Find us on Google+

James Spann

rss feed

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.

sat_ehi

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…

Showers Return To Alabama Tonight

| 6:33 am April 22, 2015

MOSTLY DRY TODAY: Pretty chilly for late April this morning; we note that Vic Bell up at Black Creek, near Gadsden, is reporting 37 degrees just before daybreak. Fort Payne is also at 37. But, we warm nicely today with a high in the upper 70s this afternoon along with a partly sunny sky. We will mention a small risk of a shower late in the day, mainly north of Birmingham.

RAIN RETURNS TONIGHT/TOMORROW MORNING: Showers are more likely late tonight, especially after midnight, as a cold front approaches. Seems like the main window for the rain is from about 12:00 midnight tonight through 12:00 noon tomorrow. Some thunder is possible, but there is no risk of severe weather, and rain amounts should be 1/2 inch or less. The sky becomes partly sunny tomorrow afternoon as drier air works in, and the day will be cooler with a high in the upper 60s.

ACTIVE WEATHER FRIDAY THROUGH EARLY NEXT WEEK: Sure looks like we will have two setups for severe weather… you know we are in the core of the spring tornado season, and this is when we need to keep our eye on the ball.

The daytime hours on Friday look generally dry with only a small risk of an afternoon shower; we rise into the low 70s Friday afternoon. A northward moving warm front will bring rain and thunderstorms in here Friday night with potential for heavy rain. And, maybe a few strong storms as well.

SEVERE WEATHER SATURDAY? Models continue to show higher instability across our state Saturday, with surface based CAPE values exceeding 2,000 j/kg. This means air parcels are able to rise freely, one of the important variables needed for severe storm formation. The low level jet (5,000 feet off the ground) will be in the 40 knot range, and there will be some degree of shear in place with a surface low over Missouri and an approaching upper trough.

It won’t rain all day Saturday, and the sun might even break out at times pushing temperatures to near 80 degrees. But we will need to forecast occasional showers and storms during the day, with the potential for some storms to become strong to severe. I would suggest the primary threats will come from hail and strong gusty straight line winds, but an isolated tornado can’t be ruled out with the setup we see now.

SUNDAY: Drier air works in here, and this day should be nice with ample sunshine and a high in the 70s.

MORE SEVERE WEATHER EARLY NEXT WEEK: The GFS is now advertising a potent spring storm system, with a deep surface low over Missouri with support from a deep upper trough. Wind fields look impressive, and this could be a significant severe weather threat IF model output verifies. The core threat would be Monday night into Tuesday morning, but this could, and probably will change. No need to get worried about it now, but just something to watch. Take some time to watch the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

mon_night_s

KBHM_2015042200_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 will be speaking at the Jacksonville State University administrative conference this morning at the Oxford Civic Center… look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon. Enjoy the day!

Showers Return Later This Week

| 3:35 pm April 21, 2015

BLUE SKY: As advertised, this has been a spectacular spring day across the great state of Alabama with sunshine in full supply. Temperatures are generally in the 68-72 degree range, and the humidity levels are remaining very low.

Temperatures

TONIGHT/TOMORROW: The sky will remain fair tonight with lows mostly in the low 50s; colder valleys will reach the 40s again early tomorrow. Looks like we just about take out any risk of rain during the day tomorrow… the sky will be partly sunny with a high in the upper 70s. The chance of any one spot seeing a shower late in the day is only in the 10 percent range, not really high enough to mention in our formal forecast.

THURSDAY/FRIDAY: We expect a decent round of showers and storms late tomorrow night into Thursday morning; highest probability of getting wet comes from about midnight tomorrow night through 12:00 noon Thursday, but a few lingering showers are possible Thursday afternoon. It will be a bit cooler Thursday with a high around 70 degrees. Then, showers and storms will increase again late Friday and Friday night ahead of an upper trough and surface low approaching from the west. We reach the low 70s Friday afternoon.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: The surface low will still be northwest of Alabama Saturday, and the 12Z GFS has come in with higher instability values (surface based CAPE values over 2,000 j/kg). I don’t think it rains all day Saturday, and the best chance of showers and storms could very well come during the morning hours, but where storms do form that could pack a punch. A little too early to define the severe weather threat since models still are not in good agreement over the small scale features. A chance we reach the low to mid 80s Saturday afternoon.

Then, dry air returns Sunday with sunshine back in full supply along with a high in the mid 70s.

NEXT WEEK: Low confidence, but the GFS is back on the idea of a chance of showers and storms in Alabama Monday as a wave passes through; we will insert that risk in the forecast. Then, drier air returns Tuesday night and Wednesday. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

KBHM_2015042106_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 had a great time today visiting the 3rd graders at Englewood Elementary in Tuscaloosa, and the students at McElwain Christian Academy in Birmingham. Be looking for them on the Pepsi KIDCAM today at 5:00 and 6:00 on ABC 33/40 News! The next Weather Xtreme video will be posted here by 7:00 a.m. tomorrow…

Spectacular Spring Day

| 6:19 am April 21, 2015

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.

day2otlk_0600

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.

KBHM_2015042100_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. 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…

Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus
Instagram

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!

WeatherBrains 482: Good Looking Bald Men

| 4:15 am April 21, 2015

WeatherBrains Episode 482 is now online (April 20, 2015). If you are crazy about weather, this is THE netcast audio program for you!

Rick MitchellTonight’s Guest WeatherBrain is a graduate of the University of Nebraska. He is in his 25th year of Broadcast Meteorology, starting right out of college with AccuWeather and then doing television in Des Moines before moving on to Oklahoma City where he would stay for 18 years. He has spent the last three years in Dallas. Rick Mitchell, welcome to WeatherBrains.

From The Weather Center:

WeatherBrains 101: The weather enterprise has seen the impact of events and inventions that have helped promote the understanding of our atmosphere in some huge ways. So what invention lead to one of the major explosion in weather data? Some may disagree, but you’ll find the answer interesting.

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.

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

Picks of the Week:

Bill Murray – Federal web analytics

Kevin Selle – California Drought Pictures

Rick Smith – Scary Looking Cloud Club

James Spann – Day Of The Killer Tornadoes – 1974 Documentary

Rick Mitchell – Lubbock, TX Supercell Time Lapse

SkyDavers Blog – The Fog Bank

The WeatherBrains crew includes your host, James Spann, plus other notable geeks like Nate Johnson, Bill Murray, Aubrey Urbanowicz, Dr. John Scala, 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

Cooler Tonight; Dry Through Tomorrow

| 3:48 pm April 20, 2015

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.

wxdude_2015-Apr-20

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.

KBHM_2015042006_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. 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.

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

Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus
Instagram

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

Calmer Weather For Alabama Today

| 6:15 am April 20, 2015

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…

11100360_923368991058604_1072603823_o

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.

KBHM_2015042000_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. 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…

Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus
Instagram

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!

More Storms Ahead

| 12:52 pm April 19, 2015

Here is a projection of what the radar will look like over the next 15 hours, via the high resolution HRRR model…

hrrr_2015041915_ref_se

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…

Screen Shot 2015-04-19 at 12.48.24 PM

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…