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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.

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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.

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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.

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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…

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…

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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.

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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…

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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!

Another Look At Tomorrow

| 9:36 pm April 24, 2015

Some notes on what to expect in Alabama during the next 24 hours…

OVERNIGHT: Rain will increase after midnight as a warm front lifts northward; some heavy rain is possible in spots, and thunderstorm intensity will also increase as higher dewpoints advect into North Alabama from the south.

We are still looking at two main windows for severe storms tomorrow…

FIRST ROUND: Storms between 4:00 and 7:00 a.m. could be strong to severe as we get into the warm sector of the storm system approaching from the west. Below is the HRRR model, valid at 5a CDT…

hrrr_ref_birmingham_10

The main threat will come from strong straight line winds and hail, but an isolated tornado is not out of the question.

This first batch of storms will exit the state by mid-morning, and many of the midday hours will be rain-free. The sun should break out at times, and we rise into the low 80s.

SECOND ROUND: This is a more difficult forecast, but there is as chance that new, scattered storms will begin to form by 3:00 p.m… with the risk extending through about 9:00 p.m. It is important to note that it won’t rain everywhere tomorrow afternoon due to the scattered nature of the storms. However, where the storms develop, they should become severe quickly, and will have potential for hail, strong straight line winds, and a few isolated tornadoes.

Interesting to note the new run of the high resolution NAM model shows little development tomorrow afternoon.

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The chance of severe storms developing tomorrow afternoon will simply depend on the state of the atmosphere after the overnight storms, and the degree of instability we see during the day. The best combination of dynamic lift, instability, and shear will be along and east of I-65, although we certainly can’t rule out a storm on the western side as well. But, there is also a chance very few storms will fire up. We will just have to wait and watch.

BIRMINGHAM NOAA WEATHER RADIO: Unfortunately, the Birmingham NOAA Weather Radio transmitter is still down… so we recommend using a smart phone app like MyWarn or WeatherRadio by WDT as a good backup. You can also change the frequency on your weather radio to Mt. Cheaha (162.475) or Tuscaloosa (162.40).

We will have more updates through the night… stay tuned…

Rain/Storms Move In Tonight

| 3:41 pm April 24, 2015

ACTIVE SETUP AS THE WEEKEND BEGINS: Clouds will thicken across Alabama over the next few hours, and rain will move into West Alabama this evening as a warm front begins to push northward. We expect a good rain/thunderstorm event overnight, with the heaviest and most widespread rain along and north of I-20. Rain amounts tonight will be in the 1/2 to 1 inch range, we will monitor the storms for severe weather potential. Higher dewpoints and unstable air will advect up into the state early tomorrow.

TOMORROW: SPC has adjusted their outlook tomorrow a bit; now the standard “slight” risk of severe weather is in place north of a line from Russellville to Alabaster to Opelika… a “marginal” risk south of that line. The “enhanced” risk is north of Alabama, for parts of Tennessee and Kentucky.

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Surface based CAPE values will rise to near 3,000 j/kg tomorrow afternoon, the most unstable air we have seen all year. EHI (Energy Helicity Index) values peak at over 3 units over Northeast Alabama tomorrow afternoon. Wind fields and shear values are not overwhelming, but they are certainly supportive of the potential for a few severe thunderstorms.

Here are the important things to know about tomorrow…

*I can’t rule out a few early morning severe storms as the big rain mass moves out of Alabama… in the 4:00 to 7:00 a.m. time frame. Main risk will be from hail and gusty winds, although an isolated tornado is not completely out of the question.

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*Rain and storms will end from west to east early tomorrow morning, and most of the rain should be in Georgia by 9:00 a.m.

*The middle of the day, and a decent part of the afternoon will be dry, with some sun at times. Temperatures will rise into the low 80s.

*Scattered storms will form tomorrow afternoon and early tomorrow night, and where those storms develop they could be severe. Understand, not everyone will have a thunderstorm tomorrow evening, but where they form they could become severe quickly.

*The main window for scattered severe storms will come from about 3:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m., and the better chance of them will be along and east of I-65, where dynamic support will be higher.

*The risk of severe weather over the southern half of the state is fairly low.

Everyone should have a way of receiving severe weather watches and warnings if they are needed.

BIRMINGHAM NOAA WEATHER RADIO: The Birmingham system remains down; the NWS is working as hard as they can to get service restored, but if you are in the Birmingham metro, understand you won’t get warnings via Weather Radio until the transmitter is back. A good alternative is a smart phone app like WeatherRadio by WDT, or MyWarn.

SUNDAY: SPC has a “marginal” severe weather threat for the southern part of Alabama, south of a surface boundary… we believe the northern half of the state will be dry with a partly sunny sky and a high around 80 degrees.

NEXT WEEK: Monday will stay dry; rain returns Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday, but this system won’t bring a severe weather threat since a relatively weak surface low will pass south of us, near the Gulf Coast. For now it looks like a harmless spring rain event. Drier air returns Thursday and Friday. 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.

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

Facebook
Twitter
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I had a great time today visiting with the kids at Sulligent Elementary School in Lamar County… be looking for them on the Pepsi KIDCAM today at 5:00 on ABC 33/40 News! My next Weather Xtreme video will be posted here by 7:00 a.m. Monday… Brian Peters will have the video updates tomorrow and Sunday. And, we will post frequent updates on the Alabama weather situation over the next 24 hours, so stay tuned…

Severe Weather Risk Tomorrow

| 6:20 am April 24, 2015

COOL START: Another cool April morning across North Alabama; Fort Payne reports 37… our Skywatcher at Black Creek (just northeast of Gadsden), Vic Bell, reports 39, and Cullman is at 42. We rise into the 70s this afternoon with intervals of sunshine. The bulk of the day will be dry.

WET TONIGHT: A large mass of rain and storms, associated with a northward moving warm front, will overspread the state. The latest high resolution HRRR model hints that the rain could begin this evening, in the 5:00 to 7:00 time frame. Expect periods of rain and a few thunderstorms through the night; the rain could be heavy at times, and a strong storm is certainly possible. SPC has a “marginal” risk of severe storms into the western half of Alabama late tonight, but most of the storms will be elevated, and the risk of organized severe weather is fairly small (but not zero). Rain amounts of 1/2 to 1 inch look likely overnight.

SEVERE WEATHER THREAT TOMORROW: We have higher confidence in the scenario for tomorrow; SPC maintains the standard “slight” severe weather risk for much of the state, with an “enhanced” risk over far North Alabama and up into Tennessee.

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The air will be very unstable tomorrow afternoon, with surface based CAPE values exceeding 3,000 j/kg in spots over North Alabama. Low level helicity values will be supporting of rotating updrafts, and lapse rates hint that some large hail is possible in stronger storms that form late in the day.

Here is what to expect….

*The overnight batch of storms will end early in the day, and a decent part of the mid-day hours will be dry with the sun breaking out. Temperatures will rise into the low 80s, maybe even mid 80s in parts of West Alabama by afternoon.

*New storms will begin to form in the 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. time frame. It is important to note that not everyone will see an afternoon or evening storm; they will be scattered in nature.

*Where storms do form, they would be severe, with potential for large hail, damaging winds, and a few isolated tornadoes.

*The tornado threat is highest across the Tennessee Valley region of far North Alabama, where dynamic support will be greater, and wind fields stronger. But, an isolated tornado can’t be ruled out down into Central Alabama.

*Greatest risk of severe storms will come from roughly 3:00 until 9:00 p.m.

This type of event is pretty common in Alabama in late April; no need to be alarmed or worried. Just pay attention to weather developments, and have a good way of hearing severe weather watches and warnings as they are needed. We will have frequent updates here on the blog.

SUNDAY: Interesting to note the guys at SPC have the southern half of Alabama in a “marginal” severe weather risk Sunday. A surface boundary will be somewhere around the middle of our state; along and south of that a few widely scattered showers and storms could develop, and they could be strong. But, for now, we will keep a dry forecast going for the northern half of the state. The NAM is printing a high of 86 degrees for Birmingham Sunday afternoon; it would be a pretty warm day.

The weather stays dry Monday with a high in the 70s.

TUESDAY/WEDNESDAY: The next wave in the jet will bring periods of rain to the state; the GFS is trend weaker and slower, hinting the bulk of the rain will come Tuesday evening through the day Wednesday. Again, the surface low is expected to pass south of here, meaning little if any severe weather risk. Drier air returns Thursday and Friday.

See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

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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
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I have a weather program this morning at Sulligent Elementary School in Lamar County…. be looking for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon… enjoy the day!

Severe Storms Possible Saturday

| 2:36 pm April 23, 2015

THIS AFTERNOON: Lingering patches of light rain across Central Alabama will end soon, and the sky becomes mostly fair late tonight. As expected, temperatures are noticeably cooler across the northern half of the state today; in fact some spots are barely out of the 50s at mid-afternoon.

TOMORROW: Most of the day tomorrow will be dry; with a mix of sun and clouds we project a high in the mid 70s… just a small risk of afternoon shower. Then, tomorrow night, rain and storms will increase from the south as a warm front lifts northward. The latest high resolution NAM is now suggesting the best chance of rain holds off until after midnight tomorrow night, so while we sure can’t make any promises, you might get a baseball or softball game in tomorrow evening before the big rain comes.

SEVERE WEATHER POTENTIAL SATURDAY: A deep surface low will be over Missouri Saturday, supported by an upper trough lifting out of the Southwest U.S. Surface based instability values are now projected to rise to near 3,000 j/kg over West Alabama late Saturday afternoon, the most unstable values we have seen so far in 2015. The low level jet (around 5,000 feet) is expected to be in the 40 knot range, and there is a significant amount of speed and directional shear.

The NAM is suggesting EHI (Energy Helicity Index) values in the 3-5 unit range late Saturday afternoon over the northern third of Alabama.

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Some thoughts on the day:

*Storms could be in progress early Saturday morning, but only a marginal severe weather risk with those.

*There is a good chance we will have several hours of rain-free conditions Saturday, and the sun should be out at times pushing afternoon temperatures up into the low 80s (maybe even mid 80s over West Alabama).

*Storms should begin to develop during the peak of the daytime heating process Saturday afternoon, and those will be the ones with the highest severe weather potential.

*All modes of severe weather will be possible, including hail, damaging straight line winds, and a few tornadoes.

*The severe weather threat will end around midnight Saturday night as drier air begins to push in from the west.

The Storm Prediction Center has all of Alabama in the standard “slight” risk of severe weather for Saturday.

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SUNDAY/MONDAY: These two days will be dry and pleasant, with a high in the 77-82 degree range and a partly sunny sky both days.

TUESDAY/WEDNESDAY: The good news is that we are getting good model consistency in the idea of a surface low passing through South Alabama, meaning little if any severe weather issues for the northern half of the state on these two days. But, periods of rain and a few thunderstorms are likely, and the rain could be heavy at times. The high Tuesday will be in the 70s, but will drop into the 60s Wednesday.

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.

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

Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus
Instagram

I had a great time today visiting with the students at Whitesboro Elementary School in Etowah County… 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…

Some Rain Possible This Afternoon

| 6:37 am April 23, 2015

RADAR CHECK: Models have not done a good job handling the precipitation fields today; despite a surface front in the area, the radar is quiet this morning, and there is no rain in progress statewide. However, west of the state, there is a rather large mass of rain and thunderstorms over parts of Arkansas and Louisiana thanks to a wave embedded in the sub-tropical jet stream, and that wave is moving east. This means it now looks like the best chance of rain today will actually during during the afternoon hours (models had suggested the showers today would be this morning).

So… we will adjust the forecast accordingly and mention rain this afternoon, generally in the 12:00 noon to 6:00 p.m. time frame. There could be some thunder, but there is no significant risk of severe weather, and rain amounts should be under 1/2 inch. Best chance of rain will be south of a line from Vernon to Warrior to Alexandria… rain seems unlikely north of U.S. 278 (Hamilton to Cullman to Gadsden) where the air will be drier.

TOMORROW: Most of the day will be dry; some sun at times with a high in the mid 70s. An afternoon shower can’t be ruled out, but most of the rain will hold off until tomorrow night. High resolution NAM model output hints the rain begins sometime between 6:00 and 9:00 tomorrow night as a warm front lifts northward, and we will have periods of rain and thunderstorms through the night. The severe weather risk is fairly low tomorrow night, although a few stronger storms are certainly possible.

SATURDAY: The Storm Prediction Center has all 67 Alabama counties in the standard “slight” risk of severe weather…

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Here are some thoughts about Saturday’s weather…

*It won’t rain all day, and the sun could break out at times. The high res NAM suggests we could see storms early in the day, followed by a midday break in the rain, then more storms by late afternoon and into Saturday night.

*It will be a warm day, with a high at or just over 80 degrees. This will help to make the air unstable; surface based CAPE values are expected to exceed 2,000 j/kg by afternoon.

*Forecast parameters suggest all modes of severe weather will be possible, including hail, strong straight line winds, and a few isolated tornadoes.

*It is impossible to give you start/stop times for rain at any specific location… just understand where storms develop, they could be strong to severe.

There are many, many outdoor events going on, so just be sure you have a way of hearing watches and warnings.

SUNDAY/MONDAY: These two days looks dry and pleasant with highs in the 78-82 degree range. Eyes will be on another dynamic weather system off to the west, impacting Texas and some of the adjacent states.

TUESDAY/WEDNESDAY: That Texas system will impact Alabama on these days, but we have more questions than answers now. Both the GFS and the ECMWF have been trending southward with the surface low, and this would reduce any risk of severe weather for the northern two-thirds of Alabama, meaning the main issue here would be from heavy rain. We really need to get past the Saturday system to feel confident about telling you what will happen with this one. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

KBHM_2015042300_min_max_16

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 have a weather program this morning in northern Etowah County at Whitesboro Elementary School… be looking for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon. Enjoy the day!

Showers Possible Late Tonight

| 3:37 pm April 22, 2015

RADAR CHECK: As you might expect with a good supply of sunshine, we have no showers on radar this afternoon, and a dry airmass is still in place across Alabama. Temperatures are mostly in the upper 70s, and to the north we are watching a cold front just south of I-40 in Tennessee. This front will push into Alabama later tonight, and it is still capable of producing a band of showers after midnight tonight into tomorrow morning.

The main window for showers will come from about 12:00 midnight tonight through 12:00 noon tomorrow, although we can’t rule out a stray shower in spots tomorrow afternoon. Amounts should be under 1/2 inch, and there is no risk of severe weather. Tomorrow will be cooler with a high in the mid to upper 60s over the northern third of the state.

FRIDAY: The day looks generally dry with a high in the low to mid 70s, but a few scattered showers could break out during the afternoon as a warm front begins to lift northward across the state. Rain and storms become widespread Friday night, and that rain could be heavy at times. The risk of severe weather Friday night is low, but not zero.

TWO SEVERE WEATHER SETUPS: This is the core of the spring tornado season, and sure enough it looks like we will have two severe weather threats over the next seven days.

THREAT NUMBER ONE: The first will come during the day Saturday. A surface low will be over Missouri, supported by an upper trough, and a very moist, unstable airmass will be in place. It won’t rain all day Saturday, and the sun could break out at times, but we will forecast a good chance of occasional showers and thunderstorms through the day and into the evening hours. Surface based CAPE values are forecast to exceed 2,000 j/kg by Saturday afternoon, and we are now seeing rather high storm relative helicity values advertised by the GFS (over 300 m2/s2), which could set the stage for rotating updrafts.

This this time, it looks like the core severe weather threat will come from 11:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. Saturday, and all modes of severe weather will be possible, including large hail, strong straight line winds, and a few tornadoes. This could, and probably will change as we get closer to the event, but everyone needs to understand severe weather is a distinct possibility Saturday.

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Sunday and Monday are looking dry and pleasant, with a good supply of sunshine both days and highs in the 78-82 degree range.

THREAT NUMBER TWO: The second severe weather threat will come in the Monday night-Tuesday time frame. A deep surface low will set up northwest of Alabama with a deep upper trough with strong wind fields. Early indications suggest this could be a significant threat, but keep in mind this is six days away, and it could easily change. Take a few minutes to watch the Weather Xtreme video for the 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.

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

Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus
Instagram

I enjoyed speaking this morning at the Jacksonville State University Administrative Conference… look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 7:00 a.m. tomorrow…