The remnant low from Tropical Depression #9, which formed over the southwestern Caribbean last week and moved across the Yucatan into the northwestern Caribbean has developed into Tropical Storm Hanna this morning.
It is very near the coast of Nicaragua and will move into that country today. Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect along the coasts of Nicaragua and Honduras.
Top winds are 40 mph. Heavy rains of 10-15 inches will be the main problem with life threatening landslides likely.
Well, the Perfect Weather Warning for yesterday certainly verified across Central and North Alabama with plentiful sunshine, light winds and perfect temperatures. High on Saturday ranged from 76F at Anniston to 77F at Birmingham/Calera to 80F at Tuscaloosa. You usually can’t beat October weather in our great state and Saturday was no exception.
TODAY AIN’T BAD EITHER: Another gorgeous day is in progress across the area. Most areas woke up in the 50s with a few 40s across the Tennessee Valley, including 48F at Fort Payne, 40F at Courtland and the state’s icebox, Valley Head, checked in with 38F. A little patchy fog was around in spots, mainly around bodies of water that were warmer than the air temperature. Fog was pretty dense and long lasting in the major river valleys. You can clearly see it on visible satellite imagery this morning.
Temperatures were well on their way to afternoon highs in the lower 80s by the noon hour. Only the higher spots in Northeast Alabama will qualify for a Perfect Weather designation today, where highs will remain in the upper 70s. But the rest of our weather is nothing to be ashamed of.
TONIGHT: Under mostly clear skies tonight, temperatures will drop in the 50s rather uniformly, with 40s limited to those normally colder locations.
WORKWEEK AHEAD: Monday looks ideal as well with highs in the 80s. Tuesday will feature an approaching cold front, with rain pushing into Northwest Alabama late Tuesday night. But he system will be weakening and rain chances will going down as the front pushes southeastward., For the I-20/59 corridor, the best chances will be during the day on Wednesday with Wednesday night activities going off without a weather hitch. After the front makes it through Thursday, a cool down will push temperatures back to seasonable levels. Highs Wednesday through Thursday will be around 70F with lows in the 40s.
WEEKEND SNEAK PEEK: A reinforcing shot of cooler air will bring highs back to around 60F for Saturday and there is a chance some spots won’t get out of the 50s Saturday and Sunday. Lows will drop back into the 30s and 40s. No rain is expected.
The Internet is a great equalizer. Website and blogging platforms have given everyone a voice. Social media is a powerful megaphone that is accessible to anyone. But the explosion of information on the web has become a double edged sword. One recent example is the Boston Marathon bombing. Photos released on the Internet within hours of the bombing wrongly implicated innocent people and made the job of finding the real perpetrators difficult for investigators.
In no area has this double edged sword reared its ugly side more than in the dissemination of weather information. The general public now has access in real time to nearly every piece of weather information available to professional meteorologists. It has become readily apparent that the other side of the sword can be detrimental when weather information is shared irresponsibly. One of the most common forms this takes is when a single model solution is represented as an absolute forecast and shared and re-shared as such. With many different models and resolutions, you can find a solution for any solution you can imagine. When those model solutions are extreme, the social media universe can quickly catch fire with the information.
The result is that National Weather Service meteorologists and broadcasters find themselves increasingly spending their time to combat misleading or incorrectly interpreted or labeled information.
The National Weather Association, the leading organization for operational meteorologists, recognized the need o provide leadership in this area. Miles Muzio, the Chair of the Broadcast Meteorology Committee has championed the cause of a Seal of Approval for Digital Weathercasters.
The organization has a rich history of producing nearly one thousand Broadcaster Seals for TV Weathercasters. The NWA Broadcaster Seal of Approval is a trusted indicator of that the sealholder has passed a rigorous comprehensive examination and had his or her on air work evaluated by a group of experienced meteorologists.
The NWA approached the idea of a sister seal to the Broadcast Seal very deliberately, debating the merits, procedures, guidelines and ongoing monitoring of introducing such a program. All of the information received intense scrutiny from the National Weather Association Council.
This morning, at the 39th Annual Meeting of the National Weather Association, the Digital Seal program was laid out.
I am very thrilled and honored to be the holder of the very first National Weather Association Digital Weather Seal.
I am part of the “Pioneer 3″ as Miles calls the first three recipients, joining the heady company of Jason Samenow of the Capital Weather Gang and Mike Mogil of How the WeatherWorks. We all three passed the same rigorous exam that Broadcast Seal recipients must pass and had our work evaluated according to the Qualifications and Procedures developed by the Broadcast Meteorology Committee. The comprehensive test includes general meteorology, radar meteorology, satellite meteorology, synoptic meteorology, severe weather, climatology and technology/terminology.
We all will be re-certified every three years and our work will be constantly monitored to make sure that it upholds the values of this important distinction.
I will proudly serve as the Digital Seal Manager.
It was a an incredible moment for me this morning. I look forward to proudly displaying the NWA Digital Seal on Alabama WX. Thank you for the opportunity to share weather information with you, the greatest weather savvy audience on the planet, on a regular basis!
FAQ (PDF Format)
A flash flood watch went into effect at 7 p.m. tonight for much oft he northwestern part of Central Alabama, including Blount, Fayette, Lamar, Marion, Walker and Winston Counties.
The NWS has extended the area of Flash Flood Watch to include Autauga, Bibb, Chilton, Coosa, Dallas, Elmore, Greene, Hale, Jefferson, Lowndes, Marengo, Montgomery, Perry, Pickens, Shelby, St. Clair, Sumter, Talladega and Tuscaloosa Counties until 1 p.m. tomorrow.
Rainfall amounts approaching 2-4 inches have fallen from Winston down through Walker, southeastern Fayette and into Tuscaloosa Counties according to Doppler Radar.
As the storms continue east at about 30 mph, they will continue to dump torrential rains over the rest of Central Alabama tonight. It will only take about 2.5 inches of rain to cause flash flooding.
Strong thunderstorms are moving into the Birmingham Metro area now. There is no warning for Jefferson County at this time but a tornado watch remains in effect until midnight and the storms could become severe at any time.
In any case, they will produce winds of 50 mph or greater, torrential rain and lots of dangerous lightning.
They are now over western Jefferson County west of Bessemer and Birminghamport.
They will be in Bessemer a little after 10 p.m. and in downtown Birmingham, Homewood and Hoover between 10:15-10:30. Eastern and northern parts of Jefferson County will see them after 10:30.
Some counties are being trimmed from the tornado watch now:
The watch has been canceled for Greene, Sumter, Walker and Winston.
It continues for Autauga, Bibb, Blount, Chilton, Dallas, Etowah, Hale, Jefferson, Lowndes, Marengo, Perry, Shelby, St. Clair and Tuscaloosa.
Our line of thunderstorms is approaching Jasper, Tuscaloosa and Livingston tonight. It is packing lots of lightning, strong gusty winds and torrential rains. The storms are not severe at this time but the potential is still there for them to produce damaging winds and even brief spin up tornadoes.
Additional storms are forming ahead of the main line over Tuscaloosa County as well as Jefferson and Shelby Counties. These are not severe at this time but could also become severe.
A tornado watch remains in effect for almost all of Central Alabama until midnight.
The Daily Mountain Eagle in Jasper reports that there has been a fatality in Dora when a tree fell on a house from this afternoon’s activity.
There was also a fatality last night when a tree fell on a car in Ashdown AR.
Just underscores the fact that there is a very real threat from trees falling on homes and cars.
The line of intense storms is now entering Lamar and Pickens Counties. It is bowing out in that area, indicating a high probability of damaging winds.
It should reach the Tuscaloosa area by 7:30 p.m. and the Birmingham area between 8:15 a.m. and 8:30 p.m.
SEVERE WEATHER STILL LIKELY
Conditions are still very favorable for severe weather tonight across Central Alabama. A tornado watch is in effect until midnight.
Instabilities are running 500-1,000 j/kg over the northern half of the state, with values over 1,000 j/kg surging northward into Central Alabama. Lifted condensation levels are at 750m, which is prime for tornado development. And storm relative helicities in the lowest 1 km of the atmosphere are actually pretty high, running 20 m2/s2 in areas north of I-59.
So damaging wind will be the main threat, but an isolated tornado or two cannot be ruled out.
Pay attention to the weather overnight and review your safety rules.
3:05 p.m….Four trees down near Wilsonville in Shelby County.
3:40 p.m….Tree down in McCalla on Allison Drive. Another tree down on Connie Dr in McCalla also. Others down on Hwy 11 in Vance near KyKenKee Lumber Mill as well as Hwy 216 near Jim Walters at Co. Rd 59
Phone line across rd on Phyllis Dr. in Lake View…
Power out in Woodstock in Bibb County.
Tree struck by lightning and on fire in Duncanville
Power pole snapped off on Highway 78 in Pratt City.
Tree down on Tom Montgomery Road in Tuscaloosa. Tres also down on Bama Rock Garden Road near Coaling and Vance.
Winds gusted to 50 mph in Birminghamport (estimate).
3:00 p.m….Winds gusted to 50 mph at Calera.
3:05 p.m….Greenhouse destroyed near West Blocton.