Author Archive: Bill Murray

Bill Murray is the President of The Weather Factory. He is the site's official weather historian and a weekend forecaster. He also anchors the site's severe weather coverage. Bill Murray is the proud holder of National Weather Association Digital Seal #0001 @wxhistorian

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Tornado Warning Continues for Pike County Until 945 AM CST

| January 21, 2017 @ 9:23 am

UPDATE 930 AM

…A TORNADO WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 945 AM CST FOR
SOUTHEASTERN PIKE COUNTY…

At 930 AM CST, a severe squall line capable of producing both
tornadoes and extensive straight line wind damage was located along a
line extending from near Boot Hill to near Ariton, moving east at 50
mph.

HAZARD…Tornado.

SOURCE…Radar indicated rotation.

IMPACT…Flying debris will be dangerous to those caught without
shelter. Mobile homes will be damaged or destroyed. Damage
to roofs, windows, and vehicles will occur. Tree damage is
likely.

Locations impacted include…
Tennille and Josie.
___________________________________________________________________

DAMAGE REPORT at 9:25
Trees were reported down on George Wallace Drive in Troy. Possible tornado.
___________________________________________________________________
CURRENT WARNING INFO

…A TORNADO WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 945 AM CST FOR EASTERN
PIKE COUNTY…

At 921 AM CST, tornado producing storms were located along a line
extending from near Beans Crossroads to 7 miles south of Brundidge,
moving east at 60 mph.

HAZARD…Damaging tornado.

SOURCE…Radar confirmed tornado.

IMPACT…Flying debris will be dangerous to those caught without
shelter. Mobile homes will be damaged or destroyed. Damage
to roofs, windows, and vehicles will occur. Tree damage is
likely.

Locations impacted include…
Troy, Brundidge, Banks, Linwood, Antioch, Brundidge Municipal
Airport, Josie, Sandfield, Tennille, Tarentum, Monticello and
Hamilton Crossroads.

Tornado Warning Canceled for Lee and Chambers Counties

| January 21, 2017 @ 8:43 am

The tornado warning has been canceled for Lee and Chambers Counties. The storms have moved into Georgia.

The tornado watch remains in effect until 11 a.m. though.
____________________________________________________________________________________

917 UPDATE
The most dangerous part of the storm is over Smith’s Station now. Take cover now!

908 UPDATE

…A TORNADO WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 945 AM CST FOR EASTERN
LEE AND CHAMBERS COUNTIES…

At 908 AM CST, tornado producing storms were located along a line
extending from near Ridge Grove to near Beans Mill to near Griffen
Mill, moving northeast at 45 mph.

HAZARD…Damaging tornado.

SOURCE…Radar confirmed tornado.

IMPACT…Flying debris will be dangerous to those caught without
shelter. Mobile homes will be damaged or destroyed. Damage
to roofs, windows, and vehicles will occur. Tree damage is
likely.

Locations impacted include…
Opelika, Valley, Lanett, Lafayette, Smiths, Smiths Station, La
Fayette, Lakeview, Cusseta, West Chambers, Beans Mill, Ridge Grove,
Huguley, Trammel Crossroads, Fairfax, Chambers County Lake, Bleecker,
Griffen Mill, River View and Post Oak Forks.

_________________________________________________________________________

854 AM UPDATE

…A TORNADO WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 945 AM CST FOR LEE AND
CHAMBERS COUNTIES…

At 854 AM CST, tornado producing storms were located along a line
extending from near Trammel Crossroads to near Beauregard to near
Uchee, moving east at 60 mph.

HAZARD…Damaging tornado.

SOURCE…Radar confirmed tornado.

IMPACT…Flying debris will be dangerous to those caught without
shelter. Mobile homes will be damaged or destroyed. Damage
to roofs, windows, and vehicles will occur. Tree damage is
likely.

Locations impacted include…
Auburn, Opelika, Valley, Lanett, Lafayette, Smiths, Smiths Station,
La Fayette, Waverly, Lakeview, Cusseta, West Chambers, Beans Mill,
Ridge Grove, Huguley, Trammel Crossroads, Fairfax, Chambers County
Lake, Bleecker and Griffen Mill.

ORIGINAL POST

The National Weather Service in Birmingham has issued a

* Tornado Warning for…
Northeastern Macon County in southeastern Alabama…
Lee County in east central Alabama…
Chambers County in east central Alabama…

* Until 945 AM CST

* At 840 AM CST, severe thunderstorms capable of producing both
tornadoes and extensive straight line wind damage were located
along a line extending from near Jacksons’ Gap to near Tuskegee
National Forest to 6 miles southwest of Society Hill, moving east
at 60 mph.

HAZARD…Tornado.

SOURCE…Radar indicated rotation.

IMPACT…Flying debris will be dangerous to those caught without
shelter. Mobile homes will be damaged or destroyed.
Damage to roofs, windows, and vehicles will occur. Tree
damage is likely.

* Locations impacted include…
Auburn, Opelika, Valley, Lanett, Notasulga, Lafayette, Smiths,
Smiths Station, La Fayette, Waverly, Lakeview, Cusseta, West
Chambers, Beans Mill, Fairfax, Bleecker, Post Oak Forks, Denson,
Beulah and Auburn University.

Round One in Progress, Round Two Tonight

| January 21, 2017 @ 7:14 am

No WeatherXtreme Video this morning. Brian is off galavanting in the Chaser, so here is your morning forecast discussion.

Our well advertised morning rain and thunderstorm event is in progress across Central Alabama. The complex arrived in West Alabama before sunrise after wreaking havoc across southern Mississippi overnight. A significant tornado struck the Hattiesburg and Petal areas of SE Mississippi just after 4 a.m. It crossed I-59 about 1 mile south of FOrrest General Hospital. William Carey University suffered damage and a fire station was struck. There are injuries reported. This storm moved into Choctaw County, Alabama, where some wind damage reports were received. It weakened though as it moved into Marengo County, Alabama.

MORNING MESO
This morning’s activity is associated with a well developed mesoscale convective vortex that will track just south of I-59 through the morning. It was passing south of Tuscaloosa as I wrote this. The large area of rain and embedded thunder will continue along and north of the track, but no severe weather is expected with this activity. To the south,there is still the chance of damaging winds and an isolated tornado or two. A tornado watch remains in effect until 11 a.m. for counties south of the row of counties that includes Hale, Bibb, Shelby, Talladega, Clay and Randolph.

BACK EDGE
The rain should end in Tuscaloosa by 10 a.m. and Birmingham before 11 a.m. The heaviest rain will be out of the Birmingham area by 9:30 a.m. or so. One to two inch amounts should be pretty common across the area.

CLEARING COMES LATER
Within a couple of hours after the rain departs, you will see clearing skies. This increasing sunshine will allow the mercury to top out around 70F.

TONIGHT THROUGH TOMORROW MORNING
The threat for more severe weather will increase once again for the late night hours tonight through the morning hours on Sunday. Another shortwave will move out of the low pressure center that is located in the Southern Plains. Latest guidance is showing more thunderstorms developing and moving into the northwestern parts of Central Alabama sometime after 11:00 PM tonight. Stronger low-level shear will lead to the potential for isolated tornadoes across the area, but the higher chances for those located in the southeastern portions of the area. There will be a higher hail threat for the storms that will be moving through the northwestern locations of the area due to a cold core type setup. The threat of golf ball size hail or higher, damaging winds, and a few isolated tornadoes will exist for these northwestern locations. For the locations in-between these two higher risk areas, threats will be lower. There will be enough low-level shear and instability for a limited risk for small hail, damaging winds, and a brief tornado is not out of the question. Timing for strong to severe storms will be from 11:00 PM tonight until 6:00 AM tomorrow morning.

SUNDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING
Looking at the latest run of the NAM 3km model, there will be several rounds of rain moving through the area for the remainder of the afternoon and evening hours. There will be a few breaks in the rain coverage, so it will not be a complete wash-out. Afternoon highs will be in the lower to mid 60s for the early afternoon hours, and will fall into the mid 40s for the overnight low. No severe weather will be expected after 6:00 AM. Rain totals through the day will mostly be around 1.00 inches or less throughout the area, with a few locations in the northeastern corner of the state possibly picking up a little more.

BENIGN, AND THEN COOLER
Showers associated with the cold core, upper level low should move out early Monday morning with clearing skies and a brisk northwest wind. Highs on Monday should be limited to the lower 50s, but the real airmass change won’t come until later in the week. Expect 30s Tuesday morning and 40s Wednesday morning, with highs both days in the 60s. As a trough moves eastward across the northern United States, it will allow colder air to infiltrate the Southeast by Wednesday night and Thursday. There could be a few showers with this front, and temperatures will drop behind it. Highs will be in the 50s Thursday, but struggle to reach 50F on Friday. 40s will be commonplace on Saturday. Lows will go back below freezing for the end of the week.

HEADED TO THE BEACH
Showers and thunderstorms are likely throughout the day today and tomorrow, but partly sunny skies return for the first part of the week. Highs will be in the 70s throughout the weekend, then briefly falling back into 60s for Monday and Tuesday. Click here to see the Beach Forecast Center page.

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, meeting starts at 630. Be there!

WEATHERBRAINS
The weekly netcast that’s all about the weather had a great time visiting with Jesse Haro, the Meteorologist in Charge at the National Weather Service in San Francisco. He shared lots of information about California weather and meteorology and social media. Check out the show on iTunes or at WeatherBrains.com. Tim Marshall will be next week’s guest in a special Tuesday night appearance.

Perry County Storm Will Affect Bibb/Chilton Counties

| January 21, 2017 @ 6:02 am

A fairly significant mesoscale convective vortex (MCV) appears to be developing this morning over West Central Alabama. It is at the head of a line of storms that trails back into southeastern Louisiana.

Just ahead of it, a lone storm is embedded in the rain area over Perry County. It is passing near Marion right now, but it will be into southeastern Bibb and Chilton Counties between 615-630 a.m.

It is not severe at this time, but has lots of lightning, heavy rain, strong winds and perhaps some small hail. There could be an increasing wind damage threat with this storm. Areas north of Selma could get some damaging winds.

Right behind it is the storm that has produced significant tornado damage across the Petal and Hattiesburg areas of southeastern Mississippi. That is near the apex of the MCV over southern Marengo County, where a tornado warning remains in effect. The greatest threat of a tornado is just south of Linden into the Thomaston and Uniontown areas. This storm will impact Perry County and western Dallas County as early as 630 a.m.

LATE REPORT 604 AM
Marengo E911 just paged out that they have a report of possible tornado touchdown on Highway 69 near Putnam. That is well south of Demopolis and southwest of Sweet Water.

Update for the Tuscaloosa/Birmingham Areas; Main Concern is in Tornado Watch Area

| January 21, 2017 @ 5:26 am

Everything is on track with Round One of our multi-round severe weather event on this early Saturday morning.

a large complex of rain and thunderstorms is lifting northeastward into Southwest and West Central Alabama at this hour along a warm front.

Tornado watch outlined in purple, tornado warnings in red. Dewpoints are the values shown.

Rain with some occasional thunder extends as far north as a line from Millport and Reform in West Alabama to Tuscaloosa, Lake View, Alabaster, Calera, Rockford, Alex City, Auburn and Phenix City.

Strong storms are in the Montgomery area right now, extending up to Rockford and Alexander City. These storms prompted a severe thunderstorm warning earlier for Lowndes County. Others are in the Tallassee area and approaching Auburn. Not severe at this time, but lots of lightning and heavy rain and gusty winds.

For the Tuscaloosa area, just rain and occasional lightning it appears for the next 3-4 hours.

Rain will increase in the Birmingham area of the next hour and become heavier with occasional thunder.

The main concern is further south in the tornado watch area, mainly through Marengo, Hale, Perry, Bibb, Chilton, Shelby, Talladega, Clay and Randolph Counties and points further south where supercells and other strong storms are producing a major tornado threat.

A tornado warning was just issued for Marengo County. Sweet Water and Thomaston are in the path of this dangerous storm that has produced significant tornado damage.

Damage is severe in the Hattiesburg MS area with injuries. I-59 is blocked at the Forrest/Jones County line just north of Hattiesburg. Now flooding is being reported across the Southern Miss campus. A large flash flood warning is in effect for several counties in southern Mississippi.

A DAMAGE SUCCESS STORY
A tornado struck a trailer off Highway 29 near Runnelstown in Perry County, MS around 409 a.m. Rescuers looking for the family found them later. They had gotten out ahead of the tornado and were safe!

Heads Up Marengo County; Significant Tornado Hit Hattiesburg Earlier

| January 21, 2017 @ 5:08 am

Tornadic thunderstorms are over southern Butler County and over Wayne County, Mississippi right now and will be affecting Marengo County shortly.

Strong radar indication of tornado near Silas or south of Gilbertown will pass north of Coffeyville. This storm produced a tornado at Hattiesburg earlier that has done considerable damage.

Another rotation is just west of Butler. It will move near Lisman and Pennington.

Take cover now!

These storms will both move into Marengo County shortly. Expect a tornado warning soon.

There is another storm over Marengo County now near Linden. The NWS is watching it as well. It has rotation aloft.

All of these storms will also begin to impact Perry, Dallas and northern Wilcox Counties in 60-90 minutes between 6L15-6:45.

Be Ready For Strong to Severe Storms Early Saturday Morning

| January 20, 2017 @ 11:17 pm

Strong to severe thunderstorms are occurring over Louisiana tonight as a warm front lifts north out of the Gulf of Mexico ahead of an approaching upper level disturbance. The warm front will gain momentum overnight as the low level jet intensifies at about 5,000 feet and transports warm, moist low level air northeastward. A strong upper level jet max of over 125 knots (145 mph) will overspread the region, enhancing the storms.

Downstream, the airmass over southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi into southwestern Alabama will be destabilized by drier air aloft moving in from the west over the rich low level air coming off the Gulf of Mexico. Storms should continue to be severe through the overnight hours in these areas. Supercells with tornadoes will be possible.

A tornado watch has been issued for parts of Louisiana and southern Mississippi.

The mass of thunderstorms will enter West Central Alabama around 4-5 a.m., entering around Sumter County. They should reach Tuscaloosa by 5 a.m. and Birmingham by 6:30 a.m. They will get into East Alabama after 7 a.m.

Severe threat through early morning: orange=greatest threat, yellow=a few severe storms, green=isolated severe storms possible

The biggest threat of severe weather through 7 a.m. will come over Southwest Alabama, south of a line from Cuba to Thomaston to Beatrice to Atmore and Orange Beach. There is still a good chance of severe weather as far north as a line from Pickensville to Tuscaloosa to Brent to Prattville to Luverne to Navarre Beach. But storms could reach severe limits as far north as a line from Hamilton to Oneonta to Alexander City to Enterprise.

Through the morning hours, the severe threat will lift east northeast as well, with isolated storms as far north as US-278, scattered severe storms south of I-20 and the best chance for severe weather, including tornadoes, south of I-85.

Additional storms will develop Saturday night over Mississippi and move into western Alabama. There are still signs that the storms could have very large hail. This development is not as certain at this time, but could pose an enhanced severe weather threat.

Scott Martin will be providing continuous coverage starting at 3 a.m. on the blog as the storms approach Alabama. Stay tuned for the latest updates.

Serving up Good News Stories & Can’t Miss Alabama Events from Our Alabama NewsCenter Friends

| January 20, 2017 @ 1:24 pm

From airline expansion to artistic expression, from civil rights to clinical renovation, and from final farewells at the circus to fabulous fare at Birmingham’s Restaurant Week, this week’s edition of Good News Stories from Alabama NewsCenter inspires us to take part in local activities and to take pride in Alabama!  Here are a few of our favorite stories:

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, Mardi Gras, Restaurant Week and more in Can’t Miss Alabama

Birmingham Restaurant Week offers cuisine to satisfy the pickiest palates

Crab and corn bisque at Warehouse Bistro makes list of 100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die

Mobile airport’s ‘articulated strategy’ driving air traffic gains

Hyundai-Kia to invest $3.1 billion in U.S., mull new plant

Earthborn Pottery’s Tena Payne is in the ‘throws’ of her passion as an Alabama Maker

Alabama actor André Holland on his roles, New York and vintage obsessions

John Veres and the Cottage Hill Foundation preserve Montgomery’s oldest neighborhood

$6.8 million automated clinical laboratory opens at UAB Hospital

R&D at Alabama Power’s Plant Barry plays part in Texas’ Petra Nova project

Take Action: Do this to make your workplace safer for everybody


Cheesier pizzas rescuing dairy as Americans drink less milk

Birmingham Unity Breakfast MLK, civil rights, recent historic announcement

Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute to receive federal grants

The momentous events leading to Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘Letter from Birmingham Jail’

‘Letter from Birmingham Jail’: ‘The most cogent and influential defense of nonviolent resistance ever written’

Alabama Public Television to air PBS Kids Channel starting Jan. 16

Magic City ends 2016 home sales on high note, up 11 percent over 2015

Mobile wraps up 2016 with a 4 percent increase in home sales compared to 2015

Montgomery home sales hold steady in 2016 despite slight dip in December

Huntsville home sales for 2016 up 9 percent over 2015

Tuscaloosa home sales end 2016 up 16 percent from 2015’s total

Rain Moving Out; Several Rounds of Severe Weather Possible Over the Weekend

| January 19, 2017 @ 9:12 pm

The line of thunderstorms is now into Georgia above Randolph County. South of there, they curve back to the east of Wedowee, Alexander City and Wetumpka.

The storms are at the vanguard of an area of moderate to occasionally heavy rain that is about 35 miles wide.

An areal flood advisory was just issued for Autauga and Almore Counties.

The rain has now ended in the Birmingham area, but to the northwest, showers continue across the northwestern part of the state. Everything is lifting to the northeast at about 30 mph.

The rain will be out of the area after midnight and lows will drop into the middle and upper 50s.

Current satellite/radar with isobars and temperatures.

Tomorrow will be a pretty nice day: partially sunny with mild temperatures in the middle 70s and a balmy southerly wind. The day should be dry.

An areas of showers and storms will overspread the state after midnight Friday night, affecting much of the area Saturday morning. Severe weather is a threat with this system, especially with a strengthening low level jet and strong winds aloft. The threat should be south of I-20, and more significant the further south that you go.

There could be additional development during the afternoon on Saturday, which could also be severe, but this is a little more doubtful because of the morning convection. But the environment will be set for severe storms through the later afternoon and into the overnight as we find ourselves in the warm sector of a developing low that will track near Memphis.

The storms will continue into Sunday morning. More storms may develop ahead of the eventual cold front on Sunday afternoon, with some threat for additional severe weather.

All modes of severe weather will be possible with this slow moving system. Please pay close attention to the latest updates and forecasts throughout the weekend, starting tomorrow.

Rain and Storms Pushing East

| January 19, 2017 @ 6:36 pm

A band of rain and thunderstorms continues pushing east across Central Alabama this evening.

At 635 p.mm. it extends from Fort Payne to Pell City to west of Talladega to west of Rockford and west of Prattsville this into Southwest Alabama.

The heaviest weather is over southern Talladea County extending into western Coosa County into Autauga County.

Further southwest, a severe thunderstorm warning is in effect for parts of Wilcox County.

So far, no warnings in the NWS Birmingham county warning area, which is great news. There is still a small chance of severe weather ahead of the main line of storms.

Here is the radar reflectivity on the left and rainfall that has fallen on the right.

Beneficial rains are falling. I have picked up 1.60 inches here in Vestavia. Only 1.08 inches of ran through 6 p.m. at the Birmingham Airport but it was continuing to rain.

There is an areal flood advisory, less serious than a flood warning, for parts of Chilton County where 1.5-2 inches of rain has fallen with more rain coming. Some minor flooding will occur there.

Rain is continuous back into Mississippi, back the back edge is coming over the border near Meridian.

Rain will end from the southwest over the next 3-4 hours. It should end in Birmingham by 11 p.m.

New forecast data indicates that between 1.5-2.5 inches of rain will fall across much of Central Alabama between now and Monday morning. Lesser amounts are expected along the Alabama/Mississippi border closer to 1-1.25 inches.

Severe weather is still a significant threat for the weekend. Stay tuned.

Near Record Warmth Again

| January 15, 2017 @ 1:58 pm

The temperature at the Birmingham Airport (based on 5-minute data) has reached 73F at 130 p.m. This is exactly where we were yesterday, so a high of 75 or 76 looks likely.

There is a difference in temperature across the state with a cold front hanging around in the I-59 Corridor. Lower 70s are common along I-20 with middle 70s to the south. To the north, low and middle 60s are common.

There is a good supply of clouds across the area, but some sun is peeking through.

Regional radars are clear despite the presence of the front.

We stay dry overnight, but some showers may show up on Monday during the heating of the day. Highs will be in the lower and middle 70s.

Rain will slowly move in from the northwest during the day on Tuesday and might continue into Wednesday. That event should bring around an inch of rain, which will be greatly appreciated. Rain will continue in the forecast all week.

Today’s Your Lucky Day — Good News Stories from Alabama NewsCenter this Friday the 13th!

| January 13, 2017 @ 11:56 am

Once again, our Alabama NewsCenter partners remind us of the abundant blessings here in our own back yard. Here are a few of our favorite good news stories:

Boats, brides, ballet and honoring an icon this MLK weekend in Can’t Miss Alabama

President Obama establishes National Monument in Birmingham

Pepper Place Winter Farmers Market in Birmingham to feature Alabama goods

Alabama makers help business recruiters tell state’s story in unique way

Birmingham mayor emphasizes growth, development in ‘State of the City’ address

Birmingham firm eyes more investment after purchase of Financial Center building

Charles Smith’s journey from angry Vietnam vet to accomplished artist to Alabama Maker

‘Brighter Birmingham’ lights up the Magic City one neighborhood at a time

What can Alabama cities learn from the Atlanta Beltline?

Record year: Alabama auto production accelerates to all-time high in 2016

Airbus talks up U.S. credentials, Alabama operations ahead of Trump presidency

Toyota to invest $10 billion in U.S. operations

We know people are using health apps, but are they working?

Take Action: Dr. Josh has a prescription to ease your gym phobia


Advertisers depict unsafe sleeping environments for infants, UAB study shows

Honda’s redesigned Alabama-made Odyssey takes center state at Detroit auto show

Alabama-built Honda Ridgeline wins 2017 ‘Truck of the Year’ award