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Trending Wetter and Cooler This Week

| 6:18 am November 30, 2015

RADAR CHECK: We have some patchy light rain around I-20/59 (Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, Anniston, Gadsden) early this morning with a cloudy sky, but the most widespread rain is to the north, across the Tennessee Valley…

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A cold front remains parked over Northwest Alabama; north of the front Muscle Shoals reports 53, while south of the boundary Birmingham is at 65. This front won’t move much today, and the best coverage of rain will remain north of I-20 during the day.


Temperatures stay mild south of the front, with a high around 70 for the I-20 corridor, and low to mid 70s to the south of I-20.

TOMORROW/WEDNESDAY: Wet is the word. Rain is likely across all of North/Central Alabama with temperatures hovering in the low 60s throughout the day tomorrow. You probably won’t hear any thunder, and there won’t be enough rain for any flooding concerns. The rain continues Wednesday, and the weather turns cooler with a high only in the low to mid 50s for most places. By the time the rain ends Wednesday night, amounts of 1 to 2 inches are likely for Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Anniston, and Gadsden, with higher amounts over Northeast Alabama, where up to 3 inches is possible around Scottsboro and Fort Payne.

THURSDAY/FRIDAY: These two days look cool and dry, with a good supply of sunshine along with highs in the 50s and lows in the 30s. Slightly below average for early December in Alabama.

THE WEEKEND: We stay cool and dry Saturday and Sunday; mostly sunny both days with a high around 60, and lows between 37 and 42.

The latest GFS run (06Z) suggests rain returns to the state early next week on Monday; see the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

HURRICANE SEASON ENDS: The 2015 season ends today… final totals:

Tropical Depressions: 12
Tropical Storms: 11
Hurricanes: 4
Major Hurricanes: 2

Florida has now seen over 10 years without ANY hurricane striking its coast. And, the U.S. has gone 10 years with no major hurricane strike… The last was Wilma, which made landfall on Oct. 24, 2005.

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 online here.

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

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I will be doing a weather program this morning at Clanton Middle School… look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon. Enjoy the day!


Gloomy Look for the Next Few Days

| 3:16 pm November 29, 2015

Rain continued on radar this afternoon across primarily the northwestern counties of Alabama. One lone shower area was moving across Walker County and should continue northeastward across Blount County during the late afternoon. As you can see from the radar image below, rain was occurring in a wide band from Northeast Texas across much of Arkansas and Tennessee and portions of northern Mississippi and Alabama.


With the upper air pattern stuck with a southwesterly flow, moisture continued to stream out of the Pacific into the Lower Mississippi River Valley. As you’ll note in the satellite image below, much of the eastern two thirds of the US was covered with clouds.


The upper closed low was situated over Utah and Wyoming and was elongated southwest to northeast. The closed low was still forecast to move into the Great Lakes area Wednesday, so the pattern for Alabama will not be changing much. That means off and on rain showers and areas of light rain along with a cloudy sky through Wednesday. Temperatures will not be changing a lot for the next several days, finally cooling down a bit from Wednesday into next weekend as we see lows in the 40s and highs mainly in the 50s.



Clouds and Rain Next Couple of Days

| 7:55 am November 29, 2015

Clouds crept across Alabama overnight, and rain pushed closer to Central Alabama, however, rain on radar this morning remained mainly across North Alabama generally north of Interstate 20. But some off and on rain along with clouds will be our weather for the next several days until the upper trough can move by us.

So for today, the weather will be mostly cloudy with showers a possibility mainly along and north of I-20. Aloft, the closed low over the Central US will come out across the Great Lakes by Wednesday. With a southwesterly flow aloft over the Southeast, we will remain cloudy with periods of rain and showers through the first of the week.

Rainfall will be quite heavy over the next five days with this slowly evolving pattern. Main focus for the heavy rain is expected to be from northern Mississippi across North Alabama and eastern Tennessee where 4 to 6 inches of rain will be possible.



Rain chances drop for the end of the week as the big closed low moves out of the US, but we retain at least some cloudiness as a weak trough remains behind. That trough becomes a little stronger by Friday as it moves by us paving the way for an upper ridge and a surface high pressure system to take us into the weekend. While we will be colder for the latter half of the week ahead as compared to the first of the week, we should be at or just slightly colder than the 30-year averages for late November/early December. Those are highs around 60 and lows around 40.

For beachgoers, there will be great weather today, but rain will be a threat for the week ahead along with cooler temperatures later this week. 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.

The longer range forecasts from the GFS stick with a fairly active weather pattern. A deep upper trough promises to provide a wet and cold start to Week 2. By Wednesday, another weak trough will be zipping by us followed by a ridge pattern that carries us into the middle of December with yet another closed low headed our way from the Southwest US.

Thanks for stopping by. James Spann will have the next Weather Xtreme Video on Monday morning. Godspeed.




Unseasonably Warm Saturday

| 2:54 pm November 28, 2015

Another terrific day of weather for this last Saturday of November. Plenty of sun for most of the state, while clouds are increasing for northern portions of the state. Another very warm day as temperatures are in the 70s for many of us, which is still 10-15 degrees above average. There are certainly no weather issues for the Iron Bowl today, and we are going to be staying dry for the most part.

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There is a chance for a few showers for Northwest Alabama later tonight, but the main weather story continues to be the mess to the west; where flooding, winter weather, and ice storm warnings continue today. Portions of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, and Arkansas are being dealt a blow my Mother Nature this weekend. The storm system responsible is lifting towards the Great Lakes, and will not be impacting Alabama.

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We are watching the associated cold front that is currently stretching from the Mid-Atlantic, back through the Ohio Valley and into eastern Texas, as it will be sliding towards Alabama which will be bringing rain to the forecast as we round out the weekend. This front it moving very slowly, and is making very little forward progress as an area of high pressure over the Southeast Coast is continuing to be the main feature controlling our weather. We do note the significant temperature change from one side of the front to the other making it very easy to find the front on the temperature map below.

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For Sunday, some showers are expected for areas along and north of Interstate 20. It doesn’t look like a big rain event as the main dynamic support stays north and west of our state. The weather stays mild Sunday with a high in the upper 60s, but look for more clouds than sun.


Historically Beautiful Weather for the Iron Bowl

| 6:30 am November 28, 2015

An all important forecast for today’s 80th iteration of the Iron Bowl will actually be an easy one and a good one as some of the nicest weather to ever grace this historic rivalry.

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IRON BOWL CAST: Tailgaters down in the Loveliest Village on the Plains will enjoy a nice warmup from mild readings in the 50s early this morning. By the time fans head to their gate, the mercury should be in the lower 70s and by kickoff, look for highs in the middle to upper 70s. By the final whistle, readings will drop quickly into the lower 60s, still quite comfortable. Winds will be light, out of the south during the game, and should not be a factor.

MESS OUT WEST: Alabama and Auburn fans are counting their weather blessings on this last Saturday and November, especially given the mess out west. Did you see the weather during the Baylor-TCU game last night? It was actually delayed by lightning. Hard to imagine playing in a driving rainstorm with temperatures in the 30s, a strong northerly wind at 20 mph and wind chills in the 20s.

BIG RAIN YEAR IN BIG D: 56.50 inches of rain in 2015 through 10 p.m. last night at DFW. That establishes a new record for annual rainfall in Big D.

ON THE MAPS: The big trough over the West is anchored by a huge upper low this morning that is over the Great Basin starts of Nevada and Utah. The big low will lumber onto the Plains by tomorrow night and will head toward the Midwest by Tuesday. This will cause a surface low to form over Iowa. This will finally push the cold front through our area. But the pattern over Alabama and the Deep South will be relatively flat, as a ridge over the Gulf of Mexico continues to protect us.

HOW OUR WEATHER WILL UNFOLD: The area of rain will enter northwestern Alabama tonight and should cover areas along and north of I-20 during the day on Sunday. The ridge will hold the front at bay through Monday, only allowing it slow southward progress. Rain will be a good bet along and north of I-20 on Monday and Tuesday. There will be some breaks, and the rainfall won’t be especially heavy, but it will be gloomy and showery. Temperatures will in the 60s Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

MODEL MADNESS: It’s minor, but the models can’t reach consensus yet on when the front will make it through our area. The GFS projects that it will happen on Tuesday. The European says it won’t happen until Wednesday. In either case, it will be showery until that occurs. And now, late runs of the GFS indicate that another disturbance may bring rain chances back Thursday night into Friday across Central Alabama. We may have to adjust the forecast if that trend continues.

IMPROVING CONDITIONS: Sprawling high pressure will take control of our weather for the remainder of the week into the weekend. It will be cool and dry, with highs in the 50s and lows in the 30s through the weekend.

GULF COAST WEATHER: Really dense fog is greeting the day along the beautiful beaches of Alabama and Northwest Florida. There will be a repeat of that tonight as sea fog affects the coast. But the days will feature a good supply of sunshine through Tuesday as the ridge of high pressure continues to hold sway. High temperatures will be in the middle 70s. Lows will be in the 60s. Rain will arrive on Wednesday but it will be a pretty quick hitting front, and the rain should be gone within 18 hours or so. Improving conditions will prevail into the weekend. Highs into the weekend will be in the middle 60s. Lows will be in the 50s. Still not bad. Water temperatures are now in the 60s. 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.

WEATHERBRAINS: This week, the panel will entertain Tyler Radford from the Humanitarian Open Streets Project. This crowdsourced mapping project was instrumental in getting relief into the remote areas affected by Hurricane Patricia several weeks ago. Check out the show at You can also subscribe on iTunes. You can watch the show live at You will be able to see the show on the James Spann 24×7 weather channel on cable or directly over the air on the dot 2 feed.

ON THIS DATE IN 1997: Winds gusting to 40 mph caused the huge Cat in the Hat balloon in New York City’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade to blow out of control, toppling a light post and injuring four spectators, one seriously. High winds had been forecast and parade officials filled the balloons with less helium and directed then to be flown at lower altitudes, but the accident still occurred. New guidelines after the incident required the grounding of the big balloons, such as Charlie Brown, Big Bird and Spiderman when sustained winds reach 23 mph or gusts reach 34 mph. A meteorologist is also employed by the parade to monitor conditions. It was the worst wind incident in the history of the parade. Follow my weather history tweets on Twitter. I am @wxhistorian at


A Warm November Afternoon

| 4:10 pm November 27, 2015

A NATION DIVIDED: A high amplitude upper air pattern has about half of the nation in the deep freeze, and the other half enjoying spring like warmth this afternoon…


Birmingham’s high so far is 74 degrees this afternoon; that is well above the average high of 71, and within 7 degrees of the record high of 81, set in 1990.

TO THE WEST: Back in the cold air, a nasty ice storm will intensify tonight over parts of Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas, where roads will turn into ice skating rinks.


THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: No real change tomorrow; dry and very mild with a mix of sun and clouds and a high in the low 70s. Clouds thicken Sunday, and some rain is possible over the northern third of the state. Best chance of rain Sunday comes along and north of I-20.

NEXT WEEK: Expect periods of rain over the northern third of the state Monday and Tuesday; highest rain totals will come over the Tennessee Valley of far North Alabama, with lighter amounts to the south. No severe storms, and probably no thunder.


Some rain could linger into Wednesday… then cooler and drier air returns for the end of the week with highs dropping into the 50s, and lows in the 30s.

IRON BOWL WEATHER: A fantastic day tomorrow in Auburn for the biggest football game in Alabama; partly sunny and 72 degrees at kickoff; dropping to near 60 by the final whistle.

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…

Google Plus

My next Weather Xtreme video will be posted bright and early Monday morning by 7:00… Brian Peters will have the video updates tomorrow and Sunday. Enjoy the weekend!