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Turn Around, Don’t Drown!

| 4:51 pm May 28, 2015

Numerous thunderstorms have developed this afternoon from the Jacksonville and Oxford areas in Calhoun County down to Ashland in Clay County to Alexander City in Tallapoosa County to Wetumpka. They are especially widespread between Wetumpka and Montgomery, Auburn and Valley.


They are producing intense lightning, torrential rains and some gusty winds. They have become especially intense from north of Alex City to Deatsville thanks to some outflow boundaries from storms to the north intersecting with the storms.

Nothing severe at this time, although we can’t rule out an isolated warning or two. Heavy rainfall and flooding is the main concern.

Areal flood advisories have been posted for Calhoun County and Montgomery County. In those areas, over 1.5 inches of rain may have fallen in an hour.

in Birmingham, heavy rain over the mountain and on the Northside has caused flooding. Messer Airport Highway is severely flooded under the railroad viaducts between 31st and 33rd streets. From our Cynthia Gould at 3340 (@Cynthia3340).


Remember, turn around, don’t drown!


Tropical Downpours This Afternoon

| 3:25 pm May 28, 2015

RADAR CHECK: Showers and storms are moving northeast across Alabama this afternoon; it isn’t raining everywhere, but the stronger thunderstorms are producing torrential rain producing some flooding; this was along Rocky Ridge Road in Hoover earlier this afternoon (photo from @ayharvey)


Severe storms are not expected this afternoon, but the heavier storms will produce gusty winds and frequent lightning in addition to the heavy rain.

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Rain will taper off this evening, and we will be generally dry overnight.

TOMORROW: It is that time of the year when moist, maritime tropical air covers Alabama almost every day, so warm and muggy conditions continue, and scattered showers and storms remain possible. They should be more scattered in nature tomorrow, and mostly during the afternoon and evening hours. Temperatures should rise into the mid 80s tomorrow afternoon with a mix of sun and clouds.

THE WEEKEND: Not much change. The sun will be out at times Saturday and Sunday; highs will remain in the mid 80s, and on both days there will be a risk of scattered showers and thunderstorms, most likely between 2:00 and 8:00 p.m. Very routine weather for the end of May in Alabama.

And, no overall change through most of next week. Partly sunny, warm, humid days with the risk of scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms.Take some time to read this essay I wrote a few years ago about summer weather forecasts in Alabama.

GULF COAST WEATHER: About 7 to 9 hours of sunshine each day through early next week with the daily risk of widely scattered showers and thunderstorms from Panama City west to Gulf Shores. Highs on the immediate coast will be in the low 80s, and the sea water temperature this afternoon at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab is 79 degrees.

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…

Google Plus

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


Flooding in Birmingham

| 3:23 pm May 28, 2015

Some areas in Birmingham are reporting flooding from this afternoon’s heavy thunderstorm that dumped as much as 1.5 to 2 inches of rain in just one hour according to Doppler radar estimates. The heaviest rain fell in the Hoover/Vestavia areas and in areas just north of downtown Birmingham.

John Talbot just reported that there was a Birmingham FD water rescue going on off Norwood Blvd in North Birmingham.

Here is a picture of Rocky Ridge Road from a short time ago via @ayharvey on Twitter. Remember, turn around, don’t drown!


The NWS has issued an areal flood advisory. It is outlined in the green on top of the Doppler one hour radar estimates. The outline is difficult to see because of the color.



Wet Afternoon Shaping Up For Birmingham Metro

| 2:42 pm May 28, 2015


A warm, moist and unstable airmass covers Central Alabama early this afternoon and thunderstorms have been developing near a surface trough as morning sunshine pushed the mercury to the point that convection could occur.

The storms are not severe. There is little wind shear, in fact hardly enough to keep them organized. Can’t rule out an isolated wind damage report or two with some of the stronger storms, but the threat is small.

But the storms do have a lot of very heavy rain, dangerous lightning and some gusty winds with them.

The area from Bibb up through eastern Tuscaloosa, Jefferson, Shelby and Chilton Counties will see a couple of rounds of showers and storms for the next couple of hours, so be alert for the potential for minor flooding.


Showers and Storms Firing Up

| 12:55 pm May 28, 2015

Showers and storms are starting to fire in an area of surface convergence generally along and just south of I-20 that is associated with a weak surface trough.


All morning, we have been tracking showers and storms in a large mas over West Central Alabama. A smaller batch moved through Tuscaloosa earlier and now the larger batch is moving toward T-town. Tuscaloosa could get a lengthy steady to heavy rain. One half to one inch of rain is possible in one hour from this activity.

Now showers and storms are clumped in eastern Bibb and southwestern Shelby Counties and over northeastern Shelby and Talladega counties. This activity will push north at just under 20 mph and will affect areas west of I-65 in Jefferson County and areas from Moody and Pell City up to Springville.

Skies are cloudy across the area with a few breaks mainly over the eastern part of the area. Temperatures are mainly in the 70s except where additional sunshine has pushed the mercury into the 80s.


Blanket Of Moist Air Hangs Around

| 6:19 am May 28, 2015

AT DAYBREAK: All is quiet across Alabama this morning; the sky is cloudy and temperatures are between 65 and 70 degrees at most places. There is some light rain around Huntsville, otherwise the rest of the state is dry as the day begins.

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Another round of showers and storms is a good possibility this afternoon; not sure the rain will be as widespread as yesterday, but no doubt at least scattered showers and storms will form this afternoon in the moist environment across the state. The best chance of showers and storms will come in the 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. time frame, and while a strong storm is certainly possible, organized severe weather isn’t expected. The high today should be in the low 80s in most spots.

TOMORROW THROUGH SUNDAY: The overall pattern just won’t change much. Warm, humid days with a mix of sun and clouds, and each day the risk of scattered showers and thunderstorms, most likely during the afternoon and evening hours. Highs will be in the mid 80s, right at average values for the end of May. Showers and storms will tend to be pretty random; the chance of any one spot getting wet each day is around one in three.

And, that kind of weather will continue through much of next week as meteorological summer begins. Very routine for early June in Alabama. If you are new to our state, you might want to read this essay I wrote about summer weather forecasts here.


TROPICS: The Atlantic hurricane season begins Monday of next week, and the GFS is showing some hints of tropical mischief in the eastern Gulf of Mexico in about a week… see the Weather Xtreme video for maps and details.

GULF COAST WEATHER: About 7 to 9 hours of sunshine each day along the coast from Panama City west to Gulf Shores through early next week, with the daily risk of widely scattered showers and thunderstorms. Highs on the immediate coast will stay in the low 80s, and the sea water temperature early this morning at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab is 79 degrees.

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…

Google Plus

Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon… enjoy the day!


Rain, Storms Lifting Northeast

| 7:11 pm May 27, 2015

It is nice to see our old friend SimuAWIPS working again. It is a go to site for me for rapid analysis of the state of the atmosphere.

Here is the SimuAWIPS depiction of the radar across the Southeast in the large panel. You can clearly see the shield of rain and storms. If you look closely, you also see some curvature in the radar echoes over Mississippi. This is a weak surface low or mesoscale convective vortex that is moving to the northeast.

That little surface low was kicked up by a trough of low pressure in the mid-levels of the atmosphere that swept southeastward during the early morning hours out of Louisiana and across southern Mississippi.

There have been a few reports of trees down and isolated power outages with the storms this afternoon, but nothing serious. Torrential rains will cause minor flooding spots. There has already been flooding in Lamar County and an areal flood advisory has been posted for Talladega County. It is raining to beat the band in the city of Talladega right now.

Lots of lightning down there between Selma and Clanton will be lifting northeast and bringing very heavy rain, deadly lightning and gusty winds to Chilton, Coosa, Talladega and southeastern Shelby Counties for the next couple of hours. Shouldn’t become severe but will be packing a punch for sure.

The storms will continue to lift northeastward this evening, slowly weakening as they go. Parts of the area could get a few more hours of generally light to moderate rain. Here is the HRRR model radar simulation through the evening and overnight.


You can see that additional development is possible overnight, starting over southwestern sections around Demopolis around 10 p.m. and moving northeast, reaching Birmingham after midnight. Rainfall amounts will be generally light.

Reports indicate that flooding is pretty bad in Russellville in Franklin County where water is about to get into homes and a water rescue of a motorist is underway.

Here is a picture retweeted by meteorologist Ben Smith at WHNT in Huntsville of flooding along highway 43 in Russellville:



Scary Clouds

| 6:24 pm May 27, 2015

They are just that. Scary clouds.

Several people around The Summit have been observing menacing looking funnel like clouds to the south over Double Oak Mountain. Here is an example from @jmdrennen.


These are harmless scud clouds developing as air is lifted by the cooler, moist outflow of nearby storms. Cloud fragments, known as scud, will form in mid-air or under the base that can protrude downward, appearing to be a funnel cloud.

These false funnels are distinguishable from true funnel clouds or tornadoes because they will not be rotating. They are also more ragged and often rising and descending intermittently.