Author Archive: James Spann

James Spann is one of the most recognized and trusted television meteorologists in the industry. He holds the AMS CCM designation and television seals from the AMS and NWA. He is a past winner of the Broadcast Meteorologist of the Year from both professional organizations.

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TD 9 – Gulf Coast Impact

| August 30, 2016 @ 5:50 pm

This is a look at expected impact of Tropical Depression Nine on Florida and the Gulf Coast…

TD 9 should become a tropical storm tonight (most likely getting the name “Hermine”). The center of circulation should move into North Florida east of Apalachicola Thursday afternoon. While this system is not expected to become a hurricane, some model guidance is suggesting it will be a high end tropical storm, with potential for winds of 50 mph or higher. Accordingly, a Hurricane Watch has been issued from the Anclote River to Indian Pass. And a Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for the Florida Gulf Coast west of Indian Pass to the Walton/Bay County line.

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Here are the important impact points…

*Heaviest rain will come over North Florida tomorrow and Thursday, mainly east of a line from Marianna to Panama City Beach. Some spots could see over 5 inches of rain, and flooding is a very real possibility, and most likely will be the biggest impact from the system.

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*Dangerous surf and rip tides are likely on the Central Gulf Coast all the way from Gulf Shores to Apalachicola and all the way down to Tampa through Thursday. Red flags are flying now.

*An isolated tornado or two will be possible Thursday over North Florida, especially in the corridor from Cross City to Jacksonville.

*The tropical system moves over to the Atlantic coast Friday, and conditions will improve dramatically in Florida. The Labor Day weekend for all of Florida looks nice, with ample sunshine and only a few widely scattered showers or storms. Seas will subside as well by Saturday.

*The weather actually looks very nice for Dauphin Island, Gulf Shores, and Pensacola all the way through the holiday weekend, with mostly sunny days and fair nights… only widely scattered storms. It will be breezy Thursday, and again we stress that dangerous rip tides are likely through Thursday night. The seas will calm down by the Labor Day weekend.

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Stay tuned to the blog for updates in coming days…

Watches Issued For Part Of Florida’s Coast

| August 30, 2016 @ 4:28 pm

The NHC track for Tropical Depression Nine has been shifted a little to the left… as it approaches they have issued a hurricane watch from the Anclote River to Indian Pass. A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for the Florida Gulf Coast west of Indian Pass to the Walton/Bay County line.

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Scroll down to the post below this one for a detailed look at what to expect on the Central Gulf Coast, and the Alabama weather situation…

TD9 To Be Upgraded Soon; Alabama Mostly Dry

| August 30, 2016 @ 3:13 pm

RADAR CHECK: As expected, showers are pretty hard to find across Alabama this afternoon… most of them are around the U.S. 80 corridor… moving to the west…

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Temperatures are mostly in the low 90s.

TOMORROW/THURSDAY: No real change; mostly sunny, hot days with highs in the 91-95 degree range; the chance of any one spot getting wet is only about one in eight. Showers will stay few and far between.

FRIDAY AND THE HOLIDAY WEEKEND: Drier, continental air will move into Alabama Friday, setting up a pretty nice Labor Day weekend. We expect mostly sunny days, lower humidity, and fair cooler nights. Highs 87-91; lows down in the 60s. In fact, some of the normally cooler spots could reach the upper 50s early Sunday morning for a little fall preview.

Dry weather will most likely continue into the middle of next week; see the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

TOPIC: TROPICS: Quite a smorgasbord today… let’s take it one system at a time.

HURRICANE GASTON: Estimated winds are at 105 mph; Gaston is moving east in the open Atlantic. It could impact the Azores this weekend as a weakening system, but otherwise no impact to land.

INVEST 92L: The new wave in the far eastern Atlantic remains disorganized, but a pretty good chance it becomes better organized later this week on the journey westward. Models for now take this one north of the Caribbean, suggesting it won’t be a Gulf of Mexico threat, but it is simply way too early to know for sure. Just something to watch for now.

TROPICAL DEPRESSION EIGHT: The system just east of the North Carolina Outer Banks remains disorganized. It will move out to sea tomorrow, and the Labor Day weekend looks great for the Atlantic coast.

TROPICAL DEPRESSION NINE: The TD in the Gulf of Mexico looks better organized, and it will probably be upgraded to Tropical Storm Hermine soon. Not much change in thinking; it will move into North Florida Thursday evening…

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The main issue will be heavy rain across the Florida Peninsula; amounts of over 5 inches are likely. Also, dangerous surf and rip tides are likely as far west as Dauphin Island over the next 48 hours. The good news is that this system will move over into the Atlantic Friday, and will be long gone by the Labor Day weekend.

IMPACT ON THE CENTRAL GULF COAST: The main issue will be around Panama City Beach, and perhaps as far east as Destin on Thursday, when winds will increase as the tropical system gets closer. A few periods of rain are likely Thursday as well from Destin east. Also, note that dangerous rip tides are likely along the coastline from Gulf Shores to Panama City Beach through Thursday with red flags up already this afternoon.

The tropical system will be long gone by the Labor Day weekend; we project sunny days and fair nights Friday through Monday with only isolated showers. Highs on the immediate coast 87-90, with low 90s inland. See a very detailed Gulf Coast forecast here.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: Friday night looks fantastic for high school football across Alabama with a clear sky and temperatures falling through the 70s. Humidity levels won’t be as bad as the first two weeks.

Auburn hosts Clemson Saturday night at Jordan-Hare Stadium (8:00p CT kickoff)… the sky will be clear. Kickoff temperature near 78 degrees, falling into the low 70s by the final whistle.

Alabama will take on Southern Cal Saturday night at Arlington, Texas (8:00p CT kickoff)… a clear sky with temperatures falling from near 82 at kickoff, into the mid 70s by the end of the game.

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…

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I had a great time today visiting with the students at Glen Iris Baptist School in Birmingham… 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 early tomorrow morning by 7:00…

Tropical Action Stays East Of Alabama

| August 30, 2016 @ 6:04 am

A GENERALLY DRY PATTERN: Alabama’s weather won’t change much today through Thursday; mostly sunny, hot days with only isolated afternoon and evening showers. Chance of any one spot getting wet each day is only about one in eight, and highs will be in the 91-95 degree range.

FRIDAY AND THE LABOR DAY WEEKEND: An upper trough over the eastern U.S. will help to pull down drier, continental air, setting up some pretty nice weather for the holiday weekend. Mostly sunny days, fair cooler nights, and lower humidity. Highs will drop back into the 88-91 degree range, with lows in the 60s. Some of the cooler pockets across North Alabama could see upper 50s by early Sunday morning.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: First off, Friday night looks fantastic for high school football across Alabama with a clear sky and temperatures falling through the 70s. Humidity levels won’t be as bad as the first two weeks.

Auburn hosts Clemson Saturday night at Jordan-Hare Stadium (8:00p CT kickoff)… the sky will be clear. Kickoff temperature near 78 degrees, falling into the low 70s by the final whistle.

Alabama will take on Southern Cal Saturday night at Arlington, Texas (8:00p CT kickoff)… a clear sky with temperatures falling from near 82 at kickoff, into the mid 70s by the end of the game.

TROPICS: Things are pretty active, as you might expect in late August. Here is a breakdown on the action…

HURRICANE GASTON: Packing estimated winds of 100 mph, Gaston is moving eastward, away from the U.S. It will be close to the Azores this weekend as a “post tropical” North Atlantic storm.

INVEST 92L: A well organized wave emerged off the coast of Africa yesterday; it has a decent chance of becoming a tropical depression and storm in coming days as it makes the long journey across the Atlantic. Tropical models and the GFS suggest this will begin to gain latitude in about 3-4 days, staying north of the Caribbean. If this verifies, it will not be a Gulf of Mexico threat, and it remains to be seen if it recurves over the open Atlantic, or threatens the Atlantic Coast of the U.S. Just too early to know.

TROPICAL DEPRESSION EIGHT: This disorganized system is just east of the Outer Banks of North Carolina; it will turn northeast out to sea today. Still some chance it becomes a tropical storm.

TROPICAL DEPRESSION NINE: Down in the Southeast Gulf of Mexico, convection seems to be increasing, and there is a decent chance this becomes a tropical storm over the next 24-36 hours. The circulation center is expected to move into North Florida (somewhere between Apalachicola and Tampa) Thursday. The main impact of this will be rain, heavy at times for the Florida Peninsula (not the panhandle), and dangerous rip tides and rough surf. It moves out into the Atlantic Friday, and it will be long gone by the Labor Day weekend.

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Alabama will see no direct impact from TD 9, and the only impact on the Central Gulf Coast will come Thursday when Panama City Beach could see periods of rain and breezy conditions. The risk of rain from Destin west to Gulf Shores remains fairly low (as a direct result of this tropical system).

AT THE BEACH: The weather generally looks great for the Central Gulf Coast through the Labor Day weekend, with mostly sunny days, fair nights, and only widely scattered showers. The exception is Thursday with that risk of rain for Panama City Beach due to the tropical system. However, rip tides are likely tomorrow and Thursday… the surf will settle down by the Labor Day weekend as TD 9 moves into the Atlantic and away from the region. Highs on the immediate coast will be in the upper 80s, with low to mid 90s inland. See a very detailed Gulf Coast forecast here.

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…

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I will be speaking at Glen Iris Baptist School today… look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon. Enjoy the day!

WeatherBrains 554: Bracing For Impact

| August 30, 2016 @ 5:01 am

WeatherBrains Episode 554 is now online (August 29, 2016). If you are crazy about weather, this is THE netcast audio program for you!

This episode of WeatherBrains takes a look back on the 11th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

John Zarrella is this week’s guest WeatherBrain; he worked for CNN from 1981–2013. In addition to covering numerous hurricanes and tropical storms, he was the principal correspondent for CNN’s coverage of the U.S. space program, covering such events such as John Glenn’s 1998 return to space, the Mars Pathfinder mission and numerous space shuttle launches.

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Other discussions in this weekly podcast include topics like:

  • Extremes: 113 at Death Valley, CA, and 34 at Lake Yellowstone, WY, Truckee, CA, & West Yellowstone, MT
  • Heading into meteorological Fall but still hot
  • Tropical Atlantic has sprung into action
  • Astronomy Outlook with Tony Rice
  • and more!

Our email bag officer is continuing to handle the incoming messages from our listeners.

From The Weather Center:

WeatherBrains 101:

Listener SurveyListener Surveys: Okay, we continue to drive this topic into the ground, but we really do like to hear from you. Many thanks to everyone who has taken the time to fill out the Listener Survey. The survey takes just a minute or two to complete and provides us with an opportunity to learn where you are and hear your thoughts and comments on the show. Click here to take the survey.

Web Sites from Episode 554:

NCDC report on Hurricane Katrina

To subscribe to the brand new SkyWritings, an email newsletter from the WeatherBrains gang, click HERE.

Picks of the Week:

Nate Johnson – The Watch & Warning Rainbow

Bill Murray – National Weather Association WeatherReady Fest 2016

Kevin Selle – Drone data used to upgrade storm

Rick Smith – News organizations embarrassed with rotten weather reporting

James Spann – 30-minute tornado warnings?

Aubrey Urbanowicz – NOAA Hazard and Data Viewer

The WeatherBrains crew includes your host, James Spann, plus other notable geeks like Nate Johnson, Bill Murray, Aubrey Urbanowicz, Rick Smith, Kevin Selle, and Brian Peters. They bring together a wealth of weather knowledge and experience for another fascinating netcast about weather.

Audible.com graphic

Dry Pattern For Alabama; TD 9 Stays East

| August 29, 2016 @ 2:49 pm

RADAR CHECK: You can pretty much count the number of showers on radar this afternoon on one hand. They are small, short lived, and moving to the west…

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Away from the showers, the sky is partly to mostly sunny with temperatures in the 91-95 degree range.

The weather won’t change much tomorrow and Wednesday; lots of sun both days with only isolated afternoon showers or thunderstorms, along with highs in the low to mid 90s.

THURSDAY/FRIDAY: The ridge breaks down, and we should see a shot of drier, continental air by Thursday night and Friday. A few widely scattered showers or storms is possible Thursday afternoon and evening, but Friday looks rain-free as the dry air takes over. The humidity will be lower Friday, and conditions will be much more comfortable for high school football games Friday night. Not really cooler, but at least the humidity will be down.

LABOR DAY WEEKEND: For Alabama we project mostly sunny days and fair nights Saturday through Monday. Highs 88-91, lows in the 60s. Some of the cooler spots across North Alabama could reach the upper 50s early Saturday morning.

And, the dry pattern looks to hold into the middle part of next week. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: First off, Friday night looks fantastic for high school football across Alabama with a clear sky and temperatures falling through the 70s. Humidity levels won’t be as bad as the first two weeks.

Auburn hosts Clemson Saturday night at Jordan-Hare Stadium (8:00p CT kickoff)… the sky will be clear. Kickoff temperature near 78 degrees, falling into the low 70s by the final whistle.

Alabama will take on Southern Cal Saturday night at Arlington, Texas (8:00p CT kickoff)… a clear sky with temperatures falling from near 82 at kickoff, into the mid 70s by the end of the game.

TROPICS: Hurricane Gaston remains well organized in the Atlantic east of Bermuda, but it is moving eastward away from the U.S.

We note a well organized tropical wave is about to emerge off the coast of Africa; this has a good chance of developing over the Atlantic as it moves westward late this week and over the weekend. WAY too early to know if this recurves over the open water, or tries to make a run at the Greater Antilles or the U.S. Just something to watch.

Tropical Depression Eight remains very disorganized, but still some chance it becomes a minimal tropical storm in coming days. It will recurve just off the Outer Banks of North Carolina, and head back out to sea. The main impact will be rough surf, but this will be long gone by the Labor Day weekend.

Tropical Depression Nine in the Southeast Gulf of Mexico is also very disorganized. Still a chance it becomes a tropical storm over the next 48 hours…. it will turn eastward, with the broad center moving into North Florida Thursday. Then, it continues moving moving out over the open Atlantic, and it will be long gone by the Labor Day weekend as well (at least as far as the Southeast U.S. is concerned).

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*TD 9 will have no direct impact on Alabama, although it will help to pull down drier air late this week.

*The main issue with the system is rain for the Florida Peninsula (not the panhandle), and dangerous surf/rip tides. Most of the rain over the Florida Peninsula will fall today through Thursday. The rain won’t be continuous, however, and the sun will be out at times.

*TD 9 will be well off in the Atlantic by the Labor Day weekend; nothing but the routine risk of “widely scattered thunderstorms” for Florida with a good supply of sunshine by then. Even for places like Orlando, Tampa, and Daytona Beach.

GULF COAST WEATHER: Generally speaking, the weather looks fine on the Central Gulf Coast (Gulf Shores east to Panama City Beach) this weekend, and over the holiday weekend with 7 to 9 hours of sunshine daily and only widely scattered showers. The exception will be at Panama City Beach Thursday as TD 9 passes just to the south… periods of rain are likely on that one day. And, also keep in mind there will be potential for rip tides along the coast this week, especially tomorrow, Wednesday, and Thursday. But, the surf will settle down for the weekend. Highs on the immediate coast will be in the upper 80s, with low 90s inland. See a very detailed Gulf Coast forecast here.

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 live here.

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

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Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 7:00 a.m. tomorrow…

Watching TD 9; Mostly Dry For Alabama

| August 29, 2016 @ 6:23 am

SHOWERS WILL BE HARD TO FIND THIS WEEK: The upper ridge is holding across Alabama and the Deep South, meaning the weather won’t change much through mid-week. Mostly sunny, hot, humid days with only isolated afternoon and evening showers; chance of any one spot getting wet today, tomorrow, and Wednesday is only about one in eight. Highs will be in the 91-95 degree range.

LATER THIS WEEK: An upper trough will pass north of Alabama, beating down the ridge, and allowing drier air to drop in from the north. Showers look very unlikely with the change, but at least dew points will come down by Friday with lower humidity during the day, and slightly cooler nights. The high Thursday will be in the low 90s, and some spots just might hold below 90 degrees Friday with that airmass change.

LABOR DAY WEEKEND: Dry air stays in place; we expect mostly sunny days and fair nights Saturday through Monday. While highs will be close to 90 degrees, nights will be cooler thanks to the dry air; we project low to mid 60s early Saturday morning, with potential for upper 50s for some of the normally cooler spots.

And, the dry pattern continues well into next week. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: First off, Friday night looks fantastic for high school football across Alabama with a clear sky and temperatures falling through the 70s. Humidity levels won’t be as bad as the first two weeks.

Auburn hosts Clemson Saturday night at Jordan-Hare Stadium (8:00p CT kickoff)… the sky will be clear. Kickoff temperature near 78 degrees, falling into the low 70s by the final whistle.

Alabama will take on Southern Cal Saturday night at Arlington, Texas (8:00p CT kickoff)… a clear sky with temperatures falling from near 82 at kickoff, into the mid 70s by the end of the game.

TROPICS: Three systems are on the board; Hurricane Gaston is in the Central Atlantic, and is recurving well east of Bermuda, and is no threat to land.

Tropical Depression Eight is struggling this morning with hardly any convection; it has potential to become a weak tropical storm, and should recurve into the Atlantic just off the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

And, our old friend “Invest 99L” is now Tropical Depression Nine in the southeast Gulf of Mexico. Here are the important points to note…

*The system remains very disorganized this morning. Some chance it reaches tropical storm strength, but it is not expected to become a hurricane.

*The NHC track has the center turning northeast over the Gulf of Mexico, cutting across North Florida Thursday. Not too important to focus on the center since this will, most likely, still be pretty disorganized.

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*TD 9 will have no direct impact on Alabama, although it will help to pull down drier air late this week.

*The main issue with the system is rain for the Florida Peninsula (not the panhandle), and dangerous surf/rip tides. Most of the rain over the Florida Peninsula will fall today through Thursday. The rain won’t be continuous, however, and the sun will be out at times.

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*TD 9 will be long gone by the Labor Day weekend; nothing but the routine risk of “widely scattered thunderstorms” for Florida with a good supply of sunshine by then. Even for places like Orlando, Tampa, and Daytona Beach.

GULF COAST WEATHER: Generally speaking, the weather looks fine on the Central Gulf Coast (Gulf Shores east to Panama City Beach) this weekend, and over the holiday weekend with 7 to 9 hours of sunshine daily and only widely scattered showers. The exception will be at Panama City Beach Thursday as TD 9 passes just to the south… periods of rain are likely on that one day. And, also keep in mind there will be potential for rip tides along the coast this week, especially tomorrow, Wednesday, and Thursday. But, the surf will settle down for the weekend. Highs on the immediate coast will be in the upper 80s, with low 90s inland. See a very detailed Gulf Coast forecast here.

ON THIS DAY IN 2005: Hurricane Katrina made landfall in Plaquemines Parish in southeastern Louisiana early on the day with maximum sustained winds near 125 mph, a strong category-three, and the third most-intense landfalling hurricane in U.S. history. The center of the hurricane passed just east of New Orleans, where winds gusted over 100 mph. Widespread devastation and unprecedented flooding occurred, submerging at least 80 percent of the city as levees failed. Farther east, powerful winds and a devastating storm surge of 20-30 feet raked the Mississippi coastline, including Gulfport and Biloxi, where Gulf of Mexico floodwaters spread several miles inland. Rainfall amounts of 8-10 inches were common along and to the east of the storm’s path.

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 live here.

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

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Twitter
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Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon… enjoy the day!

Invest 99L And Labor Day Weekend

| August 28, 2016 @ 7:04 am

THE HYPE MACHINE: I still say the open tropical wave known as “Invest 99L” is the most publicized disorganized wave in history. The two primary reasons…

*It has been 3,961 days (almost 11 years) since a major hurricane (category three or higher) has made landfall in the U.S… last one was Hurricane Wilma that hit Florida on October 24, 2005. This is now the longest streak (by far) since hurricane records began in 1851. And, no, “Sandy” wasn’t a “major hurricane” by definition when it moved into the Northeast U.S. in 2012; it was a a category one hurricane morphing into a post-tropical storm.

*Social media now allows anyone and everyone to share weather information and computer models to thousands, if not millions. Twitter didn’t exist the last time a hurricane hit Florida. And, there are many weather enthusiasts and zealots that “want some action”, and do their best to “wishcast” a hurricane by finding that one deterministic 300 hour model run that shows the big one coming up on places like Gulf Shores or Panama City Beach.

Many of these weather amateurs are middle school or high school students, that run sites like “Joe Bob’s Weather Center”, with a corresponding Facebook page. They have learned that the most outrageous hurricane forecasts are the ones that get the attention. When they post long range model output that shows a big storm, they also ask, and almost beg, for you to “like and share”. That is the first warning sign you have stumbled upon a clickbait site with no regard for the truth or ethics.

We want young people to be able to have web sites and Facebook pages, but even a 15 year old has to understand they have great power to deceive the public, and need to keep the information they share within the bounds of meteorologically sound advice. There are many things we don’t know, and many things we can’t do. There is no 15 year old running “Joe Bob’s Weather Center” that knows the intensity and track of a tropical cyclone two weeks in advance.

From those of us in the professional enterprise, I am asking you not to click, like, or especially share bogus weather information concerning things like hurricanes and winter storms, despite the temptation. Look for professional meteorologists, especially those with American Meteorological Society certification like the CBM (certified broadcast meteorologist), or CCM (certified consulting meteorologist). You earn these through academic credentials, a review of your professional work by peers, and a rigorous exam. Sure, those with a CBM or CCM can and will be wrong, but I assure you the information is more solid that “Joe Bob’s Weather Center”.

WHAT ABOUT 99L? This morning the wave near the northern coast of Cuba remains disorganized, but is hanging in there. Model output can’t be trusted much since there is no way to initialize the wave, so you see wild output like this (06Z tropical model set)…

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Concerning global models and the ensemble approach (one model using slightly different initial conditions that are all plausible given the past and current set of observations), the GFS has been fairly consistent, suggesting slow development in the eastern Gulf, with a turn to the right over North Florida late this week.

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The reliable European model is trending toward this solution, and seems to be a credible idea. If by chance this is correct, most of the rain and inclement weather associated with the wave (it gets the name Hermine if it becomes a Tropical Storm) will remain south and east of Alabama, and east of places like Gulf Shores and Pensacola.

And, intensity guidance suggests a hurricane is not especially likely…

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But the bottom line is this… at this time nobody knows the final destination and intensity curve of “99L”, or if it will impact the Central Gulf Coast over the Labor Day weekend. Once we finally get an organized system, we will be able to give you a decent holiday weekend forecast for the various coastal locations. Stay tuned.

Hot Afternoons; 99L Hanging In There

| August 26, 2016 @ 3:41 pm

RADAR CHECK: Scattered showers and storms are over the northern third of Alabama this afternoon… moving to the west…

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NWS in Huntsville has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for parts of Colbert and Franklin Counties at 3:40 p.m.

Heaviest storms are over Northwest Alabama, where very heavy rain is falling along with frequent lightning and gusty winds at mid-afternoon. These showers and storms will fade once the sun goes down later this evening. Temperatures away from the storms are mostly in the low 90s.

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Can’t totally rule out a shower or storm at few stadiums during the first quarter of the games across Alabama tonight, but most of the showers will be over by 8:00 p.m. It will be a very humid, warm night with temperatures falling from the 80s into the upper 70s.

THE WEEKEND AND NEXT WEEK: The upper ridge holds, and our weather won’t change much. Hot humid days, a partly sunny sky, and “widely scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorm”. Highs low to mid 90s. It is pretty much a persistence forecast for the next seven days; the only potential change in the weather next week would involve something from the tropics, but for now it looks like our friend “99L” won’t impact our state directly.

ACTIVE TROPICS: Gaston, a tropical storm in the Central Atlantic, doesn’t look very healthy this afternoon, but NHC still expects this to regain hurricane status over the weekend. It will recurve into the open water east of Bermuda, and is no threat to land.

Another disturbance is over the Northwest Gulf of Mexico; that will drift into Texas with no development.

Eyes remain on “Invest 99L”, an open tropical wave that will move through the Florida Straights and into the Southeast Gulf of Mexico over the weekend. There has been an increase in convection near the wave, and it seems as shear is lessening a bit. So, some chance of slow development continues.

vis0-lalo

The global models (both the GFS and the Euro) show this feature moving up the Florida west coast, with a turn back to the east next week. This solution seems pretty plausible, and if it verifies Alabama would not be impacted directly, with most of the rain off to the east over the Florida Peninsula and Southeast Georgia.

But, we stress there is still a good deal of uncertainty, and it is still impossible to resolve the track and intensity of the system in coming days. Confidence is high, however, that this will not impact the Central Gulf Coast over the Labor Day weekend. Keep up with the latest blog discussions over the weekend.

AT THE BEACH: Mostly sunny days, fair nights through Monday on the coast from Gulf Shores to Panama City Beach, with just a few widely scattered showers or storms around. Beyond that, the weather will all depend on the behavior of “99L”. Highs on the immediate coast will remain in the upper 80s, with low to mid 90s inland. See a very detailed Gulf Coast forecast here.

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 my next Weather Xtreme video here Monday morning by 7:00… Brian Peters will have the video updates here tomorrow and Sunday. Enjoy the weekend!

Hot/Muggy Weekend Ahead; Eyes On The Tropics

| August 26, 2016 @ 6:25 am

NO HEAT RELIEF: An upper ridge across the Deep South isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, meaning our weather won’t change much through at least early next week. For today and the weekend, expect partly sunny, hot, humid days with widely scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms. Afternoon highs will be in the low to mid 90s, generally in the 91-95 degree range.

We note that next Thursday (September 1) marks the beginning of meteorological fall, but don’t expect any magical cool down. The autumnal equinox comes on September 22, and your odds of an airmass change become much higher by then. Keep in mind the hottest temperature on record in Alabama (112 degrees, recorded at Centerville) came on September 5, 1925.

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL WEATHER: A few widely scattered showers and storms will be in progress across Alabama this evening; chance of any one high school stadium seeing rain around kickoff is about one in five. Most of the showers will end by 8:00 p.m… temperatures will be in the low 80s at kickoff, dropping into the upper 70s by the final whistle. Humidity values will remain sky high tonight.

TROPICS: Tropical Storm Gaston, in the Central Atlantic, is expected to reach hurricane strength again today, but it will recurve into the open Atlantic east of Bermuda, and is no threat to land.

NHC has also identified a weak disturbance over the Gulf of Mexico, well south of Louisiana, but that is not expected to develop.

Great weeping and gnashing of teeth continues over “Invest 99L”, which is really hard to define this morning over the Southeast Bahamas due to strong winds aloft, which continue to shear the system. NOAA P3 (hurricane hunter aircraft) is currently in the vicinity measuring atmospheric conditions.

*Model data is not especially helpful right now since there is no way the system can be initialized with no low level center or structure. Each batch of runs will continue to do the hokey pokey.

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*Concerning global models, the Euro (ECMWF) brings a very weak system across the Florida Peninsula, and then out into the Atlantic well east of Alabama. The GFS brings a weak system up toward the Central Gulf Coast toward the middle of next week, and the Canadian (GEM) brings a slightly stronger system toward Panama City Beach early next week. All three can’t be trusted for the same reason mentioned above at this time.

*There is a very real chance that 99L never develops into a depression or storm. And, if it does, few models show much beyond a weak tropical storm. Rain would be the main issue is land is impacted.

All we can do at this time is just keep watching to see if anything can survive the sheared environment it is in now.

GULF COAST WEATHER: Despite all this tropical weather talk, the weather looks great on the coast from Gulf Shores to Panama City Beach through the weekend, with mostly sunny days, fair nights, and only widely scattered showers or storms. Highs will be in the upper 80s on the immediate coast, with low to mid 90s inland. The weather next week will depend on what happens with 99L, and if there is any impact (and that remains a big “IF”), it should be over by the Labor Day weekend. See a very detailed Gulf Coast forecast here.

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Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon… enjoy the day!