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Moisture Levels On The Rise

| 3:28 pm June 29, 2015

RADAR CHECK: Nothing on radar over the northern half of Alabama at mid-afternoon… we do note scattered storms over the southern quarter of the state.

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Temperatures are mostly in the upper 80s, and we will maintain the risk of widely scattered showers this evening over far North Alabama, especially near the Tennessee border.

TOMORROW THROUGH THURSDAY: Moisture levels rise, and scattered showers and storms will return to North/Central Alabama all three days. As usual in summer, the rain won’t be continuous, rain distribution will not be even, and the sun will out at times. And, some of the storms could be strong, in fact SPC has much of North and Central Alabama under a “marginal” risk of severe storms tomorrow. The main threat will come from “wet microbursts”, or small areas of strong straight line winds that can knock down trees and power lines.

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The best chance of showers and storms through mid-week will come during the afternoon and evening hours, but we can’t rule out a late night or morning shower. Highs will be in the mid to upper 80s.

FOURTH OF JULY WEEKEND: The overall pattern won’t change much Friday through Sunday. We will forecast a mix of sun and clouds each day, and the chance of “scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and storms” will continue. Chance of any one spot getting wet each day will be about one in three, and there will be some good intervals of sunshine away from the showers. Highs between 87 and 90 degrees… not too bad for early July in Alabama.

We are seeing evidence that an upper ridge will begin to build next week, meaning rising heat levels, and lower rain chances. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

AT THE BEACH: We are forecasting 7 to 9 hours of sunshine each day along the coast from Panama City Beach west to Gulf Shores through the holiday weekend with the usual risk of scattered showers and thunderstorms. Highs on the immediate coast will be in the mid to upper 80s, with low 90s inland. Sea water temperatures are mostly in the mid 80s.

TROPICS: A large amount of dry air continue to cover the deep tropics in the Atlantic, and we see no evidence of tropical storm formation through the next seven days.

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 8:30p CT… you can watch it on “James Spann 24/7″ on cable systems around the state, or on the web here.

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

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Moist Air Returns Tomorrow

| 6:42 am June 29, 2015

A NICE TOUCH OF FALL: We are seeing mid 50s this morning across Northeast Alabama… some reports at daybreak…

Black Creek (just northeast of Gadsden) 54
Fort Payne 55
Valley Head 57
Cullman 59
Cottondale 59
Scottsboro 59
Haleyville 61
Anniston 62
Center Point 63
Tuscaloosa 65
Birmingham 65

Humidity levels will stay rather low today, and we expect a high close to 90 degrees in most spots this afternoon. We will mention the risk of widely scattered showers late in the day, mainly north of U.S. 278 (Hamilton to Cullman to Gadsden).

TOMORROW THROUGH FRIDAY: Moist, maritime tropical air returns to the state with higher humidity values and warmer nights. And, each day we will have to dodge scattered showers and thunderstorms. It is impossible to give you specific start/stop times due to the random nature of the showers, but the higher chance of them will come during the afternoon and evening hours… but we can’t totally rule out a late night or morning shower along the way. Afternoon highs will be generally in the 86 to 89 degree range, and there will be some decent intervals of sunshine away from the showers and storms.

FOURTH OF JULY WEEKEND: No real change; expect a mix of sun and clouds Saturday and Sunday with the risk of scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the 87 to 90 degree range. Chance of any one spot seeing a storm is about 50/50 both days.

And, expect similar weather into early next week with highs creeping up into the low 90s.

AT THE BEACH: We have a very standard mid-summer forecast for the Central Gulf Coast through the upcoming holiday weekend. About 7 to 9 hours of sunshine each day, with the risk of an occasional passing shower or storm. Highs on the immediate coast will be in the mid to upper 80s, and closer to 90 degrees inland. The sea water temperature this morning at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab is 83 degrees.

TROPICS: A large amount of dry air continues to cover the tropical Atlantic basin, and tropical storm formation is not expected this week.

SOUTHERN FIREBALL: Looks like some kind of space debris entered the atmosphere over us very early this morning around 12:30 a.m. Info below is from Bill Cooke at the NASA Meteoroid Environments Office in Huntsville…

“There was a bright event seen over several SE states around 12:29:30 AM CDT – We also picked it up on our meteor cameras. The object moved too slow for meteor (only 14,500 mph), was visible for over 30 seconds, and fragmented into multiple pieces, suggesting that it was possibly a re-entering piece of space junk. The Department of Defense keeps track of such critters, so they would be the ones to confirm this.”?

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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. 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

I will be speaking this morning at the HighEdWeb conference at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa… look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon. Enjoy the day!

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Nice Weather to End June

| 6:56 am June 28, 2015

Fronts have a hard time of bringing an air mass change to the Southeast US during the summer months, but we are in the process of one now as the upper air pattern sees the establishment of a trough over the eastern US for several days. The trough and the passage of the cold front will bring some nice weather conditions to Central Alabama for June with drier air as we see dew points drop toward the 60 degree mark. With lots of sunshine as the clouds clear out we should see our afternoon highs reach the middle 80s today – a nice change from the 90s we saw last week.

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At the beach, today will see more showers and storms. Storms become fewer in number for the week ahead, but they will remain in the forecast as the front stalls along the Gulf Coast. You can expect 6 to 8 hours of sun daily. Highs on the immediate coast will be in the mid to upper 80s, with lower 90s possible inland. The sea water temperature at Perdido Pass at Orange Beach was reported as 86 degrees.

Northwesterly flow presents its own set of challenges. While the upper trough will be the prevailing feature in our pattern for much of the week ahead, embedded short waves in the flow will bring thunderstorms into the Ohio River Valley. It still looks like Monday will remain dry, but we’ll have to be vigilant on developments well to our northwest as we monitor that northwest flow. With the trough, the heat is at least temporarily abated.

But the trough pattern begins to wane as we head into the middle and latter part of the week as moisture begins to come back putting the need to mention showers again in the forecast for Tuesday and through much of the week ahead. But even as the trough weakens, temperatures will remain close to seasonal values with highs in the upper 80s and lower 90s, near our 30-year averages for late June and early July.

SPC has outlined a marginal area for severe storms Monday in the Ohio Valley with the area just reaching extreme North Alabama, where the threat is higher. For now it looks like the threat will stay north of Central Alabama, but we’ll have to watch how conditions evolve to our north.

And the tropical Atlantic remained quiet this morning with no tropical storm development expected for the next several days.

By next Sunday, the upper ridge begins to develop once again to our west, so I expect to see the heat return with highs into the lower 90s. It is the ridge that become the prevailing feature as we head into voodoo country. But the GFS is once again showing the ridge pushing back to the west with more of a trough in the East as we get into the middle days of July. There’s also a hint at some action in the tropics, but we know how these features come and go this far out.

James Spann will have the next edition of the Weather Xtreme Video on Monday morning. Check back here often for weather updates.

-Brian-

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Quick Evening Update

| 7:07 pm June 27, 2015
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We continue to see a few showers and storms across Central Alabama this evening, however most locations are dry. Many areas today have seen storms, but the bulk of that activity has shifted over into Georgia.

At this time, we are tracking a a cluster of storms approaching Tuscaloosa from the northwest and we are seeing showers extend up into eastern Walker and now approaching western Jefferson County. These storms are along the front that is sinking towards the southeast. Other storms this evening are ongoing to the south and east of the Birmingham Metro.

These storms ongoing and any additional storms which may develop, will have gusty winds, lots of lightning, and some heavy rainfall. We will continue to see showers and storms be possible the next several hours, especially the farther south you go in the state.

The front will push on towards the Gulf Coast overnight and will be delivering a drier air mass for our Sunday. Expect mainly sunny conditions tomorrow with lower humidity levels.

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Afternoon Update

| 2:28 pm June 27, 2015

It certainly is a muggy afternoon across the area. These humid conditions are providing ample fuel for showers and storms across the state and we are seeing a lot of activity on the radar this afternoon.

All this activity is out ahead of a frontal boundary that continues to sink towards the south. The front early this afternoon is making its way into NW Alabama, and there is a line of storms along it that are dropping towards the southeast. Until this front makes its way through the area, expect unsettled weather with numerous showers and storms.

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Storms today, as we have seen through out the week, are capable of packing a punch today. For this reason, the SPC maintains the “slight risk” of severe weather for much of Central Alabama. The areas within the yellow line are in this threat. Outside the slight risk, there is the standard “marginal risk.” Stay weather aware the rest of today as some of the stronger storm will be capable of producing damaging winds courtesy of “wet-microbursts.” Also, storms are producing a lot of lightning, hail, and intense rainfall. Flooding could be a threat in isolated areas as well. Expect a rather active afternoon and evening across Central Alabama.

Storms should dissipate from northwest to southeast across the state as we head through the evening and overnight hours.

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Severe Weather Risk Upgraded to “Slight”

| 12:04 pm June 27, 2015

Our friends at the Storm Prediction Center have extended the “slight risk” area southwestward into much of Georgia and Alabama. Earlier today, we were under the standard “marginal risk”.

The risk area is within this green line that does include the Interstate 59 and Interstate 85 corridors. That means the population centers of Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Anniston, Gadsden, and Montgomery are included now.

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The SPC upgraded to a “slight risk” because relatively strong heating is occurring in these areas. This should yield pockets of afternoon CAPE values over 2500 J/kg, which is more than ample to allow storms to reach severe limits later today. Forecast soundings show moderately strong westerly flow loft, which will be leading to relatively fast storm motions and a greater risk of downward momentum transfer which are those “wet microbursts” that we talk about time to time. These “microbursts” can and do produce locally damaging winds. These damaging winds are the main threat with the stronger storms that develop in the region this afternoon and evening. Stay weather aware the rest of today.

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