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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Calm Days Ahead

| January 23, 2017 @ 3:36 pm

**No afternoon Weather Xtreme video today due to travel**

CALM WEATHER AHEAD: The sky has cleared across much of Alabama this afternoon, but strong north winds persist on the back side of the big storm system departing to the east. Temperatures are in the 50s…


Tonight will be clear and chilly with a low in the mid 30s early tomorrow.

MID-WEEK: Tomorrow will be mostly sunny with a high close to 60 degrees. Then, on Wednesday, clouds will increase, and we will mention the chance of some light rain late in the day and Wednesday night. Rain amounts should be generally under 1/4 for most communities. Then, the sky will become partly sunny on Thursday with a high in the low 50s as cooler drops into the state from the north.

FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: We are expecting dry and cool weather on these three days; mostly sunny days and fair nights. Highs 50-55… lows 29-33 each morning. These values are very close to average values for late January in Alabama.

NEXT WEEK: Colder air arrives early in the week with highs in the 40s Monday and Tuesday. No sign of any severe storm or winter mischief issues over the next 10-15 days.

COME HEAR TIM MARSHALL: Hey, are you a member of the Central Alabama Chapter of the National Weather Association? You love weather, right? Then you should be! Come hear a world class weather speaker Tuesday evening at Vulcan, when Tim Marshall will share his countless tornado stories. $10 will get you in, unless you’re a member, which is only $25 for the year. Join on the spot or online. Meet and greet at 6:00, meeting starts at 6:30. Be there!

As always, watch me for the full weather story on ABC 33/40 News this evening at 4, 5, 6, and 10:00!

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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Snapchat: spannwx

Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 7am tomorrow…

Windy, Cooler Day For Alabama

| January 23, 2017 @ 5:11 am

STRONG WINDS TODAY: The vigorous storm system that brought multiple rounds of severe storms to the southern U.S. is on the way out this morning…

A deep, 988 millibar surface low is east of Alabama, and the tight gradient on the west side the low will bring north winds of 15-30 mph today, with gusts to 40 mph. A wind advisory is in effect for all 67 Alabama counties.

Otherwise, today will be mostly cloudy and cooler with highs in the 50s; some lingering light rain or drizzle is possible as well, mainly over the eastern half of the state.

MID-WEEK: Tomorrow will be mostly sunny and pleasant; we start the day in the mid 30s, then rising to a high in the low 60s. Clouds return Wednesday, and some light rain is possible late in the day and into Wednesday night. No worries with storms this time, and rain amounts should be 1/4 inch or less. Then, on Thursday, that rain ends during the pre-dawn hours, followed by a partly sunny sky and a high in the 50s.

FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: We expect cool, dry weather across Alabama on these three days. Highs 50-55 Friday and Saturday, then dropping into the 40s Sunday as a new surge of colder air drops in from the north. Coldest morning will come early Sunday with lows between 25 and 29 for most communities.

NEXT WEEK: Cold, dry weather continues at least for the first half of the week with highs mostly in the 40s, and lows in the 20s. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

No sign of any issues with severe storms or “winter mischief” for the next 10-15 days around here.

FIVE YEARS AGO TODAY: A pre-dawn severe storm dropped two tornadoes in Jefferson County killing a 16-year-old girl in Clay and an 81-year-old man in Oak Grove. The Center Point/Clay tornado was rated EF-3.

As always, watch me for the full weather story on ABC 33/40 News this evening at 4, 5, 6, and 10:00!

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 tomorrow night at 8:30 CT.

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

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Snapchat: spannwx

I will be in Nashville today, so no afternoon Weather Xtreme video, but I will post forecast notes this afternoon… Meaghan Thomas will be covering for me tonight on ABC 33/40 News. I will be back in full service tomorrow… enjoy the day!

Another Severe Weather Day

| January 22, 2017 @ 8:43 am

SPC has issued a rare “high risk” for the southeast tip of Alabama, over into South Georgia and North Florida…

A tornado watch is in effect for far South Alabama until 2p CT…

NOTES FOR ALABAMA….

*Highest tornado threat today will be across the southeast part of the state, generally in areas south and east of Montgomery. Dothan is in the “high risk”.

*The main threat for the northern half of Alabama today will come from hail as a cold core upper low passes through.

*For those in Southeast Alabama, please be vigilant today. This system has been responsible for 15 deaths over the past 36 hours; 11 were killed by tornadoes in Georgia overnight.

CALL TO ACTION: Be sure you have a way of hearing severe weather watches and warnings. At home, you need a properly programmed NOAA Weather Radio with a battery backup. On your phone, for warnings we recommend WeatherRadio by WDT. You can watch our live severe weather coverage on the free ABC 33/40 app. Here are the links…

ABC 33/40 iOS version for iPhones and iPads

ABC 33/40 Android version for Android phones and tablets

Review your action plan in case a tornado warning polygon includes your home. Get in a small room, on the lowest floor, away from windows, and near the center of the house. You do NOT have to be underground. Never be in a car or mobile home. Have helmets, hard sole shoes, and a portable air horn for everyone in the family.

More details shortly…

A Calm Afternoon; More Severe Storms Tonight

| January 21, 2017 @ 9:32 am

After a very rough morning across Alabama, the storms have shifted into Georgia, an we expect a quiet afternoon with some sun breaking through the clouds and a high in the low 70s. But, another round of severe weather is likely late tonight and early tomorrow as a deep upper low approaches from the west.

ROUND TWO: The main window for strong to severe storms will come from roughly 11:00 tonight through 6:00 a.m. tomorrow.

Highest tornado threat seems to be over the southern half of the state; STP (Significant Tornado Parameter) values are highest there, with a good combination of instability and shear.

But, understand the chance of a tornado over North Alabama is not zero, just much smaller. Storms tonight will also be capable of producing large hail and damaging straight line winds.

Additional rain amounts of 1-2 inches could also create some flooding issues.

CALL TO ACTION: Be sure you have a way of hearing severe weather watches and warnings. At home, you need a properly programmed NOAA Weather Radio with a battery backup. On your phone, for warnings we recommend WeatherRadio by WDT. You can watch our live severe weather coverage on the free ABC 33/40 app. Here are the links…

ABC 33/40 iOS version for iPhones and iPads

ABC 33/40 Android version for Android phones and tablets

Review your action plan in case a tornado warning polygon includes your home. Get in a small room, on the lowest floor, away from windows, and near the center of the house. You do NOT have to be underground. Never be in a car or mobile home.

Stay tuned to the blog for updates throughout the day…

Friday Night Update

| January 20, 2017 @ 10:56 pm

A very active weekend is ahead for Alabama… with two rounds of potentially severe storms ahead.

A new tornado watch is bring issued for parts of Southeast Louisiana and South Mississippi through the early morning hours, and very active storms continue to develop quickly over Louisiana.

ROUND ONE: Severe storms will move into West and Southwest Alabama sometime in the 2-3 a.m. time frame… this is the forecast UH (updraft helicity) max through midday tomorrow, suggesting the highest tornado potential will be along and south of I-20…

In addition to the tornado threat, storms will be capable of producing hail and damaging winds. The main window for rain and storms will come from 3a CT until 9a CT; be sure you have a way of hearing severe weather warnings. A good app for this is WeatherRadio by WDT.

There will be a nice break from rain and storms from midday tomorrow through about midnight tomorrow night… the afternoon tomorrow should be pleasant with some sun at times and a high around 70 degrees.

ROUND TWO: We will have several waves of showers and storms from midnight tomorrow night through Sunday afternoon. With a generally unidirectional flow expected, the tornado risk is low; hail and gusty winds will be the main threat. It won’t rain all day Sunday, but a few passing showers and strong storms are likely.

Keep an eye on the blog for frequent updates through the weekend…

Complex Weekend Storm System

| January 20, 2017 @ 3:15 pm

QUIET AFTERNOON: We have a mix of sun and clouds across Alabama this afternoon with temperatures the low 70s; nothing showing up on radar. But, things get active over the weekend as a deep upper low forms west of the state, and unstable air moves northward.

Here is the latest thinking after viewing the new computer model data that arrived this morning…

ROUND ONE: The first opportunity for strong to severe storms will come early tomorrow morning, generally in the 3:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. time frame. High resolution model data suggests the best combination of instability, shear, and stronger wind fields will be over Central and South Alabama, generally south of I-20 (Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, Anniston and points south).

Storms early tomorrow morning over Central and South Alabama will be capable of producing large hail, damaging winds, and a few tornadoes. For now severe weather over North Alabama, north of I-20, looks unlikely early tomorrow morning.

TOMORROW AFTERNOON/EVENING: The main low level jet, about 5,000 feet off the ground, moves east of Alabama by the afternoon, and it sure looks like this could be a pretty quiet period with some sun breaking through the clouds along with temperatures approaching 70 degrees. But, the air will be rather unstable, and an isolated storm can’t be totally ruled out. But, generally speaking, we should be in a lull tomorrow afternoon and early tomorrow night with few, if any storms.

ROUND TWO: The next thunderstorm event comes Sunday with the upper low approaching. Storms could form as early as 2:00 a.m. Sunday, and the chance of storms will continue through the day, although by Sunday afternoon the stronger storms will shift down into areas south and east of Birmingham. Forecast wind fields are rather unidirectional, so for this round of storms it looks like the main threat will come from small hail and gusty thunderstorm winds… the tornado risk looks pretty low for now.

Rain amounts over the weekend should be in the 1-2 inch range, and flash flooding is not expected.

BOTTOM LINE: This is a pretty complex pattern, and understand there could be forecast changes as we get into the weekend, so keep up with the latest posts here on the blog. For now, the primary tornado threat seems to be early tomorrow morning over Central and South Alabama.

CALL TO ACTION: Be sure you have a way of hearing severe weather watches and warnings. At home, you need a properly programmed NOAA Weather Radio with a battery backup. On your phone, for warnings we recommend WeatherRadio by WDT. You can watch our live severe weather coverage on the free ABC 33/40 app. Here are the links…

ABC 33/40 iOS version for iPhones and iPads

ABC 33/40 Android version for Android phones and tablets

Review your action plan in case a tornado warning polygon includes your home. Get in a small room, on the lowest floor, away from windows, and near the center of the house. You do NOT have to be underground. Never be in a car or mobile home.

NEXT WEEK: Monday will be cloudy, windy, and much cooler with a chance of some light rain, mainly during the morning. The high will be in the low to mid 50s. Even colder air returns later in the week with highs dropping into the 40s. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

As always, watch me for the full weather story on ABC 33/40 News this evening at 4, 5, 6, and 10:00!

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
Snapchat: spannwx

I had a great time today visiting with the 3rd graders at Hillview Elementary in Forestdale… 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 early Monday morning… Brian Peters will have the video updates tomorrow and Sunday. Enjoy the weekend, and check the blog often for updates…

Severe Storms Possible This Weekend

| January 20, 2017 @ 6:23 am

ACTIVE PATTERN: A complex severe weather situation is setting up for Alabama over the weekend, but today will be fairly quiet. Morning clouds will give way to some afternoon sunshine, just a small risk of a shower, and afternoon temperatures reach the mid 70s, right around record levels for mid to late January in Alabama.

There will be three windows for severe storms across Alabama over the next 2 days. Let’s take them one at a time.

ROUND ONE: The first chance of severe storms will come from roughly 3:00 a.m. until 9:00 a.m. tomorrow as a deep upper trough gets closer with strong wind fields, deep shear, and unstable air. SPC has parts of West and Southwest Alabama in the standard “slight” risk of severe storms, with a “marginal” risk northeast to Birmingham. Understand this “Day One” outlook runs through 6:00 a.m. CT tomorrow, and this is for the overnight storms we expect late tonight, after midnight…

ROUND TWO: There should be a lull in storm activity across the state during the midday hours tomorrow, allowing temperatures to rise into the low 70s, with increasing instability values. A few scattered storms could form tomorrow afternoon and evening, generally in the 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. time frame. This is a much more conditional threat; some of the good high resolution models show no development at all. But, considering the thermodynamic fields, we sure can’t rule out a few scattered severe storms in this window. In their “Day Two” outlook, SPC has an “enhanced risk” up for parts of West Alabama, and the standard “slight” risk identified for the rest of the state. Keep in mind this outlook runs from 6:00 a.m. tomorrow through 6:00 a.m. Sunday…

ROUND THREE: The final window for severe storms will come from about 3:00 a.m. through 12:00 noon Sunday, when the main upper low moves in from the west. Then, by Sunday afternoon, the main severe weather risk shifts down into Southwest Alabama, where SPC has the standard “slight” risk up on the “Day Three” outlook…

So, bottom line is that there could be multiple rounds of strong to severe storms over the weekend, but there will also be some good breaks in the rain.

THREATS: During each window over the weekend, storms could produce large hail, damaging winds, and a few tornadoes.

RAIN: Additional rain amounts of 1-3 inches are likely; major flooding issues are not expected.

CALL TO ACTION: Be sure you have a way of hearing severe weather watches and warnings. At home, you need a properly programmed NOAA Weather Radio with a battery backup. On your phone, for warnings we recommend WeatherRadio by WDT. You can watch our live severe weather coverage on the free ABC 33/40 app. Here are the links…

ABC 33/40 iOS version for iPhones and iPads

ABC 33/40 Android version for Android phones and tablets

Review your action plan in case a tornado warning polygon includes your home. Get in a small room, on the lowest floor, away from windows, and near the center of the house. You do NOT have to be underground. Never be in a car or mobile home.

NEXT WEEK: Monday will be cloudy, windy, and much cooler with some lingering light rain, mainly during the morning. The high will be in the 50-55 degree range. Even colder air arrives later in the week with highs dropping into the 40s. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

As always, watch me for the full weather story on ABC 33/40 News this evening at 4, 5, 6, and 10:00!

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
Snapchat: spannwx

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

Rain/Storms Tonight; More Storms Saturday

| January 19, 2017 @ 4:11 pm

**No Weather Xtreme video this afternoon due to travel; I am writing this from the Tampa Airport… will be back later tonight**

RADAR CHECK: A large mass of rain and storms continues to move across Alabama; some of the heaviest rain late this afternoon is close to I-65…

The lack of instability should prevent any severe weather issues across North Alabama tonight, but severe storms are possible over the southern half of Alabama…

An isolated tornado is not totally out of the question this evening.

Some flooding is possible in low lying areas tonight, and rain amounts of 1-2″ are likely. The rain tapers off soon after midnight.

TOMORROW: A decent part of the day tomorrow will be dry; morning clouds should give way to some afternoon sun, and the high will be in the 70-73 degree range.

WEEKEND SEVERE STORMS: A complex pattern will set up across the Deep South with a deep upper trough just to the west with strong wind fields working with unstable air and deep layer shear. The first batch of storms seems likely Saturday morning… sometime between 5:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon… based on the high resolution NAM model.

SPC has the standard “slight risk” of severe weather defined for the southern two-thirds of the state Saturday.

The air becomes very unstable Saturday afternoon, and another round of strong to severe storms is possible during the late afternoon and nighttime hours, but model output is not consistent, and it remains to be seen if the best severe weather parameters will align at that point. We need to get past tonight’s storms to see the state of the atmosphere, and we will be able to give you specific details on the timing and magnitude of the weekend severe weather threat. It is simply too early to call on the potential event Saturday afternoon and Saturday night.

Storms could very well linger into Sunday morning, but the best risk of storms will shift east of Alabama by mid to late afternoon.

NEXT WEEK: Monday will be cloudy, breezy, and much cooler with some light rain at times; the high will be in the low to mid 50s. Then, even colder air should arrive toward the end of the week.

As always, watch me for the full weather story on ABC 33/40 News this evening at 4, 5, 6, and 10:00!

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
Snapchat: spannwx

I will be back in Alabama late tonight, and the next Weather Xtreme video will be posted here by 7:00 a.m. tomorrow…

Stormy Weather Pattern Through The Weekend

| January 19, 2017 @ 5:25 am

ACTIVE JANUARY WEATHER: We will be dealing with multiple rounds of rain and storms across Alabama through the weekend, with some potential for severe weather along the way.

TODAY/TONIGHT: SPC has parts of Central and South Alabama in a “marginal” risk for severe storms over the next 24 hours…

Rain is already falling over parts of the state this morning, and as an upper trough gets closer, rain and storms will be more widespread this afternoon and tonight. With this widespread rain, instability values will be limited, and with forecast soundings looking rather saturated, the overall severe weather threat seems pretty limited.

TIMING: Main window for the stronger storms will come from 3:00 this afternoon through about 12:00 midnight.

THREATS: Some of the heavier storms could produce gusty winds and small hail. The chance of a small tornado is pretty small, but not zero.

RAIN: Data from the RPM model suggests we could very well see some spots getting over 2 inches of rain over the next 24 hours, and if this verifies we could very well have some localized flash flooding problems. This looks to be more of a heavy rain event as opposed to a severe weather event.

Be sure you can hear severe weather warnings in the event they are needed later today and tonight.

TOMORROW AND THE WEEKEND: A complex severe weather pattern is setting up for Alabama, and we really need to get past the round of storms today and tonight before we can really be confident on forecasting timing of the various rounds of storms, and the overall magnitude of the event.

A deep upper trough with strong wind fields will approach from the west, and with high instability values, deep layer shear, and steep lapse rates, we will all have to pay close attention to the weather late tomorrow through Sunday morning. This is the current thinking on the timing…

ROUND ONE: The first round of severe storms is possible from about 9:00 p.m. tomorrow through 9:00 a.m. Saturday, generally over the southern half of the state. SPC has Southwest Alabama in the standard “slight risk”, with a “marginal risk” up to Tuscaloosa and Birmingham…

ROUND TWO: The air becomes very unstable by Saturday afternoon, and a few scattered severe storms are possible from about 2:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Saturday over the state, including North Alabama. This round is a little “iffy” with the best dynamics a little to the west; much will depend on how the “round one” event impacts the airmass over the state.

ROUND THREE: A final round is likely from about 12:00 midnight Saturday night through 9:00 a.m. Sunday; this is when the best dynamic forcing will be in place.

SPC has most of Alabama in the standard “slight risk” for Saturday, Saturday night, and early Sunday morning (the Day 3 outlook runs from 6:00 a.m. Saturday to 6:00 a.m. Sunday)…

All modes of severe weather will be possible with the weekend storms, including damaging straight line winds, hail, and tornadoes. We will be much more specific about the threat tomorrow morning, but just understand you will need to pay close attention to the weather over the weekend.

NEXT WEEK: Monday will be windy and cooler with clouds and some lingering light rain; the high will drop into the 50s. And, even colder air arrives later in the week with highs dropping into the 40s. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

As always, watch me for the full weather story on ABC 33/40 News this evening at 4, 5, 6, and 10:00!

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
Snapchat: spannwx

I am in Tampa this morning for a company meeting, but will return later today. Most likely I won’t be able to produce a video this afternoon, but we will have forecast notes and running updates on the thunderstorm situation. Keep a close eye on the blog during this active weather, and enjoy the day!

Several Stormy Periods Ahead

| January 18, 2017 @ 2:44 pm

COOLER DAY: The sky is generally cloudy across North/Central Alabama this afternoon with temperatures in the mid 60s, about ten degrees cooler than yesterday, but still above average for mid to late January. Some communities up in the Tennessee Valley are holding in the 50s. Very little rain on radar.

The surface front over Central Alabama will slowly move northward as a warm front tonight and tomorrow, and with an approaching upper trough the stage is set for some active weather. SPC maintains a “marginal” severe weather risk for much of the state tomorrow afternoon and tomorrow night…

New model data suggests rain will move into the state around the midday hours tomorrow, with a fairly large rain mass over the state through the evening and into tomorrow night. This should limit the available instability and the overall severe weather threat despite good dynamic forcing.

TIMING: The primary chance of strong to severe storms will come from about 4:00 tomorrow afternoon through 2:00 a.m. Friday.

THREATS: The main issues will come from gusty thunderstorm winds and small hail. A brief tornado is possible, not not likely.

RAIN: Rain amounts of around one inch are likely; probably not enough for significant flooding issues.

Just be sure you are in a position to hear severe weather warnings in case they are needed. Hopefully we will get away with just a good rain event and not too many problems.

FRIDAY: Morning clouds will give way to a little afternoon sun, and temperatures should rise into the 70-75 degree range. Rain from the event tomorrow night should end during the pre-dawn hours Friday, with only isolated showers during the day.

MORE STORMS FOR THE WEEKEND: A complex storm system will impact Alabama over the weekend. Instability values will rise Saturday; surface based CAPE values could exceed 2,500 j/kg over Southwest Alabama, with values to 1,500 j/kg over the northern counties. While the main dynamics will be west of Alabama, with that much instability we could see a few strong to severe storms as early as Saturday afternoon. Seems like the higher severe weather coverage will come later Saturday night or Sunday as the big upper trough gets closer. This one will have strong wind fields, and it will need to be monitored closely in coming days.

But, understand it is simply too early to determine the timing and magnitude of the weekend severe weather threat. Once we get past the storms tomorrow night we will have a much better idea of what the atmosphere will look like Saturday and Sunday.

Additional rain amounts of 1-2 inches sure look likely over the weekend, bringing the storm totals to 3-4″ in spots across Alabama by Monday. Very beneficial for the drought stricken areas of North Alabama.

Just keep an eye on the blog for updates on the weekend situation over the next few days and we will be much more specific.

NEXT WEEK: Monday will be cloudy, windy, and much cooler with highs in the 50s and some lingering light rain at times. Then, late in the week, even colder air arrives with highs dropping into the 40s.

As always, watch me for the full weather story on ABC 33/40 News this evening at 4, 5, 6, and 10:00!

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
Snapchat: spannwx

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

Stormy Pattern For Alabama Through The Weekend

| January 18, 2017 @ 6:30 am

ACTIVE JANUARY WEATHER: We will have two different opportunities for strong to severe storms across Alabama over the next five days, but today will be relatively quiet. The sky will be mostly cloudy, and a little light rain is possible in spots, but most of the day will be dry and the high will be in the mid 60s, about ten degrees cooler than yesterday thanks to a weak surface front that slipped through last night.

TOMORROW: We have a “marginal” risk of severe storms for a decent part of Alabama tomorrow afternoon and tomorrow night as defined by SPC…

An upper trough will approach from the west tomorrow; the current surface front over Central Alabama will lift northward during the day, putting the state in an unstable airmass. Forecast soundings are fairly saturated; you usually need dry air in the mid levels for a big severe weather threat (the best convective instability occurs when dry mid-level air advects over warm and moist air in the lower troposphere).

Here are the details..

TIMING: The main window for strong to severe storms will come from about 4:00 p.m. tomorrow through 2:00 a.m. Friday.

THREATS: The main threats will come from damaging straight line winds and small hail, although an isolated, brief tornado can’t be ruled out.

RAIN: Rain amounts of around one inch are likely; some minor flooding issues are possible, but major flash flooding is not expected.

As always, be sure you have a way of getting severe weather warnings in the event they are needed tomorrow night.

FRIDAY: Rain moves out during the pre-dawn hours, and the sky should become partly sunny during the day with a high in the low 70s.

WEEKEND SEVERE WEATHER THREAT: A robust system will impact Alabama over the weekend. A deep upper low will set up west of the state with strong wind fields, and unstable air will build across the Deep South.

On Saturday, surface based CAPE values will rise to nearly 2,000 j/kg, very high for January, and during the afternoon and evening hours a few severe storms are possible. However the “main event” will most likely come late Saturday night into Sunday as the best dynamic support arrives. A deepening surface low will be over Arkansas, supported by a strong upper trough. Alabama will be in the “warm sector” of the storm with unstable air and severe storm potential.

Understand it is simply too early to be specific concerning timing and the magnitude of this event; we need to get past the round of storms tomorrow night before we can do this. We will get a good look at the state of the atmosphere Friday morning and give you some detailed forecast information then. For now, just understand we will have the risk of strong to severe storms over the weekend… no need to be alarmed, just be aware of the potential.

BENEFICIAL RAIN: Rain amounts could easily exceed three inches over much of the state by early next week from the multiple rounds of storms…. more good drought relief.

NEXT WEEK: Monday will be cloudy and much cooler with periods of light rain; the high will be in the 50-55 degree range. And, toward the end of the week, even colder air arrives with highs dropping into the 40s.

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

As always, watch me for the full weather story on ABC 33/40 News this evening at 4, 5, 6, and 10:00!

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
Snapchat: spannwx

I will be traveling today; hopefully I will be able to post an afternoon Weather Xtreme video; if not I will write new forecast notes by 4:00. Enjoy the day!

Several Stormy Periods Ahead For Alabama

| January 17, 2017 @ 3:18 pm

RADAR CHECK: We have a few scattered showers in progress across North Alabama this afternoon, but so far, as expected, rain amounts have been light and spotty…

We will maintain the chance of a few scattered showers tonight and tomorrow with a mostly cloudy sky. Slightly cooler air will filter in from the north tomorrow; the high will drop into the mid 60s, about ten degrees cooler than today.

STRONG STORMS THURSDAY/THURSDAY NIGHT: SPC has identified a “marginal” risk of severe storms for Southwest Alabama, roughly from Livingston and Eutaw south to Mobile…

A strong upper trough will approach, and rain and storms should be widespread across the state Thursday afternoon into Thursday night. There will be sufficient shear and instability for strong storms, with the main threat coming from gusty winds and small hail; core severe weather threat will likely stay over the southern half of the state, where instability values will be higher. The rain will be heavy at times, with amounts over one inch likely.

FRIDAY: Rain ends during the pre-dawn hours; the sky becomes partly sunny during the day. And, it stays rather warm for January with a high exceeding 70 degrees once again.

STORMY WEEKEND: Another vigorous weather system will approach the state over the weekend. Showers are possible Saturday, but it won’t be a “wash out” with some sun possible. The main event should hold off until Sunday, when we will have some risk of strong to severe storms. Wind fields look strong, instability values high, and lapse rates fairly steep. This could be a significant severe weather setup, but understand there is no way this early to be very specific about the timing and the magnitude of the threat. We need to get past the Thursday night event before we can see the state of the atmosphere and focus on the weekend situation. Stay tuned.

NEXT WEEK: Colder air returns early next week with highs dropping in the 50s Monday along with clouds and a chance of some lingering light rain. By the end of next week highs should drop into the 40s, and lows in the 20s.

As always, watch me for the full weather story on ABC 33/40 News this evening at 4, 5, 6, and 10:00!

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I had a great time today visiting with the students at Southview Elementary School in Tuscaloosa… 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…