ABC 33/40 Weather Blog
It has been a very wet day across the state. We are beginning to see some breaks in the rain over southwestern portions of the state. Just a few scattered showers along highway 43 from Tuscaloosa to Mobile.
Off to our west, there are still several area of scattered showers across Mississippi, but they are not as intense as what we saw earlier today. The back edge of the rain has made it to Interstate 55 in Central Mississippi and it will continue to move east the next few hours.
The heaviest rain currently is lifting northeast through the Birmingham Metro and has shifted east of Interstate 65 for most of the state. The rain will persist for the next several hours, but we should begin to see it wind down from west to east across the state after midnight. A majority of locations will see the rain ending during the early morning hours. By tomorrow, most locations will be dry, but there could still be a few lingering showers during the morning hours.
It has been a rather cold day across the state, as most areas were only able to make it into the 40s this afternoon. Outside this evening, those temps are still and the 40s and that is where they will stay for the rest of tonight.
By tomorrow, the rain will be winding down during the morning hours, and we will likely see some sunshine tomorrow afternoon across much of Central Alabama. Afternoon highs will be about ten degrees warmer than today, and most everyone should see low to mid-50s.
You will be hard-pressed to find a dry spot across the state today. Rain moved into Central Alabama this morning and it has stuck around all day. It will last several more hours as an area of low pressure off to our south continues to send moisture northward.
A look at the radar out of Birmingham for Central Alabama, there is rain everywhere. Heaviest rain currently is affecting portions of West Alabama along the Highway 82 corridor from Pickens County down to Montgomery County. Heavier rain is also falling across Lamar, Fayette, Marengo, Hale, and Perry Counties as well.
As we expand the radar view for the entire region, rain continues to be the main story. All of Alabama will continue to see a soaking rain and rainfall totals will range from one half inch to an inch northwest of Interstate 59, while location south of 59 will see one to two inches. There will also be some heavier rain bands that develop and will produce heavier amounts of rain in some areas. I would not be surprised to see a few locations receiving in excess of 3 inches before this system moves out of the state overnight.
The rain will last into the overnight hours, but should begin to taper off by Sunday morning. The rain still extends to the west along the Mississippi River. The back edge of the rain is slowly creeping east and will make it into Alabama late tonight.
The last Saturday of 2013 is certainly a wet one. There is a 100% chance of rain today as most locations across the state are already seeing the steady soaking rain. The rain is associated with an area of low pressure that was center south of Mobile Bay in the northern Gulf of Mexico. This low will track off towards the northeast today and will move onshore near Ft.Walton Beach later this afternoon. It will then track northeast across southeastern Alabama this evening and southern Georgia overnight.
With the clouds and rain, the temps are not going to warm today and should remain steady for the next 24 hours or so. Most locations across the state have made it into the 40s today, and that is where they will stay.
The rain will persist through the rest of this afternoon and into the overnight hours. All of Alabama will see a soaking rain and rainfall totals will range from one half inch to an inch northwest of Interstate 59, while location south of 59 will see one to two inches. There will also be some heavier rain bands that develop and will produce heavier amounts of rain in some areas. I would not be surprised to see a few locations receiving 3-4 inches before this system moves out of the state overnight.
Due to the inclement weather, mainly rain, across Central Alabama, the National Weather Service (NWS) office in Birmingham has decided to postpone the regularly scheduled weather radio test. The next regular weekly test of NOAA Weather Radio in Central Alabama will be conducted on Wednesday around 11 am.
The rain made an early appearance today and many of us woke up to the pitter-patter of rain drops. The rain has set-in and it is going to rain the rest of today and into the overnight hours.
As we look at the regional radar, there is an abundance of rain already across much of the state and looking to our south, there is a lot more heading our way. Don’t be fooled by the lack of radar returns from the Gulf of Mexico, as the radar beam cannot see all the way out into the Gulf. There is a great deal of rain out there and it will be moving inland today. This rain shield will continue to expand north and east today. An area of low pressure in the Gulf will continue to pump moisture north as it tracks to the northeast across the Gulf. It will move onshore along the Florida Panhandle later today and track across southwestern Georgia during the overnight hours.
Most of Alabama will receive one to two inches of rain from this system, but since the rain will fall over an extended period of time, flooding is not a major concern. Of course some locations will receive more rain, and there could be some isolated reports of flooding. Any outdoor activities you have planned will be impacted by rain today.
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Rain has moved into Central Alabama from the south and southwest just a little bit faster than I thought it would yesterday. The rain is the result of an impulse kicking out across Texas today generating a surface low in the Gulf of Mexico just south of New Orleans. It will be a wet day today and tonight, but the overall pattern moves briskly so the rain should be ending for much of the area by Sunday morning. We might even see some breaks in the clouds by late afternoon with a few peeks of some sunshine. But it is going to remain somewhat chilly with highs today approaching the 50-degree mark and the lower 50s on Sunday.
A reinforcing shot of cold air rolls in on Monday with highs struggling to reach the middle 40s. There won’t be a lot of moisture with this short wave coming through the long wave trough, however, there may be enough for a little light drizzle or perhaps some snow flurries especially north of Birmingham.
Unfortunately, as we saw yesterday, the models diverge fairly significantly as we hit the end of 2013. The GFS maintains the long wave trough over the eastern US which would keep us dry and chilly, but the ECMWF is more aggressive with the system on the first of January and bring a significant rain event to the Southeast US. For now, I think the European may be overdoing the amount of moisture with that system, so I’m siding with the dryer GFS solution. It is surely an evolving pattern.
By next weekend, yet another system is progged to come across the country promising another wet event that for now would come more into Sunday giving us a dry Saturday.
Rainfall during the next 18 to 24 hours will fairly heavy and widespread. I expect to see widespread rainfall amounts of 1 to 2 inches. The heavy rain should be in the area from about Clanton to Troy along the track of the surface low as it comes out of the Gulf across Southwest Georgia. Flash flood watches have been posted for about the northern two-thirds of Georgia for this afternoon and tonight.
FOOTBALL WEATHER: For those planning to attend the Allstate Sugar Bowl for the game between Alabama and Oklahoma at 7:30 pm on January 2, 2014, it looks like you will need to plan for rain going to or from the Superdome. The latest forecast suggests cloudy skies with showers possible. I’m not sure where they set the thermostat for the system inside the Superdome, but outside you should see highs in the lower 60s. Morning lows will be in the upper 40s. Too early for a specific forecast for the BCS Championship when the Florida State Seminoles meet the Auburn Tigers, but climatological data for Pasadena shows the average highs in January to be around 64 degrees and average lows around 48 degrees. MOS guidance for the days just before the game showed highs in the lower 70s and lows in the lower 50s. The Vanderbilt Commodores will take on the Houston Cougars at the Old Gray Lady in west Birmingham in the BBVA Compass Bowl on January 4, 2014 at noon. It looks like a terrific day for a football game. The game looks dry and temperatures Saturday will be near seasonal. The day starts off with lows around freezing with afternoon highs reaching the lower 50s.
Yesterday we saw the GFS flip from a cold pattern to a much warmer pattern for the eastern half of the country. That is still the idea looking out into voodoo country with a sizable ridge over the eastern half of the country around the 6th. But the GFS brings back the cold pattern with the long wave trough becoming re-established over the center of the US by the 12th of January.
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I plan to post the next Weather Xtreme Video here by 8 am or so on Sunday morning. Stay dry and warm today and Godspeed.