eastern US. As I mentioned yesterday, confidence was higher with consistency in the longer range models, but confidence has fallen off a good deal with these large differences from run to run.

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 should be posted first thing on Friday morning. Enjoy your day and Godspeed.

-Brian-

Categories: Weather

Mainly Dry and Warm Today

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 06:56

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.

Not much change to the overall forecast thinking for the next several days with a slight northwesterly flow pattern for us. But things do show some signs of changing once again and the GFS has become less consistent for Week Two. So forecast confidence has gone down a bit.

Look for mostly dry weather across North and Central Alabama today with the trough axis east of the area and the nose of the western ridge pushing into the Lower Mississippi River Valley. This should bring mostly warm and sunny weather to Central Alabama today with highs in the 92 to 96 range. Thursday moisture begins to pick up a tad so showers once again enter the forecast.

With moisture up, scattered showers become a possibility for our weekend with rain chances in the 50/50 range. While the pattern sees little overall change, the GFS shows yet another trough developing into early next week, in the Monday/Tuesday time frame. Interesting to note that while this is becoming a familiar pattern for us for the summer of 2014 with an uncharacteristic trough in the East and a substantial ridge over the West, there is a weaker look to this pattern.

Weather looks good at the beaches of Northwest Florida and Alabama. While isolated showers remain possible each day, there should also be a good supply of sunshine each day with highs along the coast in the 87 to 89 range. Water temperatures are running mainly in the lower 80s. Rain chances are likely to ramp up a bit later in the week and into the weekend.

Bertha continued as a tropical storm as she moved northeastward today with no threat to land, just to shipping. Bertha was merging with a frontal zone and should become extratropical in the next 36 hours.

Voodoo country is beginning to live up to its name as we see a fairly dramatic change in the overall look to the pattern for the eastern US. Gone is the deep trough pattern over the East replaced by the subtropical ridge nosing into the East Coast from the Atlantic. After remaining consistent for a number of days, this run signals a flip and shows why the long range pattern is tough to nail down.

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 should be coming your way on Thursday morning. Enjoy your day and Godspeed.

-Brian-

Categories: Weather

Mainly Dry Weather Today and Wednesday

Tue, 08/05/2014 - 06:57

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.

Not much change to the overall forecast thinking with a somewhat nondescript weather pattern for us to deal with for much of the week. But things do show some signs of changing once again.

Look for mostly dry weather across North and Central Alabama today and Wednesday with the trough axis east of the area and the nose of the western ridge pushing into the Lower Mississippi River Valley. This should bring mostly warm and sunny weather to Central Alabama today and Wednesday with highs in the 90 to 94 range. Thursday moisture begins to pick up a tad so isolated showers again enter the picture.

With moisture up, scattered showers become a possibility for our weekend with rain chances in the 50/50 range. While the pattern sees little overall change, the GFS and the ECMWF do have general agreement on yet another deep trough developing into early next week, in the Monday to Tuesday time frame based on the latest models. This is becoming a familiar pattern for us for the summer of 2014 with an unusually deep trough in the East and a substantial ridge over the West.

Weather looks good at the beaches of Northwest Florida and Alabama. While isolated showers remain possible each day, there should also be a good supply of sunshine each day with highs along the coast in the 87 to 89 range. Water temperatures are running mainly in the lower 80s. Rain chances are likely to ramp up a bit later in the week and into the weekend.

Bertha increased to a hurricane yesterday afternoon, but has since weakened slightly so that she is now back to a tropical storm. Track forecast continues to be for a gentle curve into the North Atlantic as the storm moves northeastward today and Wednesday with no threat to land, just to shipping.

Voodoo country keeps this anomalous pattern of a fairly deep trough in the East well into week two, so the trend for us to continue with temperatures at or below seasonal values seems to be a good one.

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 should be coming your way on Wednesday morning. Enjoy your day and Godspeed.

-Brian-

Categories: Weather

Upper Trough Weakens

Mon, 08/04/2014 - 07:02

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.

A couple of small, subtle changes are occurring in the weather pattern which should mean less showers for the forecast for a couple of days. First, some slightly drier air to the north will slowly slide into North and Central Alabama. Second, the pesky upper trough which has been sliding back and forth across the area will weaken as we come more under a northwesterly flow aloft. Both of these combine to suppress most shower development across North and Central Alabama and keep the focus for isolated showers across South Alabama where the deeper moisture will continue to reside.

Temperatures will push upward slightly as a result with highs mainly in the 90 to 94 range for much of the week ahead.

While school is getting ready to start for some this week, beach goers enjoying the Alabama coast will see scattered showers a possibility each day with highs in the upper 80s. Water temperatures still running in the lower to middle 80s in the Gulf along the coast.

The trough that has helped to keep our weather somewhat unsettled weakens in the week ahead and slides further eastward resulting in more of a northwesterly flow for us. This should help to keep the moisture down somewhat until later in the week when values creep back upward. Also that northwesterly flow brings the potential for large thunderstorm clusters to develop in the Central Plains and move southeastward into the Southeast US. No real skill in identifying one of these more than a several hours in advance, but being aware of the pattern helps to keep us ready if a forecast adjustment becomes needed.

Tropics are quiet outside of Bertha which is likely to become a hurricane on Tuesday as it moves northward away from the Bahamas. The storm continues to be well behaved as it traverses the western Atlantic between the eastern US trough and the subtropical high over the Central Atlantic. This keeps the storm a threat primarily to shipping interests for the western and northern Atlantic and away from land.

Week two or voodoo country still showing no sign of extreme heat with the possibility of another strong trough deepening across the eastern half of the US around the middle of August. With the pattern we’ve seen much of the summer, I do not plan to bet against this outcome!

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 will come Tuesday morning as we stay on a one-a-day schedule while James is on vacation. Godspeed.

-Brian-

Categories: Weather