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Brian Peters

Brian Peters

Brian Peters is one of the television meteorologists at ABC3340 in Birmingham and a retired NWS Warning Coordination Meteorologist. He handles the weekend Weather Xtreme videos and forecast discussion and is the Webmaster for the popular WeatherBrains podcast.

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Rain For South Florida

| 10:27 am August 29, 2015

While nobody wants to be hit by a tropical storm or hurricane, there is no doubt that these systems do provide some needed assistance. Tropical weather systems can produce moderate to heavy rain events which help ease drought conditions. Of course, we want and look for a good soaking and not too much rain to produce flooding. As the map below shows, South Florida is rated a D3, or extreme drought, so they can really use a good soaking event.

20150825_southeast_none

According to projections by HPC, Hydrometeorological Prediction Center, Florida could see on the order to 3 to 5 inches (see map below) over the next five days. As long as that rain does not come down all at once, but is spread out over much of the next 3 to 4 days, it should help to ease the drought conditions currently affecting South Florida.

p120i-2

-Brian-

Showers Likely

| 6:57 am August 29, 2015

Let me start off by stating that my confidence in this forecast is not particularly good! Why, you may ask? Well, we’ve got a tropical storm that the models have not been handling well in either intensity or track. Add to that the presence of a weak upper low spinning in the vicinity of Mobile, and you come up with a low confidence factor considering the weak intensity of all of these features. But, we dive into what we’ve got knowing that we’ll probably have to make adjustments down the road – but that’s the nature of meteorology!

A weak upper low was situated above Mobile early this morning, and that weak upper low will be spinning for the next several days as it meanders around the northern Gulf coast and the Lower Mississippi River Valley. It should provide enough lift over Central Alabama to make showers and thunderstorms likely this afternoon and evening. Showers were few and far between this morning, but as the day wears on, I think we’ll see showers become more numerous with increased coverage. Temperatures should stay down somewhat because of the presence of clouds and showers with highs in the middle 80s.

Storm Prediction Center (SPC) is not forecasting any areas of severe weather today with only marginal areas in parts of South and Southwest Florida because of the presence of Erika – or what may be left of Erika.

If you have plans to head to the beaches of Southwest Alabama and Northwest Florida you will have to contend with daily shower chances for the week ahead. Temperatures along the beach from Dauphin Island to Apalachicola will be mainly in the upper 80s with morning lows in the middle 70s. Sea water temperature was running in the lower 80s with 85 being reported at Dauphin Island.

Then there’s Erika. Erika continues to defy forecasters as it moves nearly due west overnight. Erika remained disorganized as it continued to fight a hostile environment with substantial wind shear as well as the problems associated with moving over the rugged terrain of Hispaniola. The present projected track also means that Erika will have to deal with continued interaction with land as it basically moves northwestward right along Cuba. Erika is not presenting much of a wind or surge threat, fortunately, however, Erika presents a big threat in the heavy rainfall it will produce which may trigger landslides in Hispaniola and Cuba. If you can, read the forecast discussion from NHC which is peppered with words like “low confidence” and “difficult to locate.” NHC also did not issue any kind of watch or warning for Florida because of the tremendous uncertainty in the forecast of Erika, but I do expect to see some type of watch or advisory issued later today. Hopefully, an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft will be investigating Erika later this morning and that data will help provide a clearer picture of Erika’s physical condition.

storm_05-2

Getting back to the GFS and Central Alabama, moisture levels drop somewhat as seen by precipitable water charts, so the level and coverage of showers should drop back after today and Sunday. It will be difficult if not downright improbable to be able to pick which days have the best chances of rain. The weak upper low will meander around the Lower Mississippi Valley for much of the week ahead plus we’ll have to contend with Erika, where it goes and just how strong it will be. So the forecast for much of the week ahead will include a mention of showers as a possibility nearly every day.

The good news from this scenario is that temperatures should stay mainly in the 80s. We could hit 90 or 91 again but that will depend on just how much cloud cover we have and how many showers develop in the heat of the afternoon.

The forecast uncertainty is not limited to the GFS guidance either. I browsed through a little of the ECMWF output and found that it, too, was having trouble discerning a track for Erika.

I’ll be keeping a close eye on our weather today, so you can check back here for later updates on what the weather holds for us. The next Weather Xtreme Video will be posted here on Sunday morning. Have a great day and Godspeed.

-Brian-

Mt. Cheaha NOAA Wx Radio Down

| 1:38 pm August 28, 2015

At 1:09 pm the National Weather Service in Birmingham sent out a Public Information Statement to advise weather radio listeners in East Central Alabama that the NOAA Weather Radio broadcasting on 146.475 MHz from an antenna on Mt. Cheaha will be off the air for scheduled maintenance this afternoon.

Fortunately, there does not appear to be any serious weather to be concerned about. Alternatives include the Oneonta transmitter on 162.425 MHz or the Birmingham transmitter on 162.550 MHz.

I’ve included the full text of the message below.

-Brian-

NOUS44 KBMX 281809
PNSBMX
ALZ011>015-017>050-290615-

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BIRMINGHAM AL
109 PM CDT FRI AUG 28 2015

...ANNISTON NOAA WEATHER RADIO WILL BE OFF THE AIR...

THE ANNISTON NOAA WEATHER RADIO TRANSMITTER...BROADCASTING ON A
FREQUENCY OF 162.475 MHZ...WILL BE OFF THE AIR FOR SCHEDULED
MAINTENANCE THIS AFTERNOON.

DURING THIS TIME FRAME THE RADIO MAY EXPERIENCE PERIODIC OUTAGES.
THE TECHNICIANS WILL WORK AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE TO COMPLETE THE
WORK AND GET THE AUDIO BACK UP AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. IN THE
MEANTIME...PLEASE TUNE TO LOCAL MEDIA AND COMMERCIAL RADIO FOR THE
LATEST WEATHER INFORMATION. BACKUP NOAA WEATHER RADIO TRANSMITTERS
ARE:

ONEONTA...BROADCASTING ON A FREQUENCY OF 162.425 MHZ...AND
BIRMINGHAM...BROADCASTING ON A FREQUENCY OF 162.550 MHZ.

KEEP IN MIND THAT NOT ALL BACKUP TRANSMITTERS WILL TONE FOR YOUR
SPECIFIC COUNTY...SO PLEASE STAY WEATHER AWARE DURING THE OUTAGE.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE. WE APOLOGIZE FOR ANY INCONVENIENCE THIS
OUTAGE MAY CAUSE.

$$

WeatherBrains 501: Brushing My Tongue

| 5:15 am August 28, 2015

WeatherBrains Episode 501 is now online (August 27, 2015). If you are crazy about weather, this is THE netcast audio program for you!

Dr. Keith Blackwell, University of South AlabamaTonight’s Guest WeatherBrain #1 is a show alum and one of the leading tropical experts in the world. He is an Associate Professor in the Meteorology Department at the University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL, and is part of the Coastal Weather Research Center. As a meteorologist, he achieved the rank of Major in the Air Force and Lt. Colonel in the Air Force Reserve. He was the Director of Meteorology at the Air Force Academy. Dr. Keith Blackwell, welcome back to WeatherBrains.

Ken Graham, MIC NWS Slidell, ALTonight’s 2nd Guest WeatherBrain began his NWS career in Slidell, LA. After stops in Corpus Christi, Birmingham, Fort Worth, and NWS Headquarters, he is now back in Slidell, LA, as the Meteorologist in Charge. Ken Graham, welcome back to the show!

Other discussions in this weekly podcast include topics like:

  • Extremes: 118 at Death Valley, CA, and 32 at Stanley, ID, and Baraga Plains, MI
  • Tropical storm Erika passing Puerto Rico
  • Potential for storm to affect Florida
  • Fairly mild temperatures across the Continental US
  • and more!

Aubrey will be back in the next show to handle the incoming mail.

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.

Web Sites from This Episode:

NOAA Natural Disaster Survey Report

If you want information on Katrina, just perform a search using your favorite search engine; you’ll get many!

Dr. Scala’s article for the Capital Weather Gang

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

Picks of the Week:

No Picks in this Special

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

WeatherBrains 500: Takes His Hat off for More than One Reason

| 5:15 am August 25, 2015

500th Weather Brains Episode

WeatherBrains Episode 500 is now online (August 31, 2015). If you are crazy about weather, this is THE netcast audio program for you!

The tables are turned on the WeatherBrains crew with Bruce Thomas holding down the role of host and firing the questions.

Other discussions in this weekly podcast include topics like:

  • Extremes: 118 at Death Valley, CA, and 28 at West Yellowstone, MT
  • Danny Dying in the Northern Leeward Islands
  • Atlantic basin more active with Danny and two other potential systems
  • Tropical Storm Erika has formed in the Atlantic Basin
  • Astronomy Outlook with Tony Rice
  • and more!

Our email bag officer is continuing to handle the incoming messages from our listeners.

From The Weather Center:

WeatherBrains 101: Our guest WeatherBrain two weeks mentioned storm surge and how it is often overlooked as being deadly. This prompted a little research on the topic from the helpful archives of the National Hurricane Center. And this will be the second of three episodes on storm surge. This episode we look at some of the variables that make the storm surge different from storm to storm.

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.

Web Sites from Episode 500:

Tribute to JB Elliott

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

Picks of the Week:

Nate Johnson – Interpreting Tropical “Spaghetti Model” Plots

Bill Murray – Gets the honorary foghorn

Brian Peters – Hurricane Hunters web page

John Scala – NASA to Build Hurricane-Probing Micro-Satellite Fleet

Kevin Selle – Cooling Off

Rick Smith – Agenda for the NWA’s 40th Annual Meeting

James Spann – NOAAVIEW Data Exploration Tool

SkyDavers Blog – The Fog Bank

Aubrey Urbanowicz – World Weather Forecast and Climate History

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

One Rain Band Exiting

| 9:10 am August 23, 2015

But here comes another one.

The area of rain that moved through North Alabama early this morning – rattling some people out of bed with some loud thunder – has moved eastward into Georgia just before 9:00 am. But a new batch of storms with rain, thunder, and lightning has entered Northwest Alabama and will be traversing the northern half of the state for the next several hours.

latest_MGM_vis

As you can see from the visible satellite image centered on Montgomery, AL, there is the thick area of clouds over the northern half of Georgia. The clouds thin out a bit between that batch of clouds and the next batch coming into Northwest Alabama giving Central Alabama a touch of sunshine, though I note that temperatures have not gone up much. Temperatures in the second round of storms were sticking pretty close to the 70 to 75 degree range. I had a little sun at my house but the temperature only went up about 3 degrees.

The temperature forecast for Alabama locations today is going to be a trifle tricky! Areas that are getting the both rounds of storms this morning may not get out of the 70s while across South Alabama where there have been very few showers that area is likely to see highs into the upper 80s and lower 90s.

Rain-wise I recorded 43 hundredths of an inch in the first batch of storms just before sunrise. So far no additional rain in the bucket as some of the leading edge of rain area has been dissipating as it rolls into Jefferson County.

-Brian-