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Rain Returns Tomorrow

| 3:42 pm April 27, 2015

RADAR CHECK: Rain continues to fall this afternoon over much of the Florida Panhandle… the MCS (mesoscale convective system) that brought winds to 100 mph to parts of Baton Rouge and New Orleans this morning is well south of the coast, over the Gulf of Mexico waters.

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On our end of the state, the sky is mostly cloudy, with temperatures generally in the 60s.

WET WEATHER AHEAD: Rain should become across North/Central Alabama tomorrow morning in the 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. time frame, and we will deal with periods of rain tomorrow, tomorrow night, and into Wednesday morning. A surface low will pass south of us, on the Gulf Coast, so there is no risk of severe weather for the northern two-thirds of the state, and there probably won’t be much thunder in the stable air.

TO THE SOUTH: There is a risk of severe thunderstorms on the Gulf Coast tomorrow… from near Gulfport over to Mobile, Panama City, and Apalachicola.


The rain will taper off Wednesday morning; rain amounts of around one inch are likely for North and Central Alabama. Could drizzle could linger into Wednesday afternoon as the surface low reorganizes near the North Carolina coast. Temperatures will stay below average with highs in the 60s tomorrow and Wednesday. Some communities north of Birmingham could hold in the cool 50s all day Wednesday.

Drier air returns Thursday with a partly to mostly sunny sky and a high in the 67-70 degree range.

FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: Doesn’t get any better. Mostly sunny days, fair nights, and a slow warming trend. We reach the low 70s Friday, upper 70s Saturday, and low 80s Sunday. Perfect for the races at Talladega (this is race weekend), spring sports, or doing anything outdoors.

Dry weather will likely continue into early next week; see the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.


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…

Google Plus

I had a great time today visiting with the first graders at Elvin Hill Elementary in Columbiana… 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…


Hear EM Speak About 4/27/2011 Operations Tonight at NWA Meeting

| 9:00 am April 27, 2015
Stitched Panorama

Stitched Panorama

Tonight is our first Chapter Meeting of 2015! The meeting will be at the NWS Birmingham with special quest speaker, Eric Jones, Elmore County Emergency Manager.

Eric, Emergency Management Director for Elmore County and former Director for the Alabama Association of Emergency Managers, will discuss how the Alabama Emergency Management Agency utilizes National Weather Service information prior to and during hazardous weather events. As it is the anniversary of the April 27, 2011 outbreak, Eric will also discuss EMA operations both during and after that historic event, providing an unique prospective of first responders from across the state.

Everyone is invited to arrive between 530-545pm to see the evening weather balloon launch and enjoy pizza (food and drink provided by the NWA). The meeting will begin around 615pm, after the balloon launch. After Eric’s presentation, Jim Stefkovich and Holly Allen will be available to give office tours for those interested. If you haven’t joined or renewed, please do so and be there tonight. Chapter website


Cooler Today; Rain Returns Tomorrow

| 6:21 am April 27, 2015

COOL MONDAY MORNING: Temperatures are in the upper 40s and low 50s this morning; Vic Bell up at Black Creek near Gadsden reports 43. We stay dry today, but high clouds will increase, coming from the big MCS (mesoscale convective system) over Southwest Louisiana. The high this afternoon will be in the low 70s; the average high for April 27 (for Birmingham) is 77 degrees.

TO THE WEST: A tornado watch has been issued for parts much of Louisiana until 1:00p CT…


That MCS is moving southeast, and will not bother the northern two-thirds of Alabama.

TOMORROW/WEDNESDAY: A surface low will move along the Gulf Coast, meaning the severe weather risk will be confined to the far southern part of Alabama tomorrow; severe storms are possible on the coast from Mobile over to Gulf Shores, Pensacola, and Panama City, but up this way we will just deal with rain. The high resolution NAM suggests the rain could begin early tomorrow morning, and we will have periods of rain through the day, tomorrow night, and into Wednesday morning. We won’t get out of the 60s both days, and with a cool, stable airmass in place I doubt if we hear any thunder.

Rain amounts of around 1 inch are likely, and the rain will taper off during the day Wednesday as the surface low moves northeast. The sky becomes partly sunny Thursday as drier air works into the state.

FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: The weather could not be better, with sunny pleasant days, fair cool nights, and low humidity. Expect low 70s Friday, mid 70s Saturday, and a high close to 80 by Sunday afternoon.

RACE WEEKEND AT TALLADEGA: A big thumbs up for the weather. Dry conditions at the Talladega Superspeedway Thursday; maybe some lingering clouds during the morning, partly sunny by afternoon. Then, sunny weather is the story Friday through Sunday with highs generally in the 70s, perhaps close to 80 Sunday afternoon. Friday morning will be cool with mid 40s likely, the low early Saturday will be close to 50, with lows in the mid 50s Sunday.

The first half of next week looks relatively dry… see the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.


ON THIS DATE IN 2011: A generational tornado outbreak produced 62 tornadoes in Alabama, killing 252 people.

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.

CONNECT: You can find me on all of the major social networks…

Google Plus

I have a weather program today at Elvin Hill Elementary in Columbiana… look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon. Enjoy the day!


Tornado Debris Signature South of Fort Worth Tonight

| 10:02 pm April 26, 2015

Sunday, 9:59 pm

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The Fort Worth radar is showing a clear tornado debris signature in the long lived supercell in southwestern Johnson County west southwest of Rio Vista, heading in the general direction of that town. It will pass near Covington and near Grandview on I-35, just north of the split south of Dallas/Fort Worth.

The TDS is show as the blue circle in the lower right panel (correlation coefficient) from the Fort Worth dual=pol Doppler radar.

Frequent power flashes just reported by a spotter.


The Andover Tornado of 1991

| 4:10 pm April 26, 2015

On this day 24 years ago, an F5 tornado devastated the community of Andover, Kansas, in a violent tornado outbreak over the plains of Kansas, Oklahoma and Nebraska. On April 26, 1991, a total of 55 tornadoes developed, 30 of which were rated an F2 or greater. At one point during the storm, three separate F4 or F5 tornadoes – Andover, Red Rock, and Arkansas City – were simultaneously on the ground. 21 people died as a direct result of the April 26, 1991 severe weather – 17 from one storm alone.

While the April 26, 1991 storm is most known for the destruction of the Andover community, this same twister also hit parts of Wichita, McConnell Air Force Base and other parts of South Central Kansas. The following devastating tornadoes occurred primarily during the afternoon and evening hours across northern Oklahoma and southern Kansas.

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The Andover tornado initially exhibited multiple vortices, producing F3 damage. As it veered north, it bore down on Haysville, Kansas, just south of Wichita. It passed through the southeastern part of Wichita, passing just a mile south of the South Wichita interchange on the Kansas Turnpike. McConnell Air Force Base was next on the tornado’s agenda. The twister crossed the Base’s runways and missed a billion dollar line of B-1B bombers by less than one thousand feet. The southern part of the Base received F2-F3 damage. The Officer’s Club, Base Hospital and base housing were heavily damaged. But the tornado was growing in size and intensity.


A subdivision near the Sedgwick County/Butler County line was nearly completely leveled as the tornado grew to its highest intensity. As the tornado turned into an F5 monster, it set its sights on the Golden Spur Mobile Home Park in Andover about 6:45 p.m. Warnings mentioning Andover specifically were issued seven minutes before the tornado arrived; however, the sirens in Andover were not working. A police cruiser drove through the park sounding its sirens as a warning. Many of the residents had heard about the approaching tornado from local television coverage and headed to the park’s storm shelter. Others said they would not take shelter until the funnel was visible. Fortunately, the tornado was slow moving and highly visible, and many made it to shelter in time. Over 200 people were huddled in the shelter when the twister struck, annihilating 233 of the 241 homes. The tornado obliterated the mobile home community, killing thirteen people. Twisted frames were the only remains of many of the mobile homes.

The tornado thankfully moved into more rural territory northeast of Andover, crossing the Kansas Turnpike. Near El Dorado, the tornado literally bounced a huge oil tank over a half mile. When the tornado finally lifted about five miles north of El Dorado, it had been on the ground for forty five miles. A total of seventeen people in the Andover community lost their lives. Right after the Andover tornado lifted, the same storm produced another tornado that was captured on news video as it passed near on overpass on the Kansas Turnpike, which enforced the false belief that overpasses could provide safe shelter during tornadoes.


Large Tornado on the Ground Near Comanche, Texas

| 3:58 pm April 26, 2015

By Bill Murray, 3:58 pm Sunday


Spotters report a large tornado on the ground near Comanche, Texas this afternoon. This is a little more than 100 miles southwest of Dallas.



Sunny and Warm Sunday

| 8:04 am April 26, 2015

No Weather Xtreme Video this morning since I am providing weather support to the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at the Barber Motorsports Park.

Much calmer weather expected for Central Alabama today after a challenging weather situation yesterday. Morning low clouds will give way to sunshine this morning with a mostly sunny afternoon expected. Look for highs to climb into the lower 80s across nearly all of Central Alabama even though a weak cold front will be moving through the Southeast US. Much of the moisture was wrung out of the atmosphere yesterday and there is little convergence with the front to force showers. The front will also usher in slightly drier air later today, so all in all a great Sunday for Central Alabama. Showers are still possible across South Alabama and the northern Gulf Coast.


Central Alabama will be between systems on Monday with a closed low over the Canadian Maritimes and a closed low over the southern Rockies. This closed low will be slow to come our way with Tuesday the day for the weather to change as clouds increase and rain chances go up late in the day as rain advances across the Southeast US. The closed low will open up late Tuesday and Wednesday so I expect to see a good deal of cloudiness along with periods of rain for Wednesday as a surface low moves along the northern Gulf. With the low so far south, I do not expect to see any severe weather with this rainy period.

As the upper trough moves by early Thursday, we should see improving weather for the end of the week and into the weekend, great news for the races at Talladega next weekend. After a cool couple of days Tuesday and Wednesday, temperatures should climb back into the 70s for the end of the week and into the weekend as surface high pressure settles into the eastern US and the Southeast US.

Beach goers will have to contend with chances for showers through the middle of the week, but the weather should turn much better after midweek as that surface low moves east. Temperatures will be in the upper 70s for highs today and Monday, but Tuesday and Wednesday will be slightly cooler thanks to lots of clouds and better rain chances with highs in the lower 70s. Highs return to near 80 for the end of the week and the weekend.

Looking out into voodoo country, another strong trough will move across the Great Lakes around the 5th of May which is expected to bring a front along with rain chances back into the forecast. After a break in the weather another trough will bring another front to the Southeast around the 11th. So the weather pattern remains fairly active as we head into May.

Looking forward to ending a rather busy weekend with weather and the events at Barber Motorsports Park. James Spann will have the next edition of the Weather Xtreme Video first thing on Monday. Enjoy your Sunday!



Is the Severe Weather Over for Central Alabama? Yes!

| 6:35 pm April 25, 2015



The severe thunderstorm watch for East Central Alabama has been canceled as the last storms have moved into Georgia and no addiitonal storms are expected overnight.

We had one shot at severe weather this afternoon and evening across Central Alabama and it is done.

The ingredients that were in place over the area are diminishing now. The speed shear is diminishing as the upper level wind max departs to the north. Instabilities are slowly coming down as clouds cover the area. The convection near the Gulf Coast has effectively cut off additional moisture inflow into the area and drier air is moving in.

There should not be any more convection initiating tonight. There could be a few light showers as the cold front approaches from the north during the pre-dawn hours, but there won’t be any thunder.

A passing disturbance and conditionally unstable air caused by cold air aloft tomorrow could trigger a few light afternoon showers as well, but they will be a nuisance at worst, not heavy and not lasting very long at all.