Author Archive: Ryan Stinnett

Montgomery Television Meteorologist and long time Contributor on AlabamaWX. Stormchaser. I did not choose Weather, it chose Me. College Football Fanatic. @Ryan_Stinnet

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Significant Severe Weather Threat Possible for Portions of Alabama Tonight

| January 21, 2017 @ 3:05 pm

Later tonight, we are going to see another strong upper-level jet streak round the base of the trough, and this will cause a shortwave to eject out of the upper-level low over the Southern Plains. This is going to allow numerous storms to develop to our west and move towards Alabama late tonight. We should see two areas of convection develop, the first being the activity to the west, while another round of storms develops along the Gulf Coast, much like we saw earlier this morning. All modes of severe weather are going to be possible and that includes large hail, damaging winds, and tornadoes, some of which could be large, violent tornadoes.

PLACEMENT: In the latest day one outlook, the SPC has upgraded to a “moderate risk” (level 4 out of 5) across much of South Alabama, roughly along and south of the U.S. Highway 80 and Interstate 85 corridors. Cities included are Montgomery, Auburn, Troy, Selma, Greenville, Monroeville, Evergreen, Opp, and all locations in between. An “enhanced risk” covers the rest of the southern half of Alabama, while the northern half of Alabama is in the standard “slight risk”.

Overnight, strong low-level shear will promote rotation, and there is a threat for tornadoes across the entire state, however, the highest tornado threat seems to be over the southern half of the state within the “moderate risk” area. STP (Significant Tornado Parameter) values are highest there, and is where we are going to see the best combination of instability and shear. Below is the projected STP values for 11PM tonight.

The main window for strong to severe storms will come from roughly 8PM tonight through 6AM tomorrow morning. This system has the POTENTIAL to be a high impact event for the state. We have already seen significant damage from the first round of storms this morning across South Alabama and South Mississippi. Please remain weather aware as we head into the overnight hours.

Along with threat of storms, we have to mention the threat for some flooding issues across the state as an additional 1-3 inches rain is possible.

Make sure you have multiple reliable sources to receive severe weather notifications in the event a warning is issued for your location. With some of the severe weather occurring during the overnight hours, it extremely important that you are able to receive the alerts. Continue to check the blog frequently for severe weather updates.

Midday Forecast: Calm Today, Strong Storms Develop Late Tonight

| January 20, 2017 @ 11:01 am

We are seeing a mix of sun and clouds today and overall it is a calm day across the state. There are a few sprinkles showing up on the radar, but nothing too widespread.

Another very warm day and late this morning, temperatures are into the 60s, which is well-above average for this time of year. We are going to see highs this afternoon in the 70s.

In the latest day one convective outlook, the SPC has upgraded to an “enhanced risk” of severe storms across areas of South Mississippi and Louisiana, and maintains parts of West and Southwest Alabama in the standard “slight risk” of severe storms, with a “marginal” risk northeast to Birmingham.

The convective outlooks is valid through 6 AM CST tomorrow, so that is why we are seeing parts of the state highlighted in a risk for today. There is no threat of severe weather in Alabama today, this is for late tonight, after midnight, when we expect the first round of storms to begin to impact portions of Alabama.

This first initial round of storms will develop along the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and Mississippi in response to an upper-level jet streak that will provide the dynamic support for storms. These are expected to develop around midnight southwest of Alabama and rapidly head towards the northeast across the areas highlighted in the risk area.

For Alabama, the first chance of severe storms will come from roughly 3AM until 10AM tomorrow. During this time frame, these storms will certainly be capable of producing damaging winds, large hail, and tornadoes. It looks to be a rather stormy start to our Saturday especially across portions of South and Southwest Alabama.

I am just highlighting round one of the storms. There will be several rounds of storms through the weekend. We want to urge folks to remain weather aware this weekend, as this system has the potential to be a high impact event for the state. Make sure you have multiple reliable sources to receive severe weather notifications in the event a warning is issued for your location. With some of the severe weather occurring during the overnight hours, it extremely important that you are able to receive the alerts. As we head into tonight and through the weekend, be sure to check the blog frequently for the latest on the severe weather threat.

Splendid Warm January Saturday

| January 14, 2017 @ 2:52 pm

Once again I am having to do a double and triple look at the calendar as the weather is feeling more like early April compared to mid-January across the state. Near record warmth continues to highlight our forecast, and it is hard to believe that just a week ago, we were iced in and temperatures were unable to climb above freezing.

Not the case today as we are once again seeing a mix of sun and clouds this afternoon.

This afternoon, temperatures have once again been able to climb well into the 70s. Today’s record high for Birmingham is 78° set back in 1932, I don’t think we will reach that today, but we will just have to wait and see later today.

TONIGHT: Another very mild night as lows will only settle down into the lower to mid 50s for most us, which is actually where our average highs should be this time of year. With the continued very moist air mass in place, we are once again going to see areas of fog develop after midnight, and it could be quite dense in many locations. Keep that in mind first thing tomorrow morning.

FOR SUNDAY: More of the same as the spring-like weekend of weather continues. We are going to see more sun than clouds, with very mild and near record highs as mid to upper 70s are expected. Overall a superb Sunday of weather, especially for January. The record high for Birmingham tomorrow is also 78° set back in 1932.

COLD is the Word

| January 7, 2017 @ 2:13 pm

It certainly has been a wild first week of 2017 in the category of Alabama weather. We started the week off with the threat of severe weather in the state, with a couple of tornadoes over southern portions of the state, and ended the week with wintry weather. The winter weather precip. is out of here, but now we have to deal with the left over mess and the brutal cold. With the clear sky today, the strip where the greatest accumulation of snow and ice occurred, is showing up across the Deep South and Central Alabama as it reflects the sunshine. There is also a lot of snow across eastern Arkansas, Tennessee, and the Ohio Valley.

Despite the sun-filled, blue sky, temperatures are struggling to climb today and many locations are only in the upper 20s. You add in those brisk northwest winds, and wind chills are in the teens, and have been as low a 3° at the Birmingham Airport today.

Road conditions are slowly improving this afternoon, due to a very dry air mass and all the sun, but there will remain icy spots, and traffic troubles remain a serious issue through the Birmingham Metro. Travel is not recommended today and tonight through the area.

Icy spots are going to persist and be an issue tonight as the bitterly cold air mass in place will allow our temperatures to head to the mid teens for many locations overnight. Here is one forecast model on lows in the morning, and they could be a few degrees lower in some locations.

This could actually be the coldest night for many of us since February 19, 2015, when the mercury plunged to 13° at the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport. With temps this low, we are going to remind folks of the 4 Ps…People, Pets, Pipes, and Plants. I’d leave the pipes dripping tonight for sure.

HARD FREEZE WARNING: The NWS in Birmingham has issued a Hard Freeze Warning for all of Central Alabama. The NWS Mobile has a similar product all the way to the Gulf Coast. Temperatures tonight will range from 10 degrees in the north to 20 degrees in the far south. These temperatures could cause pipes to burst. Be sure to check on your neighbors and pets and prepare for the cold. Also any roads that are wet or icy will freeze overnight and may create hazardous travel conditions through Sunday morning.

SUNNY SUNDAY: Tomorrow will be very similar to today with tons of sun and cold temperatures. We should see afternoon temps climb above freezing, before heading back down into the lower 20s Sunday night. Highs tomorrow will only be in the mid-30s.

Cloudy and Wet Final Day to 2016

| December 31, 2016 @ 1:35 pm

The clouds and rain moved into Alabama during the overnight hours, and the rain was mixing with some sleet early today. A break in the action late morning and early this afternoon, but more rain is developing and moving towards the area.

For the rest of today, we stay cloudy and we are going to see periods of rain. It is a chilly day with temperatures holding in the 40s and 50s in most spots.

As we head through the night, rain will be increasing in coverage and intensity and as the New Year comes in, it will be wet.

For tomorrow, the first day of 2017, will be a wet and unsettled one. We are going continue to see the threat of rain and we may have a few rumbles of thunder during the day. Temperatures will be warmer Sunday due to the warm air advection, but it will still be cool with highs in the lower 60s. The next 24 hours, the main rain axis will the southern half of the state, where 2-4 inches of rain will be possible, but for North Alabama one half to one inch of rain is possible. Every little bit helps as the drought continues across the state.

Spring-Like Warmth

| December 24, 2016 @ 1:47 pm

Our second year in a row with temps well above average for Christmas. We are seeing a mix of sun and clouds today through Central Alabama, North Alabama is seeing more clouds than sun, while South Alabama is basking in full sunshine.

For our temperatures, we are all 10-15 degrees above normal this afternoon as upper 60s and lower 70s are widespread.

FOR TONIGHT: Santa will have no travel troubles tonight in the Southeast as mainly clear and mild conditions will greet him. In fact Santa may be wearing shorts this year as temps are going to be in the mid to upper 50s, compared to how cold it can be this time of year. Forecast model output below shows Birmingham could be at 60° at 6AM in the morning.

There could be a few areas of fog again after midnight, but once again, no significant weather issues.

CHRISTMAS DAY: An upper-level ridge will intensify across the the Southeast and that will allow for spring-like warmth and near record warmth again. The warmest Christmas Day for Birmingham occurred last year when we hit 77°. I don’t think we will see that, but we won’t be far from it as mid 70s are certainly expected for most of us, but it will definitely be one of the warmest Christmases on record. Forecast model output below shows forecast temps at 2PM Sunday afternoon.

Some spots across South Alabama may make a run at the 80° mark. At this time, it looks as though much of the day will feature plenty of sunshine, and perhaps one of the most beautiful Christmas Days we have seen. Rain is not expected, but an isolated shower may be possible late tomorrow night.

New Tornado Watch Issued Northwest of Alabama

| December 17, 2016 @ 1:56 pm

Effective from 145 PM until 900 PM CST and includes portions of eastern Arkansas, northern Mississippi, West and Central Tennessee and Kentucky, and extreme SE Missouri.

Primary threats include…A few tornadoes likely with a couple intense tornadoes possible, scattered damaging wind gusts to 70 mph likely, isolated large hail events to 1.5 inches in diameter possible.

The rest of this afternoon and into the evening hours, thunderstorms will intensify along and ahead of a cold front moving across the watch area. The strongest storms will pose a risk of damaging wind gusts and a few tornadoes.

REMEMBER…A Tornado Watch means conditions are favorable for tornadoes and severe thunderstorms in and close to the watch area. Persons in these areas should be on the lookout for threatening weather conditions and listen for later statements and possible warnings.

We will be watching developments to our northwest the next several hours. Still yet to be seen how far south and east the overall severe weather threat will be. Stay tuned and check the blog through for updates heading into tonight.

The Waiting Game

| December 17, 2016 @ 12:50 pm

Our temperatures are warming today as southerly winds are increasing and our flow off the Gulf of Mexico is allowing our moisture levels to increase. That will play into the forecast later tonight. For now and into the evening hours, our weather remains rather quiet and we are not expecting much action during the daylight hours. We are seeing mainly cloudy conditions, and there are a few breaks in the cloud cover. There have been a few light showers across Central Alabama today, but nothing too intense.

Now depending on your location in the state, will determine your temperature. Across South and Southwest Alabama 70s are surging north, in West Alabama 60s are widespread, but the closer you get to the Georgia border, temperatures are in the 40s and 50s, with 30s holding on in the Atlanta Metro as a cold air damming/wedge is allowing the cold air to stay entrenched there.

A scan of the Southeast radar shows little convective activity currently, be we should start to see storms develop later this afternoon.

OUR WEATHER SETUP: The Arctic front is over Oklahoma currently and a low pressure along the front and upper level shortwave are allowing for a surge of unstable air into the Southeast as evident of the warmer air and dew points into the 60s into Central Alabama this afternoon. With the unstable air in place, a lifting mechanism due the front and upper-level shortwave, plus some wind shear, everything needed for thunderstorm development is in place.

PLACEMENT: The latest convective outlook from the SPC has the “slight risk” area extending farther north into Kentucky now, with only the northwest corner of the state, mainly from Sulligent to about Athens in this risk area. Outside of there, the “marginal risk” extends southeast to approximately the Interstate 59 corridor: Livingston, Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, Gadsden.

TIMING: The main window for the threat for severe weather for the area still appears to be from 10PM tonight through 4AM tomorrow morning. Here is model date output as far as the timing of the leading edge of the storms reaching the Interstate 59 corridor approximately at 4AM Sunday.

THREATS: As the storms develop to our west, a few discrete supercells are possible, but the overall expectations with this event, will be a QLCS, a squall line. The main threat will come from damaging straight-line winds, but the higher helicity values along the frontal boundary could allow for a few isolated tornadoes embedded within the line. The best dynamics look to remain north of Central Alabama, and the line may very well be losing some of its intensity as it moves into our area, but still enough of a threat for the need to stay weather aware tonight. Rain amounts of 1-2 inches are likely the next 30 hours.

UNPLEASANT SUNDAY: For the most part our Sunday will be a raw, wet, and cold day. The front will be pushing through during the early morning hours so to start the day, it will be raining. As soon as the front passes your location, you’re going to notice a temperature drop, and temps will continue to fall through the day. At 5AM, the front is expected to be between Birmingham and Tuscaloosa with a sharp temperature contrast.

The temperatures through Central Alabama should remain above freezing so wintry precip is not expected to be an issue for most of us. However, in our northern counties, temperatures will be close to freezing in places such as Marion, Winston, and Lamar counties. With rain falling, and temperatures close to freezing, we can not rule out an hour or so of freezing rain in those counties, but this should not last long with little impact as surface and soil temperatures are well above freezing during this time, even if the air temperature at at or just below. Definitely an interesting 24 hours of weather ahead as we are going from one extreme to another in a short span of time, typical Alabama weather.

Tons of Sun, but Chilly Afternoon

| December 10, 2016 @ 12:57 pm

Certainly another gorgeous day across the state with sunshine and blue sky for us all. After one of the coldest mornings of 2016 for many of us, we are seeing temps rebound into the mid and upper 40s.

NOT AS COLD TONIGHT: We are still all going to see freezing temperatures tonight under a clear sky. Temperatures along and south of the Interstate 20 corridor will range from 29-33 degrees, while north of there, mid to upper 20s are expected.

SUNNY & WARMER SUNDAY: Sunday will be dry and warmer. The day will feature a few more clouds, and clouds will be increasing late in the day. High tomorrow will be in the mid to upper 50s as the core of the cold air shifts east of the state, which will allow a return flow from the south, increasing our moisture levels, which will lead to an active week of weather.

Rainy and Chilly Weekend Weather

| December 3, 2016 @ 1:27 pm

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Clouds are here, and if you look at the radar, it looks like the rain is falling across much of the state, but that is not the case.

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The lower levels of the atmosphere are very dry, and the rain is evaporating before it reaches the surface, but as the rain falls through these dry layers, it is moistening those layers of the atmosphere. That means, if you haven’t seen the rain yet, you are going it before the long. The rain is reaching the surface mainly west of Interstate 65 but will continue to spread east today. It is a rather cool Saturday afternoon with temperatures in the 50s.

Looking towards the west, there is a lot of rain heading our way, and we are in store for a rainy night across North/Central Alabama. It is going to be a nice steady soaking rain through out the night; temperatures will hold in the mid 40s all night, and certainly no threat of severe weather, just some great sleeping weather.

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You’ll certainly want the umbrellas and rain gear close to hand heading out the door tomorrow. Our Sunday will feature clouds, periods of rain, and chilly temperatures. Thankfully no severe weather is expected, and I doubt we will hear much thunder in North/Central Alabama, but there could be some across southern portions of the state. Thunder or not, it will be a rather wet day. Temperatures tomorrow afternoon will hold in the lower 50s much of the day, and some spots may sit in the 40s all day.

MORE RAIN AND STORMS: A low pressure system will develop off the Texas coast and will lift north across the southeastern United States, bringing with it another round of strong storms late Monday and into early Tuesday. Now the latest GFS has the low lifting right across Central Alabama, which is not ideal for severe weather for us, but that track of the low, will allow a warm sector to surge north across the state and that will allow for those storms across the state, with the best chance for severe storms over South Alabama. Currently, on their day three convective outlook, the SPC has locations along and south of the U.S. 82 corridor from Tuscaloosa, to Montgomery, to Phenix City in a “marginal risk for severe storms, while the standard “slight risk” covers locations across Southwest Alabama such as Mobile, Gulf Shores, Monroeville, and Evergreen.

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The exact northward extent of the severe weather will depend on how far north the warm, moist air mass makes it inland. The best chance of storms will come Monday night and early Tuesday. We will start to dry out by the time Tuesday evening arrives as the low lifts northeast of the area, and behind it, dry air will be pulled south. Highs will be in the upper 50s and lower 60s across the area on Monday, and back up into the lower to mid 60s for Tuesday.

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For much of Alabama, by the time the rain is finished Tuesday evening, rainfall totals for much of the area will range from 2-4 inches, with a few spots perhaps getting more. We need every drop, but unfortunately some flash flooding could be possible with all of the heavy rainfall, but overall, these soaking rains will not end the drought, but should hopefully put a nice dent in the conditions.

Good-Looking November Weekend, but Rain Returns

| November 26, 2016 @ 1:19 pm

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SUN-FILLED SATURDAY: Plenty of sunshine today, but it is cooler for us all. A cool northwest wind continues to blow and that is making it feel cooler as well. Temperatures this afternoon are ranging from the upper 50s to lower 60s.

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COLD TONIGHT: The clear sky tonight will allow our temperatures to settle into the upper 20s and lower 30s for all of us in Central Alabama. That means we are expecting a morning freeze throughout North/Central Alabama.

SUNNY SUNDAY: After the morning chill, we will once again see more sun than clouds, and highs will be able to climb a few degrees warmer and we should see mid-60s through out North/Central Alabama tomorrow. Late tomorrow, our winds will begin to shift out of the south and that will start to transport moisture north out of the Gulf.

SEVERAL ROUNDS OF RAIN AHEAD: Finally, the stuff what we have been needing, RAIN, will return in earnest to Alabama. As we start the new work week, we are in store for multiple rounds of rain. A dynamic storm system will be lifting across the Plains Sunday and Monday, and will swing a front into the Southeast. This frontal boundary, along with a secondary area of low pressure that lifts north out of the Gulf will give us best chances of rain we have seen since summer.

Monday will be a mild/breezy day with rising dew points; the high will be in the low 70s. The first round of rain and storms will push across the Mississippi Valley and be approaching the western portions of the state by mid-afternoon and into Monday night. We will need to monitor this system for severe weather potential, although at the moment it looks like the surface low will be too far north for a classic severe weather event for Alabama, however, a very strong the wind field will be in place, and with the higher dew points returning, we are going to have to watch everything carefully. As of today, no severe weather risk has been issued of Central Alabama, but the SPC has a “marginal risk” into portions of West Alabama, but this is just a small sliver of the state, along and west of U.S. Hwy 43 from Muscle Shoals to Mobile.

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As the line of storms moves into the state a few strong storms are possible, but the line will be weakening as it pushes east through the nighttime hours. Damaging winds look to be the main threat with any of the stronger storms. Ahead of this line, a few showers could break out Monday during the day across the state as moisture increases on the back of a strong low level jet stream out of the Gulf of Mexico.

TUESDAY/WEDNESDAY: We should see a lull in the action as the best dynamics lift well north of the state, but the frontal boundary should stall across Central Alabama. At this time, we expect the rain to diminish during the day Tuesday, with only a few scattered showers possible. Late Tuesday night and into Wednesday, a wave of low pressure is expected to form on the front and lift across Alabama. This low is expected to cause rain to surge northward again. Severe weather is not expected, but of course that all depends on the track of the low, and some strong storms look possible for South Alabama, and we will be monitoring this low as well. The best news is that we are going to see rain Monday and Monday night, then perhaps an even better rain event Tuesday night and Wednesday, and by the time the rain begins to wind down Wednesday night, much of North/Central Alabama should have received 2-3 inches of rain, or maybe even more in spots…Just what the doctor ordered…We still need a lot more rain to bust the drought, but this should be a good start.

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Midday Nowcast: Terrific Tuesday

| November 22, 2016 @ 12:16 pm

After the cold start, it is another day with an abundance of sunshine. There are a few clouds in the sky, but nothing more than those upper-level cirrus clouds that are trying to filter some of the sun, but overall it is sunshine and blue sky across Alabama this afternoon.

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The sunny conditions, along with the very dry conditions, will allow for the air over Alabama to warm rapidly. After the 20s and 30s this morning, we should see many locations in the upper 60s, and a few lower 70s are possible as well.

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The rest of today, we feature the continued mainly clear conditions; these will allow for temperatures to fall back down into the upper 30s and lower 40s overnight, so cold, but definitely not as cold as the past few nights.

For tomorrow, the winds of change begin to blow and clouds will be on the increase. A storm system, which will be responsible for the threat of severe weather today over Eastern Texas and the ARKLATEX, will lift well to the north of Alabama.

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This system will produce our next chance of rain tomorrow. Still not an overly impressive rain producer for Alabama, and like the last few systems, showers will be moving in from the west, but will be diminishing as they move into the drier air that is over the state. Severe weather is not an issue for Alabama, but there may certainly be a few rumbles of thunder over West Alabama. For the rest of us, we will continue to mention a chance of mostly light rain across North and Central Alabama tomorrow afternoon into the evening hours. Latest model output is now suggesting rain amounts of about 0.10″ for most places, with a few spots seeing 0.20″.

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Definitely not a drought buster, but should be enough to settle the dust in the locations that are fortunate enough to see the wet stuff. While the light rain tomorrow won’t make a dent in the drought, anything we get is certainly welcome. The sky will be generally cloudy tomorrow with a high again in the upper 60s.

THANKSGIVING: For Turkey Day, the system will be pushing away from Alabama so the day will be dry, but there could be a few lingering clouds to start the day, but overall a dry and mild day. Highs in the upper 60s and lower 70s are expected.

WEATHER ON THIS DATE IN 1641: An observer at Boston, MA, recorded a great tempest of wind and rain from the southeast all night, as fierce as a hurricane, and thereupon followed the highest tide which we have seen since our arrival here