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Stormy Weather Pattern Through The Weekend

| January 19, 2017 @ 5:25 am

ACTIVE JANUARY WEATHER: We will be dealing with multiple rounds of rain and storms across Alabama through the weekend, with some potential for severe weather along the way.

TODAY/TONIGHT: SPC has parts of Central and South Alabama in a “marginal” risk for severe storms over the next 24 hours…

Rain is already falling over parts of the state this morning, and as an upper trough gets closer, rain and storms will be more widespread this afternoon and tonight. With this widespread rain, instability values will be limited, and with forecast soundings looking rather saturated, the overall severe weather threat seems pretty limited.

TIMING: Main window for the stronger storms will come from 3:00 this afternoon through about 12:00 midnight.

THREATS: Some of the heavier storms could produce gusty winds and small hail. The chance of a small tornado is pretty small, but not zero.

RAIN: Data from the RPM model suggests we could very well see some spots getting over 2 inches of rain over the next 24 hours, and if this verifies we could very well have some localized flash flooding problems. This looks to be more of a heavy rain event as opposed to a severe weather event.

Be sure you can hear severe weather warnings in the event they are needed later today and tonight.

TOMORROW AND THE WEEKEND: A complex severe weather pattern is setting up for Alabama, and we really need to get past the round of storms today and tonight before we can really be confident on forecasting timing of the various rounds of storms, and the overall magnitude of the event.

A deep upper trough with strong wind fields will approach from the west, and with high instability values, deep layer shear, and steep lapse rates, we will all have to pay close attention to the weather late tomorrow through Sunday morning. This is the current thinking on the timing…

ROUND ONE: The first round of severe storms is possible from about 9:00 p.m. tomorrow through 9:00 a.m. Saturday, generally over the southern half of the state. SPC has Southwest Alabama in the standard “slight risk”, with a “marginal risk” up to Tuscaloosa and Birmingham…

ROUND TWO: The air becomes very unstable by Saturday afternoon, and a few scattered severe storms are possible from about 2:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Saturday over the state, including North Alabama. This round is a little “iffy” with the best dynamics a little to the west; much will depend on how the “round one” event impacts the airmass over the state.

ROUND THREE: A final round is likely from about 12:00 midnight Saturday night through 9:00 a.m. Sunday; this is when the best dynamic forcing will be in place.

SPC has most of Alabama in the standard “slight risk” for Saturday, Saturday night, and early Sunday morning (the Day 3 outlook runs from 6:00 a.m. Saturday to 6:00 a.m. Sunday)…

All modes of severe weather will be possible with the weekend storms, including damaging straight line winds, hail, and tornadoes. We will be much more specific about the threat tomorrow morning, but just understand you will need to pay close attention to the weather over the weekend.

NEXT WEEK: Monday will be windy and cooler with clouds and some lingering light rain; the high will drop into the 50s. And, even colder air arrives later in the week with highs dropping into the 40s. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

As always, watch me for the full weather story on ABC 33/40 News this evening at 4, 5, 6, and 10:00!

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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Twitter
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Snapchat: spannwx

I am in Tampa this morning for a company meeting, but will return later today. Most likely I won’t be able to produce a video this afternoon, but we will have forecast notes and running updates on the thunderstorm situation. Keep a close eye on the blog during this active weather, and enjoy the day!

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Several Stormy Periods Ahead

| January 18, 2017 @ 2:44 pm

COOLER DAY: The sky is generally cloudy across North/Central Alabama this afternoon with temperatures in the mid 60s, about ten degrees cooler than yesterday, but still above average for mid to late January. Some communities up in the Tennessee Valley are holding in the 50s. Very little rain on radar.

The surface front over Central Alabama will slowly move northward as a warm front tonight and tomorrow, and with an approaching upper trough the stage is set for some active weather. SPC maintains a “marginal” severe weather risk for much of the state tomorrow afternoon and tomorrow night…

New model data suggests rain will move into the state around the midday hours tomorrow, with a fairly large rain mass over the state through the evening and into tomorrow night. This should limit the available instability and the overall severe weather threat despite good dynamic forcing.

TIMING: The primary chance of strong to severe storms will come from about 4:00 tomorrow afternoon through 2:00 a.m. Friday.

THREATS: The main issues will come from gusty thunderstorm winds and small hail. A brief tornado is possible, not not likely.

RAIN: Rain amounts of around one inch are likely; probably not enough for significant flooding issues.

Just be sure you are in a position to hear severe weather warnings in case they are needed. Hopefully we will get away with just a good rain event and not too many problems.

FRIDAY: Morning clouds will give way to a little afternoon sun, and temperatures should rise into the 70-75 degree range. Rain from the event tomorrow night should end during the pre-dawn hours Friday, with only isolated showers during the day.

MORE STORMS FOR THE WEEKEND: A complex storm system will impact Alabama over the weekend. Instability values will rise Saturday; surface based CAPE values could exceed 2,500 j/kg over Southwest Alabama, with values to 1,500 j/kg over the northern counties. While the main dynamics will be west of Alabama, with that much instability we could see a few strong to severe storms as early as Saturday afternoon. Seems like the higher severe weather coverage will come later Saturday night or Sunday as the big upper trough gets closer. This one will have strong wind fields, and it will need to be monitored closely in coming days.

But, understand it is simply too early to determine the timing and magnitude of the weekend severe weather threat. Once we get past the storms tomorrow night we will have a much better idea of what the atmosphere will look like Saturday and Sunday.

Additional rain amounts of 1-2 inches sure look likely over the weekend, bringing the storm totals to 3-4″ in spots across Alabama by Monday. Very beneficial for the drought stricken areas of North Alabama.

Just keep an eye on the blog for updates on the weekend situation over the next few days and we will be much more specific.

NEXT WEEK: Monday will be cloudy, windy, and much cooler with highs in the 50s and some lingering light rain at times. Then, late in the week, even colder air arrives with highs dropping into the 40s.

As always, watch me for the full weather story on ABC 33/40 News this evening at 4, 5, 6, and 10:00!

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
Snapchat: spannwx

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

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Cloudy & Cooler Across Much Of Central Alabama At Midday

| January 18, 2017 @ 11:59 am

Thanks to a weak surface front that moved through Central Alabama last night, temperatures will be running about 5-10 degrees cooler than highs on Tuesday. That front has stalled out over the central part of the state. Skies at the midday hour are mostly cloudy across much of the area, with a little less cloud cover in the southern locations in Central Alabama. There are a few scattered light showers out there mainly east of I-65 and south of I-20. These are moving off to the east.

For the remainder of the day across the area, the sky will be mostly cloudy and a little light rain is possible in spots, especially in the northeastern 2/3rds of the area, but most of the day will be dry. Afternoon highs will be in the mid 60s to the mid 70s across the area from north to south. Showers will be on the increase tonight, and a few thunderstorms will be possible as well. The risk of rain is small in the southeast, and increases as you move northwest. Lows will be in the lower 50s to the lower 60s across the area.

Temperatures Across Central Alabama
At 1:28 PM, temperatures are ranging from the mid 50s in the northern parts of the area, to the mid 70s in the southern parts of the area. The warm spot is currently Montgomery at 75 degrees. The cool spot is Haleyville at 55 degrees.

Birmingham’s Climatology And Records
The normal high for January 18th is 52, while the normal low is 32. The record high for today was set back in 1929 at 76 degrees. The record low was set back in 1977 at 6 degrees.

An Active Thursday Possible
The Storm Prediction Center has a “marginal” risk of severe storms for a decent part of Alabama tomorrow afternoon and into the early, pre-dawn hours on Friday. An upper trough will approach from the west tomorrow while the current surface front over Central Alabama lifts northward during the day, putting the state in an unstable airmass.

Fortunately, forecast soundings are fairly saturated. You usually need dry air in the mid levels for a big severe weather threat (the best convective instability occurs when dry mid-level air advects over warm and moist air in the lower troposphere).

The main window for strong to severe storms will come from about 4:00 PM tomorrow through 2:00 AM Friday, with the main threats including damaging straight line winds and small hail, although an isolated, brief tornado can’t be ruled out. Rain amounts of around one inch are likely. There could be some minor flooding issues, but major flash flooding is not expected. As always, be sure you have a way of getting severe weather warnings in the event they are needed tomorrow night.

For Those Who Are Beach Bound
Partly sunny days with mostly cloudy nights throughout the week, with a slight chance of rain each day through Wednesday, and increasing for the end of the week and weekend. Highs will be in the 70s, with lows in the 60s. Click here to see the Beach Forecast Center page.

National High & Low Temperature
The warmest high temperature for the United States on Tuesday was 87 degrees, recorded at McAllen, Texas). The coldest low temperature for the United States on Tuesday night into early this morning was -16 degrees, recorded at Big Piney, Wyoming.

On This Day In Weather History: 1988
A storm in the southwestern U.S. produced a 15 to 20 foot surf along the southern coast of California resulting in more than fifty million dollars damage. A small tornado in Orange County CA lifted a baseball dugout fifteen feet into the air and deposited it in the street, 150 yards away. The same storm also produced 26 inches of snow at Duck Creek UT.

Central Alabama Chapter Of The NWA
The Central Alabama Chapter of the National Weather Association will be hosting famed engineer and storm chaser Tim Marshall. He will speak at Vulcan Museum starting at 6:00 PM on the evening of Tuesday, January 24th. This is an event you won’t want to miss. Look for details on the chapter’s website.

Follow The Blog On Social Media
Remember that we are also on Facebook and on Twitter.

WeatherBrains
This is the weekly netcast that’s all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists at ABC 33/40. You can listen anytime on the web, or on iTunes. You can find it here.

Forecaster: Scott Martin (Twitter: @scottmartinwx)

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Central Alabama NWA Chapter Meeting With Guest Speaker Tim Marshall – Jan. 24th

| January 18, 2017 @ 11:00 am

Please make plans to attend the first meeting of 2017 on Tuesday, January 24th. The chapter is excited to have Tim Marshall as the guest speaker. Tim is a renowned speaker within the meteorological community and avid storm chaser. He will certainly have some incredible stories and images of his many days spent chasing tornadoes.

The meeting will take place in the conference room at Vulcan Park. The chapter will have a “Meet and Greet” from 6:00 PM until 6:30 PM and there will be some business items to discuss before Tim begins his presentation. Some light refreshments will be provided. The chapter is asking everyone for a $10 donation to help defray the costs of bringing in a speaker like Tim Marshall. Tim does not charge a speaker fee, but there are costs involved in bringing him from Dallas, Texas. The $10 donation will only be collected at the meeting location. However, if you pay your 2017 membership dues of $25, or $15 if you are a student, the $10 donation will be waived.

There are two ways to pay membership dues. You can pay your dues on the chapter’s website. It does use PayPal so there will be an additional small charge that goes directly to PayPal. You can also pay your membership dues when you arrive at the meeting. You can also RSVP here.

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Stormy Pattern For Alabama Through The Weekend

| January 18, 2017 @ 6:30 am

ACTIVE JANUARY WEATHER: We will have two different opportunities for strong to severe storms across Alabama over the next five days, but today will be relatively quiet. The sky will be mostly cloudy, and a little light rain is possible in spots, but most of the day will be dry and the high will be in the mid 60s, about ten degrees cooler than yesterday thanks to a weak surface front that slipped through last night.

TOMORROW: We have a “marginal” risk of severe storms for a decent part of Alabama tomorrow afternoon and tomorrow night as defined by SPC…

An upper trough will approach from the west tomorrow; the current surface front over Central Alabama will lift northward during the day, putting the state in an unstable airmass. Forecast soundings are fairly saturated; you usually need dry air in the mid levels for a big severe weather threat (the best convective instability occurs when dry mid-level air advects over warm and moist air in the lower troposphere).

Here are the details..

TIMING: The main window for strong to severe storms will come from about 4:00 p.m. tomorrow through 2:00 a.m. Friday.

THREATS: The main threats will come from damaging straight line winds and small hail, although an isolated, brief tornado can’t be ruled out.

RAIN: Rain amounts of around one inch are likely; some minor flooding issues are possible, but major flash flooding is not expected.

As always, be sure you have a way of getting severe weather warnings in the event they are needed tomorrow night.

FRIDAY: Rain moves out during the pre-dawn hours, and the sky should become partly sunny during the day with a high in the low 70s.

WEEKEND SEVERE WEATHER THREAT: A robust system will impact Alabama over the weekend. A deep upper low will set up west of the state with strong wind fields, and unstable air will build across the Deep South.

On Saturday, surface based CAPE values will rise to nearly 2,000 j/kg, very high for January, and during the afternoon and evening hours a few severe storms are possible. However the “main event” will most likely come late Saturday night into Sunday as the best dynamic support arrives. A deepening surface low will be over Arkansas, supported by a strong upper trough. Alabama will be in the “warm sector” of the storm with unstable air and severe storm potential.

Understand it is simply too early to be specific concerning timing and the magnitude of this event; we need to get past the round of storms tomorrow night before we can do this. We will get a good look at the state of the atmosphere Friday morning and give you some detailed forecast information then. For now, just understand we will have the risk of strong to severe storms over the weekend… no need to be alarmed, just be aware of the potential.

BENEFICIAL RAIN: Rain amounts could easily exceed three inches over much of the state by early next week from the multiple rounds of storms…. more good drought relief.

NEXT WEEK: Monday will be cloudy and much cooler with periods of light rain; the high will be in the 50-55 degree range. And, toward the end of the week, even colder air arrives with highs dropping into the 40s.

See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

As always, watch me for the full weather story on ABC 33/40 News this evening at 4, 5, 6, and 10:00!

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
Snapchat: spannwx

I will be traveling today; hopefully I will be able to post an afternoon Weather Xtreme video; if not I will write new forecast notes by 4:00. Enjoy the day!

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Several Stormy Periods Ahead For Alabama

| January 17, 2017 @ 3:18 pm

RADAR CHECK: We have a few scattered showers in progress across North Alabama this afternoon, but so far, as expected, rain amounts have been light and spotty…

We will maintain the chance of a few scattered showers tonight and tomorrow with a mostly cloudy sky. Slightly cooler air will filter in from the north tomorrow; the high will drop into the mid 60s, about ten degrees cooler than today.

STRONG STORMS THURSDAY/THURSDAY NIGHT: SPC has identified a “marginal” risk of severe storms for Southwest Alabama, roughly from Livingston and Eutaw south to Mobile…

A strong upper trough will approach, and rain and storms should be widespread across the state Thursday afternoon into Thursday night. There will be sufficient shear and instability for strong storms, with the main threat coming from gusty winds and small hail; core severe weather threat will likely stay over the southern half of the state, where instability values will be higher. The rain will be heavy at times, with amounts over one inch likely.

FRIDAY: Rain ends during the pre-dawn hours; the sky becomes partly sunny during the day. And, it stays rather warm for January with a high exceeding 70 degrees once again.

STORMY WEEKEND: Another vigorous weather system will approach the state over the weekend. Showers are possible Saturday, but it won’t be a “wash out” with some sun possible. The main event should hold off until Sunday, when we will have some risk of strong to severe storms. Wind fields look strong, instability values high, and lapse rates fairly steep. This could be a significant severe weather setup, but understand there is no way this early to be very specific about the timing and the magnitude of the threat. We need to get past the Thursday night event before we can see the state of the atmosphere and focus on the weekend situation. Stay tuned.

NEXT WEEK: Colder air returns early next week with highs dropping in the 50s Monday along with clouds and a chance of some lingering light rain. By the end of next week highs should drop into the 40s, and lows in the 20s.

As always, watch me for the full weather story on ABC 33/40 News this evening at 4, 5, 6, and 10:00!

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
Snapchat: spannwx

I had a great time today visiting with the students at Southview Elementary School in Tuscaloosa… 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…

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A Warm And Breezy Late Midday

| January 17, 2017 @ 1:42 pm

It’s a warm and breezy late midday hour across Central Alabama. We are watching a surface front slowly progressing into the state. This boundary is producing more clouds, and a few showers are showing up on radar across Northwest Alabama. These showers will be working through North Alabama the rest of today. Good news is that there is little upper-level support for the front, as the main low pressure center is over the Great Lakes. Therefore, there is no risk of severe weather, and we probably won’t have much thunder as well. Afternoon highs will generally be in the 70s, with a few lower 80s possible in the southern parts of the area. Scattered showers will persist throughout the overnight hours, and lows will be in the 50s and 60s. Rain amounts throughout the day should be under one-half inch.

Temperatures Across Central Alabama
At 1:28 PM, temperatures are ranging from the upper 60s in the northern parts of the area, to the upper 70s in the southern parts of the area. The warm spot is currently Tuscaloosa at 79 degrees. The cool spot is Cullman at 67 degrees.

Birmingham’s Climatology And Records
The normal high for January 17th is 52, while the normal low is 32. The record high for today was set back in 1943 at 79 degrees. The record low was set back in 1982 at 0 degrees.

Wednesday’s Forecast
The front will stall across Central Alabama, and that means we will have more clouds than sun, cooler temperatures, and there will be a few passing showers from time to time. Nothing too heavy, but overall, likely just a gray day for most of us. Highs will be in the 60s and 70s across the area.

For Those Who Are Beach Bound
Partly sunny days with mostly cloudy nights throughout the week, with a slight chance of rain each day through Wednesday, and increasing for the end of the week and weekend. Highs will be in the 70s, with lows in the 60s. Click here to see the Beach Forecast Center page.

National High & Low Temperature
The warmest high temperature for the United States on Monday was 84 degrees, recorded at two locations (Marathon, Florida and Harlingen, Texas). The coldest low temperature for the United States on Monday night into early this morning was -26 degrees, recorded at Stanley, Idaho.

On This Day In Weather History: 1990
Twenty cities across the southeastern half of the country reported record high temperatures for the date. Record highs included 61 degrees at Williamstown PA and 85 degrees at Brownsville TX. Evening thunderstorms produced large hail and damaging winds from eastern Texas to Mississippi.

Central Alabama Chapter Of The NWA
The Central Alabama Chapter of the National Weather Association will be hosting famed engineer and storm chaser Tim Marshall. He will speak at Vulcan Museum starting at 6:00 PM on the evening of Tuesday, January 24th. This is an event you won’t want to miss. Look for details on the chapter’s website.

Follow The Blog On Social Media
Remember that we are also on Facebook and on Twitter.

WeatherBrains
This is the weekly netcast that’s all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists at ABC 33/40. You can listen anytime on the web, or on iTunes. You can find it here.

Forecaster: Scott Martin (Twitter: @scottmartinwx)

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Unsettled Weather; Stormy Periods

| January 17, 2017 @ 6:18 am

A FEW SHOWERS TODAY: A surface front will approach Alabama from the west today, and we expect showers to move into the state this afternoon and tonight. There is little upper support for the front, so there is no risk of severe weather, and we probably won’t have much thunder. Rain amounts should be under 1/2 inch. Otherwise, expect a mostly cloudy sky with a high in the low 70s again this afternoon, a good 20 degrees above average for mid to late January.

The front will wash out tomorrow; the day will be mostly cloudy with only widely scattered showers. Tomorrow’s high will be in the mid to upper 60s.

SOAKER THURSDAY/THURSDAY NIGHT: An upper trough will approach from the west Thursday, and it looks like widespread rain and thunderstorms will move over the state by afternoon, into Thursday night. SPC has defined a “marginal” risk of severe storms for the southwest part of the state…

This looks more like a heavy rain event for the northern half of the state with limited instability; any severe storms should be confined to the southern counties of Alabama, and even there it is certainly a “marginal” threat, as SPC suggests. Rain amounts of 1-2 inches are likely, and some minor flooding issues are possible by Thursday night.

FRIDAY: Rain should end during the pre-dawn hours, and most of the day will be dry and warm with a high in the low 70s along with a mix of sun and clouds.

STORMY WEEKEND: A vigorous weather system will approach Alabama over the weekend, and set the stage for a chance of strong to severe thunderstorms, mainly on Sunday. For now Saturday looks fairly quiet, with a mostly cloudy sky and a few scattered showers… the high will be close to 70 degrees. Then, on Sunday, a complex system will bring rain and storms to the state. Instability values will be fairly impressive for January, with surface based CAPE values over 1,500 j/kg during the day. Combined with a steep lapse rate and strong wind fields, this certainly suggests the potential for severe storms. But, 5-6 days in advance it is simply too early to define timing and the magnitude of the threat.

On the positive side, this pattern is very favorable for drought relief; rain amounts could exceed 4 inches over the next seven days.

NEXT WEEK: Monday will be cloudy and sharply colder with a chance of some lingering light rain… parts of North Alabama could hold in the 40s all day. And, toward the end of the week it looks like we will see highs in the 40s and lows in the 20s as cold air settles in. Winter is very young.

See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

As always, watch me for the full weather story on ABC 33/40 News this evening at 4, 5, 6, and 10:00!

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
Snapchat: spannwx

I will have a weather program this morning at Southview Elementary School in Tuscaloosa… look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon.. .enjoy the day!

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