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James Spann

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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Severe Storms Possible Tuesday

| 3:40 pm January 28, 2016

DRY THROUGH THE WEEKEND: A secondary surge of dry, continental air drops into Alabama tonight, and tomorrow should be much like today… ample sunshine with a high in the mid 50s.

Then, the weather turns spring-like for the weekend. Saturday will feature a sunny sky with a high in the mid 60s, and Sunday’s high will be very close to 70 degrees with a mix of sun and clouds. A few light showers could creep into North Alabama Sunday night ahead of a weak front.

Monday will stay very mild with a high around 70 with just a few scattered showers. But, eyes will be on a major storm system forming west of Alabama. Big snows are likely Monday for cities like Flagstaff, Denver, and Albuquerque, and as that system lifts out of the Southwest U.S., it will set the stage for an active severe weather day for parts of the southern U.S. Tuesday.

SPC continues to have much of Alabama in their “Day 6” severe weather outlook, which covers the 24 hour period from 6:00 a.m. CT Tuesday through 6:00 a.m. CT Wednesday.

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Note the surge of unstable air up into Alabama; surface based CAPE values are expected to reach 1,000 j/kg Tuesday evening, pretty impressive for early February.

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The bottom line is that there should be excellent dynamic and thermodynamic support for deep convection.

Please understand this risk is 5-6 days away, so it is just about impossible to get really specific. But, this is the current thinking…

*Strong to severe storms will be possible across North and Central Alabama Tuesday afternoon into Tuesday night. Storms will be capable of producing large hail, damaging winds, and a few tornadoes.

*The greatest threat of tornadoes will be in discrete cells that form ahead of the main squall line/QLCS, although a small tornado is possible within the line in close to line breaks and some bowing segments.

*Rain amounts of 1/2 to 1 inch are expected, not enough to bring widespread flooding problems.

Understand severe weather is fairly routine in Alabama; this is nothing “historic” or really out of the ordinary, but it certainly has potential to be a medium to high impact event, and we will watch developments closely in coming days.

LATER NEXT WEEK: Wednesday will be dry and cooler with highs back in the 50s, but even colder air arrives Thursday and Friday with highs in the 40s. Some North Alabama communities won’t get out of the 30s Thursday afternoon. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details…

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WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly 90 minute netcast anytime on the web, or on iTunes. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists here at ABC 33/40.

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I had a great time today visiting with the students at Salter Elementary in Talladega… be looking for them on the Pepsi KIDCAM today at 5:00 on ABC 33/40 News! Also, thanks to the senior adults at First Baptist of White Plains for their very kind hospitality today and a great lunch! Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 7:00 a.m. tomorrow…

Dry Through The Weekend

| 6:14 am January 28, 2016

NICE AND QUIET IN THE SHORT TERM: The focus of this discussion will be on the severe weather potential Tuesday of next week, but let’s enjoy some nice, calm weather through the weekend. Today and tomorrow will feature a good supply of sunshine with highs in the mid 50s; right at seasonal averages for late January in Alabama.

MILD WEEKEND: This weekend will be outstanding (at least in terms of weather!)… we rise into the mid 60s Saturday, followed by upper 60s Sunday. The sky will stay sunny Saturday, followed by a mix of sun and clouds Sunday. A few showers could reach North Alabama Sunday night ahead of a weak surface front.

MONDAY: A vigorous storm system will form over the Southwest U.S. Monday, with a surface low lifting out into the Great Plains. A big snow event will unfold in the cold air sector of the storm, and we will continue to be in a large warm sector; temperatures will approach 70 degrees here Monday afternoon. A few showers are possible Monday, but nothing widespread or heavy.

SEVERE WEATHER THREAT TUESDAY: Let me say up front I always have concern over too much hyperbole when it comes to a potential high impact event like this when it is discussed 5-6 days in advance. Please understand this is Alabama, and we have severe weather threats like this many times through the year. It is not unusual, and it is our job here to tell you what we know, and likewise, not tell you things we don’t know.

This is what it looks like now…

*SPC continues to have a pretty large of Alabama included in their “Day 6” severe weather outlook…

day6prob

Understand this outlook runs from 6:00 a.m. CT Tuesday through 6:00 a.m. CT Wednesday.

*The “warm sector” of the storm system will feature some pretty impressive stability values for early February, with surface based CAPE values expected to rise to near 1,500 j/kg over Alabama Tuesday afternoon.

*Dynamic support for strong to severe storms will be excellent, with a deep upper trough supporting the surface low, which will run from near Wichita to Chicago.

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*The low level jet (winds around 5,000 feet off the ground) will rise to near 60 knots over North Alabama Tuesday afternoon/evening, meaning there will certainly be a risk of storms with strong, damaging straight line winds.

*There will be sufficient shear for a few tornadoes, especially in any discrete storms that can form ahead of the developing squall line/QLCS.

But, please understand we still won’t know about the small scale features, that can really make or break a big severe weather event, until Sunday/Monday. No need to be worried or anxious about this, but just understand the potential, and keep up with these blog posts in coming days.

LATER NEXT WEEK: Much colder air will follow the storms, and we might hold in the 30s all day Thursday. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

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TWO YEARS AGO TODAY: Alabama’s “Snowmaggendon”… Only two inches of snow fell at Birmingham, but it turned out to be a humanitarian crisis. Temperatures had reached the 60s a few days prior to the event, and the ground was relatively warm, but a brutally cold Arctic airmass rolled in January 27. When light snow started on Tuesday morning January 28, there was some initial melting due to the warm ground, immediately followed by a “flash freeze” (surface temperatures hovered around 20 degrees all day… I can’t recall a day with accumulating snow with a surface temperature that low in my 37 years on duty here), that put down a base of ice on all roads across North/Central Alabama. Which, in turn, brought the travel impact you would expect with a serious ice storm.

While we did forecast light snow that day, our impact forecast was simply horrible. Major travel impact was not expected, and accordingly thousands of people were stranded on highways, and hundreds and hundreds of cars were abandoned. In the end, Alabama State Troopers responded to 731 vehicle accidents across the state during the period Tuesday through Friday (Jan 28th-31st). Sadly, there were nine deaths attributed to accidents that occurred due to the icy road conditions.

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 show notes on the new episode we recorded last night.

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Busy day ahead… I have a weather program today at Salter Elementary in Talladega… and then I will speak to the senior adults at White Plains Baptist Church. Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon. Enjoy the day!

Several Sunny Days Ahead

| 11:49 am January 27, 2016

RADAR CHECK: At midday most of the rain is over Southeast Alabama, and the sky has cleared nicely over the northwest part of the state…

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The clearing will continue to push southward, and tonight will be clear and cold with a low in the 28-32 degree range early tomorrow for most places.

Tomorrow and Friday will feature sunny pleasant days and clear cold nights; the high both days will be in the mid 50s.

MILD WEEKEND: Saturday looks really nice; sunshine in full supply along with a high in the mid 60s. And, the latest data suggests we stay dry and mild Sunday, with a mix of sun and clouds along with a high in the 66-69 degree range. A few showers could show up Sunday night and Monday with a weak front drifting into Alabama from the north.

SEVERE WEATHER POTENTIAL NEXT WEEK: The new global model runs continue to show a dynamic weather system that will have the potential to bring strong to severe thunderstorms to the southern U.S. around Tuesday, or Tuesday night of next week. SPC already has this region in a risk of severe weather on their “Day 7” convective outlook…

day7prob

You can’t be very specific when it comes to modes of severe weather and timing so far in advance, but just be aware of the potential. For Alabama at this time it looks like the main threat will come late Tuesday and Tuesday night.

This system will also spread very heavy snow in the cold sector from the Southwest U.S. up through the High Plains and into the Great Lakes. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

Drier air returns Wednesday, and we should turn sharply colder late in the week.

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WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly 90 minute netcast anytime on the web, or on iTunes. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists here at ABC 33/40. We will produce this week’s show tonight at 8:30 CT… you can watch it online here.

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

Colder Today; Some Clearing This Afternoon

| 6:09 am January 27, 2016

RAIN PUSHING SOUTH: Rain continues to sag slowly southward across Alabama this morning… rain is falling in spots along I-20, but by midday almost all of the rain should be over the southern half of the state.

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Colder air has moved into North Alabama; some spots are at freezing, but the precipitation has moved out, and there are no winter weather travel issues.

We will be optimistic in the forecast and forecast gradual clearing this afternoon for the northern third of the state, but clouds will hang tough in many places. Expect a high today in the 48-52 degree range.

TOMORROW/FRIDAY: Sunny pleasant days, clear cold nights. Tomorrow morning should be the coldest, with upper 20s likely; the high tomorrow will be in the mid 50s, followed by mid to upper 50s Friday.

MILD WINTER WEEKEND: This will be one of the nicest weekends we have enjoyed in a while. Saturday will feature a sunny sky with a high in the mid 60s, and on Sunday we rise into the 66-69 degree range. Clouds will begin to increase Sunday, and we could see a few showers Sunday night ahead of a cold front.

The front will lose upper support, and drift into Alabama Monday with a risk of showers. Nothing widespread or heavy, and we stay in the 60s.

SEVERE WEATHER POTENTIAL NEXT WEEK: Interesting to note our friends at the Storm Prediction Center have put a decent part of Alabama in a severe weather risk on the “Day 7” convective outlook, which is for Tuesday, Tuesday night, and early Wednesday morning of next week.

day7prob

Global models develop a very dynamic weather system, that will bring big snow to the southern Rockies Sunday, and ultimately out across the High Plains and the Great Lakes. We will be in the warm sector of the system, and it certainly looks like a setup for strong to severe storms for parts of the southern U.S.

Understand there is no way we can be specific so far in advance, but just be aware of the potential for some active thunderstorms in here in 6 days or so. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

Colder air will follow the storms over the latter part of next week.

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 actually produce this week’s show tonight at 8:30 CT… you can watch it here.

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

Rainy Tuesday Ahead

| 3:18 pm January 25, 2016

THIS AFTERNOON: While clouds are increasing, we have enough sunshine available to make this a very pleasant day; many places have risen into the low 60s this afternoon. Clouds thicken tonight, and rain pushes into the northern counties after midnight ahead of a cold front.

WET DAY TOMORROW: Rain becomes widespread tomorrow, with amounts averaging 1/2 to 1 inch. A clap of thunder is possible over South Alabama, but no severe storms are expected.

WINTER MISCHIEF FOR FAR NORTH ALABAMA EARLY WEDNESDAY? As the cold front pushes deeper into Alabama, colder air returns late tomorrow night, and it seems like there is a window for a light “wintry mix” of precipitation over far North Alabama early Wednesday morning. A little light freezing rain, sleet, and snow is possible, generally north of U.S. 278 (north of a line from Hamilton to Cullman to Gadsden).

I still think the impact will be generally low, however, since the precipitation will be ending as temperatures hit 32 degrees across the Tennessee Valley. Also, the ground will be wet and relatively mild after the soaking rain, and the bridge infrastructure won’t be really cold. Just be aware of the possibility if you will be driving early Wednesday over far North Alabama.

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Rain will end from north to south Wednesday morning, and by afternoon most of the rain will be south of I-20. Otherwise, Wednesday will be cloudy and colder with a high in the upper 40s.

THURSDAY/FRIDAY: Dry air returns; we expect sunshine in full supply both days. The coldest morning will come early Thursday when mid to upper 20s are likely, then we warm into the low 50s Thursday afternoon, and upper 50s Friday.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Saturday looks like a delightful day, with ample sunshine and a high in the mid 60s. Clouds begin to return Sunday, but for now the day looks dry, and again we expect a high up in the 63-66 degree range.

The chance of rain will slowly increase early next week; see the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details…

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WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly 90 minute netcast anytime on the web, or on iTunes. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists here at ABC 33/40. We will produce this week’s show tonight at 8:30 CT… you can watch it online here.

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I enjoyed seeing a big home school group today at Lakeview Baptist Church in Southside… 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….

Rain On The Way

| 6:19 am January 25, 2016

NICE WARM-UP TODAY: The colder temperatures are over Northeast Alabama this morning, where we are seeing mid 20s around Gadsden and Fort Payne, but we expect a very nice warm-up statewide today, with highs in the mid 50s for most communities. But, clouds will be increasing as well, and some rain could reach the state late tonight ahead of a slow moving cold front.

WET DAY TOMORROW: Tomorrow will be a wet day with rain likely; maybe some thunder over the southern counties of the state (but no risk of severe storms). The high will be in the mid 50s, and rain amounts of at least one inch are likely.

WEDNESDAY: The front stalls out over South Alabama, and a wave of low pressure forms on the front. Rain will continue during the day Wednesday, mainly in places south and east of Birmingham. And, the day will be colder with the front to the south; most North/Central Alabama communities won’t get past the mid 40s.

We need to mention that thermal profiles suggest the rain could end as a “wintry mix” over the Tennessee Valley of far North Alabama early Wednesday morning. But for now significant impact is not expected due to a relatively warm ground and infrastructure. We will keep a close eye on this potential, however, as we get closer to the event.

THURSDAY/FRIDAY: These two days will feature a good supply of sunshine with a warming trend; we reach the mid 50s Thursday, and Friday’s high will be close to 60.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Saturday looks like a delightful day; ample sunshine along with a high in the low 60s. Clouds increase Sunday, but only a small risk of a shower. Sunday’s high will be up in the mid 60s.

NEXT WEEK: Showers are possible early in the week, and temperatures will be mild as we kick off the month of February. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

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WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly 90 minute netcast anytime on the web, or on iTunes. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists here at ABC 33/40. We will produce this week’s show tonight at 8:30 CT… you can watch it here.

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

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I will be doing a weather program this morning for a home school group in Gadsden… look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon. Enjoy the day!

Snow Showers Tonight; Warmer Sunday

| 2:50 pm January 22, 2016

**No afternoon Weather Xtreme video today**

WINTER WEATHER IS HERE: The rain/snow line has been progressing steadily across Alabama this afternoon, pretty much in line with our morning forecast. It should reach the Anniston/Gadsden area by late afternoon. So far, roads are just wet, and there have been no travel issues in Alabama.

Our overall accumulation forecast remains unchanged…

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We will forecast occasional snow showers tonight; they will be somewhat random, meaning snow distribution will be very uneven. Some spots will see no accumulation, other places will see the ground turning white in a short period of time. But, for North/Central Alabama, amounts should be under 1 inch for most places. Better totals will come over the Tennessee Valley of far North Alabama.

TRAVEL: Temperatures are near freezing now over Northwest Alabama, and they drop below freezing statewide tonight. Expect icy spots to form, initially on bridges and overpasses, especially after 9:00 p.m.

And, where heavier snow showers develop, some black top roads could become slick. Be very careful if you need to drive tonight.

TOMORROW: We could see a few lingering morning snow flurries, otherwise the day will be breezy and cold with a high of sun and clouds… we won’t make it out of the 30s. Any road problems should fade by midday as temperatures climb into the mid 30s.

SUNDAY: After a low in the low 20s, we rise to near 50 degrees with a good supply of sunshine.

NEXT WEEK: Monday will be dry and warmer; showers return Tuesday thanks to an approaching cold front.

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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Stay tuned for updates tonight….

Rain Changing To Light Snow Today

| 6:32 am January 22, 2016

WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY: No changes in the “winter weather advisory” from the National Weather Service offices in Birmingham and Huntsville; it is in effect basically for areas north of a line from Tuscaloosa to Calera to Roanoke. Remember, for the Birmingham NWS office the criteria for an advisory is snow 1/4″ to 2″.

RIGHT NOW: Showers, and even a few thunderstorms, continue over Alabama at daybreak…

Screen Shot 2016-01-22 at 6.16.54 AM

Temperatures are generally in the low 50s, and as we have discussed in recent days, they will go the wrong way today. We fall through the 40s, and wind up in the 30s this afternoon as cold air rushes into the state. Dynamic cooling from the very deep upper trough will also be a factor.

RAIN TO SNOW: We have adjusted the timing a bit on the projected change from rain to light snow based on radar trends; snow should begin to fall up in the Shoals area of far Northwest Alabama around 8:00 a.m. The rain/snow line will work eastward during the day as temperatures fall.

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IMPORTANT NOTES….

*Temperatures are not expected to drop below freezing until tonight. Initially during the day, roads will be just wet with temperatures in the mid to upper 30s. The possible exception is far Northwest Alabama, where icy travel could begin around Muscle Shoals by afternoon. Slick spots are possible on roads tonight, especially after 9:00 (for places like Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Anniston, and Gadsden).

*Slick spots/icy patches will remain possible through about mid-morning tomorrow; conditions will improve by midday tomorrow as temperatures rise into the mid to upper 30s.

*Much of the snow will come in the form of convective showers, much like rain showers on summer afternoons. This means the distribution will not be even, and snow amounts will vary greatly. Some will get nothing, others will see the ground go white very quickly. No way of resolving where the heavier snow showers develop. For most of North/Central Alabama, some will see 1 inch, others will see nothing, and most will see something in between.

*As the cold core upper trough swings through here late today and tonight, expect a surprise or two; these things are always interesting and can do things you don’t expect.

NORTHEAST OF ALABAMA: A major winter storm will unfold, with a blizzard warning up for the Washington/Baltimore area…

wpc_snow_72_75_ma (3)

Travel will become difficult, and in many areas impossible, in the heavier snow zones later today and tonight.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Tomorrow will be breezy and cold with a few lingering morning snow flurries; we won’t get of of the 30s. Sunday morning will be cold with a low in the lower 20s, but we rise to near 50 degrees by afternoon with a good supply of sunshine.

NEXT WEEK: Monday will be dry and warmer… some places could reach 60 degrees. Then, showers are possible Tuesday thanks to a passing cold front, followed by colder air Wednesday. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly 90 minute netcast anytime on the web, or on iTunes. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists here at ABC 33/40.

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

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We will have frequent updates through the day on the blog… stay tuned!

Quick Look

| 5:37 am January 22, 2016

Here is a quick look at the updated thinking on Alabama’s weather today. Temperatures won’t go below freezing until tonight, most likely after 9 p.m. But, we have adjusted the timing on the change from rain to light snow.

The light snow will be in the form of snow showers, meaning distribution will not be very even; some will get nothing, but in other places the ground will become white. For most of North/Central Alabama, amounts will be under 1″. A full blog discussion and Weather Xtreme video will be posted shortly.

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Heavy Rain/Strong Storms, Then Snow

| 2:46 pm January 21, 2016

**No Weather Xtreme video today; I did an extended live video on Facebook you can watch here**

RAIN AND STORMS TONIGHT: A heavy rain/thunderstorm event will unfold across Alabama over the next 12-18 hours; rain amounts of 1 to 2 inches are likely, and severe storms are possible, especially over the southwest part of the state. A tornado watch is in effect for parts of Mississippi and Louisiana until 10p CT…

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An “enhanced” severe weather risk continues over Southwest Alabama, with the standard “slight” risk as far north as Greene, Hale, and Perry Counties for tonight…

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The core severe weather threat will be in the broad zone from Demopolis and Greensboro to Mobile and Atmore; some storms in that region could produce high winds, and an isolated tornado or two is very possible. The main threat for Alabama will come from about 6:00 p.m. through 3:00 a.m.

The severe weather threat for Tuscaloosa is marginal, and no severe storms are expected for Birmingham, Anniston, or Gadsden.

TOMORROW: Temperatures will fall during the day as a surface low pulls away from Alabama; we start the day in the 50s, and wind up in the 30s by mid to late afternoon. And, as the cold air rushes into the state, the lingering rain will change to light snow. NWS offices in Huntsville and Birmingham are now in the process of issuing “winter weather advisories” for the northern half of the state for tomorrow afternoon and tomorrow night.

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The heaviest snow is likely over the northwest corner of the state, elsewhere light amounts are likely. Since much of this wintry precipitation will fall in the form of snow showers, amounts will vary a good bit. Snow showers are like rain showers on summer afternoons; it can be very much hit and miss. Some communities will wind up with little if any snow; others will see the ground white. Generally speaking, amounts across North/Central Alabama will be in the 1/4 to 1 inch range.

TRAVEL: Icy spots could develop around the Shoals area tomorrow afternoon, but for most of the state the core risk of slick spots due to snow will come after 9:00 p.m. Temperatures probably won’t drop below freezing for places like Birmingham/Tuscaloosa/Anniston until after midnight tomorrow night.

NORTHEAST OF ALABAMA: This will be a blockbuster, high impact snow storm for much of WV/VA/MD… with very significant icing possible in North Carolina where freezing rain will be more of a concern. Travel in these areas will become difficult, if not impossible by tomorrow afternoon and tomorrow night.

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THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Saturday will be breezy and cold with a mix of sun and clouds and a risk of morning flurries; we won’t get out of the 30s. Then, on Sunday, after a low well down in the 20s, we rise to near 50 degrees by afternoon with a good supply of sunshine.

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 Floyd Elementary in Gadsden… 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…

Storms, Colder, Then Some Snow

| 6:38 am January 21, 2016

MUCH TO DISCUSS: We will be very busy in the weather office over the next 48 hours as a very robust weather system swings through the eastern half of the nation.

TODAY: A surface low, the initiation of what promises to be a blockbuster eastern U.S. snow storm, forms over Texas north of Houston, with a warm front extending eastward along the Gulf Coast. That warm front will lift slowly northward, and we will mention a chance of showers during the day. Temperatures rise into the 50s this afternoon.

SEVERE WEATHER RISK TONIGHT: The surface low moves northeast into Mississippi… and the guys at SPC have defined an “enhanced” severe weather threat for Southwest Alabama tonight, with the standard “slight risk” up into Sumter, Greene, and Hale Counties of West Alabama.

AL_swody1

PLACEMENT: It sure seems like the best combination of instability and shear will be over Southwest Alabama tonight. I would suggest the main severe weather threat will come in the broad area from Demopolis to Mobile, with a much smaller risk as far north as Tuscaloosa. The risk of severe weather for Birmingham, Anniston, and Gadsden is very low tonight as the air there will be stable.

TIMING: The core severe weather threat will come from about 9:00 p.m. through 6:00 a.m.

MODES: While strong straight line winds and hail are the main threats, we sure can’t rule out a tornado or two, especially over far Southwest Alabama (closer to Mobile).

RAIN AMOUNTS: Rain totals of at least one inch are likely tonight, with isolated amounts approaching two inches. I don’t think it will be enough for flooding issues.

COLD AIR RETURNS TOMORROW: Temperatures will be going the wrong way. We will be in the 50s around sunrise, but after that we fall through the 40s, reaching the 30s by late afternoon with a gusty northwest wind. Periods of rain will continue through the day as the cold air rolls in.

SNOW TOMORROW NIGHT: As cold air deepens, the rain will change over to light snow across the northern half of Alabama on the back side of the departing surface low.

TIMING: The change will begin over the far northwest counties in the 3-6 p.m. time frame, but for most of the state snow won’t begin until after 6:00 p.m. It might be after 10:00 p.m. before you see snow flakes over East Alabama.

AMOUNTS: All guidance continues to suggest any accumulation will be pretty light across our state. Best chance of seeing an inch of snow will be over the Tennessee Valley of far North Alabama, and over the eastern counties.

wpc_snow_72_75_birmingham-2

Understand we will be dealing with convective type snow showers tomorrow night, and distribution won’t be especially even. But, generally speaking, amounts across North/Central Alabama will be under one inch, and in some cases, no accumulation at all.

IMPACT: Temperatures are expected to generally remain above freezing through midnight tomorrow night, so for now we expect no impact from the light snow during the day tomorrow, or early tomorrow night. But, after midnight tomorrow night into Saturday morning, temperatures will drop to near freezing, and there could be a few icy patches. Due to strong wind and the light nature of the snow, the overall travel impact in Alabama looks relatively low for now. But again, if you are driving early Saturday morning be aware of the potential for a few slick spots.

REMEBER: This forecast can, and probably will change, so check the blog often for updates and revisions.

TO THE NORTHEAST: Parts of WV/VA/MD will be buried; some spots will see two feet of snow, and blizzard conditions are likely around Washington and Baltimore tomorrow night into Saturday. Travel in the core of the storm will become difficult, if not impossible. The snow will also impact cities like Philadelphia, New York City, and Boston.

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THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Saturday will be cold and breezy with a mix of sun and clouds and a risk of lingering morning snow flurries; we won’t get out of the 30s. Then, on Sunday, after starting the day in the low 20s we rise to near 50 degrees with a good supply of sunshine.

NEXT WEEK: A cold front will bring a chance of showers Tuesday, followed by cooler air Wednesday. No sign of any winter weather mischief for now… see the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly 90 minute netcast anytime on the web, or on iTunes. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists here at ABC 33/40.

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

Facebook
Twitter
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I have a weather program this morning at Floyd Elementary in Gadsden… look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon. Enjoy the day!

Strong Storms, Colder, Some Snow

| 3:25 pm January 20, 2016

VERY ACTIVE WEATHER: Rain is still falling this afternoon across parts of Central Alabama, mainly south of I-20. Otherwise, it is a cloudy and cold day. Temperatures are barely above freezing across Northeast Alabama, where some light icing has been reported. Photo below is from Lookout Mountain near Fort Payne… via @rolltide23

rolltide23_2016-Jan-20

The sky will stay cloudy tonight, with some patchy light rain possible.

We have two issues we will focus on this afternoon….

SEVERE WEATHER THREAT TOMORROW AFTERNOON/TOMORROW NIGHT: SPC has adjusted the “Day Two” convective outlook, and the standard “slight risk” of severe storms now extends northward to Tuscaloosa, with a “marginal” risk to Birmingham…

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The primary threat of severe storms will come from about 4:00 p.m. tomorrow to midnight tomorrow night. The main risk will come from hail and strong, perhaps damaging straight line winds, but an isolated tornado can’t be completely ruled out. Higher tornado probabilities exist to the west over South Mississippi.

This is a very dynamic weather system, and we will watch radar trends very closely tomorrow afternoon and tomorrow night. Rain amounts of around 1 inch are likely.

A RISK OF SNOW FRIDAY AND FRIDAY NIGHT: As the surface low pulls northeast, away from Alabama, much colder air will drop into the state Friday with a gusty north wind. We start the day in the 50s at daybreak, then we fall through the 40s during the midday hours, reaching the 30s by mid to late afternoon.

Lingering light rain on the back side of the departing low will turn to light snow; the change will initially happen over Northwest Alabama, and it could happen as early as 12:00 noon near the Mississippi border across counties like Lamar, Marion, Franklin, Colbert, and Lauderdale. This is where some communities could see over 1 inch of snow; to the west most of North Mississippi is under a winter storm watch, where 4 inches of snow is possible.

For most of North/Central Alabama, the change from rain to snow will come between 3:00 and 6:00 p.m. And, temperatures won’t drop below freezing until after 6:00, so we do not expect any travel impact during the day Friday, with the possible exception of far Northwest Alabama (Lamar, Marion, Franklin, Colbert, and Lauderdale Counties).

Light snow/snow flurries will continue Friday night, and some light accumulation is possible as far south as I-20. We will project amounts under 1 inch, probably closer to 1/4 inch, for places like Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, and Anniston. The European model seems to have a good grasp on this potential…

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There could be a few slick/icy spots Friday night and Saturday morning due to light snow and sub freezing temperatures over the northern half of Alabama, especially along and north of I-20. While I don’t think this will be an especially high impact event, anyone that needs to travel Friday night needs to be aware of the potential for some ice/snow issues.

As is the case with any winter weather situation, please keep up with the latest blog posts for forecast changes…

MAJOR EAST COAST SNOW STORM: A blizzard watch is in effect for Washington D.C. for Friday/Saturday; still looks like some spots across KY/WV/VA/MD will see two feet of snow from this blockbuster system. The snow will ultimately impact larger cities like Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City, and Boston. Travel around Washington and Baltimore will become difficult, if not impossible Friday and Saturday. Expect major airport delays across the eastern third of the U.S.

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THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Saturday will be breezy and cold with a mix of sun and clouds along with a risk of morning snow flurries; we won’t get out of the 30s. Then, on Sunday, after a low down in the low 20s, we rise to near 50 degrees with a good supply of sunshine.

NEXT WEEK: Some light rain will return Monday night and Tuesday thanks to an approaching cold front, and we see evidence of a warmer period toward the end of January and the first of February. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly 90 minute netcast anytime on the web, or on iTunes. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists here at ABC 33/40.

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I had a great time today visiting with the 2nd graders at Bluff Park Elementary School in Hoover… 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….