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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I think most of you know by now the “James Spann 24/7” weather app has been replaced by a new app that is being offered by ABC 33/40; this will have all the functionality of the old app, along with our news and sports content.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…

tuscsources_2015-Jul-05

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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Moist Air; A Few Scattered Showers

| 6:12 am September 3, 2015

RADAR CHECK: We are starting this day with generally cloudy conditions, and we have a few patches of light rain across the central counties of the state.

Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 6.00.04 AM

We will maintain the chance of scattered showers through the afternoon and evening hours, with intervals of sunshine and a high close to 90 degrees this afternoon. Rain today won’t be too widespread or heavy.

TOMORROW AND SATURDAY: Not much change; partly sunny days with hot afternoons, and the risk of widely scattered showers, most likely during the afternoon and evening hours. Highs will remain at or just over 90 degrees in most spots.

REST OF THE LABOR DAY WEEKEND: There should be a slow increase in the coverage of scattered showers and storms Sunday and Monday; we will still see some decent intervals of sun both days, and highs slip back into the 80s.

NEXT WEEK: Looks fairly quiet, although there will be some risk of scattered showers on a daily basis through Friday; highs will be in the 80s. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

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 hanging in there like a rusty fish hook; it is expected to become post-tropical today over the eastern Atlantic, nowhere near any land mass. A new wave will emerge off the coast of Africa today; it has some chance of slow development over the next five days as it moves to the west/northwest…

two_atl_5d0

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
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WEATHER RADIO PROGRAMMING! We will be at Heritage Pharmacy in Cullman today from 3:30 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.

Not sure I will have time to post an afternoon video due to travel to Cullman, but I will have updated forecast notes here by 4:00 this afternoon. Enjoy the day!

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Only Isolated Showers Through Friday

| 3:26 pm September 2, 2015

RADAR CHECK: As expected, showers are few and far between across the great state of Alabama this afternoon…

Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 3.16.20 PM

There a few storms at mid-afternoon southwest of Tuscaloosa… they are moving very slowly to the northeast. All of the showers and storms will dissipate soon after dark.

Birmingham reports only 86 degrees at 3:00… looks like today will be the 18th consecutive day with a high below 90.

BUT… late data shows the temperature did briefly reach 90 degrees at the Birmingham Airport today, so the sub-90 degree day streak ends at 17.

TOMORROW AND FRIDAY: The high will be close to 90 degrees both days with a partly sunny sky, and a few widely scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and storms are possible. The chance of any one spot getting wet both days is only in the 15-25 percent range.

LABOR DAY WEEKEND: The weather won’t change much. The latest model data suggests any afternoon showers or thunderstorms Saturday will remain widely scattered, with potential for a slight increase in coverage Sunday and Monday. Each day will feature a mix of sun and clouds with a high in the mid to upper 80s.

The weather pretty much stays the same into the middle of next week.

KBHM_2015090206_min_max_16

FOOTBALL WEATHER: For the high school games tomorrow night and Friday 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 tomorrow 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 becoming post-tropical in the far eastern Atlantic this afternoon, and the rest of the Atlantic basin is very quiet. No tropical storm issues for the U.S. coast over the Labor Day weekend.

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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Hotter Afternoons; Isolated Showers

| 6:19 am September 2, 2015

MOISTURE LEVELS SLOWLY RISING: High resolution model data hints a few isolated showers could form during the afternoon and evening hours across Alabama today; chance of any one spot seeing one of them is about one in eight. Otherwise, today will be partly sunny with a high close to 90 degrees. Very possible Birmingham’s 17 day streak of sub-90 degree highs will come to an end.

TOMORROW/FRIDAY: Not much change. Partly sunny days; widely scattered afternoon and evening showers with highs close to 90 degrees. Most of the showers, where they do form, will come from about 2:00 until 8:00 p.m.

LABOR DAY WEEKEND: Moisture levels will be a little higher, so afternoon and evening showers and storms should be a little more numerous, especially Sunday. Otherwise, mixed sun and clouds Saturday through Monday with highs dropping back into the mid to upper 80s. The chance of any one spot seeing a passing shower or storm will be in the 30-40 percent range, with highest odds Sunday.

NEXT WEEK: Sufficient moisture will remain for the risk of a few scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers through the week… otherwise partly sunny days with highs in the 80s. See the Weather Xtreme video for details and all the graphics.

KBHM_2015090200_min_max_16

FOOTBALL WEATHER: Alabama and Auburn kick off the 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: Mostly sunny weather on the Gulf Coast today from Panama City Beach west to Gulf Shores… then about 6 to 8 hours of sunshine daily tomorrow 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, in the far eastern Atlantic, will dissipate in 3 to 5 days over open water, and the rest of the Atlantic basin is quiet.

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

I will be doing a safety program today at the Gaston Steam Plant in Wilsonville… look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon. Enjoy the day!

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Mostly Dry Through Thursday; Hotter

| 3:29 pm September 1, 2015

RADAR CHECK: As expected, not a single shower on radar across North/Central Alabama this afternoon. The sky is partly to mostly sunny, and temperatures are mostly in the mid to upper 80s. Looks like today will be the 17th consecutive day with a high below 90 degrees for Birmingham.

TO THE SOUTH: The “ghost” of former Tropical Storm Erika is over the Northeast Gulf of Mexico this afternoon, but redevelopment is not likely due to harsh upper air winds, and that won’t impact us in any way.

radar

REST OF THE WEEK: The high tomorrow will be close to 90, with low 90s possible Thursday and Friday as an upper ridge stays in place. Days will be partly sunny, and we will mention the risk of widely scattered showers Thursday and Friday afternoon, but many communities will stay dry.

LABOR DAY WEEKEND: Moisture levels will rise, and we will forecast “scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms” Saturday and Sunday, then becoming fewer in number Monday. Each day will feature a mix of sun and clouds, and the chance of any one spot getting wet will be about one in three Saturday and Sunday, and one in four Monday. Highs drop back into the mid to upper 80s.

NEXT WEEK: Things look relatively quiet; showers should be widely spaced, days partly sunny, and highs in the 80s/lows in the 60s. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

KBHM_2015090106_min_max_16

FOOTBALL WEATHER: Alabama and Auburn kick off the 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: Mostly sunny weather on the Gulf Coast tomorrow from Panama City Beach west to Gulf Shores… then about 6 to 8 hours of sunshine daily Thursday 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.

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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Afternoons Trending Hotter

| 6:17 am September 1, 2015

MOSTLY DRY THROUGH MID-WEEK: With an upper ridge building across the eastern part of the nation, we expect a rather quiet weather pattern for the next few days across Alabama with hotter afternoons. The high today will be in the 87 to 90 degree range, followed by low 90s tomorrow through Friday. Days will be partly to mostly sunny, nights will be mostly fair. Moisture levels will rise toward the end of the week, and we will bring in the chance of widely scattered afternoon and evening showers Friday.

Birmingham has gone 16 consecutive days with a high below 90 degrees… that streak will come to an end at some point this week, most likely tomorrow.

LABOR DAY WEEKEND: We will need to mention the chance of “scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms” Saturday through Monday with a moist airmass in place under an upper high north of the state, otherwise a mix of sun and clouds each day with highs in the mid to upper 80s. Chance of any one spot getting wet each afternoon is about one in three, with perhaps slightly lower odds Monday.

NEXT WEEK: Looks pretty quiet; we could see a few scattered showers around, but otherwise partly sunny days, fair nights, highs in the 80s. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

KBHM_2015090100_min_max_16

COLLEGE FOOTBALL WEATHER: Alabama and Auburn kick off the 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: Mostly sunny weather on the Gulf Coast today and tomorrow from Panama City Beach west to Gulf Shores… then about 6 to 8 hours of sunshine daily Thursday 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: Fred, in the far eastern Atlantic just northwest of the Cape Verde Islands, has weakened to a tropical storm, and should dissipate over open water in 4-5 days. The rest of the Atlantic basin is very quit.

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. Scroll down for the show notes on the new episode we recorded last night.

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

Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus
Instagram

I will be speaking to a group of senior adults today at Ridgewood Health Care Center in Jasper… look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon. Enjoy the day!

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