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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: 18 min 22 sec ago

First Tornado Watch of 2015 Issued

Sat, 01/03/2015 - 12:12

THE NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WATCH FOR PORTIONS OF
SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA
CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI
COASTAL WATERS

* EFFECTIVE THIS SATURDAY MORNING AND EVENING FROM 1105 AM UNTIL
600 PM CST.

* PRIMARY THREATS INCLUDE…
A FEW TORNADOES POSSIBLE
SCATTERED DAMAGING WIND GUSTS TO 70 MPH LIKELY

THE TORNADO WATCH AREA IS APPROXIMATELY ALONG AND 65 STATUTE
MILES EAST AND WEST OF A LINE FROM 60 MILES NORTH NORTHWEST OF
MERIDIAN MISSISSIPPI TO 50 MILES SOUTHWEST OF HOUMA LOUISIANA.
FOR A COMPLETE DEPICTION OF THE WATCH SEE THE ASSOCIATED WATCH
OUTLINE UPDATE (WOUS64 KWNS WOU1).

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

REMEMBER…A TORNADO WATCH MEANS CONDITIONS ARE FAVORABLE FOR
TORNADOES AND SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS IN AND CLOSE TO THE WATCH
AREA. PERSONS IN THESE AREAS SHOULD BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR
THREATENING WEATHER CONDITIONS AND LISTEN FOR LATER STATEMENTS
AND POSSIBLE WARNINGS.

DISCUSSION…THUNDERSTORMS ARE INCREASING OVER SOUTHEAST LA. THIS
ACTIVITY WILL TRACK NORTHEASTWARD ACROSS THE WATCH AREA THIS
AFTERNOON. STRONG WINDS ALOFT AND SUFFICIENT INSTABILITY WILL POSE
A RISK OF A FEW SEVERE STORMS CAPABLE OF DAMAGING WINDS AND ISOLATED
TORNADOES.

Categories: Weather

Tornado Watch Likely Coming Soon to the West

Sat, 01/03/2015 - 11:35

The SPC is currently working on issuing a tornado watch for areas to the west of Alabama. This initial watch is not expected to include any portion of Alabama. However, as the storm system shifts east, the watches will be shifted east as well. Stay weather aware heading into the afternoon and evening as strong and severe storms will be possible, with the threat of damaging winds, a few tornadoes, and flash flooding.

AREAS AFFECTED…CNTRL/SRN MS…ERN LA

CONCERNING…SEVERE POTENTIAL…TORNADO WATCH LIKELY

PROBABILITY OF WATCH ISSUANCE…80 PERCENT

SUMMARY…PRE-FRONTAL TSTM DEVELOPMENT IS EXPECTED BY EARLY
AFTERNOON WITHIN AN ENVIRONMENT SUFFICIENT FOR ROTATING UPDRAFTS
WITH PRIMARY RISKS OF A COUPLE TORNADOES AND DAMAGING WINDS.

DISCUSSION…COMPOSITE CONVECTIVE OUTFLOW/COLD FRONT EXTENDED FROM
10 W UOX TO 20 W JAN TO 30 W HEZ TO 30 NW LFT AS OF 16Z. FROM THE
JAN AREA SWD TO THE GULF COAST AHEAD OF THIS BOUNDARY…A
DESTABILIZING AIR MASS CHARACTERIZED BY 65-70 DEG F SURFACE DEW
POINTS WAS PREVALENT. VISIBLE SATELLITE IMAGERY SUGGEST THAT WARM
SECTOR TCU/CBS HAVE INITIATED OFFSHORE S OF ATCHAFALAYA BAY. RECENT
HRRR RUNS AND CONVECTION-ALLOWING WRF GUIDANCE ARE CONSISTENT IN
SIMULATING STRENGTHENING OFFSHORE CONVECTION AS IT SPREADS INLAND
ACROSS PARTS OF THE LOWER MS VALLEY INTO THE AFTERNOON. THE HRRR
APPEARS A BIT MORE AGGRESSIVE IN TIMING/AMPLITUDE OF THIS WARM
CONVEYOR ACTIVITY.

DESPITE MOIST-ADIABATIC LAPSE RATES SAMPLED IN 12Z LCH/JAN
RAOBS…SLIGHT SURFACE HEATING IN THE 72-74 DEG F RANGE ACROSS ERN
LA IS ALREADY ADEQUATE FOR MLCAPE AROUND 750 J/KG. VEERED LOW-LEVEL
WINDS /STRONGER WITH NRN EXTENT/ SUGGEST HODOGRAPHS WILL NOT BE
OVERLY LARGE…BUT CERTAINLY SUFFICIENT FOR ROTATING UPDRAFTS
CAPABLE OF A COUPLE TORNADOES AND DAMAGING WINDS. THE MOST FAVORABLE
ENVIRONMENTAL CORRIDOR FOR TORNADOES SHOULD EVOLVE ACROSS ERN LA
INTO SRN MS BETWEEN ABOUT 19-22Z.

Categories: Weather

Active Day Ahead

Sat, 01/03/2015 - 01:18

Parts of Central, West and Southwest Alabama are under the standard “slight risk” of severe weather today and tonight, with a lower end “marginal risk” farther north and east…

A dynamic storm system will bring a push of warm, moist air up into Alabama today, and we expect a high close to 70 degrees this afternoon. While a few passing showers are possible during the morning and early afternoon hours, the most active weather comes after 4:00 p.m….

Storms will be capable of producing strong, perhaps damaging winds, some small hail, and maybe even an isolated short lived tornado or two.

Additional rain amounts of 2 inches are expected, and some localized flooding issues are certainly possible. A flash flood watch has been issued for parts of North Alabama…

ARCTIC BLAST: One quick note about next week… new guidance is suggesting much of North Alabama will stay below freezing all day Thursday of the coming week as Arctic air rolls into Alabama. Thankfully, it doesn’t look like it will stay for a long period of time, and we do not expect any wintry precipitation issues. The low early Thursday will be in the teens.

Brian will be along in a bit with a new meteorological discussion… and we will have frequent updates on the situation throughout the day.

Categories: Weather

Strong Storms Possible Tomorrow Night

Fri, 01/02/2015 - 16:10

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: Pretty nasty weather for Alabama today; cold and wet. Rain continues to fall, with temperatures only in the 40s from Birmingham north, and low 50s to the south. There have even been a few elevated thunderstorms in the cold air.

Periods of rain will continue tonight; temperatures will remain steady, or actually rise slowly during the night.

WARMER TOMORROW; STRONG STORMS: A surge of warmer air will move up from the south tomorrow, and we have a decent chance of reaching 70 degrees; quite the contrast to today’s cold weather. During the day, a few passing showers and storms are likely, but it won’t rain all day, and the sun might even break out briefly a few times.

As the main dynamic support arrives late tomorrow and tomorrow night, and with moist, unstable air in place, the stage is set for the potential for strong to severe thunderstorms across Alabama. The guys at SPC (the Storm Prediction Center) have expanded the standard “slight risk” of severe weather; it now includes much of West Alabama, generally along and west of U.S. 43. The rest of North and Central Alabama is in a “marginal risk”, which is a lower end threat.

TIMING: The main window for strong to severe storms will come from roughly 2:00 p.m. tomorrow through 1:00 a.m. Sunday.

MODES: Storms tomorrow night could produce hail and strong, possibly damaging winds. An isolated tornado is also possible. Keep in mind the primary threat of severe storms is over the western third of Alabama, with a lower risk to the east.

RAIN TOTALS: Storm totals of 2 inches are likely, with some spots possibly getting over three inches of rain by early Sunday. Some localized flooding issues are possible.

BIRMINGHAM BOWL: It will be a very comfortable day for the Florida/East Carolina game at Legion Field (the game kicks off at 11:00a CT). A few passing showers are possible during the game, and a thunderstorm is not out of the question. But, on the positive side, the sun could break out at times, and temperatures will rise from the low 60s at kickoff, to near 70 degrees by the fourth quarter.

SUNDAY: The rain ends Sunday morning, and colder air moves into the state with lingering clouds. Temperatures will hold in the 50s during the day Sunday, and the sky should clear Sunday night with upper 20s likely by daybreak Monday.

ARCTIC AIR NEXT WEEK: Monday will be mostly sunny with a high in the 40s, but the coldest air blows in here Wednesday with a stiff north wind. The 12Z GFS is printing a low of 17 degrees for Birmingham at daybreak Thursday, followed by a high only in the upper 30s Thursday afternoon. Another hard freeze is likely early Friday morning, followed by a warming trend. The air will be dry, and no wintry precipitation is expected during the short lived cold wave.

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

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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Twitter
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Look for my next Weather Xtreme video by Monday morning at 7:00 a.m…. Brian Peters will have the video updates here tomorrow and Sunday. Enjoy the weekend!

Categories: Weather

Wet Is The Word

Fri, 01/02/2015 - 06:37

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 COLD RAIN: We begin this second day of 2015 with low clouds, rain, and temperatures in the 40s across the great state of Alabama. Expect periods of rain through tonight; the high today will be in the low to mid 50s at best; many communities north of Birmingham will hold in the 40s all day. Not exactly Chamber of Commerce weather.

WARMER/STORMY TOMORROW: A strong low level southerly flow will push warm, unstable air northward tomorrow; the GFS is printing a high of 70 degrees for Birmingham, with dewpoints surging into the low to mid 60s by late afternoon. We will maintain a good chance of occasional showers and storms during the day, although there should be some breaks in the rain. You might even see a very brief glimpse of the sun if you are lucky between the showers.

As the main dynamics approach tomorrow night, thunderstorms over Alabama will increase in coverage and intensity. SPC has defined the standard “slight risk” of severe weather for the southwest corner of the state, including Mobile, with a lower end “marginal risk” as far north as Livingston and Demopolis…

We note a low level jet of 50-60 knots along with low level bulk shear to 25 knots over the northern half of the state, but the limiting factor will be, as usual in cold season events, the degree of instability. Seems like the higher risk of severe weather will come over the southern half of the state, but dynamic weather systems like this can bring surprises, so we will watch trends closely. The higher chance of the stronger storms for Alabama will come from about 6:00 p.m. tomorrow through 3:00 a.m. Sunday.

RAIN TOTALS: Seems like most Alabama communities will see 1-2 inches of rain from this system, with isolated amounts to 3 inches. This suggests no major flooding problems, although some localized issues are certainly possible with the heavier downpours tomorrow night. There are no flash flood watches for our state.

SUNDAY: The rain will end Sunday morning; the day will be cloudy, breezy, and colder with temperatures holding in the 50s. Some North Alabama towns could fall into the 40s Sunday afternoon with a brisk northwest wind. Then, the sky will clear Sunday night as drier air works in here.

NEXT WEEK: Monday looks mostly sunny with a high in the upper 40s, but even colder air rolls in here Wednesday with a biting north wind. We might hold in the 30s all day Wednesday, followed by a low down in the 17-21 degree range at daybreak Thursday. Thankfully this “Arctic blast” won’t last too long as a warming trend begins Friday. The week looks dry with no winter precipitation worries. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

BIRMINGHAM BOWL: The Florida Gators will take on East Carolina in the annual Birmingham Bowl at Legion Field tomorrow; the kickoff is at 11:00 a.m. The good news is that the weather will be warmer; we project a kickoff temperature of 62 degrees, rising into the mid to upper 60s by the fourth quarter. On the negative side, occasional showers are likely, so take the rain gear.

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

Thanks to Brian Peters, Bill Murray, J.P. Spann, and Meaghan Thomas for covering for me over the past few days; the time off was appreciated. I will crank out another Weather Xtreme video later today; it should be posted by 4:00 p.m. Enjoy the day!

Categories: Weather

Happy New Year!

Thu, 01/01/2015 - 07:15

*** No Weather Xtreme Video this morning ***

Greetings from the Big Easy, site of one of the semifinal games in the inaugural College Football Playoff. Brian has Pasadena covered and I will cover New Orleans, one of America’s gem cities. And I will get to share a morning discussion with you!

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Are you enjoying some traditional New Year’s Day lucky food? Spaniards ate 12 grapes last night for each stroke of midnight. Maybe you’re having greens, symbolizing folded money. Or black-eyed peas, representing coins. I hope that you and your family have a prosperous 2015!

FOOTBALL CAST: It is one of my favorite days, watching college football. And our two state SEC teams are in the thick of the New Years Day action. Auburn is in Tampa for a date with Wisconsin in the Outback Bowl.

Auburn fans will have gorgeous weather today, with lots of sunshine and highs in the 70s. Can’t beat that.

‘Bama fans will encounter cloudy skies today with showers starting to bubble around game time. Luckily the game is indoors, but tailgating, and walks to and from the Superome could be a little damp. I think the really heavy rain holds off until after the game. Revelers in the Quarter late tomorrow wright may get wet. It is chilly by New Orleans standards, with temperatures today in the 50s and there the mercury will stay overnight tonight. Temperatures tomorrow will be in the upper 60s.

FROST ON THE PUMPKIN: Brian Peters is waking to a little frost this morning as he prepares to go watch his beloved Florida State Seminoles play in their national semifinal game. Lows there this morning were in the lower and middle 30s. Highs today will not be very California-like, in the upper 50s, more like New Orleans will be today.

RAIN ON THE WAY: Today is a transition day for Central Alabama. Our next weather maker is a huge upper level low that we find over Arizona. That system brought heavy snow to Wickenburg AZ near Phoenix yesterday! Ten inches fell near Flagstaff. Temperatures over the Rockies this morning are running some 15-30 degrees below normal. There is an active southern branch of the Jetstream from Baja California across Texas and then over the Southeast. A low pressure system will develop to our west, and as it does, it will propel a warm front northward. This warm front will produce rain across Central Alabama starting tonight and lasting into Friday. Then a cold front will push our way, bringing more showers and thunderstorms to the state. We will be in the 40s this afternoon but 60s will be common on Saturday. There will be some thunder involved on Saturday, but severe weather should not be a problem. We will be watching. Flooding is not expected to be a problem, but 1 to 3 inches, as expected, could cause problems if it falls quickly enough. The rain will end on Sunday as a cold front passes. Next week should be cool and dry with temperatures around 50F by day and 30s at night.

NEXT RAIN CHANCES: Another system shows up around Saturday, one week from today.

ADVERTISE WITH US: Deliver your message to a highly engaged audience by advertising on the AlabamaWX.com website. Our site was viewed by over 2.2MILLION unique visitors last year, who logged over 10 MILLION page views. We can customize a creative, flexible and affordable package that will suit your organization’s needs. Contact me, Bill Murray, at (205) 687-0782 and let’s talk.
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WEATHERBRAINS: Greg Carbin was this guest on this week’s show. Check out the show at www.WeatherBrains.com. You can also subscribe on iTunes.

ON THIS DATE IN 1916: Rainmaker Charles Hatfield set up his equipment in San Diego, California. It had been bone dry in San Diego for months. Desperate for rain, the City Council had approved his proposal to fill the city’s near empty reservoir for $10,000. The self-proclaimed meteorologist used towers holding barrels of boiling secret chemicals. His claim was that he didn’t make the rain, he attracted the clouds and the rains just came. Soon afterwards, it began to rain in Southern California. Problem was, ot didn’t stop. Flooding resulted and on the 27th a dam on Lake Moreno collapsed, with large loss of life. Many people filed lawsuits against Hatfield, but the suits were dismissed because the event was an Act of God. The city refused to pay hatfield for his services since it was an Act of God. Hatfield’s life would be turned into a play, a novel and eventually Burt Lancaster would play him in the 1956 film The Rainmaker. You can find a statue erected to Hatfield at Lake Moreno. Follow my weather history tweets on Twitter. I am @wxhistorian at Twitter.com.

Categories: Weather

Clouds Give Way to Some Sun by PM

Wed, 12/31/2014 - 09:41

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.

The surface high pressure system has turned the wind around to the east and northeast and brought some clouds back to mainly the eastern half of Central Alabama this morning. These clouds should slowly erode and mix out this afternoon giving way to some sunshine this afternoon. As a new storm system takes shape to our west, New Years Day should be dry and coolish as we wait on the arrival of more clouds and rain for Friday and Saturday.

The upper level closed low will move out of the southern Rockies on Saturday as it opens up and ejects northeastward. The weakening upper low will still generate a good surface low in the vicinity of Kansas City on Friday and move quickly into Canada by Sunday. This will drag yet another cold front across the Southeastern US bringing another round of wet weather to Central Alabama. Rainfall amounts for the storm should again be reach the 2 to 3 inch range, so flash flooding and flooding issues may once again become a problem for us. Hopefully with the rainfall spread over two full days, there won’t be a serious flooding threat, but we’ll have to stay vigilant on this.

Severe weather does not appear to be a concern for Central Alabama with the greatest instability confined to the Gulf Coast. And once again we get chilly without extreme cold as a long wave trough is carved out of the eastern half of the country into the first half of next week. This will keep us at or slightly below 30-year average temperatures for Central Alabama without any extreme cold weather to deal with. Average highs for the first of January run about 54 while average lows run about 34.

The overall weather pattern remains pretty active with another storm system for us around the 9th and 10th followed by another fairly low latitude upper trough in the 13th to 15th time frame. The active pattern certainly suggests that we start 2015 with an over abundance of rain as we reset the rainfall counters to zero. But as we’ve been seeing over the last couple of weeks, there does not appear to be any really extreme cold for us.

I’m heading to the Rose Parade and the Rose Bowl game between Florida State and Oregon on Thursday, so Bill Murray will be posting a discussion here tomorrow. James Spann should be back from his vacation on Friday, so I’ll have the Weather Xtreme Videos over the weekend. I hope that you will have a Happy New Year. And Go Noles! Godspeed.

-Brian-

Categories: Weather

Low Clouds Hanging In

Tue, 12/30/2014 - 09:44

*** No Weather Xtreme Video this morning *** I am in Santa Monica, CA, to attend the Rose Bowl on New Years Day, and just don’t have the bandwidth to post a full video so will at least post a discussion.

Clouds were hanging in across Central Alabama this morning in a thick stratus deck even with a weak cold front traversing the area. There will be some drizzle with the low clouds though little was showing up on radar. We should see the clouds gradually break up during the day, but they may stick around for much of the morning. Highs today will only be in the lower 50s as slightly colder air filters into Central Alabama on a brisk north wind.

The weather pattern stays dry for a couple of days for us as a surface high pressure system settles in over the Southeast US sliding from west to east across our area. We dip back below freezing for morning lows on Wednesday and Thursday as temperatures drop into the middle and upper 20s. New Years Day should be nice but cool with a high in the lower 50s.

Another round of wet weather sets up for Central Alabama as a low closes off over the Four Corners area of the Southwest US on Thursday and ejects out to the northeast on Friday and Saturday. This will allow high level moisture to once again stream into the Southeast US from the Pacific while the low level surface flow comes around to the south to tap into Gulf moisture. This is a similar set up to our last heavy rain event, however, I don’t think the rainfall will be quite as heavy with rainfall amounts of 1 to 2 inches possible. Because of the previous heavy rain event, we’ll have to be vigilant once again for the potential for flash flooding since there won’t be much time for the ground to dry out that much.

The upper closed low and short wave move by us on Sunday bringing an end to the precipitation, but a long wave trough sets up across the eastern US that will keep us a bit colder than average as we go through the weekend and into early next week.

The pattern continues to be fairly active as we head out into voodoo country with more wet weather around the 9th and 10th and the 12th and 13th as a series of vigorous waves move through the upper air flow.

I’ll try to post another discussion here tomorrow morning. Stay up with the latest weather with posts here.

-Brian-

Categories: Weather