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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: 9 min 35 sec ago

Warm With Widely Spaced Showers

Wed, 10/08/2014 - 15:04

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: Not much to show on radar this afternoon; the sky is partly sunny and temperatures are mostly in the low to mid 80s. We do note a few strong storms on the Mississippi River south of Memphis; those could creep into Northwest Alabama early tonight….

If the storms do hang on and move through North Alabama tonight, they could be fairly strong; SPC maintains low end 5 percent severe weather possibilities.

TOMORROW/FRIDAY: The weather stays warm with highs in the mid 80s; upper 80s are possible in spots. That is about ten degrees above average for mid-October in Alabama. A warm front will push northward through here tomorrow and could trigger a few showers or storms, but they should be widely spaced.

Then, on Friday, a cold front will sag down into Tennessee and become stationary Friday night somewhere near or just south of I-40. Scattered showers and storms are possible Friday afternoon and Friday night; they will be most numerous north of U.S. 278 (Hamilton to Cullman to Gadsden), but a few are possible as far south as I-20 (Tuscaloosa to Birmingham to Anniston).

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: South of Birmingham, the weekend will be warm and dry with highs in the 80s. But, from Birmingham north, we will mention a chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms both days as the front will hang tough just the north of the Alabama/Tennessee state line. The chance of any one spot seeing a shower or storm along and north of I-20 both days is about one in three.

NEXT WEEK: A strong upper trough will bring a much better chance of rain and storms statewide by Monday afternoon and Monday night; there might even be a few strong storms involved with good upper support. Then, cooler and drier arrives Tuesday through mid-week. More details are on the Weather Xtreme video along with all of the maps and graphics.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: For the high school games tomorrow night; a few isolated showers are possible during the first half, otherwise mostly fair with temperatures falling through the 70s. Then, on Friday night, widely scattered showers and storms are possible from Birmingham north during the games, with dry conditions south of Birmingham. Temperatures will fall through the 70s.

On Saturday, Auburn will take on the Mississippi State Bulldogs in Starkville (2:30p kickoff). The sky will be partly sunny with a kickoff temperature near 85 degrees; just a slight risk of a brief shower or storm during the game. Temperatures will fall to near 80 degrees by the final whistle.

Alabama will be on the road as well; they play Arkansas at Fayetteville (5:00p kickoff). Showers and storms are a good possibility, mainly during the first half of the game. The temperature will drop from near 65 degrees at kickoff, into the 50s by the fourth quarter. Take the rain gear.

UAB will celebrate homecoming Saturday; the Blazers host North Texas (2:30p kickoff) at Legion Field. The sky will be partly sunny, and temperatures will fall from near 85 degrees at kickoff to around 80 by the fourth quarter. We can’t rule out a brief passing shower or thunderstorm.

NATIONAL SHRIMP FESTIVAL: Delightful weather for the big event at Gulf Shores Thursday through Sunday. Mostly sunny warm days, fair nights. Highs in the 80s, lows in the 60s.

TROPICS: All is quiet for now across the Atlantic basin, and tropical storm formation is not expected through Friday.

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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I enjoyed seeing the 2nd graders today at Grantswood Community School in Irondale; be looking for them on the Pepsi KIDCAM today at 5:00 on ABC 33/40 News! The next Weather Xtreme video will be posted here by 7:00 a.m. tomorrow….

Categories: Weather

Warm Days Through The Weekend

Wed, 10/08/2014 - 06:22

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.

FULL ECLIPSE OF THE MOON: It has been an early morning of sky watching; totality started at 5:25a CT. Here is a look from Helena… photo from @charnita

Our friends up in Northeast Alabama aren’t able to see the eclipse due to clouds and scattered showers; the clouds thin out as you work your way to the south. The moon has now set and is below the horizon at daybreak.

THE DAY AHEAD: For much of Alabama, the day will be warm and dry with a partly sunny sky and a high in the 80s. The upper trough over the eastern U.S. is lifting out, and is being replaced by an upper ridge centered on the Gulf Coast. However, the high resolution HRRR model does show a band of showers and storms moving into North Alabama late this afternoon and early tonight, and we will insert that potential into the forecast. The highest risk of a shower or storm will be north of I-20 (Tuscaloosa to Birmingham to Anniston).

TOMORROW/FRIDAY: Warm is the word… highs will be in the mid to upper 80s, about ten degrees above average for early October. A warm front lifting north tomorrow afternoon could kick off a few scattered showers; like recent days the highest risk of a shower will be north of Birmingham. Then, on Friday, much of the day will be dry, although a few showers and storms could creep down into North Alabama late in the day or Friday night ahead of a cold front over Tennessee.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: The front over Tennessee will become stationary. The southern half of the state will remain warm and dry, but we will mention the risk of scattered showers and storms over North Alabama, especially north of Birmingham. The weather stays warm with highs in the mid 80s.

Showers and storms should increase Monday of next week as an upper trough approaches from the west; see the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: For the high school games tomorrow night; a few isolated showers are possible during the first half, otherwise mostly fair with temperatures falling through the 70s. Then, on Friday night, most stadiums will be dry with only a slight risk of a brief evening shower. Again, temperatures will fall through the 70s with a mostly fair sky.

On Saturday, Auburn will take on the Mississippi State Bulldogs in Starkville (2:30p kickoff). The sky will be partly sunny with a kickoff temperature near 85 degrees; just a slight risk of a brief shower or storm during the game. Temperatures will fall to near 80 degrees by the final whistle.

Alabama will be on the road as well; they play Arkansas at Fayetteville (5:00p kickoff). Showers and storms are a good possibility, mainly during the first half of the game. The temperature will drop from near 65 degrees at kickoff, into the 50s by the fourth quarter. Take the rain gear.

UAB will celebrate homecoming Saturday; the Blazers host North Texas (2:30p kickoff) at Legion Field. The sky will be partly sunny, and temperatures will fall from near 85 degrees at kickoff to around 80 by the fourth quarter. Only a small risk of a shower during this game.

NATIONAL SHRIMP FESTIVAL: Delightful weather for the big event at Gulf Shores Thursday through Sunday. Mostly sunny warm days, fair nights. Highs in the 80s, lows in the 60s.

TROPICS: A disturbance over the far southwest Caribbean remains disorganized, and tropical storm formation is not expected this week in the Atlantic basin.

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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I have a weather program today at Grantswood Community School in Irondale… look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 or so this afternoon. Enjoy the day!

Categories: Weather

Warm October Weather

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 15:50

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 and storms that were over the Tennessee Valley region of North Alabama earlier today have moved out of the state, and there is basically nothing on radar at mid-afternoon; quite the contrast to the radar images we had at this time yesterday. Temperatures are generally in the low 80s with a partly sunny sky.

REST OF THE WEEK: The large scale upper trough that was over the eastern U.S. will weaken and lift out, and a ridge of high pressure aloft will begin to build, meaning unseasonably warm weather. We expect highs mostly in the mid 80s, although some spots could reach the upper 80s; each day will feature a mix of sun and clouds.

There will be enough moisture for a shower or two each day in spots, but they will be pretty widely spaced. The GFS hints the best coverage of showers or storms will come on Thursday as a warm front lifts northward. Even then it will a “hit and miss” proposition. Many communities will be dry tomorrow through Friday.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: A cold front to the north will stall out over Tennessee. On Saturday, the best chance of showers will be close to the Tennessee border; most of the state will be warm and dry with a high in the 80s. The front will sag a little southward Sunday and Monday, with a better chance of showers and storms on these two days. But, they will be scattered in nature, and some places won’t see very much rain. The high Sunday will be in the low to mid 80s, but Monday’s high will be closer to 80 degrees.

Keep in mind October is our driest month of the year, so getting a good, widespread, soaking rain event this time of the year can be difficult. Synoptic scale rain events increase in November and December as we get into the late fall tornado season.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: For the high school games Thursday night; a few isolated showers are possible during the first half, otherwise mostly fair with temperatures falling through the 70s. Then, on Friday night, most stadiums will be dry with only a slight risk of a brief evening shower. Again, temperatures will fall through the 70s with a mostly fair sky.

On Saturday, Auburn will take on the Mississippi State Bulldogs in Starkville (2:30p kickoff). The sky will be partly sunny with a kickoff temperature near 85 degrees; just a slight risk of a brief shower or storm during the game. Temperatures will fall to near 80 degrees by the final whistle.

Alabama will be on the road as well; they play Arkansas at Fayetteville (5:00p kickoff). Showers and storms are a good possibility, mainly during the first half of the game. The temperature will drop from near 65 degrees at kickoff, into the 50s by the fourth quarter. Take the rain gear.

UAB will celebrate homecoming Saturday; the Blazers host North Texas (2:30p kickoff) at Legion Field. The sky will be partly sunny, and temperatures will fall from near 85 degrees at kickoff to around 80 by the fourth quarter. Only a small risk of a shower during this game.

NATIONAL SHRIMP FESTIVAL: Delightful weather for the big event at Gulf Shores Thursday through Sunday. Mostly sunny warm days, fair nights. Highs in the 80s, lows in the 60s.

TROPICS: A disturbance over the far southwest Caribbean has come potential for slow development by the weekend. Some global models move this up into the southern Gulf of Mexico next week; see the Weather Xtreme video for the 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…

Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus
Instagram

I enjoyed seeing the residents at St. Martins In The Pines today… be looking for the next Weather Xtreme video by 7:00 a.m. tomorrow…

Categories: Weather

Scud or Cold Air Funnel?

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 07:13

I received literally hundreds of images of this creepy cloud over Cullman late yesterday afternoon…

No doubt this was not a tornado, but is it a scud cloud? Or, a cold air funnel?

Scud clouds can look like a tornado or funnel cloud, but they are harmless. Scud clouds are not attached to large-scale storm rotation. They are caused by cold air outflow interacting with warmth ahead of the storm. This causes air to rise and condense. While these clouds often hang low under the base, they don’t indicate anything other than wind blowing out of the storm.

Cold air funnels are most commonly observed in the vicinity of a closed off, cold-core mid level low, or upper trough (there was a large scale upper trough over the eastern U.S. yesterday with very cold air aloft over Alabama). The cold air aloft associated with these features is how cold air funnels get their name. However the cold air aloft only provides instability for convection, it does not govern how the funnel clouds form. The upper rotation associated with the upper low provides an environment rich with vorticity, or “spin”. It is believed that within this spinning environment, localized areas of higher vorticity exist. Thanks to the cold air aloft, updrafts are able to develop and stretch the vorticity in the environment. Stretching of vorticity creates a column of rapidly-spinning air, and it is believed that this may lead to the development of a funnel cloud. Cold air funnels come from high based storms, and rarely touch the ground.

The NWS does not issue tornado warnings for cold air funnels.

From all of the reports received, many said there was no rotation. Some did report slow, erratic rotation. Sure seems like this was scud to me. But, we will keep looking at data and reports.

Bottom line is that this was not a tornado, and there was never danger of a tornado from the storm due to the high based nature of the thunderstorm (LCL heights over 1,000 meters). Hail was the big issue, and there was plenty of that…

Categories: Weather