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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: 17 min 51 sec ago

Warmer Tomorrow; Winter Weather Issues Monday

Fri, 02/13/2015 - 16:52

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.

COLD FRIDAY THE 13TH: Temperatures are only in the 39-44 degree range across North/Central Alabama this afternoon despite a mostly sunny sky. Tonight will be cold again with most communities dropping down into the mid 20s.

ONE DAY WARM-UP: Tomorrow will be the nicest day of the weekend; we warm to near 60 degrees tomorrow afternoon with a sunny sky. The warmth won’t last long; another surge of cold air blows in here tomorrow night, and by early Sunday we will be in the 15-20 degree range (the GFS is printing a low of 17 for Birmingham early Sunday). Sunday’s high will be between 37 and 40 degrees despite a sunny sky.

WINTER STORM THREAT LATE SUNDAY NIGHT INTO MONDAY: Not much change in our overall thinking on the beginning of this event…

TIMING: Looks like the precipitation now could arrive as early as midnight Sunday night. The primary threat of icy travel problems will come from about 2:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon. Isolated icy patches could linger into Monday afternoon across the Tennessee Valley of extreme North Alabama, but temperatures should generlly rise above freezing in most places by late morning.

PRECIPITATION TYPE: It looks like all snow along and north of U.S. 278, or north of a line from Hamilton to Cullman to Gadsden. To the south, Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, and Anniston will have a “wintry mix” of snow, sleet, and freezing rain. Some sleet/freezing rain is possible as far south as Livingston, Clanton, and Roanoke.

ACCUMULATION: The Tennessee Valley could see 1-2 inches of snow Monday morning; amounts to 1 inch are possible along the I-20/59 corridor, but keep in mind much of the precipitation there could be in the form of sleet and freezing rain. Ice accumulation to 1/10 of an inch is possible through Central Alabama.

IMPACT: With temperatures in the 20s, bridges and overpasses will likely become icy across North/Central Alabama as the precipitation falls. Ice is possible on secondary road surfaces (not just bridges) as well. Travel will be difficult. We do not expect enough freezing rain to create power outages at this time.

UNCERTAINTY: As always, this could change, but confidence is growing with good model consistency.

MONDAY NIGHT/TUESDAY: Forecast confidence is much lower for this period. As I expected, the 12Z GFS has pulled the precipitation shield to the north, hinting at some rain Monday night into early Tuesday, with potential for a change to snow during the day Tuesday on the northern periphery of the precipitation shield as a surface low passes to the south.

No point in getting specific about Tuesday with such low forecast confidence, but accumulating snow will be possible somewhere across North or Central Alabama. The precipitation will wind down Tuesday night… could we have travel problems Tuesday night and Wednesday? Very possible, but too early to call for now.

REST OF THE WEEK: Wednesday will be cold and dry; a clipper system could bring some light snow to parts of North Alabama Thursday. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

FIRST ALERT STORM TEAM TOUR: Our annual severe weather awareness tour across Alabama rolls along; we will be in Cordova next Thursday evening. Just drop by anytime from 4:00 until 6:30… you can watch me do weather live on ABC 33/40, get some free stuff to take home, and have a chance to win several NOAA Weather Radios we will be giving away. If you need your weather radio programmed or checked, bring it by and we will be glad to help.

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
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Look for the kids from Webster Christian School, and Hall Kent Elementary School in Homewood on the Pepsi KIDCAM this evening at 5:00 and 6:00 on ABC 33/40 News… we will have frequent updates on the blog throughout the weekend, so stay tuned!

Categories: Weather

Update On Winter Weather Potential Monday/Tuesday

Fri, 02/13/2015 - 13:27

New model guidance is in…

Not much too change in our thinking for Monday morning….

TIMING: Looks like the precipitation now could arrive as early as midnight Sunday night. The primary threat of icy travel problems will come from about 2:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon. Isolated icy patches could linger into Monday afternoon across the Tennessee Valley of extreme North Alabama, but temperatures should generlly rise above freezing in most places by late morning.

PRECIPITATION TYPE: It looks like all snow along and north of U.S. 278, or north of a line from Hamilton to Cullman to Gadsden. To the south, Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, and Anniston will have a “wintry mix” of snow, sleet, and freezing rain. Some sleet/freezing rain is possible as far south as Livingston, Clanton, and Roanoke.

ACCUMULATION: The Tennessee Valley could see 1-2 inches of snow Monday morning; amounts to 1 inch are possible along the I-20/59 corridor, but keep in mind much of the precipitation there could be in the form of sleet and freezing rain. Ice accumulation to 1/10 of an inch is possible through Central Alabama.

IMPACT: With temperatures in the 20s, bridges and overpasses will likely become icy across North/Central Alabama as the precipitation falls. Ice is possible on secondary road surfaces (not just bridges) as well. Travel will be difficult. We do not expect enough freezing rain to create power outages at this time.

UNCERTAINTY: As always, this could change, but confidence is growing with good model consistency.

MONDAY NIGHT/TUESDAY: Forecast confidence is much lower for this period. As I expected, the 12Z GFS has pulled the precipitation shield to the north, hinting at some rain Monday night into early Tuesday, with potential for a change to snow during the day Tuesday on the northern periphery of the precipitation shield.

No point in getting specific about Tuesday with such low forecast confidence, but accumulating snow will be possible somewhere across North or Central Alabama.

Will have a more detailed discussion and a new Weather Xtreme video by 4:00… and please read the post below this one concerning things you need to understand about winter weather forecasts!

Categories: Weather

Winter Weather Woes Possible Monday

Fri, 02/13/2015 - 07:33

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.

TEMPERATURE ROLLER COASTER: We are starting the day with temperatures generally in the 19-24 degree range across North/Central Alabama; the day ahead will be partly sunny with a high in the mid 40s. Then, tomorrow we warm into the low 60s by afternoon with a good supply of sunshine, and there is no doubt that will be the nicest day over the weekend.

Then, on Sunday, cold air returns. The last few global model runs have trended a bit warmer for Alabama, keeping the coldest air a little east of the state. Still, it will be a very chilly day with a high between 37 and 40 degrees. The sky will be sunny, and the wind won’t be as harsh as forecast earlier since the really tight gradient sets up northeast of here.

MESSY MONDAY: Confidence is high in some winter weather woes for the northern half of Alabama Monday morning. A wave in the southern branch of the jet stream will push precipitation into the state, with the onset most likely coming between 4:00 and 6:00 a.m.

PRECIPITATION TYPE: For now, it looks like all snow Monday morning along and north of U.S. 278 (Hamilton to Cullman to Gadsden), with a “wintry mix” of snow, sleet, and freezing rain to the south for places like Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, and Anniston. Some sleet and freezing rain is possible early Monday as far south as Livingston, Clanton, and Roanoke.

ACCUMULATION POTENTIAL: Some communities north of U.S. 278, up in the Tennessee Valley, could see 1-2 inches of snow. To the south, around one inch of snow/sleet is possible in scattered pockets around I-20/59. Understand it is still really too early to be specific on amounts; this is just a “first guess”, and will probably change.

IMPACT: Temperatures should be in the 20s early Monday, and this should lead to bridge icing, and also potential icing on secondary roads. Driving/travel issues are a real possibility. Thankfully most school systems are not in session Monday, and with it being a federal holiday many have the day off anyway.

TIMING: Temperatures will slowly warm, and by late morning we expect mid 30s and the ice issues will slow fade away for North/Central Alabama. Highest risk of icy travel for places like Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, and Anniston is from 4:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon. However, up in far North Alabama, some ice/snow patches on roads and bridges could persist into the afternoon hours.

UNDERSTAND: We have a limited skill set in dealing with winter storms in Alabama, especially three days in advance. The forecast can, and probably will change, so keep an eye on these discussions.

MONDAY NIGHT/TUESDAY: Confidence is very low in this period. Models have trended to the south with the low in the Gulf, and they keep most of the precipitation over the southern half of Alabama, with the northern counties just cold and dry. But I would not be surprised to see a northward shift in future runs, and there could very well be additional winter weather issues at some point Tuesday or Tuesday night somewhere across Alabama. For now we will mention a chance of light rain Tuesday, with potential for some light snow Tuesday night, but again this is very uncertain.

LATER NEXT WEEK: The GFS brings a clipper in here Thursday with a chance of more light snow during the morning hours; needless to way no need to worry about this now since it could come right off the board on future model runs. Take some time to watch the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

FIRST ALERT STORM TEAM TOUR: Our annual severe weather awareness tour across Alabama rolls along; we will be in Cordova next Thursday evening (the scheduled stop in Hanceville Tuesday evening is being postponed due to the nasty weather). Just drop by anytime from 4:00 until 6:30… you can watch me do weather live on ABC 33/40, get some free stuff to take home, and have a chance to win several NOAA Weather Radios we will be giving away. If you need your weather radio programmed or checked, bring it by and we will be glad to help.

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
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I have weather programs today at the Church of the Highlands in Irondale, and later at Hall Kent Elementary School in Homewood. Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon. Enjoy the day!

Categories: Weather

Evening Forecast Notes

Thu, 02/12/2015 - 22:13

We really had a great time and a huge crowd this evening over at Reform in Pickens County… thanks to everyone for their hospitality!

Let’s look ahead to the potential wintry weather situation for Alabama early next week….

ICY MONDAY: Confidence is increasing in the idea of a “wintry mix” over North and Central Alabama Monday morning. The new 00Z NAM model just in suggests the onset of the precipitation will come between 4 and 6 a.m., when surface temperatures will be below freezing.

It is impossible at this early stage of the game to try and identify the precipitation type and their locations, but one way or another this sure looks like it will impact travel for at least the first half of the day Monday with potential for ice on bridges, and perhaps some secondary roads. Icy travel problems seem likely from about 4:00 a.m. through 12:00 p.m. Monday, and mainly north of a line from Livingston to Eutaw to Marion to Clanton to Alexander City.

The precipitation should change to mainly rain over Alabama Monday afternoon, continuing Monday night and into Tuesday morning, although the are hints that freezing or frozen precipitation could continue across the Tennessee Valley of far North Alabama.

Then, during the day Tuesday as a surface low moves northeast and more cold air drops into the state, the rain could change to freezing rain, sleet, or snow on the back side of the departing system.

This could lead to more icy travel problems Tuesday afternoon, Tuesday night, and possibly into Wednesday morning.

The GFS model hints of some snow accumulation over North/Central Alabama…

That is model output, NOT a forecast… just an idea for now.

BOTTOM LINE: We have potential for hazardous winter driving conditions Monday morning, and then again Tuesday, Tuesday night, and possibly into Wednesday. We have a limited skill set in dealing with winter storms in Alabama five days in advance, so understand this forecast will probably change. We are just giving you a heads up to potential issues….

I will have a new Weather Xtreme video posted here by 7:00 a.m. tomorrow.

Categories: Weather

Winter Weather Issues Next Week

Thu, 02/12/2015 - 12:55

**No afternoon Weather Xtreme video today… we are on the road to Reform for the First Alert Storm Team tour**

COLD DAY: Despite the sunshine, temperatures are only in the low 40s across much of North/Central Alabama this afternoon with a chilly north wind. The wind will die down tonight, and it will be cold with temperatures down in the low 20s early tomorrow.

TOMORROW/SATURDAY These two days will be dry and sunny; the high tomorrow will be in the mid 40s, but we will rise to near 60 degrees Saturday afternoon as the weekend begins. No doubt it will be the warmest day over the weekend.

SUNDAY: Much colder air blows in here Sunday; we won’t get past the mid 30s with a chilly north wind. Clouds increase Sunday night ahead of a southern branch wave that promises to bring some winter weather woes to parts of the Deep South early next week.

TWO WINDOWS OF CONCERN: The new GFS reveals two potential issues… The first comes Monday when the precipitation begins. This will most like begin as a “wintry mix” of sleet, snow, and maybe even some freezing rain.

With cold air in place, travel impact is possible, generally before 12:00 noon.

It all changes to rain late Monday afternoon, continuing Monday night and Tuesday morning. Strong storms might even be in the mix for South Alabama.

ISSUE NUMBER TWO: As a surface low moves northeast, colder air will spill into Alabama, and the rain will change to snow over at least the northern half of the state late Tuesday afternoon and Tuesday night.

Way too early for an accumulation forecast, but again there will potential for icy travel, especially on bridges.

Understand there is still a good of uncertainty in the forecast, and there will be changes. It remains to be seen if these will be “high impact” events, or a minor nuisance. We will keep a close eye on the situation.

Wednesday will be cold with a few morning snow flurries; we won’t get out of the 30s with a chilly north wind.

FIRST ALERT STORM TEAM TOUR: Our annual severe weather awareness tour across Alabama rolls along; we will be in Reform this evening. Just drop by anytime from 4:00 until 6:30… you can watch me do weather live on ABC 33/40, get some free stuff to take home, and have a chance to win several NOAA Weather Radios we will be giving away. If you need your weather radio programmed or checked, bring it by and we will be glad to help.

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

Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 7:00 a.m. tomorrow…

Categories: Weather

Much Colder Today; Some Snow Next Week?

Thu, 02/12/2015 - 07:17

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.

WINTER ISN’T OVER: Much colder air will blow into Alabama today; we won’t get past the low 40s this afternoon with a strong northwest wind of 15-25 mph making it feel colder. But, the air is dry and we will see a mostly sunny sky. The wind will die down tonight, and by early tomorrow we project a low around 20 degrees for most places, but the colder spots will head down into the mid to upper teens.

TOMORROW/SATURDAY: These two days will feature a sunny sky; the high Friday will be in the mid 40s, but model guidance is trending warmer Saturday, with the GFS now suggesting we could reach the low 60s Saturday afternoon. No doubt that will be the nicest day over the weekend, and that one day warm-up will be very short lived.

COLD AIR BLAST SUNDAY: An Arctic front will pass through in dry fashion Saturday night, and Sunday will be breezy and much colder with a high only in the mid 30s. The wind chill index will drop down into the single digits early Sunday morning across North/Central Alabama as winter makes another comeback. The air will be dry and the sky will stay mostly sunny.

WINTER MISCHIEF NEXT WEEK? A storm system in the southern branch of the jet stream will bring weeping and gnashing of teeth in weather offices across the Deep South. Here are the highlights…

MONDAY: Models are trending faster, bringing in precipitation during the day Monday. The air should be cold enough for sleet, and maybe even a snow flake or two Monday as this event begins. Timing is the key; if the precipitation begins Monday morning, there could be a short window for icy bridges over North Alabama. However, the most likely ETA will be during the midday hours when temperatures rise above freezing with no travel impact. We will need to keep a close eye on this; but for now I think the sleet that falls Monday will not create a significant travel impact.

MONDAY NIGHT/TUESDAY: Very wet with rain and a few thunderstorms. The GFS brings a 1000 mb surface low right through North/Central Alabama with potential for over one inch of rain, and maybe even a few strong thunderstorms over the southern half of the state. Confidence is high for this part of the forecast; we should reach the 50s Tuesday afternoon as the rain falls.

TUESDAY NIGHT AND WEDNESDAY: As the surface low pulls away to the northeast, much colder air will drop into the state, and there is a good chance the rain changes to light snow. The main window for now will come from about 12 midnight Tuesday night to 12 noon Wednesday. Traditionally, on the back side of a departing storm system, snow accumulation isn’t very big, but it is certainly possible, and it could bring travel issues for Wednesday morning over about the northern half of the state, mainly on bridges as temperatures plunge.

UNDERSTAND: This event is 5-6 days away, and there is no way to resolve specific details, or provide a specific accumulation/impact forecast now. Just keep an eye on these blog discussions and you will be informed.

Wednesday will be very cold, with temperatures having a hard time getting above freezing with snow flurries possible through the day. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

FIRST ALERT STORM TEAM TOUR: Our annual severe weather awareness tour across Alabama rolls along; we will be in Reform this evening. Just drop by anytime from 4:00 until 6:30… you can watch me do weather live on ABC 33/40, get some free stuff to take home, and have a chance to win several NOAA Weather Radios we will be giving away. If you need your weather radio programmed or checked, bring it by and we will be glad to help.

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

Due to the travel to Pickens County this afternoon, I won’t be able to crank out an afternoon video, but I will have fresh forecast notes posted by 4:00. Enjoy the day!

Categories: Weather

Much Colder Tomorrow

Wed, 02/11/2015 - 16:45

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.

WONDERFUL WINTER DAY: It has been a day of blue sky and sunshine across the great state of Alabama, and temperatures are in the 59-63 degree range at most places this afternoon. I hope you are enjoying it, because much colder air blows in here tomorrow.

WINDY/COLDER: The high tomorrow will be only in the low 40s despite a mostly sunny sky, and a brisk north wind of 15-25 mph will make it feel colder. The wind will calm down tomorrow night, and by early Friday we will be in the 17-21 degree range. Friday will be cold and dry with a good supply of sunshine and a high in the mid 40s.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: A one day warm-up is likely Saturday; with sunshine in full supply we will rise into the mid 50s by afternoon, but another dry Arctic front will pass through Saturday night, and Sunday will be one of the coldest days so far this winter. The latest GFS run (12Z) is printing a high of only 33 for Birmingham Sunday afternoon… many communities to the north won’t get out of the 20s. The wind chill index early Sunday morning will drop into the sub-zero range over Northeast Alabama, and will be close to zero at Birmingham. But at least the air will be dry and the day will be mostly sunny, despite the Arctic cold.

TRICKY FORECAST NEXT WEEK: As discussed here this morning, next week’s forecast is a challenge. Monday will be dry with a high in the upper 40s, and a wave in the southern branch of the jet stream will bring clouds in here Monday night. Confidence is high in a rain event Tuesday as a surface low passes just north of Alabama. Then, Tuesday night and early Wednesday, as colder air flows into the state, the rain could change to a “wintry mix” of sleet, freezing rain, or snow over the northern half of the state before it ends.

The idea of a second wave coming in during the day Wednesday is “off the table” for now… so at the moment it looks like the main risk of winter weather mischief for North Alabama will come Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. There is no skill in a specific impact forecast this far in advance, just something to watch. We could see nothing more than a few flurries, or there could be some light accumulation. For now, the highest risk of accumulation is north of Alabama…

Take some time to watch the Weather Xtreme video for the maps, graphics, and more details.

FIRST ALERT STORM TEAM TOUR: Our annual severe weather awareness tour across Alabama rolls along; we will be in Reform tomorrow evening. Just drop by anytime from 4:00 until 6:30… you can watch me do weather live on ABC 33/40, get some free stuff to take home, and have a chance to win several NOAA Weather Radios we will be giving away. If you need your weather radio programmed or checked, bring it by and we will be glad to help.

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 everyone today at the ALAGASCO service center in Pell City… look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 7:00 a.m. tomorrow…

Categories: Weather

One Day Warm-Up; Much Colder Tomorrow

Wed, 02/11/2015 - 07:19

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.

NICE WARM-UP TODAY: We are starting the day with temperatures generally in the 26-32 degree range, but with sunshine in full supply we project a high in the low 60s this afternoon. It will be the warmest day out of the next seven.

SHARPLY COLDER TOMORROW: A cold front will pass through in dry fashion tonight, and tomorrow will be windy and colder with a high only in the low 40s; a northwest wind averaging 15-25 mph will make it feel colder. The wind will die down tomorrow night, and by Friday morning we project a low between 17 and 22 degrees across North/Central Alabama. Friday will remain cold and dry with a high in the low to mid 40s.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: We start it off with a sunny day on Saturday; the morning low will be in the 20s, and we will rise to near 50 degrees by afternoon. Then, yet another dry cold front blasts through Saturday night, and Sunday promises to be a very frigid day. We start the day somewhere between 15 and 20, and the high will be only in the mid 30s despite a sunny sky. Just about everybody north of Birmingham will stay below freezing all day.

By daybreak Monday we will drop into the 15-20 degree range again with a clear sky and light wind.

TRICKY FORECAST NEXT WEEK: The forecast next week is a can of worms with little confidence in any specific solution as a cold, unsettled pattern develops. Clouds will increase late Monday ahead of a wave in the southern branch of the jet stream, and we will forecast periods of rain on Tuesday with a surface low passing just north of the state.

Here are the two forecast challenges…

*Will there be a change from rain to snow Tuesday night? Colder air will be pulled into the state in the wake of the surface low passage, and this is a possibility. However, for now I think the logical forecast is just to mention a chance of snow flurries over the northern third of the state with little impact. There is basically no consistency in the track of the surface low at this point, however. Some light accumulation could occur somewhere over North Alabama, or there could be no snow at all.

*Will a second wave bring snow to Alabama Wednesday? The 06Z GFS shows a decent snow event for much of Alabama Wednesday afternoon and evening with Arctic air in place. However, often with cold air over Alabama these waves are shunted well to the south, and we wind up with nothing.

As the graphic says, this is NOT a forecast, just an idea to watch in coming days. We really won’t have much clarity in the situation until the weekend, and there is a real chance Alabama will not see any significant snow. But, at least the snow lovers have some hope here. Take some time to watch the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

FIRST ALERT STORM TEAM TOUR: Our annual severe weather awareness tour across Alabama rolls along; we will be in Reform tomorrow evening. Just drop by anytime from 4:00 until 6:30… you can watch me do weather live on ABC 33/40, get some free stuff to take home, and have a chance to win several NOAA Weather Radios we will be giving away. If you need your weather radio programmed or checked, bring it by and we will be glad to help.

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 have a severe weather safety program today at ALAGASCO in Pell City… look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon. Enjoy the day!

Categories: Weather

Pleasant Tomorrow; Much Colder Thursday

Tue, 02/10/2015 - 14:55

**No afternoon Weather Xtreme video today; we are in Winfield for the First Alert Storm Team tour**

BLUE SKY AND SUNSHINE: After some stubborn clouds this morning, the sky is bright and sunny across the great state of Alabama this afternoon with temperatures in the 40s. We expect a clear, cold night ahead with a low near the freezing mark early tomorrow.

Then, we warm nicely during the day tomorrow with most communities enjoying a high in the low 60s. It will be our warmest day out of the next seven.

COLD AIR BLAST THURSDAY: A cold front comes through in dry fashion tomorrow night, and Thursday will be cold and blustery with a high only in the low 40s along with a chilly north wind of 15-25 mph. By daybreak Friday, we project lows in the 17-22 degree range for most of North/Central Alabama. Friday will be sunny but cold with a high in the mid 40s.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Saturday will be cold and dry with a good supply of sunshine and a high in the 43-48 degree range. Then, yet another Arctic front passes through Saturday night, and Sunday looks like one of the colder days so far this winter. Despite a sunny sky, we will have a hard time getting past the mid 30s, and most places north of Birmingham will stay below freezing all day. The latest GFS is printing a low of 17 degrees for Birmingham early Sunday morning.

NEXT WEEK: Monday morning will feature another very significant freeze with a low down in the upper teens. Then, the day Monday will be partly sunny with a high in the mid 40s. A wave in the southern branch of the jet stream will bring our next chance of rain on Tuesday; the latest GFS run hints that there could be a window for the rain to change to snow Tuesday night as colder air moves into the state; way to early to know if this will happen at all. Just an idea worth watching in coming days.

FIRST ALERT STORM TEAM TOUR: Our annual severe weather awareness tour across Alabama rolls along; we will be in Winfield this evening. Just drop by anytime from 4:00 until 6:30… you can watch me do weather live on ABC 33/40, get some free stuff to take home, and have a chance to win several NOAA Weather Radios we will be giving away. If you need your weather radio programmed or checked, bring it by and we will be glad to help.

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 6th graders today at Clay Chalkville Middle School… and I hope to see many of you at Winfield this evening. The next Weather Xtreme video will be posted here by 7:00 a.m. tomorrow…

Categories: Weather

Cooler Today; Much Colder Thursday

Tue, 02/10/2015 - 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.

COOL CHANGE: The sky is clear across the great state of Alabama this morning, and most communities are in the 30s. We project a high in the low 50s today with sunshine in full supply. Tomorrow will be warmer, and should be the most pleasant day of the week as we rise into the low 60s with a sunny sky.

MUCH COLDER THURSDAY: A strong north wind will usher in much colder air Thursday; the sky will be partly sunny, and we won’t get past the low 40s. Some communities north of Birmingham won’t make it out of the 30s Thursday afternoon. The wind will die down Thursday night, and the low early Friday will be in the 17-21 degree range over North/Central Alabama. Then, Friday will be another cold and dry day with a high in the low 40s.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Saturday will be a bright, sunny day… we begin with a low in the 20s, and the high Saturday afternoon will be in the upper 40s. Then, another surge of very cold air blows in here Saturday night. We drop into the 16-21 degree range at daybreak Sunday, and with a strong north wind the wind chill index will go down into the single digits.

Despite a sunny sky, we won’t get past the mid 30s Sunday afternoon, and many places north of Birmingham will stay below freezing all day. And, it looks more and more like Monday will be the coldest morning when we project a low between 12 and 18 degrees.

NEXT WEEK: Clouds increase Monday night, and rain returns to Alabama Tuesday (it will be warm enough for just rain by then). Then, colder and drier air returns at mid-week on Wednesday. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

FIRST ALERT STORM TEAM TOUR IN WINFIELD THIS EVENING: Our annual severe weather awareness tour across Alabama rolls along; we will be in Winfield this evening. Just drop by anytime from 4:00 until 6:30… you can watch me do weather live on ABC 33/40, get some free stuff to take home, and have a chance to win several NOAA Weather Radios we will be giving away. If you need your weather radio programmed or checked, bring it by and we will be glad to help.

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
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I have a weather program today at Clay-Chalkville Middle School, and then I will be on to Winfield for tonight’s stop on the First Alert Storm Team tour. Just one video today… but I will post forecast notes by 4:00 this afternoon. Enjoy the day!

Categories: Weather

WeatherBrains 472: Kickapoo Puddle

Tue, 02/10/2015 - 05:00

WeatherBrains Episode 472 is now online (February 9, 2015). If you are crazy about weather, this is THE netcast audio program for you!

Tonight’s Guest WeatherBrain is Jeff Tongue, the Science and Operations Officer at the NWS Upton NY, which serves New York City. He is also an Assistant Professor at Suffolk Community College and a Lecturer at Stonybrook University.

Our email bag officer is continuing to handle the incoming messages from our listeners.

From The Weather Center:

WeatherBrains 101:

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.

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

Picks of the Week:

Nate Johnson – Send In The Weathermen

Bill Murray – Why Weather Predictions Will Never Be Perfect

Brian Peters – Around the World Solar-powered Flight

John Scala – Researchers link Smoke to Tornado Intensity

Kevin Selle – Northeast Blizzard from Boston Globe

Rick Smith – Adaptable NWS Forecast/Warning/Observation Widget and Web Page

James Spann – NWS Enhanced Data Display (EDD)

Aubrey Urbanowicz – NASA’s New Solarium

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

Much Colder Air Arrives Thursday

Mon, 02/09/2015 - 16:25

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.

PLEASANT AFTERNOON: We actually have a few isolated showers near the Georgia border, but elsewhere dry air is working into the state with some sunshine at most locations. The air north of Birmingham is much colder; Haleyville reports only 48 degrees at 2:00, while Birmingham was at 63 and Tuscaloosa was enjoying 69 degrees. The cooler air will overspread the state tonight as the sky becomes clear.

TOMORROW AND WEDNESDAY: These days will be dry with a good supply of sunshine; tomorrow will be cooler with a high in the low 50s. Then, we rise into the low 60s Wednesday, which should be the nicest day of the week.

COLD AIR BLOWS IN THURSDAY: A cold front will pass through in dry fashion early Thursday morning; the day Thursday will be cold and blustery, with a partly sunny sky and a high only in the low 40s. Some communities north of Birmingham might have a hard time getting out of the 30s.

Friday morning will feature a very significant freeze, with a low in the 17-22 degree range. The day Friday will be cold and dry with a sunny sky and a high in the mid 40s.

ANOTHER COLD SHOT SUNDAY: Saturday will be a sunny day with a high in the upper 40s, but another shot of very cold, Arctic air arrives Saturday night, and by early Sunday morning we are now projecting lows between 12 and 17 degrees across North/Central Alabama. Despite sunshine in full supply, we will barely get above the freezing mark Sunday afternoon with a high in the mid 30s.

NEXT WEEK: We begin to warm up a bit Monday with a high back in the 40s, and the next chance of rain will come on Tuesday. See the Weather Xtreme video for the maps, graphics, and more details.

FIRST ALERT STORM TEAM TOUR: Our annual severe weather awareness tour across Alabama rolls along; we will be in Winfield tomorrow evening. Just drop by anytime from 4:00 until 6:30… you can watch me do weather live on ABC 33/40, get some free stuff to take home, and have a chance to win several NOAA Weather Radios we will be giving away. If you need your weather radio programmed or checked, bring it by and we will be glad to help.

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…

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I enjoyed seeing 6th and 7th graders at Helena Middle School this morning… along with the 3rd graders at Rock Quarry Elementary in Tuscaloosa… Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 7:00 a.m. tomorrow…

Categories: Weather

Wrong Way Temperatures

Mon, 02/09/2015 - 11:22

It’s another one of “those” days where the temperature is actually going the wrong direction – down instead of up – or holding steady. Here’s a graph of the temperatures for the last 24 hours from my weather station. At the Birmingham Shuttlesworth International Airport, the high for the day so far occurred at 12:01 am when the temperature was 63 degrees. Since then the temperature has fallen to a current reading of 57 degrees where it has been hold steady. The reason for the temperatures to hold steady or go down is the passage of a cold front which is ushering in cold air. We could conceivably go up a few degrees since we will see the sun this afternoon, but I don’t expect temperatures to climb much since the warming of the sun will be offset by the cold air advection.

Being curious since we’ve seen this happen a number of times in 2015, I decided to check the weather observations for all of 2015 at the Birmingham airport to see how many times our daily high was lower than 50 degrees, using that as my idea of a cold day. I figured this would be a good bellwether as to how cold it has been so far this year. According to the data from the National Weather Service, the high has been below 50 degrees 13 times in 2015 including four days in which the high temperature for the day did not get out of the 30s. Brrr!!! January 23rd was an interesting day because the high was 49 and the low was 40, so we didn’t get out of the forties all day!

My interest in how cold it has been was piqued when I checked the GFS MOS values for Birmingham this morning. GFS stands for Global Forecast System which is the premiere US weather forecasting model, and MOS stands for Model Output Statistics which is a bunch of numbers showing anticipated highs and lows among other things. The GFS MOS this morning showed a 13 degree low for Birmingham on Sunday morning, February 15th. That seemed pretty cold so I checked and found out the record low for February 15 in Birmingham is 15. If the GFS MOS forecast verifies, we’ll set a new record low.

-Brian-

Categories: Weather

Showers End Early; Some Sun Later Today

Mon, 02/09/2015 - 07:17

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 rain falling over parts of Central Alabama early this morning… mostly south and east of Birmingham.

These rain showers will be into Georgia by mid-morning, and some parts of the state could see a little sunshine this afternoon as drier air enters the state. Temperatures won’t change much today; we will stay in the mid to upper 50s through the afternoon… some spots could reach the low 60s, not quite as mild as recent days.

TOMORROW/WEDNESDAY: Expect a good supply of sunshine on these two days; tomorrow will be cooler with a high in the low to mid 50s… then we rise into the low 60s Wednesday afternoon, which should be the nicest day of the week.

COLD FRONT ARRIVES THURSDAY: A cold front will blow through early Thursday morning, and the day will be windy and colder with a high in the mid 40s along with a chilly north wind. The wind dies down Thursday night, and we project a low between 18 and 23 degrees early Friday morning. Then, Friday will be cold and dry with a good supply of sunshine and a high in the mid 40s.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Saturday will be another cold and dry day; we begin with a low in the 20s, and the high Saturday afternoon will be in the mid 40s. Then, an Arctic front will move through in dry fashion Saturday night, and Sunday will be even colder. The GFS is printing a low of 13 degrees for Birmingham at daybreak Sunday, followed by a high only in the upper 30s.

NEXT WEEK: Monday morning will feature another very significant freeze, then we warm into the low 50s Monday afternoon with a good supply of sunshine. The GFS hints that our next chance of rain will come on Tuesday… see the Weather Xtrme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

FIRST ALERT STORM TEAM TOUR: Our annual severe weather awareness tour across Alabama rolls along; we will be in Winfield tomorrow evening. Just drop by anytime from 4:00 until 6:30… you can watch me do weather live on ABC 33/40, get some free stuff to take home, and have a chance to win several NOAA Weather Radios we will be giving away. If you need your weather radio programmed or checked, bring it by and we will be glad to help.

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

Busy day ahead with weather programs at Helena Middle School in Shelby County, and Rock Quarry Elementary in Tuscaloosa. Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon… enjoy the day!

Categories: Weather

NOAA DSCOVR Launch

Sun, 02/08/2015 - 16:09

* * * Mission was scrubbed for today – unsure when launch will be rescheduled * * *

Here is a picture of NOAA’s Discover satellite sitting on the launch pad waiting for a launch at 5:10 pm CST today. All systems were go for the launch and weather was just about perfect.

The Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) is a satellite designed to monitor and warn of harmful solar activity that could impact Earth. It was originally schedule for launch on January 23, 2015.

DSCOVR arrived in Florida November 20, 2014. Clearing the Operational Readiness Review certified DSCOVR had a successful assessment of its ground system readiness, flight concept of operations, project management, operations and sustainment plans, safety and mission assurance, system design, technical management, training and product validation.

NOAA will manage the DSCOVR mission, giving advanced warning of approaching solar storms. NASA, funded by NOAA, refurbished the DSCOVR satellite and instruments, which were in storage for several years. The U.S. Air Force is funding and overseeing the launch of DSCOVR, which will be aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources.

-Brian-

Categories: Weather

Mix of Sun/Clouds but Still Warm

Sun, 02/08/2015 - 15:48

Clouds rolled in across Central Alabama this morning. Much of Central Alabama started the day with sunshine, but clouds moved into the state from west to east. Even with the clouds, there were occasional breaks in those clouds so the sunshine has managed to peek through from time to time. See the latest visible satellite image below.

Even though the clouds have blocked some sunshine, temperatures managed to climb well into the 60s with some spots topping out at 70 degrees.

A cold front is forecast to move into the the northwest corner of Alabama around sunrise on Monday and move briskly through the state. There could be some showers with the cold front, however, at this writing there were no showers showing up on radars across the Southeast US. Any rainfall that does occur will be small. Temperatures Monday are likely to to heading in the wrong direction with pretty good cold air advection we may see our high for the day shortly after midnight tonight with temperatures steady or falling during the late morning and afternoon.

-Brian-

Categories: Weather

Clouds But Another Warmish Day

Sun, 02/08/2015 - 08:10

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.

Moisture returns today in the form of clouds ahead of a developing cold front along with fog across Southeast Alabama. So it won’t be quite as pretty as we had yesterday, but we should still be warmer than our average highs for early February with highs in the middle and upper 60s. A developing cold front to the northwest of us will move fairly quickly through Central Alabama on Monday bringing us a pretty good shot at showers, but with the front moving through quickly I do not expect to see more than about a quarter to a third of an inch for rainfall. But cold air behind the front will lower temperatures for Tuesday as we clear out with highs only in the lower 50s.

Weak ridging develops aloft for Tuesday and Wednesday, but by Thursday a strong short wave is going to dig out a deep trough over the eastern third of the country. This brings yet another front through the Southeast on Thursday that will drop us into the deep freeze by Friday with highs only in the 40s. This front appears likely to come through without the benefit of much moisture, so it looks like we’ll just see some clouds with very little chance at rain or showers.

Surface high pressure settles into the area on Friday and Saturday with a long wave trough taking up residence over the eastern third of the country which will keep us fairly chilly into the weekend with highs rising only to about 50 degrees and lows in the 20s.

Looking ahead into Week 2, the GFS keeps a cold look to the pattern, but instead of the long wave trough over the eastern US, the GFS moves the trough westward over the Central Plains states. The GFS still shows some winter mischief around the 18th/19th of February for parts of the Southeast US. While there is some consistency to the idea of winter weather issues, there has not been consistency to when, so confidence is not very good on this actually happening. With the idea of a fairly cold pattern for Week 2, we will have to be vigilant for something to sneak up on us.

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)

I sure hope you have been able to enjoy the weekend. James Spann will be back with the next edition of the Weather Xtreme Video first thing Monday morning. Don’t forget to catch all of the First Alert Storm Team meteorologists with our severe weather awareness stops this Tuesday at Winfield and Thursday at Reform from 4 pm to 6:30 pm. Godspeed.

-Brian-

Categories: Weather

Sunny Sky; Spring-like Temps

Sat, 02/07/2015 - 14:45

The Alabama sky is filled with sunshine galore today, as hardly a cloud can be found in the beautiful, cobalt blue sky this afternoon. It is a gorgeous weekend of weather across the state and we will stay dry and pleasant well into our Sunday. Certainly any outdoor plans you have will have no problems courtesy of the weather this weekend.

Under the sunny sky, we are seeing a bit of a southerly flow. That is allowing warm air to move and we are seeing spring-like temps across the state. Early this afternoon, there are plenty of soothing 60s across the state. Over the next few hours, we should continue to see these temps climb a few more degrees and most locations should reach the mid to upper 60s. Heading into the overnight hours, we can expect another clear night, but temps will be warmer than last night. Most locations I think will stay in the lower 40s, but of course there will be some areas that will be back in the 30s.

If you like today, the you are going to love tomorrow. A few subtle differences; expect a few more clouds to be possible, especially late in the day, and the temperatures will be a few degrees warmer. I think the weather maps across Central Alabama tomorrow will have 70s on them.

Categories: Weather

Warmer for the Weekend

Sat, 02/07/2015 - 08:27

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.

If you like sunshine and a warming trend, you will like today. We have started the day out on a chilly note with morning lows dipping back into the 20s once again. But with a clear sky today we should see highs climbing nearly 35 degrees with highs reaching the lower and middle 60s across Central Alabama.

The good weather continues into Sunday, but we will see more clouds as clouds increase ahead of another cold front that is expected to traverse Central Alabama on Monday. Rain chances on Monday with the front will be low as most spots stay dry, but you might see a little rain. The cool down will last into Tuesday, but we should see a nice warmup by Wednesday as sunshine returns in full force and we see highs reach back into the lower 60s.

A very strong trough will dig into the eastern US Thursday plunging us back into cold weather for the end of the week and the start of next weekend. Looks like we will see mainly clouds with this system, too, but there will be some chance for rain as moisture again remains limited.

The long wave trough position becomes established over the eastern third of the US, so we are going to stay cold as we end the week ahead and move out into the first days of voodoo country. It looks like Week 2 or voodoo land will be dominated by the trough over the eastern third of the country. The GFS even shows some potential winter mischief around the 17th of February as the pattern remains cold. But we should see a warmup by the end of Week 2 as ridging replaces the deep trough around the 21st and 22nd.

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)

Be sure to catch the First Alert Storm Team Tour this coming week as we make stops at Winfield on Tuesday and Reform on Thursday. I expect to post the next Weather Xtreme Video first thing on Sunday morning by about 8 am or so. Enjoy the lovely day today and Godspeed.

-Brian-

Categories: Weather

Weekend Warm-Up Ahead

Fri, 02/06/2015 - 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.

FEBRUARY CAN MAKE YOU SHIVER: Some temperatures just before daybreak…

Black Creek (just northeast of Gadsden) 13
Valley Head 14
Fort Payne 16
Gadsden 18
Cullman 18
Concord 18
Haleyville 18
Center Point 21
Fayette 22
Bessemer 22
Birmingham 22
Anniston 22
Tuscaloosa 25

The good news is that we warm up nicely today with a bright sunny sky, and most communities will see a high in the mid 50s this afternoon.

WEEKEND WARM-UP: Expect another sunny day tomorrow with a high in the low 60s, and we reach the mid 60s Sunday afternoon with a mix of sun and clouds. A clipper will pass northeast of Alabama Sunday night, dragging a cold front through here. This could squeeze out a few sprinkles Sunday night or Monday morning, but it looks like most communities won’t get enough rain to measure.

NEXT WEEK: Lots of sunshine Tuesday and Wednesday; the high Tuesday will be in the upper 50s, followed by mid 60s Wednesday. Then, a cold front passes through early Thursday morning, followed by colder air Thursday and Friday when highs drop into the 40s. Friday morning will be cold with a low down into the 20-25 degree range, with upper teens for colder pockets (much like this morning). See the Weather Xtreme video for the maps, graphics, and more details.

FIRST ALERT STORM TEAM TOUR: Our annual severe weather awareness tour across Alabama rolls along; we will be in Winfield Tuesday evening of next week. Just drop by anytime from 4:00 until 6:30… you can watch me do weather live on ABC 33/40, get some free stuff to take home, and have a chance to win several NOAA Weather Radios we will be giving away. If you need your weather radio programmed or checked, bring it by and we will be glad to help.

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

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

Categories: Weather