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Morning Notes

| 7:34 am February 25, 2015

Scroll down for a full meteorological discussion of today’s winter storm in Alabama.

Light rain is pushing into West Alabama early this morning…

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 7.32.13 AM

Snow is increasing west of Alabama; we note a good bit of lightning over the ArkLaTex region, meaning there is a decent chance of thundersnow over North Alabama later today.

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If you are along or north of I-20, I would be off the roads by 12:00 noon today. Heavy snow is likely this afternoon and early tonight.

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Again… scroll down for the “long story”…

ALABAMA POWER IS READY, ARE YOU? Our friends at Alabama Power are monitoring the forecast closely, ready to deploy people and assets to quickly address any outages that might occur. Read a special message from Ike Pigott about their commitment to their customers.

Big Snow For North Alabama

| 5:57 am February 25, 2015

An all new edition of the ABC 33/40 Weather Xtreme video is available in the player on the right sidebar of the blog. You can subscribe to the Weather Xtreme video on iTunes by clicking here.

Let me say up front that I would like for you to read the 10 things people need to know about winter weather forecasts. I know most of you have, but on days like today we have many new readers that have not seen it. Also, please take a few minutes and watch the Weather Xtreme video… it has all of the maps, graphics, and details beyond this discussion.

WINTER STORM WARNING: There have been no changes in the winter storm warning issued by NWS offices in Birmingham and Huntsville. The warning includes Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Anniston, and Gadsden.

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No changes in the forecast I put out last night around 9:00…

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TIMING: Precipitation (generally in the form of rain) begins in the 9:00-12:00 noon time frame; it changes to snow quickly along and north of I-20; the heaviest snow over North Alabama will come from 1:00 until 7:00 p.m. The precipitation will end tonight between 9:00 p.m. and midnight for most.

For those in the “snow zone”, I would be off the roads by late morning. Here is a timing graphic from the NWS Birmingham…

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ACCUMULATION POTENTIAL: The biggest snow should be near the U.S. 278 corridor (Hamilton to Cullman to Gadsden), with average amounts of 3-6 inches; isolated amounts to 8 inches are possible. Some convective snow (complete with thunder and lightning) is possible in this heavier snow zone this afternoon and early tonight.

PLACEMENT: As stated here for days, the hardest part of the forecast is the boundary between rain and snow. This will be near, or just south of I-20. And, of course, it won’t be along a neat, clean line like we draw on the maps. Why do we draw them, then? It just serves as a general guideline.

Albert Einstein, Barack Obama, George Bush, Country Boy Eddie, or anyone else in the world has no idea EXACTLY where that rain-snow line will be today.

To the south of that line, it will be a cold, rainy day.

IMPACT: Where the heavy snow band sets up over North Alabama today, there could be enough heavy, wet snow for a few scattered shower outages. Travel will be severely disrupted in the snow zone this afternoon, tonight, and tomorrow morning. Temperatures rise above freezing by mid-morning tomorrow, when conditions begin to improve.

UNDERSTAND: This forecast can, and probably will change later this morning before the event begins. If you don’t check for updates, you will be using old information that is not very helpful. And, with this and any winter weather event in Alabama, there will be some snow lovers that are delighted with the snow they see today, and others that are severely disappointed.

TOMORROW/FRIDAY: These two days will be dry but cool; we reach the mid 40s tomorrow, but the high Friday will be closer to 40 as a secondary push of cold air moves in.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Saturday will be partly sunny with a high in the low 50s; some scattered light rain is possible Sunday as moisture returns; we reach the mid 50s Sunday afternoon.

NEXT WEEK: Showers are possible Monday through Wednesday; thunderstorms could be involved by Tuesday night and Wednesday as a surface low passes to the north. And, it will be much warmer; the 00Z GFS is printing a high of 71 for Birmingham on Tuesday. See the Weather Xtreme video for more long range details.

ALABAMA POWER IS READY, ARE YOU? Our friends at Alabama Power are monitoring the forecast closely, ready to deploy people and assets to quickly address any outages that might occur. Read a special message from Ike Pigott about their commitment to their customers.

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 to the blog through the day for updates…

Pre-Dawn Update

| 4:41 am February 25, 2015

I will have a full discussion and a new Weather Xtreme video shortly…

*NWS is not changing the winter storm warning…

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*Our forecast for now remains unchanged

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*Rain begins later this morning, changing to snow this afternoon along and north of I-20

*There will be a very, very tight gradient near I-20 between snow to the north and rain to the south. You might see 5 inches of snow in one spot, go just 10-20 miles to the south, and see only a cold rain

*Heaviest snow is near the US 278 corridor (Hamilton to Cullman to Gadsden)

*No travel issues through at least mid-morning; most of the snow will fall between 12:00 noon and 8:00 p.m.

ALABAMA POWER IS READY, ARE YOU? Our friends at Alabama Power are monitoring the forecast closely, ready to deploy people and assets to quickly address any outages that might occur. Read a special message from Ike Pigott about their commitment to their customers.

Stay tuned…

Snow Update For Alabama Tomorrow

| 8:55 pm February 24, 2015

New data is rolling into the office tonight. A few notes…

*We have forecast this, but we want to stress it looks like the precipitation will begin for many in the form of rain tomorrow morning, with a quick change over to snow where thermal profiles are cold enough tomorrow afternoon.

*The window for the heaviest snow is between 1:00 and 7:00 p.m.

*The biggest forecast issue continues to be the rain-show line. The 00Z NAM suggests it will be very close to I-20. It could be a day when Warrior gets 5 inches of snow, and Calera has a cold rain. Same thing over in Tuscaloosa County; those that live around Lake Tuscaloosa could get 2 inches of snow, but those down in Duncanville get just rain. Defining this is still very problematic tonight. I get the idea snow amounts across the Birmingham metro will vary widely.

*Potential for 3 to 6 inches of heavy, wet snow continues over North Alabama tomorrow afternoon and tomorrow night; isolated amounts to 8 inches. Confidence in this is high.

*There will be a tight gradient on the southern edge of the snow. We will probably go from 5 inches to nothing in only 25-30 miles. And, that gradient won’t be along a nice line we draw on a map.

*No changes in the winter storm warning from the NWS…

Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 1.45.30 PM

Made some small adjustments to the forecast; and as we have stated for days, the forecast can, and will change again.

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DON’T FORGET: Some snow lovers will be delighted with the amount of snow they see tomorrow, others severely disappointed. That is just the way it is.

Look for a full discussion and Weather Xtreme video very early tomorrow morning….

Evening Update

| 5:44 pm February 24, 2015

A winter storm warning remains in effect for much of North Alabama tomorrow. The warning is from Aliceville, Tuscaloosa, Brent, Calera, Sylacauga, Ashland, Roanoke, and points north. To the south, tomorrow will be just a cold, rainy day.

Our forecast….

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TIMING: The HRRR model suggests rain or snow could move into far West Alabama as early as 7:00 a.m., but for most the event begins between 8:00 and 11:00. The heaviest snow will fall from 12:00 noon until 6:00 p.m., and the event winds down tomorrow night.

PLACEMENT: As stated here many times, the most difficult part of the forecast is defining the rain-snow line tomorrow. It will be somewhere a little south of I-20; and with a large percentage of the population in our market living along that highway, it makes for quite a forecast problem. I get the idea that rain-snow line will about 15-30 miles south of Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, and Anniston. The new 18Z GFS supports that idea…

gfs_6hr_snow_acc_birmingham_11

ACCUMULATION: The big numbers will be near the US 278 corridor… 3 to 6 inches are likely there, with isolated amounts to 8 inches. Some places near the bullseye are Hamilton, Cullman, Gadsden, Oneonta, and Haleyville. Down toward Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, and Anniston amounts will be lighter, in the 1-3 inch range.

IMPACT: With very heavy, wet snow falling, a few scattered power outages are possible in the US 278 corridor. Travel will be severely impacted tomorrow afternoon, tomorrow night, and into Thursday morning. Temperatures will rise above freezing at mid-morning Thursday, and roads will begin to improve.

REMEMBER: Tomorrow, some snow lovers will be delighted with what they get, while others will be severely disappointed. That is just the way it is.

And, of course, this forecast can, and will change later tonight and early tomorrow. Check back often for updates.

ALABAMA POWER IS READY, ARE YOU? Our friends at Alabama Power are monitoring the forecast closely, ready to deploy people and assets to quickly address any outages that might occur. Read a special message from Ike Pigott about their commitment to their customers.

Winter Storm Warning

| 2:25 pm February 24, 2015

**No afternoon Weather Xtreme video today; having to spend most of my time dealing with TV!**

WINTER STORM WARNING: NWS offices in Birmingham and Huntsville have issued winter storm warnings for much of North and down into Central Alabama. Winter storm warnings are up for Birmingham, Anniston, Gadsden, and Tuscaloosa.

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We should note a winter weather advisory has been issued down into the Greensboro/Demopolis area of West Alabama, where some light snow is possible.

This is our public forecast…

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TIMING: It begins in West Alabama as early as 8:30… then the precipitation moves east. It should reach Birmingham around 10:30, and Anniston/Gadsden around 11:30. Understand these are approximate times. The heaviest snow comes from 12:00 noon until 6:00 p.m., and then it winds down tomorrow night.

ACCUMULATION POTENTIAL/PLACEMENT: Within the heaviest snow band, which should be somewhere between Birmingham and Huntsville, amounts of 3-6 inches are likely, with isolated amounts to 8 inches. We might even hear of some reports of thundersnow in that zone. We project 2-3″ for Birmingham, and 1-2″ for Tuscaloosa. Please understand the snow will not follow the clean lines we are showing on the map above… they are just a broad guideline. Anniston and Gadsden are on those lines as you can see; amounts could go either way there.

IMPACT: Travel conditions will deteriorate quickly tomorrow afternoon as the heavy snow falls. Hazardous travel is likely through tomorrow night and Thursday morning; temperatures will ease above freezing by mid-morning Thursday, and after that roads will improve.

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: The exact placement of the rain-snow line. For now we project it along a line from Eutaw to Brent to Calera to Ashland to Wedowee. This might have to be adjusted north or south a bit later tonight and tomorrow morning as the event unfolds. South Alabama will simply have a cold rain.

REMEMBER: For the snow lovers, some of you will be delighted with the amount of snow you see tomorrow, others severely disappointed. See the 10 things you need to know about winter weather forecasting. And, of course, the forecast can and will change.

THURSDAY/FRIDAY: These two days will be dry with highs between 40 and 45; the sky will feature a mix of sun and clouds.

OUR WEEKEND: We expect a high in the low to mid 50s Saturday and Sunday; a touch of light rain is possible Sunday, but much of the weekend will be dry.

Showers and storms return early next week; too early to be specific.

ALABAMA POWER IS READY, ARE YOU? Our friends at Alabama Power are monitoring the forecast closely, ready to deploy people and assets to quickly address any outages that might occur. Read a special message from Ike Pigott about their commitment to their customers.

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

Stay tuned for updates through the night…