ABC 33/40 Weather Blog

Syndicate content
The latest information on Alabama weather, tornadoes, hurricanes, winter storms, national weather headlines and the science of meteorology in general.
Updated: 6 min 10 sec ago

A Blanket Of Moist Air Over Alabama

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 06:27

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: We have a few patches of light rain on radar early this morning just north of Birmingham; the rest of the state is dry.

The sky is cloudy, and temperatures are in the 60s. Today will be another mostly cloudy day, but I really don’t expect too much rain over the next 5-8 hours. Showers are possible, but they should be fairly widely spaced… temperatures reach the mid to upper 70s this afternoon.

But, rain and storms will increase tonight with short wave energy moving in from the west. SPC has a “marginal” severe weather risk in place for the southern half of Alabama since a few storms could produce small hail and gusty winds, but the main threat for South Alabama continue to be from flooding; a flash flood watch remains in effect for places like New Orleans, Mobile, Gulf Shores, Pensacola, and Fort Walton Beach.

TOMORROW THROUGH FRIDAY: A wet pattern continues. Understand it won’t rain every minute of every day, but on all three days expect periods of rain and a few thunderstorms. The rain could come at any hour of the day and night, but on the positive side severe weather is not expected to be an issue. A cold air damming (CAD) pattern could send cooler air into East Alabama Thursday and Friday… on these days highs in places like Cedar Bluff, Heflin, and Wedowee could drop into the low to mid 60s, while West Alabama sees a high in the upper 70s.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Not much change on Saturday. A vertically stacked low is expected to be near Oklahoma City, and an axis of higher moisture remains over Alabama. We project occasional showers and thunderstorms, and a few strong storms are certainly possible with this kind of setup with a decent amount of instability forecast (surface based CAPE values around 2,000 j/kg). But, bulk shear values look low and for now the overall severe weather threat isn’t too impressive.

The low lifts northeast Sunday and begins to fill, but we will need to hang on to the risk of a few passing showers or storms. Again, a few strong storms will be possible as the low moves northwest of the state; we will keep an eye on parameters. Highs over the weekend will be in the 77-80 degree range.

Additional five day rain totals for the northern half of Alabama are projected to be in the 3-4″ range… we will need to watch for flash flooding issues later this week and over the weekend.

NEXT WEEK: The weather trends drier with cooler nights as an upper trough sets up over the eastern half of the nation. Early morning lows will drop into the 40s by Tuesday and Wednesday morning, with highs around 70 degrees. For now it looks like a decent part of the week will be rain-free, giving us a needed chance to dry out. 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. 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

I have a weather program this morning at Alexandria Elementary School in Calhoun County… look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon. Enjoy the day!

Categories: Weather

WeatherBrains 481: Floating Dumpsters

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 05:15

WeatherBrains Episode 481 is now online (April 13, 2015). If you are crazy about weather, this is THE netcast audio program for you!

Tonight’s Guest WeatherBrain has worked for the Hurricane Research Division of NOAA for over 30 years. He is the Data Archivist for the Division and this led into his becoming the keeper of its history. He is the author of the recent book published by the AMS: Hurricane Pioneer, Memoirs of Robert Simpson. Neal Dorst was named NOAA’s Employee of the Month for October, 2014! Neal serves crucial roles as HRD’s historian and webmaster and has been their data manager, tape librarian, and archivist for all analog, digital, and film data from the early beginnings of the “U. S. Weather Bureau” hurricane flights in 1956 to the present day. He also led the project to preserve all this archived analog data into a digital state for use by future hurricane research scientists in perpetuity. Neal Dorst, welcome to WeatherBrains!

Other discussions in this weekly podcast include topics like:

  • Extremes: 98 at Death Valley, CA, and 11 at Antero Reservoir, CO
  • Fairly wet pattern from Texas to the Carolinas
  • Relatively little severe weather in the US at midweek
  • Rain in driest parts of Oklahoma
  • Active southern and northern portions of the jet stream
  • and more!
  • Our email bag officer is under the weather for the show, so others will tackle at least one email.

    From The Weather Center:

    WeatherBrains 101: It was no April Fool’s joke with what happened on April the first 55 years ago. It was the launch of the world’s first meteorological satellite and definitely was a huge milestone in keeping an eye on the weather on our planet. So we look back a few years to that first satellite.

    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 481:

    To subscribe to the brand new SkyWritings, an email newsletter from the WeatherBrains gang, click HERE.

    1954 Hurricane Season

    Book, Memoirs of Bob Simpson

    Hurricane Center’s Wallet Project

    Information on Project Stormfury

    2015 Seasonal Hurricane Forecast from Klotzbach and Gray

    Picks of the Week (POW):

    Nate Johnson – Supercell video from Lubbock

    Brian Peters – Timeline of Weather Service History

    John Scala – Impact of Snow Storms on Boston’s Economy

    Kevin Selle – Panorama of gravity wave

    Rick Smith – NWS Damage Assessment Toolkit

    James Spann – Warning Polygons

    SkyDavers Blog – The Fog Bank

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

    Categories: Weather

    Unsettled April Weather Pattern Continues

    Mon, 04/13/2015 - 15:25

    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: Showers are still in progress across much of Alabama this afternoon, with some of the heavier rain and storms lined up from Demopolis to Camden…

    Showers and a few storms will continue at times tonight.

    TOMORROW: This just might be the driest day of the week. Still, the sky will be mostly cloudy and there is some risk of rain, but the showers should be widely spaced, and a decent part of the day should be rain-free with a high in the 70s. You might even see a patch of blue sky from time to time as the leave short wave pulls off to the northeast.

    WEDNESDAY: High resolution model guidance suggests we will have a few showers and storms around Wednesday, but they will be scattered in nature, and it certainly won’t rain all day. The sky will remain mostly cloudy, and the high will be in the mid 70s.

    THURSDAY/FRIDAY: These two days look pretty wet; expect occasional showers and thunderstorms, with potential for the rain to be heavy at times. We should note Thursday should be cooler over the eastern half of Alabama with a cold air damming (CAD) pattern setting up; some communities near the Georgia border might not get past the low to mid 60s.

    SATURDAY: More rain. The 12Z GFS shows a deep (999 mb) surface low near Tulsa, OK… and showers and storms are likely again statewide. In fact, this might be a setup for strong, maybe severe thunderstorms, but for now instability values look pretty limited, and the more significant threat could come from flash flooding. Rain amounts of 3 to 5 inches are likely by Saturday evening.

    SUNDAY: Finally, some hope for a brighter day as a dry slot of air works into the state. We can’t rule out an afternoon shower or two, but a decent part of the day should be without rain, and the sun could break out at times. Highs will hold in the 70s over the weekend.

    NEXT WEEK: An upper trough sets up over the eastern half of the nation, suggesting temperatures for a decent part of the week will be a bit below average around here, with highs around 70, and lows down in the 40s on a few mornings. 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. 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 had a great time today visiting with kindergarten students at Coldwater Elementary School in Calhoun County, and at Oliver Elementary in Birmingham… 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

    Wet Is The Word

    Mon, 04/13/2015 - 06:25

    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: Rain is falling this morning across much of North/Central Alabama, and we expect rain to continue at times through tonight. While a thunderstorm is possible, severe weather is not expected, and the high should be in the mid 70s this afternoon.

    We should mention a flash flood watch is in effect for the Gulf Coast today, including places like New Orleans, Mobile, Gulf Shores, Pensacola, and Panama City. One report was received this morning of 9.47″ during the past 24 hours in Mobile just off Girby Road.

    TOMORROW: The latest high resolution NAM model (06Z) is actually suggesting that a decent part of the day tomorrow could be dry, but we will still mention the risk of a few showers during the day with a cloudy sky; rain will then increase tomorrow night with the next wave approaching from the west.

    WEDNESDAY THROUGH FRIDAY: The wet pattern continues. There will be some decent breaks in the rain along the way, but rain could come at any hour of the day or night. And, while thunderstorms remain possible, severe storms are not expected. Rain totals between now and Friday are expected to be in the 3 to 5 inch range for most of Alabama, and we could be dealing with some flash flooding issues later this week with the ground becoming saturated.

    THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Still cloudy and wet at times. Seems like the wettest day will be Saturday, with showers thinning out a bit Sunday as a surface low moves northeast of Alabama. Afternoon highs will remain in the 70s, right at seasonal averages for mid-April.

    Interesting to note the GFS model is suggesting parts of Central Alabama could see over 8 inches of rain over the next seven days…

    NEXT WEEK: A large upper trough is forecast to form over the eastern half of the U.S… this should keep temperatures below average for a decent part of the week meaning no severe weather issues. A few showers are possible early in the week, but next week won’t be as wet as this week. 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. 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 have weather programs today at Coldwater Elementary in Calhoun County… and Oliver Elementary in Birmingham. Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon… enjoy the day!

    Categories: Weather

    Rain Dead Ahead

    Sun, 04/12/2015 - 15:12

    An active southern branch of the jetstream will bring heavy rainfall to Central Alabama over the next ten days. In fact, some model data indicates that we may deal with as much as 5-10 inches of rain during the period.

    That rain will begin later this afternoon across Central Alabama as scattered light showers and increase in coverage and intensity overnight. There could be a few embedded thunderstorms as well.

    This afternoon, high clouds are overspreading the southeastern two thirds of the area, associated with a moist upper flow out of the southwest.

    Where there are clouds, temperatures are in the lower and middle 70s.

    Over Northwest Alabama, where more sunshine is prevalent, temperatures are in the upper 70s to near 80F.

    A few light showers are drifting northward across eastern Mississippi and East Central Alabama. We will see those increasing in coming hours.

    Further south and southwest, more widespread showers are moving across southeastern Mississippi and Southwest Alabama. Even heavier and more widespread ones are spreading northeast into Louisiana.

    Categories: Weather

    Transitioning to Wet Weather

    Sun, 04/12/2015 - 07:06

    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 very nice April day for Saturday, today will be a transition day as Central Alabama gets set for about a week of unsettled weather. The day will start out dry with some high cirrus clouds, but the clouds should thicken and lower as the afternoon goes on with a possibility of showers going into the evening hours. Highs should be in the 70s.

    The current upper air pattern features a closed low over northern Mexico with a weak ridge over the Southeast US. This establishes a good southwesterly flow with moisture coming out of the Pacific across the Southeast US. A series of weak disturbances will come out across the Southeast US in the southwesterly flow. The closed low will open into a wave as the northern stream brings a front down into the area by Tuesday. The front will stall out across the Southeast US while we maintain a wet southwesterly flow aloft keeping deep moisture in place. This translates to periods of rain and storms off and on for much of the week ahead.

    The pattern does not change much until the northern stream finally digs a closed low into New Mexico Thursday keeping us in deep moisture. The latest GFS is much slower in bringing the closed low out across the Lower Mississippi River Valley, so it looks like we will stay wet into next weekend before the closed low and trough can inch by us to finally end the wet pattern. On the bright side, we will see highs primarily in the 70s and lows 58 to 64 for much of the week ahead, so no signs of any significant temperature fluctuations.

    Rainfall for the next five days could result in totals of 3 to 5 inches. While there may be some heavy rain Monday, the flash flooding threat seems minimal since we have seen a couple of days of dry weather. However, this wet pattern could result in additional heavy rains this week that may elevate the flash flood threat.

    For beach goers, look for scattered showers and thunderstorms along the Gulf Coast this week. Expect 3 to 5 hours of sun with the daily risk of passing showers or thunderstorms. No big changes in temperatures as highs will be in the 70s, and overnight lows will be in the upper 60s. The water temperature this morning at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab was about 75 degrees. There is a danger of rip currents as the wind flow becomes strong onshore over the next several days.

    Looking out into voodoo country, the end of April appears likely to remain somewhat stormy with a substantial trough/closed low around April 22nd and then another strong short wave around the 26th/27th. So no rest in the weather department.

    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)

    James Spann will have the next edition of the Weather Xtreme Video here first thing on Monday morning. Enjoy the day and get the rain gear ready. Godspeed.

    -Brian-

    Categories: Weather