TONS O’ SUN: A cool, dry continental airmass is over Alabama this morning; we are starting the day with most communities down in the cool 40s; we rise into the low 70s this afternoon with a sunny sky and low humidity.
Sure looks like we stay generally dry tomorrow; we might consider a small risk of a shower late in the day, but the latest guidance holds off the showers until tomorrow night. Tomorrow will be warmer with a high between 77 and 80 degrees.
We note that severe storms will likely erupt tomorrow well to the west of Alabama, with an “enhanced” severe weather risk over North Texas and South Oklahoma.
THURSDAY/FRIDAY: Moist air returns to Alabama, and there will some risk of showers and a few thunderstorms both days. For Thursday, models show the best chance of showers during the morning hours, with a generally rain-free afternoon. Then, on Friday, the best chance of showers and storms should come during the afternoon and nighttime hours as an upper trough approaches from the west. Highs will be generally in the low 70s on these two days.
SATURDAY: Still no really good agreement on details between the American (GFS) model and the European (ECMWF) model. The GFS suggests a weakening surface low will move along I-40, and will being a continued chance of showers and storms, mainly during the morning hours. Wind fields are relatively weak, and marginal instability values, so the overall severe weather threat looks rather low.
The Euro is a bit more robust Saturday morning, showing a deeper surface low over Missouri and better dynamics for stronger storms. One way or another, both models do suggest the best chance of showers and storms will come during the first half of the day, with potential for drier air to enter North Alabama by afternoon. The high Saturday should be in the upper 70s.
SUNDAY/MONDAY: These two days are looking dry and pleasant with lower humidity and a good supply of sunshine. Showers return by the middle of next week; see the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.
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I have weather programs today at Englewood Elementary in Tuscaloosa, and McElwain Christian Academy in Birmingham. Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon…. enjoy the day!
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RADAR CHECK: Nothing showing up across Alabama this afternoon despite a cold core upper trough passing overhead; looks like the air is too dry to support any isolated showers. However, just east of Alabama severe storms have formed over East Georgia and parts of South Carolina, where a number of tornado warnings have been required.
The image below was captured from the top of the Weather Channel building in North Atlanta by meteorologist Wayne Verno; a tornado warning was in effect at the time.
COOL, DRY AIR: Tonight will be clear and cooler; many locations will drop into the mid 40s early tomorrow morning. Then, tomorrow promises to be a beautiful spring day, with ample sunshine and a high in the low 70s.
MOIST AIR RETURNS: While the weather stays dry Wednesday morning, we will need to introduce the chance of showers late in the day Wednesday as moisture levels rise. Then, we will have a chance of occasional showers and thunderstorms Thursday and Friday as that moist airmass stays in place. Afternoon highs on these three days should be in the low to mid 70s. The rain won’t be continuous, but it could come at any hour of the day or night.
THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Global models suggest the chance of showers and storms will continue into the beginning of the weekend on Saturday. A surface low will move along I-40 from Oklahoma City to Memphis, and we could be dealing with a few strong storms Saturday in that kind of setup. However, there is little bulk shear, and wind fields are not especially strong, so a major severe weather issue doesn’t look likely. Showers will likely end Saturday night, and Sunday looks dry with lower humidity and a good supply of sunshine. The high Saturday will be close to 80, but back in the low 70s Sunday.
Then, showers will return early next week as moisture levels rise again.
RAIN UPDATE: Birmingham’s total for the year is 21.14″… a surplus of 3.71″. The total for April is 8.21″, but not close to the record rain total for April; 13.79″ recorded in 1979. Of course, we still have 10 more days to go this month.
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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Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 7:00 a.m. tomorrow….
STORMS ARE OUT OF HERE: The batch of noisy, pre-dawn thunderstorms that moved through North Alabama is over into Northeast Georgia, and moving away from us. Thankfully there were very few reports of wind damage early this morning in our state, and the day ahead will be much calmer than the past 48 hours.
This lightning photo from early this morning was taken at Snead, in Blount County, by Jake King…
We expect a mix of sun and clouds today, and this afternoon we will mention just the risk of isolated showers as the upper trough axis passes overhead. Most of the moisture is gone, so any rain will be light and spotty, and many communities will be dry today. The high will be in the low to mid 70s this afternoon.
Tomorrow promises to be a beautiful day with low humidity and a cool morning. We begin with an early morning low in the mid 40s, then we climb into the low 70s with sunshine in full supply.
MOISTURE RETURNS WEDNESDAY: Wednesday looks like a partly sunny day, and we will mention the risk of a few afternoon showers as moisture begins to return. Showers and storms become more likely Thursday and Friday ahead of another upper trough lifting out of the Southwest U.S. Highs will remain in the 70s.
STRONG STORMS? A surface low is forecast to be northwest of Alabama by Friday night, and the GFS is hinting that strong, possibly severe storms could be an issue Friday night into Saturday morning with decent upper support. Really too early to define the specific risk.
THE WEEKEND: The forecast for Saturday is low confidence due to model madness. The GFS hints the rain will be gone by midday Saturday, but the European model (ECMWF) keeps a chance of showers and storms through the day. We should have better clarity in coming days, but for now we will lean toward the wetter ECMWF solution and keep rain in the forecast. But, Sunday looks very nice with ample sunshine and lower humidity levels. Saturday’s high will be in the 77-80 degree range, but back in the low 70s Sunday.
RAIN UPDATE: Birmingham’s rain total for the year is 20.41″, and the surplus is 2.98″. The total so far for the month of April is 7.48″. FYI… this is not close to a record… our wettest April on record was in 1979 when we recorded 13.79″ for the month.
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 episode 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.
CONNECT: You can find me on all of the major social networks…
I have a weather program this morning at St. Clair County High School in Odenville… be looking for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon. Enjoy the day!
Here is a projection of what the radar will look like over the next 15 hours, via the high resolution HRRR model…
As Bill notes in the post below, we have two additional windows for severe storms in our state… one from about 1:00 until 7:00 p.m…. and another one from around 12:00 midnight tonight through 6:00 a.m. tomorrow.
New showers are forming now over West Alabama…
These will grow stronger in coming hours as they move east… some storms this afternoon could produce hail and strong, gusty winds, but the tornado threat looks very low (although not zero).
The line of storms arriving ahead of a cold front after midnight tonight will also be capable of producing hail and gusty straight line winds. And once again, the overall tornado threat late tonight is low.
One thing to remember, with the ground saturated, some trees will come down, even with gusts under 50 mph.
NWS survey teams will look at damage in Russell County (around Fort Mitchell) this afternoon; they will review the damage in Cherokee and Calhoun Counties tomorrow (this was damage at Leesburg and Pleasant Valley).
Stay tuned for updates…
Brian will be along shortly with a new Weather Xtreme video… this is a look at what to expect over the next 24 hours.
RIGHT NOW: Rain and storms continue over much of North/Central Alabama this morning with heavy rain in spots. Organized severe weather is not expected over the northern half of the state, and this activity will slowly diminish later this morning. We should note severe storms are possible over South Alabama this morning; in fact SPC has issued a tornado watch much of Southeast Alabama until 3:00 this afternoon.
LATER TODAY AND TONIGHT: SPC has all of Alabama in the standard “slight risk” of severe weather…
Seems like we have two potential windows for severe storms.
One will come this afternoon when a disturbance (MCV) approaches from the west, and instability reaches a peak (ML CAPE values over 1,500 j/kg). Bulk shear values are not too impressive, and the tornado threat seems low. But, stronger storms during the afternoon could produce hail, and strong straight line winds where bowing segments develop.
Then, late tonight, more storms are likely ahead of the surface cold front. Most of this will come from about midnight tonight through 6:00 a.m. tomorrow. While there will be an increase in the low level jet (winds about 5,000 feet off the ground), the air will be pretty worked over across Alabama from previous storms, and the core dynamic support will lift northeast, away from us. A good chance the storms will weaken as they move through, but there still is some risk of a few storms with hail and gusty winds. The tornado threat late tonight is not zero, but very low.
And, don’t forget… when it comes to thunderstorms, expect the unexpected, so we will keep a very close eye on thunderstorm/radar trends today and tonight. Stay tuned for updates.