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More Good News from our Friends at the Alabama NewsCenter

| 4:48 pm September 4, 2015

Here are some of our favorite stories from our friends at Alabama NewsCenter from this past week, August 28-September 3, 2015.

Alabama, Auburn, other state college football teams ready to kick off season – A quick look at the state’s college football teams and some of the key high school games this week.

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Can’t Miss Alabama: Holiday weekend offers a wide variety of activities – We cross the state with family fun activities for the holiday weekend.

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Katrina, karma and Confederate Motorcycles’ comeback – Left for dead in New Orleans, company is roaring back stronger than ever in Birmingham.

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Katrina forever changed many lives, including these – Three Alabama Power employees share their Katrina stories.

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Videos taken after Hurricane Katrina show extent of Alabama devastation – Alabama Power recordings not widely seen until now.

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Alabama learned lessons in response to Hurricane Katrina – State believes it is better prepared for future disasters.

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Woodlawn alum John Cross will ‘live forever’ in hologram of Negro League legend Paige – UAB student acts as holographic stand-in for pitching great.

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Four-legged comfort – Hand in Paw provides animal-assisted therapy to hospitals, schools and homeless shelters. – See more at: http://alabamanewscenter.com/?s=comfort&cat=#sthash.6M4u0o2O.dpuf

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Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum expansion underway – Larger venue will allow more displays and events.

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Eric Essix Jazz Escape this weekend at Ross Bridge – Acclaimed guitarist using event to promote album and to give something back to young people.

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Mobile could be cruising with Carnival again – Mayor Stimpson confirms deal is close to bring cruise line back to Port City.

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Alabama Bright Lights: Aubrey Miller’s mission to wipe out one childhood disease – “We have made more advances in the past 10 years than the 50 years prior.” Aubrey Miller, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

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The chance to be a hero – Children’s of Alabama is ‘Committed to a Cure’ with bone marrow registry drive Sept. 1-2.

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Be the Match: Patience provides the perfect match – She gave 19 years ago to help save the life of this one patient.

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Alabama Launchpad funds four startups, honors innovation – Celebrating companies and people who innovate.

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EDPA and Alabama Launchpad recognize, reward renewal – Gov. Bentley calls innovation and entrepreneurship the “third leg” of state’s economic development stool.

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Alabama Power unveils Innovation Team – In conjunction with Innovation Week Birmingham, Alabama Power today announced the creation of an Innovation Team that will explore new opportunities for the company to better serve customers and the state.

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PSC approves renewable energy proposal – “This allows Alabama Power to offer renewables where they make sense for our customers.” Nick Sellers, vice president of Regulatory and Corporate Affairs

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100 dishes to eat in Alabama before you die: Black Rock Bistro – Here’s a place to find simple, flavorful dishes – Cajun style!

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Hot And Humid; A Few Afternoon Storms

| 3:44 pm September 4, 2015

RADAR CHECK: As expected, we have isolated showers and storms across Alabama this afternoon. They are drifting south, and they will fade soon after the sun goes down later this evening…

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LABOR DAY WEEKEND: The overall pattern won’t change much. Partly sunny days, and the risk of “scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms”. Best chance of a shower or storm will come from about 2:00 until 9:00 p.m., and they will be totally random. Chance of any one spot getting wet each day is about one in three… we project a high in the low 90s tomorrow, with upper 80s Sunday and Monday. Nothing usual for Labor Day around here.

NEXT WEEK: Still some risk of scattered showers and storms Tuesday and Wednesday, but we expect an increase in the coverage of rain by Thursday and Friday with a surface front approaching from the north. And, we are seeing some good agreement in model data about cooler and drier air dropping in here about 7 to 10 days from now.

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

FOOTBALL WEATHER: For the high school games tonight, just a small risk of a passing shower or storm during the first half of the games; otherwise mostly fair with temperatures falling from the low 80s at kickoff, into the mid to upper 70s by the final whistle.

Alabama and Auburn kick off the college season tomorrow with road games, and both will be played in venues where rain won’t be an issue one way or another. Auburn against Louisville; the game is tomorrow at 2:30 in Atlanta in the Georgia Dome. Dry inside, but outside the dome showers are possible with afternoon temperatures in the 80s. Alabama will take on Wisconsin tomorrow night at 7:00 (the game is on ABC 33/40) at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas… the day will be sunny and hot in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex with a high in the mid 90s.. cooling down into the 70s tomorrow night. No need to bring the retractable roof over the stadium with a clear sky.

Photo below is from this afternoon… thanks to @_emilyburnett

_emilyburnett_2015-Sep-04

BEACH WEATHER: About 6 to 8 hours of sunshine daily from Panama City Beach west to Gulf Shores through the Labor Day weekend, with the usual risk of a passing thunderstorm from time to time. Highs stay in the upper 80s on the immediate coast, with sea water temperatures mostly in the mid 80s.

See the complete Gulf Coast 7 Day Planner here. The Gulf Coast Beach Forecast is presented by Gulf Shores Plantation by Mandoki Hospitality Vacation Rentals. Escape to Gulf Shores Plantation where memories last a lifetime.

TROPICS: Tropical Storm Fred is dissipating in the middle of the Atlantic… but a new wave in the far eastern Atlantic could become Tropical Storm Grace over the next few days as it moves west/northwest.

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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 Monday morning at 7:00… Brian Peters will have the video updates tomorrow and Sunday. Enjoy the weekend!

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Pacific Moisture

| 1:41 pm September 4, 2015

Often times you may hear meteorologists in the Central US or Southeast US talk about the Pacific moisture coming our way. NOAA just recently tweeted out a picture that I thought illustrated the track of Pacific moisture quite clearly.

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In this image, moisture is streaming out of the top of Tropical Storm Kevin and moving northeastward across Baja California, extreme northwestern Mexico, and finally New Mexico and the Oklahoma and Texas Panhandles. This particular image shows the course of the moisture very well because there is no other moisture mixing in with what is coming off Kevin, so it clearly delineates where the moisture originates and where it goes.

-Brian-

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Scattered Afternoon Showers/Storms

| 6:16 am September 4, 2015

HOT AFTERNOONS; A FEW STORMS: Alabama’s weather won’t change much today; we expect a partly sunny sky with a high up in the low 90s, and a few widely scattered showers and storms will form during the heat of the day. Chance of any one spot seeing a shower is about one in four, and most of them will form between 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.

LABOR DAY WEEKEND: The same general idea holds; we might see a slight increase in coverage of the afternoon showers and thunderstorms tomorrow through Monday, but they will stay scattered, and each day we will see a decent amount of sunshine. We reach the low 90s again tomorrow, followed by upper 80s Sunday and Monday.

NEXT WEEK: Not much change Tuesday and Wednesday with the risk of widely scattered afternoon showers; showers and storms should become greater in number by Thursday and Friday as a cold front approaches from the north. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

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FOOTBALL WEATHER: For the high school games tonight, just a small risk of a passing shower or storm during the first half of the games; otherwise mostly fair with temperatures falling from near 80 degrees at kickoff, into the mid to upper 70s by the final whistle.

Alabama and Auburn kick off the college season tomorrow with road games, and both will be played in venues where rain won’t be an issue one way or another. Auburn against Louisville; the game is tomorrow at 2:30 in Atlanta in the Georgia Dome. Dry inside, but outside the dome showers are possible with afternoon temperatures in the 80s. Alabama will take on Wisconsin tomorrow night at 7:00 (the game is on ABC 33/40) at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas… the day will be sunny and hot in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex with a high in the mid 90s.. cooling down into the 70s tomorrow night. No need to bring the retractable roof over the stadium with a clear sky.

BEACH WEATHER: About 6 to 8 hours of sunshine daily from Panama City Beach west to Gulf Shores through the Labor Day weekend, with the usual risk of a passing thunderstorm from time to time. Highs stay in the upper 80s on the immediate coast, with sea water temperatures mostly in the mid 80s.

See the complete Gulf Coast 7 Day Planner here. The Gulf Coast Beach Forecast is presented by Gulf Shores Plantation by Mandoki Hospitality Vacation Rentals. Escape to Gulf Shores Plantation where memories last a lifetime.

TROPICS: Tropical Storm Fred is still hanging in there in the eastern Atlantic; it should be post tropical within the next 24 hours. A new wave has emerged off the coast of Africa… a decent chance it slowly develops in coming days, but it ultimately should re-curve over the middle of the Atlantic.

gefs_AL91_current

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 4:00 this afternoon… enjoy the day!

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Hot Afternoons; A Few Storms

| 2:44 pm September 3, 2015

**No afternoon Weather Xtreme video today due to travel to Cullman… We will be at Heritage Pharmacy in Cullman today until 6:30 p.m… if you need your weather radio programmed, checked, or just have questions, come see us. The fall severe weather season will be here before you know it.**

RADAR CHECK: We have a few scattered storms across Alabama this afternoon with very little movement…

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Otherwise, the sky is partly sunny with temperatures mostly in the upper 80s and low 90s. Scattered showers/storms will fade once the sun goes down later this evening.

TOMORROW/SATURDAY: Not much change. Hot afternoons, partly sunny days, and the risk of a few widely scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms. Highs will be in the low 90s in many areas, feeling more like August instead of September. Best chance of a passing shower or storm will come between 2:00 and 9:00 p.m.

SUNDAY/MONDAY: Scattered showers and storms could be a bit more active on these two days, but no big changes. Mixed sun and clouds with the risk of a shower or storm in spots both afternoons; highs will be generally in the upper 80s.

And, that pattern holds through much of next week. Partly sunny days, widely scattered afternoon showers or storms, and highs in the 85-88 degree range.

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FOOTBALL WEATHER: For the high school games tonight and tomorrow night, just a small risk of a passing shower or storm during the first half of the games; otherwise mostly fair with temperatures falling from near 80 degrees at kickoff, into the mid to upper 70s by the final whistle.

Alabama and Auburn kick off the college season Saturday with road games, and both will be played in venues where rain won’t be an issue one way or another. Auburn against Louisville; the game is Saturday at 2:30 in Atlanta in the Georgia Dome. Dry inside, but outside the dome showers are possible with afternoon temperatures in the 80s. Alabama will take on Wisconsin Saturday night at 7:00 (the game is on ABC 33/40) at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas… the day will be sunny and hot in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex with a high in the mid 90s.. cooling down into the 70s Saturday night. No need to bring the retractable roof over the stadium with a clear sky.

BEACH WEATHER: About 6 to 8 hours of sunshine daily from Panama City Beach west to Gulf Shores today through the Labor Day weekend, with the usual risk of a passing thunderstorm from time to time. Highs stay in the upper 80s on the immediate coast, with sea water temperatures mostly in the mid 80s.

See the complete Gulf Coast 7 Day Planner here. The Gulf Coast Beach Forecast is presented by Gulf Shores Plantation by Mandoki Hospitality Vacation Rentals. Escape to Gulf Shores Plantation where memories last a lifetime.

TROPICS: Tropical Storm Fred is still hanging in there; it is expected to become post-tropical over the eastern Atlantic soon, nowhere near any land mass. A new wave will emerge off the coast of Africa tonight; it has some chance of slow development over the next five days as it moves to the west/northwest.

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…

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Weather Apps And Other Things

| 7:00 am September 3, 2015

I think most of you know by now the “James Spann 24/7” weather app has been replaced by a new app that is being offered by ABC 33/40; this will have all the functionality of the old app, along with our news and sports content. Basically a “one stop shop” so you don’t have to have multiple apps on your phone or tablet.

It is still a work in progress, but you can find it here…

iOS (iPhones, iPads, etc)

Android

I was very excited to offer the “James Spann 24/7” app since it was all human powered. Real weather discussion written by real meteorologists that explain the weather. It basically offered all of my products and services on one place. These blog posts, the Weather Xtreme video, WeatherBrains, and much more. All of these elements will be in the new app… thanks for your patience.

Some so many of you are asking about weather sources, apps, etc these days… here are some thoughts that might help.

WEATHER INFORMATION IS A COMMODITY: You can get a weather forecast anywhere these days. I have seen weather forecasts on everything from furniture store apps to political candidate web sites. Weather apps by the thousands are available on your “app store”, and most of them don’t cost a dime. While this sounds great, the problem is accuracy and dependability.

The stock weather app on your phone, and almost all other weather apps and web sites, generate automated forecasts using raw computer “model output statistics”. Not one professional meteorologist (and, in most cases, not one human) reviews the forecasts before they are made available. And, boy, can these automated forecasts steer you wrong.

Here is a screen grab from a weather app earlier this summer…

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And, most of these “forecasts” show a nice little icon of the weather (sun, storm, clouds, etc), and three numbers. High, low, and “probability of precipitation”. While this works on some days, on really active weather days it is of no help. You have no idea if there is a severe weather threat, the amount of rain or precipitation expected, timing, and placement.

Many of you know our frustration, and we often call these “crap apps”. Trust me, I fully understand very few people wait on the television news to come on to get a weather update, and I am delighted to offer round the clock weather products at your convenience. No, I don’t get much sleep, but it is a delight to be able to offer weather products and services at all hours of the day and night since that is my passion in life.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR: You need to get weather information from a source that offers content put together by a real meteorologist, that understands the people, culture, and geography of your home state. A written discussion that goes beyond the little cartoon pictures of weather, that is updated frequently. And, preferably a video that explains what to expect and doesn’t treat you like an idiot. If you app features videos that tell you to go into an air conditioned room during hot weather, you might look elsewhere.

RECOMMENDED SOURCES/APPS: So, what apps do I need? Which ones are reliable? Here are some suggestions…

THIS BLOG: If you are reading this, then we are preaching to the choir. The Alabamawx.com blog is unique, and a strong source for Alabama weather information. Yes, we get it wrong sometimes. But, our short term (48 hour) accuracy is in the 92-95 percent category. And, when I miss the big one, I am open and honest.

There are seven meteorologists who write here, with over 100 years combined weather experience in Alabama. The Weather Xtreme video is posted twice daily weekdays, and once daily weekends.

If you live outside Alabama…. do your best to find a similar source.

ABC 33/40 APP: When the new version is released, you should be able to get all of our human powered weather information there, including blog posts and the Weather Xtreme video. It will be free, and available on iOS and Android. I will let you know when it is released into the wild.

WARNING APPS: Getting severe weather warnings is extremely important. Yes, the built in “WEA”… or wireless emergency alert system seems to work well for flash flood and tornado warnings, but we really don’t know how that works, and we really don’t know the reliability. My favorite warnings apps are “WeatherRadio by WDT”, and “MyWarn”. I have no financial interest in either app, and they both work very well. Your generic, free weather app won’t do this well.

RADAR APP: RadarScope is the winner by far. They offer a version for iOS, Android, and OS X (Apple computers). And, you can get radar with this on your Apple Watch. And yes, I love it. And, over on the Windows side, the Gibson Ridge radar software is excellent.

LIGHTNING APP: I use BoltMeter, but for some reason that is not available now within the US app stores. I have purchased the lightning add-on within “WeatherRadio by WDT” which offers real time lightning data, and alerts are well. This is a critical function for outdoor events, especially on summer afternoons. RadarScope offers real time lightning data as well for a small price.

Have suggestions? List them in the comment section.

The one thing I try and do is be available to answer your weather questions. I don’t have a 15 minute chat session we advertise on TV… I am around most hours of the day and night. Best way of getting me is social media…

Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus
Instagram

My personal email is here… and I respond quickly. The only thing I don’t do is a phone call; I have not answered my work phone since 1998. Too much time consumption.

Your pictures and reports are so helpful, and I thank all for engaging with me in the new digital world. And again, I will let you know the minute the new ABC 33/40 app is available…

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