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Lots of Moisture across the State

| 9:14 am April 18, 2014

An interesting looking radar across Central Alabama this morning. With an area of low pressure over the north-central Gulf of Mexico, we are seeing moisture move north from the Gulf in all levels of the atmosphere. The upper-level flow over the region is also enhancing this moisture transport. In the lower-levels, the low pressure is having more of an influence and we can see that on the radar.

A look below shows the rain showers over Central Alabama are moving in different directions depending on where you are located and also the height of the radar beam above the surface. Areas between Interstate 20 and Interstate 85 in Central Alabama are seeing the showers move from east to west. South of the Montgomery area, it seems the dominant flow is to the north. North of the Birmingham Metro, we are seeing a more southwesterly movement of the showers. Finally over western portions of the state, in the upper levels the showers are moving north, but the lower levels it appears the majority of the activity is moving to the south.

What does all this mean? It shows that in every level of the atmosphere there is an abundance of moisture thanks to the area of low pressure in the Gulf spreading moisture north. It also means the clouds and rain will hang around throughout the day and that many areas of the state will have a nice, soaking rain today.

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Your Weekly U.S. Drought Monitor Update

| 10:28 am April 17, 2014

Little change in the drought situation across the West. We continue to see a lot of dry areas across the Plains, Texas, the Southwest, and along the West Coast, with those exceptional drought conditions persisting in portions of California, Nevada, Texas, Oklahoma, and Colorado.

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For Alabama, another soaking rain earlier this week has allowed many locations to continue to avoid abnormally dry or drought conditions.

The only part of the state that is still experiencing drought and abnormally dry conditions is in the northwestern part of the state. Moderate drought conditions are occurring in portions of Lauderdale, Colbert, and Franklin Counties, where it amounts to 1.32% of the state being affected. That is the same percentage that was being affected last week.

The abnormally dry conditions continue to impact locations in Lauderdale, Limestone, Lawrence, Colbert, and Franklin Counties. These conditions covered 3.82% of the state last week. This week, it has increased only slightly by 0.16%  to now cover 3.98% of the state.

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Click image to enlarge.

Freeze Warning Tonight

| 12:45 pm April 15, 2014

Here comes the late season freeze. A very cold night is ahead, as all of Alabama will fall into the the 30s tonight, and that includes areas along the Gulf Coast. Across much of Central Alabama, most locations will go below freezing, and several areas will drop into the 20s.  For this reason, the National Weather Service has placed nearly all of Alabama under a freeze warning for tonight and tomorrow morning. Take any and all precautions needed to protect sensitive vegetation as well as pets.

This will be a one night event for most us. Tomorrow, highs will climb into the mid-60s before cooling back-off into the upper 30s for Wednesday night. For the rest of the week, our temperatures will slowly moderate back to those pleasantly warm spring temperatures we have become so accustomed too lately.

4-15-2014 8-00-33 AM

…A STRONG COLD FRONT WILL BRING BELOW FREEZING TEMPERATURES
TONIGHT FOR ALL OF CENTRAL ALABAMA…

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BIRMINGHAM HAS ISSUED A FREEZE
WARNING…WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 1 AM TO 8 AM CDT WEDNESDAY.

* TIMING…TEMPERATURES WILL FALL BELOW FREEZING BETWEEN 1 AM
AND 4 AM LATE TONIGHT ACROSS THE MAJORITY OF CENTRAL ALABAMA.
TEMPERATURES SHOULD WARM ABOVE FREEZING BY 8 AM WEDNESDAY MORNING.

* TEMPERATURES…WILL RANGE FROM THE UPPER 20S NORTH TO THE LOWER
30S ELSEWHERE.

* IMPACTS…THE FREEZING TEMPERATURES MAY DAMAGE OR KILL VEGETATION
THAT HAS ALREADY BLOOMED OR BUDDED OUT FOR THE SPRING.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A FREEZE WARNING MEANS SUB-FREEZING TEMPERATURES ARE IMMINENT OR
HIGHLY LIKELY. THESE CONDITIONS WILL KILL CROPS AND OTHER
SENSITIVE VEGETATION.

Skies are Clearing

| 11:00 am April 15, 2014

A very chilly, windy, and cloudy day is ongoing across Alabama. The winds will continue the rest of today as they help advect a much colder and drier air mass into the state.

As the dry air moves in, we will begin to see our clouds mix out and sunshine return. The sun’s return will occur from northwest to southeast across the state. Looking at the latest satellite image, we are beginning to see breaks in the clouds over western portions of the state, and actually severe clear over northern Mississippi and western Tennessee. During the next few hours we will see the skies clearing over Alabama, which will allow us to see a lot of sunshine this afternoon. The sun will not help much with our temps though, as highs this afternoon will struggle to reach the 50s, with many locations remaining in the 40s.

The winds will subside later this evening, and under a clear sky, we will have ideal radiational cooling conditions. This will allow our temps to drop like a rock later tonight and give us all a very cold and freezing night across the state.

4-15-2014 10-44-36 AM

Another Look at the Radar

| 7:07 pm April 14, 2014

Moderate to heavy rain is moving into western portions of state. The rain will continue to spread east across the state the next few hours. No storms are currently severe in Mississippi, and we are not expecting severe weather in Central Alabama. Storms could produce gusty winds, lightning, perhaps some small hail, and very heavy rainfall.

The bulk of the rainfall is between Interstate 65 in Alabama and Interstate 55 in Central Mississippi. There have been several flash flood warnings back in Mississippi and we certainly could see some flash flooding throughout the area as the rain moves through. Expect several hours of rain before the rain begins to taper off from west to east across the state later tonight.

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Early Evening Radar Check

| 5:12 pm April 14, 2014

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We continue to have scattered light rain across much of the state this evening. This rain will continue the next few hours. We are watching activity to our west over Central Mississippi in and around the Jackson area, where some stronger storms are ongoing currently. This activity will continue to head east through the evening and will be moving across Alabama during the overnight.

4-14-2014 5-02-12 PM

Roughly the southern third of the state remains outlined in a slight risk for severe weather. There is a severe thunderstorm watch across Mississippi and Louisiana with a few warnings in Central Mississippi. Though some of the storms are severe, we are not expecting severe storms to impact North-Central Alabama. We could see a few strong storms in the area, with gusty winds and some hail, but most locations will just see the heavy rains.

Severe storms will be possible across our southern counties and we could even see a watch issued for some of our southwestern counties, but the main concern continues to be the threat for flooding. All of Central Alabama remains under a flash flood watch until 1 PM Tuesday. With the soaking rains from earlier today and additional heavy rain set to arrive after while, we could certainly see a few flash flood warnings.

Flash Flood Watch Expanded

| 12:30 pm April 14, 2014

4-14-2014 12-40-59 PM

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BIRMINGHAM HAS EXPANDED THE
FLASH FLOOD WATCH TO INCLUDE PORTIONS OF CENTRAL ALABAMA…
EAST CENTRAL ALABAMA AND SOUTHEAST ALABAMA…INCLUDING THE
FOLLOWING AREAS…IN CENTRAL ALABAMA…LOWNDES AND MONTGOMERY.
IN EAST CENTRAL ALABAMA…LEE…MACON AND RUSSELL. IN
SOUTHEAST ALABAMA…BARBOUR…BULLOCK AND PIKE.

* THROUGH TUESDAY AFTERNOON

* WIDESPREAD HEAVY RAINFALL OF 1 TO 3 INCHES IS EXPECTED IN THE
WATCH AREA…WITH LOCALIZED HIGHER AMOUNTS.

* THE ACCUMULATED RAINFALL EXPECTED WITH THIS SYSTEM WILL BE
ENOUGH TO AGGRAVATE SOME RIVERS AND STREAMS THAT ARE ALREADY
RUNNING ABOVE NORMAL…AND SOME RIVERS ARE FORECAST TO REACH
STAGES OF MINOR FLOODING. ROADWAYS IN LOW LYING AREAS WILL
LIKELY FLOOD…ESPECIALLY ROADS THAT ARE CLOSE TO CREEKS AND
STREAMS. PONDING OF WATER WILL BE LIKELY IN URBAN AREAS WHERE
POOR DRAINAGE EXISTS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A FLASH FLOOD WATCH MEANS THAT CONDITIONS MAY DEVELOP THAT LEAD
TO FLASH FLOODING. FLASH FLOODING IS A VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION.

YOU SHOULD MONITOR LATER FORECASTS AND BE PREPARED TO TAKE ACTION
SHOULD FLASH FLOOD WARNINGS BE ISSUED.

…FLASH FLOOD WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT THROUGH TUESDAY
AFTERNOON…

THE FLASH FLOOD WATCH CONTINUES THROUGH TUESDAY AFTERNOON FOR

* PORTIONS OF CENTRAL ALABAMA…EAST CENTRAL ALABAMA…NORTHEAST
ALABAMA…NORTHWEST ALABAMA AND WEST CENTRAL ALABAMA…
INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING AREAS…IN CENTRAL ALABAMA…AUTAUGA…
BIBB…BLOUNT…CHILTON…COOSA…DALLAS…ELMORE…
JEFFERSON…PERRY…SHELBY…ST. CLAIR…TALLADEGA AND WALKER.
IN EAST CENTRAL ALABAMA…CALHOUN…CHAMBERS…CLAY…
CLEBURNE…RANDOLPH AND TALLAPOOSA. IN NORTHEAST ALABAMA…
CHEROKEE AND ETOWAH. IN NORTHWEST ALABAMA…MARION AND
WINSTON. IN WEST CENTRAL ALABAMA…FAYETTE…GREENE…HALE…
LAMAR…MARENGO…PICKENS…SUMTER AND TUSCALOOSA.

North-Central Alabama Cleared from Severe Weather Risk

| 8:27 am April 14, 2014

The latest outlook from the SPC has cleared much of North-Central Alabama from the risk of severe weather today. Ongoing showers and storms this morning continue to stabilize the atmosphere over the state. The risk for severe weather in the state (outlined in green), is along and south of U.S. 80 across the Black Belt Region of the state to Montgomery, and also includes, Mobile, Dothan, Troy, Monroeville, and Jackson.

4-14-2014 8-06-35 AM

This morning, showers and storms continue to push towards the south across the state. In the wake of the front edge of this convection, moderate rain continues to fall across central portions of the state. This activity will last for several more hours and will give most locations a soaking rain today.

With the persistent rain over the region, it does not appear the atmosphere will have time to recover and destabilize before the front moves through the area. If this would have occurred, there would have been the threat for severe storms later today. Once again, this does not look likely today, but in any case, we will have to watch the front as it moves into the state this afternoon as it could produce a some additional showers and storms.

With the threat of severe weather diminishing today, we now turn our focus to the flooding threat that could possible develop. Many areas of Central Alabama could receive 1-2 inches of rain today with some locations in West Alabama possibly receiving more. Much of Central Alabama remains under a flash flood watch until 1PM Tuesday.

4-14-2014 8-15-52 AM